There are more than 4.99 billion active internet users worldwide. In 2019 alone, Canada had an estimate of 34.56 million internet users. These statistics show that the internet is a huge part of many people’s lives; it’s used for different activities, including connecting with others, streaming television, and getting jobs done.
However, to access the internet and browse conveniently, you need good internet speed. But what is a good internet speed? This article discusses the average internet speed in Canada recommended for gaming and streaming, what makes a good internet speed, and how to calculate how much internet speed you need.
What is a Good Internet Speed?
Internet speeds are defined in terms of megabits per secs for downloading and uploading. There are 4 things that make a good internet speed, this includes;
1. Download Speed: The speed at which data like files, pictures, chat, music, and movies is delivered. Big internet providers like TELUS and Bell offer download speeds as high as 1.5gbps or 1500mbps. When you are streaming a movie or browsing through Facebook, you are downloading.
2. Upload Speed: The speed at which data is traveling from you to the internet. This reflects how fasts your data travel from your computer to your service provider’s servers. When posting a tweet or starting a video chat, you are working with your upload speed. The download speed is usually slower than upload speed, but that is normal because internet activities involve more downloads than upload.
3. Latency: Latency can be described as the time it will take for data to travel; from the source to a destination. It is the delay between your computer sending a signal to its destination and you getting a response back. This is measured in thousandths of seconds. Generally, a lower latency translates to a better speed. A high latency can cause a delay between when you are doing something and when others get it. Let’s say you sent a chat, a higher latency may cause a minor delay in the time the receiver gets to see it. This is better seen if you stream or watch live videos on platforms like Instagram.
4. Data Cap: The last factor that can affect your data speed is the cap. Data cap is common with service providers who offer unlimited data with a cap that can be used per month; once you go beyond this cap, your internet speed is slowed down. For instance, if you are subscribed to a plan advertised as unlimited data of 15Gb at 50mbs. 15Gb is your data cap, so once you go beyond that 15Gb in a month, your internet provider will slow down your speed; it could be as lows as 5mbps.
Choosing a Provider With Good Internet Speed.
Internet service providers often offer different internet speeds, and most of them advertise their packages with the download speed. The higher the download speed, the more you will be paying for it. Many providers have different plans you can choose from, and it’s essential to pay attention to the maximum download speed and upload speed to get the appropriate internet speed for your needs. Higher speeds cost more than lower speeds.
The best internet providers in Canada include Telus, Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Eastlink, Videotron, Teksavvy. However, the one will you choose may come down to your location and budget.
Internet Speed Test
It is possible to carry out an internet speed test to calculate how much speed you are getting. There are tools available on the internet to calculate your current internet speed, and your service provider may also have an internet speed calculator on their website to measure tour speed.
While you may not be receiving the maximum output of your data due to the factors explained below, you should receive at least 50% under most conditions.
Factors that Affect Your Internet Speed
While the download and upload speed of the internet plan you are subscribed to determines the internet speed you get, there are other factors that can affect your internet speed. It’s also important to remember that your Internet Service Providers advertise their download speeds as a “maximum of” or “up to,” which means that the advertised download speed may be lower than that depending on some factors. For example, if you are subscribed to a plan with a maximum download speed of 100mbps, some factors can throttle down your speed to 90, 80, and even 50mbps, but your speed can always hit 100mbps. Some factors that affect your internet speed include;
1. Your Computer or Phone:
New devices tend to faster than older devices. Also, performing many internet-related activities at once might reduce the internet speed. Your device information may also determine the speed. Devices like Samsung and Apple tend to have a median download speed higher than most devices. Also, plans that work on 5G will deliver faster speed than plans that work on 2 or 3G.
2. Number of devices connected
If your internet plan works on only one device, you will likely hit the maximum download speed and a faster speed than if you are sharing with family or friends or connected with other devices. The higher the number of devices, the more those devices compete for the same speed, slowing things down.
3. Your Modem/Wireless Router
Your modem or WIFI converts your data into a form your device can use, so if your modem isn’t capable of handling higher speeds, you may not get high speeds on your computer. Also, the distance between you and your wireless router can affect the internet speed you get.
Many service providers announce that some speeds are reserved for some areas. So if you are subscribed to a speed of 1gbps, and your service providers do not have the facilities to get you such high speed in your location, it might slow things down for you. For example, download speed can reach as high as 1.5gbps in urban areas. In comparison, many rural regions can’t get more than 25mbps or less. Therefore, before buying a plan, ensure it is a speed suitable for your location. According to a speed test during the quarter of 2021, Alberta showed the faster median mobile download speed for regional areas, while Saskatchewan had the slowest median download speed at the same period. For cities, Winnipeg has the fastest median mobile download speed, followed by Edmonton and Vancouver.
Also, you need to ensure the connection in your home is functioning well, or maybe it needs servicing.
5. High Traffic:
Accessing a site that many other people are trying to access can affect your speed.
6. Technical Factors
Factors like latency(the time for data to travel) and packet loss (the data packet sent to or from your home that doesn’t get to the destination) can slow down your internet speed.
Why Do You Need To Worry About Internet Speed?
The speed of your connection will play an essential role in determining your internet experience. A good speed makes it practical and enjoyable. You can quickly get things done online without having to wait a long time.
What is a Good Internet Speed?
A good internet speed in Canada offers at least 50mbps for downloads and 10mbps for uploads. However, the activities you perform can also define what a good speed is. For example, you need more speed to play online video games than sending a message.
What is a Good Internet Speed for Gaming?
Many gaming consoles can work with a minimum speed of 4-8Mbps however, the recommended minimum is between 10-25mbps and even higher.
What is a Good Internet Speed For Streaming?
Streaming in standard definition can work with a minimum speed of 3mbps; however, you need about 25Mbps for 4K streaming. Some devices and sites recommend faster speeds of 40mbps and above for HDR streaming.
Netflix recommends 5mbps for HD content and 25Mbps for 4k Ultra HD content. If you are connecting several devices at once, then consider a download speed as high as 200mbps.
What is a Good Internet Speed For Home?
A good internet speed for a home should be at least 25mbps download speed per one person at a time. That means if you are sharing your plan, you will need higher than that.
What is a Good Internet Speed For Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fis need speed faster than 10Mbps. As said earlier, WiFi dilutes internet speed due to distance, latency, and the number of connected devices.
What is Mbps?
Mbps, also known as megabits per second, measure an internet connection’s bandwidth, that is, the data that can be transferred per second.
How Many Mbps Do I Really Need?
Calculating how much Mbps you need may depend on your internet activities and the number of devices. For moderate internet use like social networking and emails and web surfing. The recommended download speed is up to 25Mbps for 1 to 2 devices.
For online gaming and 4k streaming (for 3-5 devices), you will need a speed of 50-100mbps. Meanwhile, 100mbps is just a little above the average speed, and a speed higher than that gives a better internet experience.
For social networking, sharing large files, streaming videos, and other internet activities (for above 5 devices), the recommended speed is between 150mbps and 200mbps.
What is the Average Internet Speed in Canada?
Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (ISED) defined a good Internet speed as any broadband that can download at least 50mbps and upload at 10mbs.
Your internet speed is important. The faster your speed, the better your internet experience. However, you may be paying more for faster internet speed so choose a speed suitable for your needs.