WiFi and internet for students
Are you a student looking for reliable internet? You can get the internet speeds you need to stay on top of assignments, course work and more.
Students need not only a strong and reliable internet connection, but a stable Wi-Fi signal as well. If there’s more than one person using the internet, then a Wi-Fi connection will be essential, as Wi-Fi allows multiple devices to connect wirelessly to the network from anywhere in the house
How to choose the best internet for students
For students, staying connected to teachers and classmates is crucial. That’s why having a strong internet connection is essential. Before choosing an internet plan, it may be important to understand how you use the internet and the size of your household. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offers official speed recommendations for download speeds for various online activities.
|Online activity||Bandwidth needed|
|Streaming music||0.5 Mbps|
|General web browsing, email, social media||1 Mbps|
|HD personal video chat (Messenger, FaceTime, Zoom, etc.)||1.5 Mbps|
|Game console connected to the internet||3 Mbps|
|Online multiplayer gaming||4 Mbps|
|Streaming HD (High Definition) video||5-8 Mbps|
|Downloading large files||10 Mbps|
|Streaming ultra HD 4K video||25 Mbps|
|Remote work/learning||up to 25 Mbps|
Note: Mbps (Megabits per second) is the standard measure of internet speed and refers to how much information can be downloaded or uploaded in one second.
What internet speed do I need?
If you want to change or upgrade your internet service, you may wonder how much internet speed you really need. There are a few variables to consider, such as the size of your household and what you like to do online. Let’s start with the basics: bandwidth and speed.
What is bandwidth?
Internet bandwidth refers to the total speed at which data can be delivered to your computer or other internet-connected device. Bandwidth is usually expressed in “Megabits per second” (Mbps).
While bandwidth and speed aren’t the same thing, they’re closely related, which is why many people use the two terms interchangeably. The higher the bandwidth of service, the faster your connection speed will be on your devices (also measured in Mbps).
With high bandwidth, you can do more things online, faster, like download music, browse the internet, and stream video in HD. A low-bandwidth connection, on the other hand, may result in longer download and upload times, lower video quality, and buffering while streaming video or audio.
What speed is right for you?
So what speeds are right for you? This depends mainly on the size of your household and on how you use the internet. The official speed recommendations from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can give you a good starting point. The table shows download speeds for common online activities.
|Online activity||Bandwidth needed for 1-2 users||Bandwidth needed for 3-4 users|
|Streaming music||1 Mbps||2 Mbps|
|General web browsing, email, social media||1.5 Mbps||3 Mbps|
|HD personal video chat (FaceTime, Zoom, etc.)||3 Mbps||6 Mbps|
|SD (Standard Definition) video streaming||4 Mbps||8 Mbps|
|Online gaming (multiplayer)||4 Mbps||8 Mbps|
|HD (High Definition) video streaming||5-8 Mbps||10-16 Mbps|
|HD video teleconference||6 Mbps||12 Mbps|
|Downloading large files||10 Mbps||20 Mbps|
|Ultra HD 4K video streaming||25 Mbps||45 Mbps|
|Remote work/learning||25 Mbps||45 Mbps|
Note: Values shown are download bandwidth (check internet plan for upload bandwidth). Megabits per second (Mbps) is the standard measure of internet bandwidth and speed.
To determine your total bandwidth needs, you must consider how many of these activities may be happening simultaneously in your home.
If you live alone or with one other person, a 10 Mbps connection would likely be enough to do a lot of the things you want to do.
But if you live in a large household with multiple users streaming media, shopping, gaming, and schooling or working from home all at the same time, then even a 20 Mbps connection may not be enough to handle all your needs. Depending on the service options where you live, you may wish to explore options to give you more speed.
The FCC recommends internet speeds of 12-25 Mbps for families (download) with multiple internet users or for frequent or simultaneous online streaming.
What is the difference between download and upload speed?
It is also helpful to understand the difference between upload and download speed, and why these two different speeds matter.
Downstream bandwidth (Download speed)
This refers to the rate at which your connection (and your device) can transfer data from the internet to you. Higher downstream bandwidth means that you can watch high-quality video more seamlessly and download large files more quickly.
Typically, internet plans are given with the downstream bandwidth first and upstream bandwidth second. For example, a 100/10 Mbps connection would give you download bandwidth of 100 Mbps and upload bandwidth of 10 Mbps.
Upstream bandwidth (upload speed)
Upload speed refers to how quickly your device can send data to another device on the internet. Posting a photo or video to Facebook, for example, will make use of your upstream bandwidth.
In DSL connections, upload speeds tend to be quite a bit lower than download speeds, because most users download much more data than they upload. That trend is changing with fiber internet, which makes it easier to get a “symmetrical” connection, meaning the downstream and upstream bandwidth are equal.
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