High Speed Internet: How much speed do you really need?


BroadStar offers a variety of Internet packages to suit the needs and budgets of every type of household. Choosing an Internet package can be somewhat confusing at first, however, a little information can go a long way. So, before you select an Internet package, let’s brush up on the industry vernacular, evaluate your Internet usage and the number of devices within your home and finally, select the package that’s right for you.

First, here are a few terms to learn:

Broadband: A broad (wide) band of frequencies that allow many different types of traffic to be sent or received at the same time — voice, video, data and TV all on the same connection.

Bandwidth: The maximum (width) or capacity of your connection (highway). The greater your bandwidth, the more data you can send at one time.

Mbps: “Megabits per second” is the unit used for measuring how much data (packets) you are transferring per second. Higher Mbps means more data.

Wireless: Connectivity to the Internet via air waves rather than through the use of wires. Your BroadStar Internet is delivered by hardwire to your home. You can then transmit the Internet signal using a wireless device such as a router or a modem/router combo which makes it convenient to access the Internet on all the devices within your home (such as smart phones, tablets, smart TVs, blu-ray players, gaming systems, etc.) The downside, though, is that wireless transmits through the air and can be blocked or interfered with by other waves from surrounding networks and other devices such as blue-tooth, cordless telephones, baby monitors, microwaves, etc. Interference is typically minimal but in some areas, can cause noticeable interruption.

The main concern with wireless Internet is security. It is important to secure your wireless network by following the guidelines found here. Otherwise, any computer within range of the router’s signal can piggyback onto your wireless connection, using your bandwidth (slowing down your connection) and potentially accessing your personal data.



Evaluate your Internet Usage
Do you primarily use the Internet to send emails and surf the web? Are you (or is anyone in your family) into gaming or binge watching video (such as Netflix, Hulu, Prime, etc)? How many people and devices are connected at one time?
For a basic guideline, use these download speed recommendations:

5 Mbps or less: Basic web surfing and email
5-15 Mbps: Very few connected devices web surfing, email, occasional streaming
15-50 Mbps: A moderate number of connected devices frequently streaming HD, online gaming and downloading
50+ Mbps: A large number of connected devices with extreme HD streaming, online gaming and downloading

Remember that your connection is shared between all the people, devices, and applications within your home. While you may not need a faster connection to watch the occasional Netflix program on the highest HD quality setting, you might need a faster connection if several people wanted to watch different Netflix programs in HD at the same time or if you wanted to use Netflix while someone else within your home is video conferencing long distance with a family member at the same time.

So, now that you know how much speed you really need, click here to select your Internet package!

Already a BroadStar Internet subscriber? Test your current speed!
If you’re curious about what Internet speeds you’re currently getting, run a connection speed test. For the most accurate results, disable any other devices that are using your Internet connection first (remember, there are a lot of devices within your home that can be used to access the Internet such as laptops, desktops, smart phones, tablets, smart TVs, blu-ray players, gaming systems, etc.). You will also receive more accurate results by connecting your laptop or desktop directly to your Internet source via Ethernet cable, completely bypassing your wireless router and potential interference.

Your speed results can vary depending on the time of day, any additional devices you have connected to your network, whether you test wirelessly or hard wired, and your neighbors’ usage of the system. That’s why the Internet speeds are advertised as “up to” a certain speed, because specific speeds cannot be guaranteed at all times.

Need more speed? Click here to shop for upgraded Internet packages!