What Internet Speed Do I Need from Comcast?

This article discusses how to choose the right Comcast plan based on Internet speed requirements. It describes common Internet uses and the speeds needed to support them. Instructions are given for calculating the approximate Internet speed needed based on Internet usage. A guide to choosing a specific Comcast plan based on usage is also provided.

If you are looking into Comcast's Xfinity Internet service, you may find it difficult to choose between their several Internet plans. You don't want to spend more than you have to, but you don't want to get a package that isn't up to your needs, either. Read on to learn how you can choose the right plan for you.

Terminology

An Internet connection's speed is measured in Mbps, which stands for Megabits per second. This is the number of millions of "bits" of information that can be downloaded each second. Upload speed, which is the speed which the Internet connection can load files from your computer onto the Internet, is typically about 1/10th of the download speed.

Calculating Your Internet Speed Requirements

Most people use the Internet for watching movies and other video media, for gaming, for browsing, and for downloading large files. If you watch video media in standard definition, you will need a speed of about 3 Mbps. That goes up to 5 Mbps if you watch in high definition. Ultra high definition or 4k requires 35 Mbps if you're watching on YouTube, 25 Mbps on Netflix, and 15 Mbps for Amazon. Hulu does not offer ultra high definition. Internet browsing requires about 5 Mbps. Gaming could need as little as 1.5 Mbps for if you play solitary console games or as much as 100 Mbps if you play competitive online games. Downloading large files in a reasonable amount of time could require as much as 200 Mbps.

To calculate the maximum Internet speed you require, multiply the number of people in your household by the highest speed Internet application they would use. If, for example, you have 3 people in your house who all play competitive online games at the same time, you would need at least 3 times 100 Mbps = 300 Mbps of speed.

Comcast's Internet Plans

Comcast's Xfinity has five different Internet plans. The basic plan has a download speeds of 25 Mbps. The next one has up to 200 Mbps. Then comes the 300 Mbps plan, the 600 Mbps plan, and the 1,000 Mbps plans. If you use wifi instead of having a hardwired Internet connection, you will only get half, or even just a third, of these speeds, depending on the strength of your wifi connection.

If you are the only person in your household, or if there are only 2 or 3 other people, and if you all mostly use the Internet for browsing and watching online TV and movies, then the basic plan will do. If you all watch in ultra high definition and download large files, you should get the 200 Mbps plan. Households with a few people who play multiplayer online games should go for the 300 Mbps plan. Large households with several people who watch ultra high def videos, play multiplayer online games, and download large files will need the 600 Mbps plan. The 1,000 Mbps plan is only necessary if you have a very large number of users who play competitive online games, download huge files, and live in a connected home with smart home technology.

If you have questions about which plan is the best for you, contact Comcast's customer support service. It has phone, email, chat, and help desk support options.

Keywords

Comcast Internet speed, choosing Comcast Internet plan

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