If you’re one of the millions that loves their streaming TV and wants to do so in full HD, you’ll want to be on a 25 Mbps plan at a minimum. While the lower tier might seem enough numerically, streaming services rely on users being able to maintain consistent speeds – and anything else on the connection using up bandwidth (a Windows update, a file download or upload etc) and you can run into the dreaded “buffering”. If you’ve just bought a shiny new 4k TV and were hoping to stream Netflix’s 4k material on their top plan, then not even 25 will cut it. You’d want the 50 Mbps tier at a minimum – but many ISPs don’t even bother offering that, jumping straight to the top-speed 100 Mbps, where 4k will stream flawlessly and still leave room on the connection to do other stuff.
It’s also important to note that these services will automatically choose the resolution of the stream based on the speed of your connection, so you have to manually adjust it if you’re looking to reduce the amount of data you spend while watching Marvel’s Jessica Jones. Also, these services are unmetered on some providers, so that’s something worth inquiring about before choosing a broadband plan.
Modern online video games love fast broadband connections – not only do they benefit from the faster upload speed when talking to game servers (and the lack of congestion when getting vital game info back down to you), they also happen to be a product that’s increasingly going fully digital. Buy a game these days and you likely have up to 50GB of game to download before you can even play. A full-speed NBN connection can handle that download in an hour or so, rather than the full day or more it can take on slower connections.
Your huge library of digital pics and videos – from your phones and your dedicated digital cameras – tend to be the sort of things you want to upload and share with friends and family, as well as storing for safekeeping. Doing that on a slow connection can be painful – these can be huge files – but with the higher-tier NBN plans featuring the fastest upload speeds around, getting those creations and memories online is fast and easy. Sadly, upload speed is still underappreciated, even with the NBN – the absolute fastest upload speeds (20/40Mbps) are only easily available if you’re lucky enough to have a fibre NBN connection.
There’s plenty more examples of how a truly fast NBN connection – paired, of course, with an ISP that has the network capacity to handle the speed without congestion of their own – can make your entertainment and work life better. Suffice to say, if you spend any substantial part of your day using the Internet for its many and varied purposes, you’ll get the seamless and speedy online experience that you didn’t think you actually needed. It truly is one of those things where you have to try it first-hand to see what you’ve been missing out on.