In today’s connected homes, when internet speeds are insufficient, the impacts can extend well beyond a sluggish connection for surfing the internet and sending emails. Poor connection speeds can also have negative effects on the household’s communications capabilities, its entertainment options and even its security, among other things. Further, for any residents who might work from home, on-the-job productivity can suffer greatly, too.
But in most cases, these issues can be remedied with more bandwidth, also referred to as a faster internet connection. For those who might be wondering whether an upgrade could benefit them, here are six signs to consider:
- Streaming services experience buffering and slowdowns: Nobody enjoys the interruptions caused by lags, buffering and other slowdowns when trying to stream videos, movies, music and other types of files that are stored online. And when a home’s internet connection is insufficient, such issues can be persistent, making it simply impossible to enjoy streaming content. With a faster internet connection, though, lagging and buffering can be eliminated to produce a far better streaming experience.
- Problems arise when more people/devices get online: Sometimes, a home’s internet speeds can seem adequate when just one or two members of the household are online. But as more devices join the network, it can become overly crowded. This can lead to annoying problems such as lengthy load times, frequent buffering during video streams and videoconferences, and lagging during online video gaming. If issues regularly arise when more people get online, a faster internet connection in the home could alleviate the problems.
- Video chats freeze up or experience other issues: Online videoconferencing applications such as Zoom, Skype and FaceTime can be especially demanding on an internet connection, requiring both high download and upload speeds for strong feeds and clear communications. When these services are used on home networks without adequate bandwidth, signs can include video feeds that freeze up, participants being dropped from calls and/or audio feeds that are hard to follow and comprehend. Faster internet speeds can allow for much smoother videoconferences and better understanding during online meetings and chats.
- File downloads seem to take forever: Especially when users are downloading files of considerable size such as high-resolution movies or high-definition albums, the time for download completion can really drag on when network speeds are insufficient. But with a high-speed internet network, the process can be made substantially faster. For example, while a 10 Gigabyte file can take 30 minutes to download via a 50 Mbps internet connection, the same file can be downloaded in just over a minute with a 1 Gigabit fiber connection.
- Internet-connection tests indicate slow speeds: One of the best ways to test a home’s internet connection is to use a speed-testing service such as FTC’s Speed test application. Such tests can analyze a network’s current upload and download speeds, letting users know if their network is performing at the levels they are paying for.
- Newly added smart devices experience connection problems: In today’s world, more smart devices are making everyday tasks easier and, overall, improving residents’ lifestyles. Examples of common devices in the home that can deliver added function, power and control with an internet connection include smart video doorbells, thermometers, locks, refrigerators and virtual assistants. But as each new device is added, the home’s internet network can become more crowded and strained, leading to lags and slowdowns across the entire network. Tools such as FTC’s Internet Speed Calculator can tell homeowners how much bandwidth they need to make their network perform at the highest level.
Need faster internet speeds for all the online activities such as surfing, streaming, videoconferencing and downloading? To learn more about our internet offerings, visit ftc.net, then call 888-218-5050 to upgrade your connection today! And for help determining what internet speed your connected home needs, check out our handy and easy-to-use internet speed calculator!