Customer Tools

How much bandwidth do you need?

Continued from – Secure your Home

Most homes and households today have multiple devices that access the Internet. Each requires a certain amount of bandwidth in order to successfully perform their task. Some devices connect for only a millisecond while others may stay connected 24/7. Regardless, these services require an always-on, active, and adequate connection to the Internet.

The more devices in a home, the higher the bandwidth need. A typical home with two adults and two children could easily have 16 Internet-dependent user devices. Add to that the Internet of Things (IoT) devices like WiFi thermostats, Smart TVs, security cameras, and alarm systems. The more data each of these devices uses, the higher the bandwidth requirement for your network.

Bandwidth is typically purchased in a package from your Internet Service Provider in blocks of download and upload speeds. You would see this on your bill as “50/10 Mbps” or, more commonly, “50 Mbps.” Residential ISP services have not focused on upload speeds (the “10” in 50/10 Mbps) because, as opposed to their business customers, most residences primarily cared about downloading.

Today, though, residential uploading has become more necessary than ever. We’re sending high-resolution pictures and videos. We’re using Facetime, Zoom, Teams, and Skype to communicate online, utilizing both the download and upload bandwidth. These upload requirements are catching up to our ever-increasing download requirements, but ISPs are not keeping pace. Here’s a summary of optimal bandwidth requirements for some commonly used services.

Service Type Download Requirements Upload Requirements
Video Full HD
Video 4K
3 Mbps
5 Mbps
25 Mbps
Video Conferencing 250 – 400 Kbps 250 – 400 Kbps
Online Gaming 3 Mbps 3 Mbps
VoIP Services 100 Kbps 100 Kbps


Keep in mind that when two users are on the system at the same time, the bandwidth demand is cumulative at that point in time. Bandwidth for residential users is capped, so it’s not uncommon for devices to “fight” for bandwidth. In these cases the strongest wins. An Xbox game will sabotage your Zoom meeting, for example. Fortunately, this can be adjusted through a technology called Prioritization.

As you can see, your home Internet connection and bandwidth considerations are critical for working efficiently from home.

Continue to – Internet Service Options…

Call us at (303) 335-6744 to schedule a free telephone evaluation of your current home network and Internet needs.


Written by Dave Eisner – Founder and Director of IT


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