Work From Home Internet Speed – Go Full Throttle or Frugal?
At first thought work from home Internet speed is the most important factor to successful remote work, right?
That’s because you very probably have more speed than you need already. Don’t fall for the cable company’s commercials about the need for gigabit Internet or anything else. Sure the kids are stuck at home with distance learning. Yeah, you’ve got Zoom meetings, Teams meetings, cloud-based collaboration not to mention online gaming, Netflix, Peacock, Disney+ and all that streaming. I know, I know. Believe me, you have plenty of bandwidth already.
Don’t take my word for it. Check out this Wall Street Journal article published last year, before economic shutdowns and the quarantine life of 2020. Dozens of WSJ reporters put their Internet connection to the test with one of the reporters going so far as streaming seven different shows simultaneously. What happened? Nothing. Everything ran perfectly and looked great without a glitch. Your work from home Internet speed is just fine as it is.
The sweet spot seems to be 100 Mbps. Anything above that is probably a waste of money even if you are a remote working machine running work tasks on two computers (one for you, one for your virtual assistant) along with your kids, your spouse or roommate doing their best to burn up bandwidth streaming their gaming glory to Twitch.
Here’s a work from home Internet speed experiment I just conducted in Casa de Sherman:
Two computers hard-wired to the router via 1 gigabit (1,000 Mbps) cable. Computer #1 was running several tasks including streaming a movie on AppleTV+, a remote connection to my Windows server and more besides. Computer #2 was assigned a recursive data-intensive task.
My TV – also plugged right into the router – was streaming a show on Netflix.
My daughter was streaming a tie dye video on YouTube on her iPad.
Three hard wired connections with 1,000 Gbps of capability each could have sucked up all of the 300 Mbps the router was putting out but they didn’t. They didn’t even come close.
Here’s what happened to my 300 Mbps Internet connection….
Basically nothing. My 300 Mbps connection wasn’t even breaking a sweat. I could’ve done all of this on my old 100 Mbps connection and still have plenty to spare. So why did I upgrade? My cable company made me an offer I couldn’t refuse; just $5 more for three times the speed. I was on a 100 Mbps plan for years and never once wished I had more bandwidth.
To put this in perspective consider The Brady Bunch. If all six kids, Mike and Carol AND Alice – nine people – were streaming, gaming, attending Zoom meetings or online classes or anything else simultaneously — all of them combined wouldn’t put a dent in a 1 Gigabit Internet connection.
If you want some luxury and the extra breathing room save your money and go no higher than 100 Mbps. That said, even 25 Mbps will probably suit your whole home just fine and save you a lot of money.