Are you a gaming junkie? A growing business? Or do you just use the internet to check your email? No matter how you use it, the internet speed in your home or business is important. What speeds are out there, and what do you need?

Defining Internet Speeds

Internet speeds are measured in megabits per second, or Mbps. The higher your Mbps, the higher your speed. No matter what internet service speed you have, you should be able to stream, download, or upload data. But it’s slower or faster depending on how many Mbps you’re paying for.

Upload speeds (when you send data) are much slower than download speeds (when you stream videos or browse the internet). For a business, you want a high enough speed to get your information exchanged quickly, meaning a higher upload speed. A residence, on the other hand, might need a higher download speed because its occupants are streaming a lot of data (a growing trend, actually) or gaming.

What speeds are available?

Let's look at the hard numbers. For example, with the most basic internet service speed (a 56k dial-up modem), you will spend about 14 seconds loading a webpage. That same load will be instant with a broadband speed of at least 6 Mbps. Typically, you'll find the following broadband speeds available to from a local utility company:

20 Mb (upload speed 5 Mb residential, 10 Mb commercial)

50 Mb (upload 10 Mb residential, 25 Mb commercial)

100 Mb (upload 25 Mb residential, 50 Mb commercial)

1000 Mb (500 Mb both residential and commercial)

Business or Personal?

So what speed is right for you? To put in in perspective, a minimum of 17 Mb is needed for adequate internet browsing or TV show streaming. A speed of at least 38 Mb makes viewing HD movies easier, and a minimum of 76 Mb is the premium speed when you have many devices, want the best quality HD/4K movie moving, and so on.

If you have a bustling business that requires HD or 4K streaming, the maximum Mb speed and upload speeds are needed. That may mean springing for the 1000 Mb package. However, if you are a residence that spends internet time just streaming movies and TV, an average speed of 20 Mb may be just fine. Russellville Electric Plant Board offers a wide variety of the fastest internet and TV services