How does internet speed work for streaming?


Before we dive into the specific issues that can affect your internet speed, let's back up and make sure we all understand what constitutes fast internet speed and how it works.

Internet speed is measured in Mbps, i.e. megabits per second. Most basic internet plans start at around 5 Mbps upload and 1 Mbps download. The higher these numbers, the faster your internet connection should be.


But wait - why are there two speeds? Because internet speed is divided into two different categories. Download speed and upload speed.

Download speed:

Download speed is what most of us call streaming speed. This is what is responsible for your Netflix shows loading fast or slow. Whenever you stream a show or video to your computer, it is essentially "downloading" information from the internet.


Loading speed:

Download speed is the speed at which your internet delivers information to other people. Think about when you are using Skype or video conferencing for work. If the other person still says they cannot see you, the download speed may be low.


What is my speed?

If you do not know what your internet speed is, you can find out right now in seconds using an internet speed tester. It will tell you your download speed and upload speed.


How fast should my internet be?

It all depends, but here are some general guidelines:


  • 5 Mbps is good for someone who only uses the internet for browsing, email, social media.

  • 10 Mbps is good for one or two people who regularly watch online videos and shows as well as other less demanding internet activities.

  • 20 Mbps is good for two to three people who like to watch Netflix in HD quality, on multiple devices.

  • More than 30 Mbps is good for several people who like to stream videos and play online video games.

  • 80+ is high speed for multiple users, such as in small offices.


Have more questions about your internet speed? 

Call (418) 748-4976 and speak to an ID LOGIC expert.