Reliable internet access is essential for nearly every home and business today. Unfortunately, with more people utilizing home offices for online study and remote work, it’s not uncommon to experience service interruptions or connectivity issues. This can be very frustrating, and can also negatively impact work and school performance. When troubleshooting slow or spotty internet service, it’s important to understand the difference between speed and bandwidth. Bandwidth influences how much data you can upload or download, whereas speed influences how quickly the data upload or download will occur. The speed of the internet (measured in megabits per second, or Mbps) is based largely on the internet provider’s service, and speed requirements will vary from one home or business to the next. Here are some basic minimum guidelines (many providers offer speeds far in excess of these minimums):
- 25Mbps – minimum speed recommended for one or two residential users who simply surf the internet or send and receive text emails.
- 50Mbps – minimum speed recommended for one home office user.
- 100Mbps – minimum for households with multiple users who routinely download files, video conference or stream video.
An internet connectivity test can be useful for verifying the effectiveness and speed of your internet connection. Some internet service providers (ISPs) offer their own online speed checks, but there are also several other free, one-click connection speed assessments such as: Fast.com and Ookla Speedtest. Be sure to conduct the speed test on a typical day and at a time when no one else in your home or office is downloading large files, gaming or streaming video.
There are several internet service providers in the Baltimore area, each offering a variety of plans with different speeds and price points. Some of the most popular Baltimore ISPs are: Xfinity, Verizon, HughesNet and Viasat.
To increase your internet bandwidth, consider hardwiring your internet connection(s). Hardwiring your home or office to the internet is a smart investment, because hardwired Ethernet-enabled connections have greater reliability and support more bandwidth compared to Wi-Fi. With greater bandwidth, you’ll be able to upload or download more data without compromising the connection for others in your household, such as children who may be logging onto an online class. Likewise, with greater bandwidth, your video calls won’t drop if other family members are streaming a movie or playing an online video game. Contact Milton Electric to have our licensed electricians run dedicated internet lines from the router to each computer in your home.