Different download speeds for broadband services can give Internet users a variety of online experiences.
Internet speed - or a lack thereof - could influence the quality of experience you have with everything from emailing and web browsing to online gaming and video conferencing.
So, to help you figure out what speed is right for you, you should first understand that connection speeds are calibrated in megabits per second (Mb or Mbps), a number referring to how many bits of data - in millions - can be moved in a second.
The other factor for measuring speeds is bandwidth, or the "size of the conduit in which the data is traveling," says David Salway, director of the Broadband Program Office for New York State.
Download Speed: 4-6 Mbps:
The Federal Communications Commission considers 4 Mbps the minimum speed "generally required for using today's video-rich broadband applications and services, while retaining sufficient capacity for basic web browsing and e-mail."
Salway offers a similar opinion, saying most users with 4-6 Mbps typically will have smooth sailing if they are emailing or, in some cases, streaming music.
But online gaming applications, which might require much higher speeds, could fail at this connection tier, depending on the network traffic.
In fact, the FCC reports you might be at the very minimum speed for two-way online gaming in high definition or streaming HD-quality movies. So, if you're a movie buff or gamer, your lifestyle might be better suited to higher internet speeds.
What You Can Do: File sharing (small/medium files), IPTV (Internet TV services)*
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By: Tony Moton