You're Working From Home: Do You Need A New Internet Plan?


COVID-19 has changed a lot about the world, including how many people work on a day-to-day basis. While working from home may have been a temporary trend for some workers, others are settling into a more permanent remote routine. If this describes you, you're probably wondering whether your internet connection is up to the task.

The answer to that question will vary from person to person. This guide will help you understand a bit about how your connection works so you can decide if a new plan will allow you to work from home more seamlessly and efficiently.

The ABCs (and Mbps) of Internet Plans

Most providers divide their plans into multiple tiers ranging from somewhere in the neighborhood of "good enough" right up to "blazing fast." While these descriptors might be okay if you're not trying to be too precise, you may need to dive into the nitty-gritty details a little more. Plans may contain numerous features, but you'll want to focus on the maximum upstream and downstream speeds.

ISPs should generally make these numbers available in megabits per second or Mbps. Despite being a standard measurement for bandwidth, the megabit can be confusing since most people deal with megabytes. Fortunately, the conversion is simple: one megabyte contains eight megabits. If you have a 1Mbps connection, it will take eight seconds to download a one-megabyte file.

You'll also need to pay attention to upstream and downstream (or upload and download) speeds. These two values will usually be different, and most plans feature much higher downstream bandwidth. In simple terms, downstream speed is how fast you can download a file to your computer. Upstream speed is how quickly you can send files to others.

The Impact of Speed on Teleconferencing

How do all these values matter to you? If you're working from home and spend a lot of time teleconferencing, you need a solid upstream (to send video) and downstream (to receive video) connection. In general, you'll want between 3-9Mbps to stream video in full 1080p. You'll need this amount of bandwidth in both the up and down directions for reliable meetings.

However, keep in mind that the bare minimum speed will rarely be enough unless you don't use your internet connection for anything else. If other people are using your internet connection at the same time, you'll need extra overhead to keep your meetings smooth. If you have more than one person working from home, you'll need at least this much bandwidth per user.

As a general rule, remember that "more is better" when choosing an internet plan for remote work. More speed means you can do more without interrupting your meetings, and you'll also be able to upload and download work-related files much more quickly. As a result, upgrading your plan can be a great way to enjoy a much smoother and less frustrating remote work experience.

To learn more about internet plans, contact a local provider.


13 September 2021

get the most out of your internet service provider

Working from home has opened many doors for me and forced me to learn new things that I previously had no interest in before. Over the ten years that I have been working from home, I have learned a whole lot about internet service providers. I learned what to look for in a good provider, how to maximize the speed of the service that I receive and how to get the best possible price for the service I need to do my job. My site is loaded with tips and advice to help other people get the most from their internet service provider.