What internet speed do I need?
What internet speed do I need?

There are different variables that you need to consider when deciding which internet speed will work best for your needs. Most modern households will probably need a 25 Mbps line, but you might need significantly more or less depending on what you use the internet for. 

If you are running your businesses from home and the other people in your household also use the internet a lot, 25 Mbps is not going to be enough. Similarly, if you just use the internet to casually browse the web, check your social media and send a few emails, then you’d be wasting your money on a 25 Mbps line. 

WonderNet has a range of different fibre internet packages to suit all internet users. Before deciding which package to sign up for, think about how you’ll be using the internet and how many devices you want to connect. With WonderNet, you can upgrade your package at any time, so if you find you need a faster line, then we can easily hook you up. 

Choose the right plan for your home or office

25 Mbps is considered fast, but this may not be enough if you are an avid gamer or rely on the internet to run your business. Video takes up a lot of bandwidth and video conferencing is one of the main forms of communication for businesses working remotely nowadays. We all know how frustrating and unprofessional it is when there is a lag on your Zoom call, or when your voice sounds like a robot during an important presentation on Skype. 

If you are running your business online, you should consider both upload and download speeds. Not all fibre packages offer symmetrical lines that have equal upload and download speeds. Some internet providers promise brilliant download speeds, but if you try to attach a large file to an email, you might have to wait a while for it to do its thing. This isn’t ideal; it’s not good for productivity or efficiency. 

WonderNet’s fibre lines are symmetrical and this makes them much more reliable for remote working. You can download large documents easily, collaborate online and send large attachments without any frustration. Symmetrical speeds are also essential for those studying online because a lot of course material is sent and received as big documents or files. 

Bandwidth needed for different activities

If you are just going online occasionally to check your emails, you probably won’t need more than a 1 Mbps line. On the other end of the spectrum are the smart homeowners. Smart homes include fancy features like smart locks, high definition surveillance systems, smart thermostats and speakers. It’s generally advisable to add 5 Mbps for every 10 smart devices. You should be looking at a 100 Mbps line if your home security system has a camera that continuously records and backs up footage.

Let’s look at some different activities to help you decide which speed will work best for your needs: 

ActivityRecommended speed
Sending and receiving emails1 Mbps
Browsing the web5 to 10 Mbps
Scrolling through social media10 Mbps
Making video calls10 to 20 Mbps
Streaming high-resolution videos10 to 20 Mbps
Online gaming25 to 35 Mbps
Streaming 4k videos*35 Mbps

*4k resolution is the display resolution of digital TVs. It is about 4000 pixels and this is about four times more than HD. 

If you want to do multiple things at the same time, then you’ll need to up your speeds. For example, streaming a 4k movie on your internet TV, while also keeping up with the Twitter feed, means you’ll probably need a connection speed of 35 Mbps for the TV and 10 Mbps for your phone. In this example, a 50 Mbps package is the right one for you. 

Other factors to consider

Before signing your name on the dotted line, make sure you check some of the fine print. In particular, it’s important to see if there are any limits on the amount of bandwidth you can use. Many (not so great) internet service providers (ISPs) have a data cap on their packages. 

Another crafty trick employed by certain ISPs is throttling. This means that after you have used a certain amount of bandwidth, your ISP will slow down your internet speed. If you are a heavy video user, you might use up your allotted amount of internet long before the end of the month. WonderNet does not impose any data capping or throttling on fibre lines. This means that you can have a reliable connection all month long and at all times of day or night. 

You may find that with some ISPs, your speeds are great in the middle of the night but during peak times you can’t even get a web page to load. This happens because you are sharing your fibre line with other users in your street. This doesn’t happen with WonderNet fibre; our lines run directly to your home, giving you a steady, dedicated connection.   

Having a fast internet package doesn’t always guarantee fast speeds. There are a number of factors that can influence your speeds. These include where your router is located in your house, how far away your devices are from that router and, of course, the type of ISP you’ve signed up with. 

Getting the most out of your internet speed

For the best speeds, try to connect your devices directly to your router with a LAN cable. If this isn’t practical or possible, then test the strength of your WiFi connection in different places in your house. Moving your devices closer to your router should ensure better speeds. 

You can boost your internet speed by resetting your router, upgrading it, or by prioritising your work connection. Most routers have two bands: 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. 5 GHz means better speeds, while 2.4 GHz has a better range. Dedicate one band to work-related activities and the other to everything else. Most routers also have a guest network. You can put your kids on there so that their internet activities don’t interfere with what you want to do. 

Secure your home network to ensure the best speeds. You can do this by changing the default passwords on your router, setting hard-to-hack passwords, or you can even hide your network so that nobody can even see you have a WiFi connection. 

Choosing the right speed for your needs 

If you are homeschooling or running your business from home, make sure you have an effective plan. Frequent file-sharing uses up a lot of bandwidth, as does video conferencing. On the other hand, if you don’t use the internet for much apart from some emailing and social media scrolling, you needn’t pay for faster speeds. 

If you are still unsure as to which package is right for you, then get in touch with our friendly tech team at WonderNet. They will be able to point you in the right direction. For more information about our fibre offerings or to get a quote for a fibre internet upgrade, please contact us today or check if we’re connected to your address.

WonderNet brings affordable broadband internet to South African homes. We work alongside leading fibre network providers to maximise our reach and to offer fast, reliable and secure internet connectivity to your home. We are owned by SEACOM; one of Africa’s top information and communications technology (ICT) companies with an expansive network of subsea cables, landlines and fibre connections. WonderNet strives to offer the best customer service in the country. We will go above and beyond to ensure that our customers are satisfied with their internet access.

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