These days, you’ll see plenty of internet companies advertising various speed tiers for their service. Sometimes they imply that anyone who doesn’t pay for more speed is settling for a slow internet connection. The trouble is that the term “slow” can be quite subjective when it comes to internet.

So how are you supposed to know if your online experience suffers from slow internet speeds? It turns out there’s an answer to that question. It depends on a variety of factors, including your internet use and how many people there are in your home, among other things. Here’s how you can figure out what the right internet speed is for your needs.

The Definition of Broadband Speed

The first thing you might consider when it comes to evaluating your internet speed is whether your connection even qualifies as broadband. According to the Federal Communications Commission, an internet connection must support actual download speeds of at least 25 Mbps and actual upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps.

Most internet providers serving this area of South Central Texas, including GVEC, offer plans that meet or exceed that definition. However, even if your home’s internet speed meets this definition, it sometimes may not seem that way to you as an end user.

How to Calculate Your Internet Speed Needs

Whether or not your home has a slow internet speed has far more to do with how you’re using it than it does with the raw speed of the connection itself. For example, if your internet usage consists of little more than checking email and browsing common websites, the bare minimum broadband speed or even lower probably works just fine. But if you spend most of your time trying to stream movies in 4K quality, you may encounter some buffering issues unless you upgrade to a higher speed tier.

There are a few questions about your internet usage that you can ask yourself to figure out how much internet speed your home needs, including:

  • How many internet-connected devices are in your home?
  • How many people in your home will stream video content simultaneously?
  • Do you or anyone in your home work from home?
  • Does anyone in your home play online games?
  • Do you transfer any large files to and from your devices?

If there are two or more devices or people using your home network or you answered yes to any of the other questions above, you likely need an internet speed greater than the bare minimum. Otherwise, online usage beyond standard browsing, downloading music and uploading photos from more than one device at a time may include lag, buffering, or sometimes dropped connection.

According to Netflix, a minimum download speed of 3 Mbps is needed to stream in high definition. Keep in mind, this is the speed needed, not how much speed you have available. For instance, you may have a 5 Mbps speed plan from your internet provider. This speed is shared among all connected devices in your home like routers, laptops, tablets, TVs and phones. So if the device you’re streaming on is not hardwired directly to the source bringing internet into your home, or if anyone else is connected with another device, that device will not have access to the full available speed. And if less than 3 Mbps are available to your streaming device, your viewing experience could be affected.

How to Figure Out Your Current Internet Speed

You can check your home’s real internet speed by visiting one of a handful of online speed testing websites. However, for the most accurate results, it’s advised to use the site recommended by your provider, and often providers will have their own speed test sites compatible to their delivery. The speed test site for GVEC Internet customers is

When you do this, it’s a good idea to run the test using a PC that’s plugged directly into your ethernet cord and bypass your router. This will eliminate speed issues that could be the result of poor Wi-Fi or router performance. Then, you can repeat the test while connected to your Wi-Fi to figure out if any speed issues you have are the result of problems in your local network.

Your Trusted Local Internet Service Provider

GVEC Internet offers high-speed residential internet services throughout South Central Texas, with both wireless and extreme-speed fiber networks. We offer commercial-grade internet plans, too. We’re also a Better Business Bureau-accredited company with an A+ rating and routinely score at the top of our peer group on the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

If you need reliable, affordable high-speed internet, contact GVEC Internet today.

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