Your Internet Speed Test Results Explained

So you just performed an Internet speed test and wondered what do all these results mean? Sure, the download speed seems obvious, but how much do I need for streaming an HD movie? What about the upload speed or ping?

Speed Test

If you are curious about your speed test results, here’s a convenient glossary. This info helps you understand what these results mean and how they affect your home Internet usage. Also, this same concept applies if using a remote WiFi service when traveling.

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Without further adieu, here are Internet speed test results explained.

Download Speed is Important For Watching HD Video Content

Simply put, your Internet download speed is the amount of data transmitted to your home each second. The reported speed (both download and upload) is expressed in Mbps, which stands for megabits per second. A megabit is slight than one-million bits. Users with gigabit Internet service essentially receive one-billion bits of data each second.

So how fast does your Internet speed need to be for streaming an HD movie? At least 5 Mbps is a good benchmark for streaming to one device. When more than one device is consuming data from your network, you need more speed.

For streaming a 4K UHD movie, at least 25 Mbps Internet speed is required. Once again, more speed is necessary if multiple devices are accessing your network.

What About Upload Speed?

Upload speed is important when you publish content on the Internet. This includes posting videos to YouTube or Facebook, or even hosting a stream of your band. The upload speed is generally slower than download speed. For example, if your ISP provides a download speed of 100 Mbps, expect an upload speed of around 10 Mbps.

ISP stands for Internet Service Provider if you didn’t already know.

A Low Ping Value is Vital for Gaming and the IoT

Ping is the amount of time it takes for data to be sent to or from a server. Latency is another term for a ping. A lower value is better for your overall Internet responsiveness. Our speed test automatically chooses a server with the lowest ping. You are able to select a specific server if desired.

Low latency is extremely important for online video gaming. When the value gets too high, games just aren’t as responsive. In fact, in some situations they become unplayable.

Latency also matters greatly with Internet of Things (IoT) applications. In a similar manner as with online video games, a home automation system suffers from poor response when the latency is high. For example, an IoT-controlled light reacts a few seconds after you send it a command.

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What’s The Difference Between Internet Speed and Bandwidth?

Bandwidth and Internet speed are closely related. Bandwidth defines the amount data able to be transmitted between two points on the Internet at one time. Internet speed is the actual amount of data transmitted in a second.

The terms are almost interchangeable, but don’t actually define the same thing. Also, note that this definition of bandwidth only applies to the computer networking realm.