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Should You Cut Back on High Speed Internet?

by Jane Brown on Oct 19, 2016

If you’re thinking of cutting back on your expenses, you might think it’s a good idea to cut back on high-speed Internet. After all, you reason, you still have the Internet. It’s just cheaper…and slower.

Although this line of thinking might appear to make sense from the point of view of home economics, it makes almost no sense from a technological perspective. Frankly, it’s not a good idea. The difference between high-speed Internet and a slow Internet connection is astonishing. There is quite a bit that you won’t be able to do online anymore because you won’t have enough bandwidth.

Almost everything you do online is based on the quality of your Internet connection. With local high speed Internet, you open up a world of digital possibilities. The quality of your life is better. You can do everything better and faster, and you don’t have to suffer through infuriating interruptions.

Here are 5 reasons why you should not get a slow connection and stick with a high speed one:

1. A Slow Connection Will Make Streaming Movies Frustrating

If you’re streaming movies, then you won’t be able to enjoy yourself because it will pause frequently and you will have poor sound quality. It will take you 10 minutes to watch a 4-minute section of the movie because of the constant buffering. It’s not just movies, music, or any other form of multimedia presentations will come through slowly. 

The reason for the long pauses when the movie is buffering is because you don’t have enough bandwidth. If you remember, bandwidth is the amount of data that’s transmitted in a certain period of time. If there is only one user in the household streaming an HD video from one device, then 2 Mbps (Megabits per second) will be fine. However, if two users are using two different devices to watch streaming HD videos then you will need about 15 Mbps.

2. A Slow Connection Will Make Online Shopping Painfully Slow

If you’re doing any kind of research, say trying to pick the right humidifier for your home, then you will probably want to look at pictures of different models and compare specs. However, you may find that graphic intensive websites load slowly and may not load at all. You may also have difficulties using a payment processor if you hope to make a purchase online.

3. A Slow Connection Will Make Working from Home Almost Impossible

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to work from home and skip the daily commute, you’ll find a slow internet connection will not impress your boss. He or she will find it difficult to do any video conferencing with you because of poor picture and sound quality. In fact, you may even be putting your telecommuting opportunity in jeopardy and will have to get back to showing up at the office. The same scenario will apply if you happen to run your own home business as a consultant. Your clients will quickly come to the conclusion that you’re unprofessional.

Additionally, when you work from home, you are probably not just using one device, but multiple devices like a desktop, laptop, smartphone, and tablet. On top of that, others in the household might be using their own devices, too. When you have slow internet, you’ll find it difficult to use high-demand applications like video conferencing, surfing with your browser, and accessing your email. You will probably need 15 Mbps for all your devices and your family’s devices to work well.

4. A Slow Connection Will Make Education Difficult

If you or your children are doing any online learning, then you will find it difficult to enjoy taking any online classes. Since most online courses use multimedia presentations, you won’t be able to benefit from the tutorial videos or use the interactive software because it will either not load up properly or run slowly.

5. A Slow Connection Will Limit Family Internet Use

With a slow Internet connection, your family won’t be able to get online at the same time. If you are working on your desktop in your home office, your spouse is using an iPad in the kitchen to follow a recipe, your father is watching a Blu-ray video in the living room and your kids are playing video games in their bedrooms, almost everyone will have trouble using their devices. Usually, most of the bandwidth will go to the first person to use their device while everyone else struggles with poor connectivity. Again, if you had at least 15 Mbps, none of these problems would occur. Everybody could do their own thing without any problems.

A Slow Connection is Frustrating

The amount of money you save by switching from a fast internet to a slow one will not be significant, but the difference in the quality of your Internet usage will be noticeable. Using a slow Internet connection will quickly frustrate you and your family. While you may be known for your patience, waiting for a site to take 20 seconds to load up will pretty much kill any joy you get from going online. 

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