What Internet Speed Do I Need to Work From Home?
“What internet speed do I need to work from home?” is one of the most common questions we get from our customers who are part of the remote workforce. Remote work is on the rise, a staggering 58% of Americans can work from home at least once a week. And with more people reporting to work from home, the demand for fast and reliable internet service increases.
In this blog post, we’ll answer the question “What internet speed do I need to work from home”, explain how much bandwidth you need for video conferencing and other WFH-related activities, and more. After all, your work can only be as good as your internet connection, so make sure you don’t skimp on it!
How Internet Speed Works: Understanding Symmetrical & Asymmetrical Internet Connection
If you want to understand what internet speed you need to work from home, you first need to learn more about asymmetrical vs symmetrical internet connections. The critical difference between the two lies in comparing download and upload speeds.
Think of your internet connection as a highway. There are two lanes where data travels – up from your computer to the server and down from the server to your computer. Following that logic, there are two types of internet speeds: download and upload speeds.
You use download speed for:
- Browsing the internet and social media apps
- Watching video
- Downloading files
You use upload speed for:
- Video conferencing
- Uploading data online (posting on social media, file sharing with coworkers)
An Asymmetrical connection means your internet plan has more download speed than upload speed. Asymmetrical connections used to be the norm, but as remote work becomes more common, users need higher upload speeds to get their job done. After all, most remote workers use video conferencing apps daily, requiring larger amounts of upload speed.
Symmetrical speed means that download and upload speeds are the same. Fiber internet typically comes with a symmetrical internet connection and is perfect for working from home.
Work From Home Internet Speeds, Explained
So, how much internet speed do you need to work from home? The short answer is 50 – 100 Mbps per person. However, there is more to consider when choosing the best internet plan to work from home.
The best internet speed for working at home depends on the following:
- How many people do you share the internet connection with
- How many devices connect to your WiFi
- How bandwidth-heavy your work activities are
Let’s explore each of these.
How many people do you share the internet connection with?
If all the internet bandwidth is yours, you can easily get away with 50 – 100 Mbps. Possibly even less! However, internet connections are usually shared with the entire household. That means we need to consider what they’re using the internet for and how much bandwidth they require.
Think of your internet connection as a highway again. Activities, like gaming, streaming, and browsing the internet are like cars. The more activities, the more likely you will experience congestion. Having more Mbps to spare is like adding another lane to the highway.
How many devices connect to your WiFi?
Similarly, the number of devices connected to your WiFi network also affects internet speed. If you’re working from home alone and you have the WiFi all for yourself, then the standard 50-100 Mbps should be enough.
How bandwidth-heavy are your work activities?
Different activities online demand different amounts of data. What internet speed you need to work from home varies depending on what you do at your job.
Here’s what you need to consider when assessing what internet speed you need to work from home:
- Are you using video meeting apps, like Zoom, Google Meet, Teams, or Skype?
- Do you need to turn on your camera during meetings?
- Are you live streaming any videos or sharing screens often?
- Do you need to upload to social media platforms, like Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, or Facebook?
- Do you need to download or upload large files regularly?
- Do you watch a lot of videos?
The more questions you’ve answered with ‘yes’, the more Mbps you’ll need to work without experiencing lagging and communication breakdowns.
Remember the advertised maximum internet speed isn’t the same speed you will consistently get. If you require 100 Mbps to work, choose a plan with more than 100 Mbps to fare on the safe side. Additionally, don’t forget about other users in your household who are eating up significant amounts of bandwidth. Otherwise, you might risk dropping out of meetings and wasting time on file transfers.
Signs You Might Need to Update Your Internet Speed
How can you know if your internet speed is fast enough to work from home?
There are some telltale signs that indicate you might need to boost your internet speed:
- Freezing or dropping out on video calls
- You experience lagging when trying to screen share
- Downloading and uploading files takes a very long time, or it fails
- You can’t multitask
- Your internet is slow when others in the household are using the internet
However, remember: your internet speed is just one of the many pieces of the puzzle that makes for the best internet for working from home. Other things that can affect your internet speed are your VPN location and the quality of your hardware.
What Internet Speed Do I Need to Work From Home: Recap
Home internet requirements have changed drastically since the world has adopted working from home . If you plan to work while others use streaming services and games, you’ll need an internet plan with higher internet speeds and more bandwidth.
Working from home requires 50 – 100 Mbps. But when you add streaming and gaming to the mix, you’re doubling or tripling that number. And so, most remote workers sign up for gigabit connections as they come with symmetrical speeds and no data caps.
Our work from home customers are incredibly happy with the internet speed and reliability Race consistently provides. If you’re working from home, reach out to our specialists at 877-722-3833 or send us an inquiry. We’ll be glad to assist you in getting your job done.