What do we use the Internet for?
The first thing we should ask ourselves is what are we going to use the connection for. It is a fact that users are going to use the network in a very different way. Each person is a particular case. For example, someone who only surfs the net sporadically, to read the press, use the mail or an application that needs a connection, is not the same as another user who needs to watch streaming videos in 4K, download large files from the cloud, etc.
Therefore, we must really ask ourselves what will be the use that we will give to the connection. If the use that we are going to give it is going to be very simple, such as the examples we have given of reading the press or using the mail, it would be enough to hire a fiber optic rate of 50-100 Mbps. surplus.
On the other hand, if we are going to use platforms such as Netflix or YouTube and we want to watch streaming videos in the highest quality, we want to use services such as Drive or Dropbox and download large files or simply not have problems having 20 web pages open and using the Internet, ideally it is to have more than 300 Mbps. If it can be at least 600, the better.
How many users are going to connect to the network
This point is very important. All of the above should be multiplied by the number of people that are going to connect. A home in which only 1 or 2 people connect is not the same as another with 5 or more. Each computer, each user that connects, is going to consume resources.
Let’s take a very simple example in which there are 4 people connected to a network and all 4 want to watch a series or movie in 4K Streaming at the same time. We are talking about that in each case we are going to need a bandwidth of at least 25 Mbps. If all 4 are connected at the same time, we are going to need 100 Mbps of bandwidth. But of course, as soon as we connect another device or open another program we could have problems.
Once again it will depend on the specific use that we give to the network. This time it will depend on the number of users and how we are actually going to use the connection. There is nothing fixed, since it is not the same 20 users connected at the same time and only reading the mail, that instead 2 or 3 watching series in maximum resolution. But we can have more or less an approximate idea of 50-100 Mbps for each user to have guarantees that we will not have problems.
If, for example, there are 4 of us at home and the 4 of us are going to make average use of the Internet, such as browsing, watching the odd streaming video, using the cloud … We could say that the ideal would be to have about 300 Mbps of fiber optics.
Upload and download files
We are going to upload files besides downloading content? So it is essential to hire a good Internet rate that is symmetrical. If, for example, we plan to use the cloud, applications such as Drive or Dropbox, to constantly upload content, it will be necessary that we have the same upload as download.
The exact speed once again will depend on what we use it for. It will not be the same to upload sporadic things, such as simply some photos to the cloud, than to constantly upload videos to platforms such as YouTube or large files to servers. It is a mistake to think that we are only going to need a good download speed and therefore the upload must also be taken into account.
When do I need 1 Gbps symmetric from the Internet?
We may ask ourselves why we need a fee of 1 Gbps symmetric. It is today the fastest we can have in Spain. Surely this will be outdated in no time and we will see even higher speeds. Now do we really need that much?
Yes and no. We return to the same thing we have talked about: it depends on the situation in each case. If we put ourselves in the case of a house of 5 people and all of them are going to make intensive use of the network, they are going to use the cloud constantly, play streaming videos, play games, download large files … Then having 1 Gbps is a good idea.
Surely we are over bandwidth, since it is not easy to spend so much, but we will always have that margin in case of need, if at any given time all the members of a household are going to use their computer, as well as other devices, at the same time .
For example, it is very useful if we have a home server and we want to share files through it. Thanks to having 1 Gbps symmetric we can avoid bottlenecks.
However, if we consider hiring a 1 Gbps fiber optic rate, we must be aware that we must have a good installation. This includes having a good router, a good network adapter, and perfect cabling. For example, it is common to have Wi-Fi cards that do not support beyond 866 Mbps. Therefore, we could not connect wirelessly and take full advantage of resources.
Conclusions to choose an Internet rate
In short, different factors must be taken into account to choose an internet rate or other. We must focus on what we are going to need. Depending on the case, we may need from simply 50 Mbps to even going over 600 Mbps.
Our advice would be to have at least 300 Mbps for general Internet use, where we will not require anything excessive, but neither will we fall short in certain situations. It is a standard measure that we can find at a good price today and with many different operators. From there up, depending on the number of connected devices, users and, especially, the use we give it.
In addition, regardless of what rate we hire, we must make sure that we have the necessary hardware to take advantage of the performance. For example, a network cable that is Gigabit Ethernet, a good router, an updated network adapter with sufficient capacity and a computer that has a good configuration.