Internet Speed Q & A

Internet SpeedThere are many common questions about Internet speed that have gone unanswered or have been answered incorrectly.  Here are some of hte most common questions that either go unanswered or do not receive correct answers as often as we would like to see:

Question #1: How Is Internet Speed Rated?

Answer #1:  Internet speeds are rated in a number of ways, but key amongst them are the downstream and upstream.  In simple terms, these measure just how much data can be downloaded (taken from the Internet) and uploaded (sent out) every second.  Bigger numbers generally denote faster speeds, but there are some more complexities beyond this.  For example, latency is the measurement of how snappy or responsive the connection is, and is figured primarily by sending to data to and receiving it back from a pre-defined spot on the Internet.  With latency being sort of a relay race, it is a good overall measure of how responsive a connection feels for smaller tasks.

Question #2: How Much Internet Speed Should I Buy?

Answer #2: Some people like to go for broke while others are far too frugal to buy what they need.  In reality, both may be wasting money by buying too much or not spending enough.  The fact is that only an educated approach to this question will yield the best answer.  Of course, if cost is no object then just buy away!  That being said, most of us do live on a budget.

With a budget in mind, you want to determine how many people will be using the Internet at once in a worst case scenario.  Next you want to analyze the worst case usage model for each person.  For example, everyone might browse and use email but if they also stream media, game, and download large files from time to time then consider the worst possible combination to determine what you want to buy.  There is little point in buying too little and being upset with your purchase only to save a few pennies.

Question #3: How Much Does High Speed Internet Access Cost?

Answer #3: It honestly all depends on a number of factors.  Lower speeds can generally be found at incredibly low prices in most markets, generally lower than outgoing dial-up prices as a point of comparison.  Faster packages obviously cost more, but just how much more and in exchange for how much additional speed will vary by market, carrier, and even the broadband technology used!  In short, your best bet is to look at what is out there around you now in terms of broadband offerings.

Question #4: Should I Get High Speed Internet?

Answer #4: This is easily the simplest and most direct question with an equally up-front type of answer: yes!  Technology is inundating our lives and is becoming a major force driving many aspects of how we interact with each other as well as the world around us.  Being without broadband is like being crippled when it comes to information access.

Question #5: How Can I Save Money on High Speed Internet?

Answer #5: There are many different ways to save money on broadband and high speed Internet, but you really do need to hone your shopping skills.  For example, you can often bundle cable and Internet or DSL and Internet from your local carriers and save.  Those savings can be further extended by bundling other services, but remember that buying something you don’t need to save on something that you do is far from a bargain by any measure of the word.  You can also find coupons, discounts, and other ways to save if you are a savvy shopper.

Question #6: What is a High Speed Internet Bundle?

Answer #6: There are many companies out there from telecoms to cable companies and even pure fiber optic network carriers that are starting to offer all the digital entertainment and information/communication access that you might want in what is referred to as a bundle.  A bundle can save you a, well…a bundle…but only if you know how to shop.

Question #7: How Many People Can Share a High Speed Connection?

Answer #7: It all really depends on how many people and how they plan on using the Internet as well as how fast the Internet connection is.  Faster connections can serve more people doing more intense things with their connections, so it is all relative.  There are also concerns about expectations, so having high expectations may also play a factor in determining how many people can share a high speed connections.