How Much Speed Do You Need?

Count Your Devices

Given the diversity of devices in a typical home, it can be easy to undercount how much internet-using tech there is in your house. Use the following list and guide to ensure you don’t miss any device:

  • Start by counting your personal devices like your laptop, tablet, and cell phone. Do the same for every adult and child in your home.
  • Next, count the number of smart TVs in your home, including televisions that use a streaming stick (e.g., Roku, Amazon Fire Stick).
  • Finally, count any smart home devices like smart speakers (think Echo or Google Home devices), smart doorbells (like Ring), smart security video cameras, smart appliances, and smart thermostats.
  • Get to a total number and save it.

Device Bandwidth Usage

Now that you’ve done an accounting of the total number of devices in your home, you need to understand how much bandwidth these devices can take up. Bandwidth, in simplest terms, is the maximum capacity any internet connection can have.

The higher the bandwidth, the more data can be sent to and from your device. Many devices in use at the same time can “eat up” the bandwidth and lead to slowdowns.
Some devices use a lot more bandwidth than others. For example, smart TVs use vast amounts of bandwidth to stream movies and television shows. So, if you have multiple smart TVs streaming simultaneously, you may experience some slowdowns.

Cell phones use bandwidth anytime they use the internet in your home. So, whether conducting a simple Google search, or engaging in a more intensive activity like watching a YouTube video, cell phones are taking up bandwidth, too.

Laptops and tablets will also use lots of bandwidth for gaming or file sharing. Even your Echo Dot will take up bandwidth if you’re streaming music while getting dinner prepared.

Testing Your Internet Speed

Speed tests provide a quick, easy and useful look at the strength of the signal coming to your devices. Speed tests are free to run and typically measure three key elements: upload speed, download speed and latency (which is how long it takes a data packet to move from place to place).

There are multiple free speed testing websites that make it easy to run a test in seconds.

Adding It All Up

When all the devices in your home are tallied, you consider the amount of bandwidth in use by everyone in your home, and you test your home internet speed, you’ll begin to understand if you may need a speed upgrade.

Adding extra internet speed can improve the performance of all the devices in your home, given how many are regularly in use.

Upping speed tiers means that your household no longer needs to take turns on who streams which show or movie at a given time or plays online games against their friends.

By providing enough bandwidth, everyone in your home can use their devices at the same time without experiencing slowdowns.

Faster internet speeds and higher bandwidth can give you a little more peace at home.

About Clearwave Fiber

Clearwave Fiber is an Internet service provider that operates a more than 2,000 route-mile fiber network serving communities across the Midwest and Southeast regions of the United States. With an emphasis on exceptional customer care and community engagement, the fast-growing company delivers advanced telecommunications solutions, providing fiber to business, enterprise and residential customers in Illinois, Kansas, Florida and Georgia. Committed to deploying 100% Fiber Internet service to 500,000 homes and businesses across the country by 2026, Clearwave Fiber employs more than 600 and is based in Savannah, Ga. Learn more at, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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