Ideal ISP Speed; do most over pay for speed they do not need?

CJB Member, Beta Tester Posts: 4
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I am curious what others think about ISP connection speed.  I currently have 30 Mbps but can buy up to 1 Gbps.  The description of "ideal" connection speeds from my ISP state:
  • Up to 10 Mbps download speed. Ideal for basic online use including light browsing and email. ($20)
  • Up to 30 Mbps download speed. Ideal for basic online browsing, email, social networking, messaging and online banking. ($30)
  • Up to 150 Mbps download speed. Ideal for streaming videos, downloading music and uploading photos. ($50)
  • Up to 300 Mbps download speed. Ideal for HD streaming, live-action gaming, and 10+ household devices. ($70)
  • Gigabit ($100)
I have researched bandwidth requirements and I just don't see how these statements are true, "ideal" or otherwise.  Streaming HD video is typically 1-4 Mbps per stream, though I have seen references higher but all below 10 Mbps.  (4K/8K video is an obvious exception.)
In practice, I have 30 Mbps and have never experienced a bottleneck with multiple simultaneous video and audio streams, in addition to many other devices connected, including home-office business-based Skype and Zoom web conferences and a business HD VoIP phone.
My "internet speed test" in Fing "powered my MLAB" always reports my internet as being in the "bottom" 25%.  I assume that measurement is reporting my speed as being among the slowest households in the area, or most everyone else is connected at a higher speed.
The Fing app shows my connection as 1 star out of 4.  Even that is misleading, as my actual experience is the opposite.  My ping times to my ISP are under 10 milliseconds and VoIP "jitter" to my outside provider is excellent.  (Most other internet sites are usually under 100 ms like Hulu and Yahoo.)
I pay about $25 per month (I bundle for savings).  Many people I know have very fast connections, and they pay a premium for it.  If I followed the advice of my ISP and went along with my neighbors, I might pay at least $45 and up to $75 per month more for something I do not need; that is $540 or even $900 more per year!
Do you know what I mean?  [I guess we could be having this conversation about the top end speed of cars, I know.]
1.) Do you have (or advocate to family & friends) a high speed (100mbps+) internet connection?
2.) Have you upgraded your internet speed (like above 100 Mbps) to solve a specific bottleneck/bandwidth problem (other than 4K video) for a household connection?
3.) Do you think my ISP is misleading in their description of "household" needs?
4.) Do you think Fing is complicit / promoting this notion that the highest internet connection speed available is advantageous by displaying the four-star rating system in the "Internet speed test" part of the Fing app?


  • GadgetVirtuoso
    GadgetVirtuoso Member Posts: 21
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    About 2 years ago AT&T brought Gigapower (1/1Gbps) for $70 after discount from having a wireless account. At the time I had Frontier 100/100 Mbps was $50/month. I now have Frontier 500/500 Mbps for $59. Charter Spectrum also offers service in my area. I think they offer up to 400/20 Mbps.

    I thought having Gigabit would be more transformative in a household of teenagers and cutting the cord. In reality, even 500/500 is more than a house needs. When I got the Gigabit fiber I even upgraded my WiFi network so that I could take advantage of the speed boost. With the new Orbi Router I was able to get nearly 500 Mbps on WiFi throughout the house but even that speed was way more than the house needed. At our peak usage on Gigabit household usage was around 1.5TB for the month with most months about 1TB. I don't know wahtspeed would be perfect for our house but I would guess its around 200-300Mbps.
  • SJ47
    SJ47 Member Posts: 11
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    Our situation: we don't have any kids, two adults doing the occasional work from home, streaming some HD content (Netflix), surfing and even hosting some sites at home. Network connectivity is 40/4 Mbps (via cable), capped at 150GB per month for 27,8 EUR per month (25GB extra costs 5 EUR). It suffices most of the months. The speed is OK as indeed Netflix streaming is extremely optimised and doesn't require more than 10 Mbps and so is Youtube. We also use audio streaming through Deezer quite a lot, but that's even less bandwidth. If anything I'd prefer a 40/10 connection with unlimited volume just to get rid of the annoying 25 GB packs.
    I assume that FING's rating is based on what they measure and that those who get a FINGBOX might be the more advanced Internet users with typically the higher bandwidths. So for those amongst us who try to find the right balance between USD/EUR and bandwidth, we tend to end up at the lower end of the statistical scale.
    Unless you do P2P downloading or download games (which are typically a couple of GB), I'd say that 20/2 is sufficient per user and anything above that doesn't really make a lot of sense.
  • Marc
    Marc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 2,655
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    My Advice is to start as low as you can tolerate. Many isp’s can upgrade you later on if you find it not adequate. I have 30+ devices on my network ranging from iot devices, computers, tablets, phones and 4K TVs. My current speed is 200mbps and I don’t have slowness issue. Event at 150 we were fine.

    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
  • Pooh
    Pooh Member, Beta Tester Posts: 674
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    edited August 28, 2019 #5
    The joke here with Cincinnati Bell Fioptics customers being sold 1GB then supplied with a 'Mandatory' ($10 p/month) wireless router that tops out at 500MB!

    I have 500MB (didn't take the router and managed to weasel my way out of them forcing it on me) which I got mainly for the upstream - so I can back up my NAS to glacial cloud storage.
    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
  • Marc
    Marc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 2,655
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    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
  • Jack
    Jack Member Posts: 54
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    Where I live 40mbps (max) download and 8mbps upload is the fastest I can ever get. It works fine most of the time for us - 5 people all using the internet for normal home usage. However If I had the option I would pay more for a faster connection.