Best Work from Home Internet Speed
Work from Home Internet Speed: What You Need to Know
The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently transformed the way we do work. A Gallup poll conducted in June 2022 showed that eight out of ten Americans are now working in hybrid or remote capacities in office jobs where they're able to do so, and though fully remote opportunities are in decline, hybrid work arrangements are not — a shift that may be exciting for some and less exciting for others. After all, a new work-from-home reality means managing logistical challenges that workers have never been responsible for.
In this blog, we will focus on one of those challenges: getting a reliable Internet connection at home. We'll talk about the speeds you need and what you should consider so you can get your work done as efficiently as possible.
What is Internet Speed?
Before we talk about what speed you need, let's talk about what Internet speed is. Internet plans lay out the speeds they offer using two terms: download and upload. Everything on the Internet requires data, and a plan's download/upload components determine how quickly you can interact with this data.
Download speeds reflect how quickly you, as a user, can access things online or "download" that data to your device. Faster download speeds mean websites will load faster, and the quality will be higher when watching television on streaming services like Netflix.
Upload speeds, on the other hand, refer to how quickly you put things onto the Internet. How quickly a PDF is attached to your email is determined by your upload speed, as is how crisp and clear your Zoom call is when holding a meeting.
How Much Internet Do I Need?
The good news is that your current Internet plan will, most likely, allow you to do all the work you need from home. In 2015, the FCC defined high-speed broadband as any plan offering speeds at 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload, a baseline they’ve set out to establish and make accessible to every American. And while this, unfortunately, isn’t happening yet, and some Americans don’t have Internet in the home, most Americans have an Internet plan that allows them to meet this target.
Considering Zoom recommends between 1-3 Mbps for video calls and basic web browsing and email work requires roughly the same, 25 Mbps download sounds like enough. But much of determining how much Internet you need comes down to the other devices in your home. If you have an Internet plan that provides the baseline amount of data, having a crisp, reliable video picture shouldn't be an issue. But if you have a spouse in the home who is also working, a child watching videos while doing schoolwork, and another child using Netflix – all at the same time – your Internet bandwidth will likely be used up relatively quickly. On top of that, many Internet plans like DSL and Cable can slow down during peak hours, so if neighbors nearby are also using the Internet, your speeds can get even slower.
If you are working from home and want a reliably fast Internet speed, the best option is to get more than you think you need. Consider your budget. Don't overspend on speeds you don't think you'll use but consider the possibility you may need more than you initially think you will.
Which Internet is Best for Working from Home?
The best Internet for you, if you're working from home, is one that's reliable and gives you room to do the work you need to do and then some. In the middle of a call or in the lead-up to a deadline, you don't want to think about whether your Internet is working. And as bandwidth requirements from applications and content providers increase, you want the assurance to know your Internet can handle the load.
Fortunately, most Internet options commonly available are fast and reliable. DSL and Cable Internet are the most common options you'll see, offering speeds that range from 25 Mbps to 100 Mbps — sometimes faster. If you have Internet in your home right now, you likely have one of these.
Fiber Internet, though less common, is another available option. Fiber is newer than Cable and DSL, and the infrastructure isn't there yet for it to be quite as widely available, but it may be an option, especially if you live in a more populated area.
How Do I Set Up Internet in My Home Office?
For many, setting up the Internet in your home office is easy. If you're using WiFi Internet throughout your home already, the process should be as simple as sitting down and opening your computer. Connecting your computer to WiFi is a straightforward process, and many computers have pop-up walkthroughs that will help you along. So, whether you're an Internet pro or a new user, getting set up should be easy. If you don't have WiFi or are setting up Internet in your home for the very first time, the process still isn't difficult to do; it may just take more steps.
If your Internet device is by your computer, a great option is to run a connection from it to the computer you're using. Called an "ethernet" connection, these wired setups mitigate any signal drops and allow for one of the most reliable configurations you can set up at home. If you opt for a wireless connection instead, you should still have no problem reliably doing your work — just be aware of where your Internet device is in relation to your computer. WiFi signals often degrade the further they have to travel, so try to be close enough to minimize interference.
Working from home, despite the flexibility, comes with its own collection of challenges. Setting up a home office and working effectively can seem daunting, but it shouldn't. Most Internet is fast enough for what most people require, and many providers offer speeds at affordable prices that will easily meet your needs. Before you get started, consider your Internet speed requirements. Audit your current usage, test your current speeds, and get a baseline for what you might need. And if it still seems a bit too much to handle, let Shentel give you a hand.
For over 100 years, Shentel Telecommunications Company has been keeping families connected throughout the Shenandoah Valley — and we can help you too. Whether you're looking for reliable Internet, TV, or home phone service, our experts are here to get you set up as easily and affordably as possible.
Here at Shentel, we proudly offer a variety of Internet plans to meet every budget. Whether you're a light user or someone with intense Internet requirements, we have you covered. For as low as $65/month, you can get done what you need to get done faster than ever before. Contact Shentel or visit shentel.com for more information.