Putting it simply, mbps is the unit of measurement used to measure how fast an internet connection is. The higher the mbps, the faster the internet and vice versa. For example, you can get broadband plans with speeds of up to 100mbps. You can also get broadband plans with faster speeds than that, but they generally cost a lot more.
Is 25mbps fast? This question is one of the most frequently asked ones, given that securing a fast internet connection is all the rage these days.
Not to be wondered at, given that streaming has never been more accessible, online shopping never more affordable, and chatting with your international friends never easier. A fast broadband connection does make our lives easier, but what about the availability?
This ultimately depends on what you use your internet for! Gamers and heavy Netflix users may require a higher internet speed to avoid any lagging or buffering. Other internet users that may only use the internet to casually search the web every now and then, may not need such a high internet speed.
You need to consider these factors and your daily household internet usage before you can figure out what your internet speed in NZ should be. To make it easier, you can split your general broadband usage into 3 categories.
Light internet usage: If you only use the internet every now and then for basic activities such as checking emails and browsing the web, you’ll probably fit into this category. Light internet users don’t need the fastest internet, and you can probably prioritise getting a cheaper internet plan over getting a faster internet plan.
Moderate internet usage: If you use social media like Facebook and Twitter quite a bit on your computer or your study and work requires an internet connection, then you’ll probably need a decent internet connection. The same goes for those of you who love using Netflix and other media sharing sites. A broadband plan with an internet speed of 30mbps might not be fast enough for you, so you may want to find a plan that will give you speeds of up to 100mbps.
Heavy internet usage: These users tend to be heavy gamers and streamers that spend a large portion of their day on this. For these users, a steady and fast internet connection is more important compared with other users as lag can disrupt a gaming experience, and buffering when trying to stream a show or a sports game can just get frustrating. We recommend you find a plan with an internet speed of over 100mbps if you’re a heavy internet user.
It is a well established fact that rural area residents don’t have as many choices as people living elsewhere in New Zealand. To this day, ADSL remains the most popular option in NZ, with 43% of households using it.
Fibre broadband – far faster than the latter – is currently being used by mere 28% of households. It is to be expected, however, that the situation will change, and soon at that. If you don’t qualify for a faster broadband connection at the moment, just make do with the current offer and wait for a better opportunity to arrive.
Compared to 25 mbps, internet 100mbps probably sounds like all your dreams come true. Doubtless, the calculation is plain, but the sad fact here is that not many Kiwis know their actual requirements. Due to this mishap, many people are actually lured into getting a faster package at costs too high for them, while not actually needing them.
Let us take a look at recommended broadband speeds for most popular online services and activities and compare them to the actual deals.
Mere 1mbps is sufficient for basic online activities. If you just want to keep informed and send and receive emails, this speed will suffice. 6mbps allow for limited file sharing and even watching video - lower quality ones only. 10mbps are sufficient for streaming full HD and 25 Mbps – for streaming ultra HD.
As for online services, their minimum requirements are no secret either. I.e., Skype requires at least 1.5mbps for HD video calls, YouTube - 0.5mbps, and Netflix – 1.5mbps.
Now, let us consider broadband types and speeds. ADSL delivers around 2mbps and ADSL2+ up to 24mbps. DSL connections are known for delivering considerably higher upload speeds, with download speeds ranging from 1mbps (ADSL) to 10mbps (ADSL2+).
The fastest connection is UFB (popularly known as “fiber”), which delivers speeds of up to 1gbps (download and upload alike).
So you should always spend some time and compare when it comes to the question what your actual requirements are and if you can get a cheaper deal.
Looking at the figures is indeed easy, but when it comes to actual performance, things get more complicated.
Many people ask the question “what is a good download speed?” The default answer you hear is commonly 100 mbps but just how fast is 100mbps?
One mbps (megabit per second) is one eight of a byte. That is to say, it will take you 8 seconds to download a 100MB file at 100 Mbps. Here you only need consider your data transfer habits and you will be able to calculate your exact monthly requirements precisely.
Note, however, that if you enjoy online gaming, broadband speed is far less important than ping. Ping is the amount of latency in a computer network. Slower pings mean faster transmissions, and the latter imply an uninterrupted online gaming experience. In light of that fact, the question “is 25mbps fast” gets a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?
Yes and no, depending on your needs. Make sure to not lose sight of your online activities when choosing a broadband plan – don’t pay more for faster packages you don’t need!
ISPs are many and the offer rich, so take your time comparing the options and pick the one that suits best to you personal short- and long-term plans.
Best rated broadband providers include Flip, Slingshot, 2Degrees, Orcon, Trustpower, Spark, and Vodafone. Local providers worth your time include MyRepublic and Stuff Fibre.
Well, the good news is, regardless of your online habits, broadband NZ providers have got you covered! Some broadband types might not be available in all regions, notably rural ones, but the offer remains rich nonetheless. Having calculated your desired broadband speed, you should have no difficulties comparing the offer.
Lastly, don’t forget to take your future plans into account. If you, say, only need a temporary solution, make sure to choose a no-term contract. Long-term contracts do come at a lower price, at least at first, but their duration varies from 6 to 24 months.
If you are a student or plan to move sooner, best make sure a free move of address is included in the package. Some broadband NZ ISPs offer this option for long-term contracts, while others will incur additional costs, so be careful!
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