When you’re choosing a new service for your home internet, it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out which package is right for you. How do you know how many mbps you need, and what does that even mean? We’re here to help untangle the web of jargon, so keep reading to find out how to make the best choice for your online needs.

1. Mbps, Kbps, and Pings
Mbps is short for megabits per second, which is the standard unit of measurement for speed. Kbps stands for kilobytes per second and isn’t used as often anymore. It often was used as a way to measure mobile speed, though 4G and LTE have replaced it in modern technology. One megabit is equivalent to 1000 kilobits. Pings are used to measure (in milliseconds) how fast a request sent from your computer is received and responded to, which is important if you play a lot of video games online.

2. Upload and Download Speed
Most home internet packages will speak of speed in terms of upload and download speed. Upload speed measures how fast it takes you to send something (large file, email, image, etc.) to another person or how clear your resolution would be while video-chatting. Download speed measures how long it takes you to receive something sent to you or downloaded from the web, including streaming videos or music and visiting websites.

3. Determining Your Needs
You should make sure you subscribe to a home internet package that exceeds the needs of your household, but how can you determine what level of upload and download speed you’ll need? Feel free to use the suggestions below before you make a purchase:

A. If you plan on streaming a lot of videos, SpeedTest.net recommends a speed of 1.5 mbps for normal resolution and 5 mbps for HD streaming.
B. If you do a lot of VOIP calling that includes video, a speed of 1.5 mbps would be more than adequate.
C. If you don’t do much streaming, playing online video games, or use VOIP services, 1.5 mbps will more than facilitate your needs.
D. If your home has smart devices or appliances, you should have a minimum of 1.5 mbps to cover their continual connectivity.

Remember that the total speed will be spread over all devices in your home, so factor in all computers, tablets, smartphones, and smart devices.

4. How Can I Maximize My Speed?
While you should overestimate your usage before selecting a home internet package, sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances that cause the speed to lag. Make sure to limit activity to 1 or 2 large tasks at a time. An example would be to avoid downloading large files while also playing a game online.

Figuring out the best solution for your home internet needs can feel like trying to learn another language, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Determine your needs for the present and the near future, and use the guide above to help you pick the right package for you.

Source by Andrew Stratton