How much speed do I need?

Probably the most common question we get about our service is:

Is it fast enough to stream Netflix?

The answer is a simple yes, though there are some caveats.  Also note that the following examples are specific to Netflix.  Most streaming services follow the same basic guidelines.  That said, not all devices are equal.  Streaming to a computer, Roku, or Apple TV will typically work better on our lower speed tiers than to a smart TV.

Understanding which one of our service tiers to sign up for comes down to a few simple things when it comes to streaming:

  • Do you want to stream in Standard Definition (SD) or High Definition (HD)?
  • Will you only be streaming to one device at a time or will you be wanting to stream to multiple devices simultaneously?
  • Does 4k (Ultra HD) matter to you?

To begin answering these questions it is important to understand what Netflix requires and recommends:

If you would like to stream to multiple devices simultaneously you can roughly double these numbers to figure your needed peak speeds.  For example, if you have three users in the house that may want to all stream a standard definition movie simultaneously, our tier 3 service is the minimum that would support that, typically without buffering (3.0 x 3 = 9Mbps).

But wait a minute,  9 > 8 you say?  Yes it is.  However it is very unlikely that all three devices will request streams at exactly the same instant, thus there should be sufficient headroom.

How much data does a movie consume (for comparative purposes)?

According to Netflix: “Watching movies or TV shows on Netflix uses about 1 GB of data per hour for each stream of standard definition video, and up to 3 GB per hour for each stream of HD video.

So, a typical 90 minute movie streamed in HD will consume around 4.5GB of data.  If you are on a metered service such as satellite or cellular that can add up fast.  We don’t limit or meter usage in any way though, so enjoy the show!

What if you don’t care about Netflix and only want to send emails and surf the web?

Our basic Tier 1 service is a good choice.  When streaming video is taken out of the equation most users won’t notice the difference between a 4Mbps service and a 100Mbps service.  Typical page load times are within a few 20~30 milliseconds between those two speeds.  If you want to try a faster or slower tier of service we are always willing to upgrade or downgrade your service for a few days to trial, just get in touch with us to make the change.

Providing high-speed internet service in Hopland, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley, Calpella, Ukiah, Fort Bragg, Westport, and points beyond.