Why Internet Speeds Matter
When choosing an Internet connection from a service provider in your area, there are always a few important things to keep in mind. For starters, those various speed tiers and packages aren’t just a way to get more money out of the consumer – Internet speeds actually do matter. The thing that a lot of people fail to realize, however, is that they are contextual. Every person does not need the same lightning fast Internet connection. For some people, one of the lower (and less expensive) speed tiers will do just fine.
When discussing Internet speeds, the two main categories to consider are your upload speed and your download speed. Upload speed refers to the speed at which a file can be sent from your computer to another computer using an Internet connection. Download speed refers to essentially the opposite, or the maximum speed that a file can be transferred from the Internet to your computer.
When you take a look at Verizon FiOS service packages or packages from other providers, you will almost always see Internet speed broken down into those two aforementioned categories – though download speed is usually higher. Occasionally, you will see a package with equal download and upload speeds.
Internet speeds matter because the World Wide Web itself depends on your computer’s ability to send and receive files at almost all times. When you send an email, for example, your computer is really sending a file containing text, images and other elements to a remote server, which is then sent onward to your recipient. The same is true when receiving an email. This concept holds true for every activity that you may engage in online, from video streaming to browsing your favorite website. The faster your Internet speed, the quicker all of these tasks are able to complete.
The major difference between tiers, however, comes down to what you plan on using the Internet for. If you’re the type of person who only browses your favorite websites, sends an email and occasionally will play a game online, a basic broadband Internet package will do just fine. If you’re the type of person who watches streaming HD video on Netflix or a similar service, however, you need a connection that is as fast as possible. Even though no file is technically being "downloaded" from Netflix to your computer, your device still needs to be able to receive HD audio and video information as quickly as possible to help avoid interruption during playback.