General Question

seekingwolf's avatar

Is 10Mbps Internet fast enough?

Asked by seekingwolf (9733 points ) April 1st, 2012

Trying to know more about ISPs and the like. Time Warner Cable offers 29.99/month internet for 12 months and it says that download speeds go up to 10 Mbps.

Does anyone know if this is “fast enough” for 1–2 people to use? With a wifi router? I stream a lot of stuff from the internet, like Netflix. I sometimes use multiplayer games too. I believe at home we have a faster internet package so I can’t really compare.

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26 Answers

whitecarnations's avatar

That is pretty fast. Also take into consideration Upload times if you do casts, or upload to YouTube.

I have 2.56 MBPS for download, and .47mbps. I can upload to Flickr fairly fast, and other upload sites, just not to YouTube fast.

Also with 2.56mbps I absolutely do not lag in StarCraft2 what so ever. I’m the primary internet user. So if there are two of you divid that by 2. But what they are claiming is “go up to 10mbps” that’s on a good day, when all the day time signals aren’t distressing eachother.

marinelife's avatar

20MBPS is better for more than one person.

elbanditoroso's avatar

OK for movies, not great for serious gaming.

jerv's avatar

I do fine on 7Mbps DSL. My wife can stream Hulu while I surf. I also don’t have any problem with World of Tanks. Our old 1Mbps connection couldn’t do that, and when we lived in NH and our only option was 28.8Kbps dial-up, it wasn’t even worth considering, but 10Mbps is plenty fast.

One reason I went DSL instead of Cable is that I get my speed no matter what my neighbors are doing. I don’t know if it’s still true, but it used to to that a cable connection was split so that multiple people would be sharing bandwidth. That means that if your neighbors are streaming or something, your bandwidth would go down. My bandwidth is constant though

@elbanditoroso Actually, bandwidth isn’t much of an issue since much of serious gaming is run client-side. However, ping is important. I average 129ms to the WoT server, so I have to lead my shots slightly. And when I went on the Russian server (ping of 350–400ms) there were times when things would jump and stutter, or my controls would seem totally non-responsive.
But as I said, those are a function of ping/latency, and not of bandwidth.

Charles's avatar

“Does anyone know if this is “fast enough” for 1–2 people to use?”

It might be.

Moegitto's avatar

10Mbps is astonishingly fast, I have it. I can download 4 anime episodes while playing Modern Warfare 3 with no problems what so ever. I have at times downloaded 10 episodes while playing Battlefield 3 with no problems, but that is the highest and 10 episodes are smaller than seasons worth of downloading so you have to do upload and download math to get a feel for what your bandwidth can handle…

RocketGuy's avatar

I am doing ok with 3 Mbps: Netflix, FB, Fluther.

Moegitto's avatar

Also just a little tidbit of information, 10Mbps is typically the DSL standard and anything higher than 20Mbps is considered Cable broadband. Its not that standard though because some companies do offer lesser Cable speeds and some companies offer higher DSL speeds, but it’s something to look forward to if you ever consider changing companies or you move to some place with different broadband setups. I used to use Comcast until they started to punish you if you use too much bandwidth so I switched to my electric companies DSL, and I’ve NEVER had a problem with them!

robmandu's avatar

For decades, business offices with dozens of users have gotten along comfortably with DSL or fractional T-1 internet connections.

So, in my opinion, yes, a 10 Mbps connection is easily sufficient for a household with multiple internet consuming devices.

Upload transfer rate is typically a tiny fraction of the download rate offered (although that’s been coming up recently). You don’t want to host your own commercial web site through a residential internet connection for that reason. Other that that, it just means it takes longer for you to upload pictures/videos to Facebook that it does to download. No big deal to most folks.

For gaming, latency – the time lag between request and response – is the biggest thing to consider… not just raw throughput. Latency is affected less by throughput rate than by geographic distance and overall traffic congestion. A good ISP manages all of the above that it can control… but the point is, simply upgrading to the next tier of bandwidth won’t necessarily solve a latency problem.

jerv's avatar

@robmandu Very true on that last point. My ping times are the same with my 7mbps as they were with 1mbps from the same provider, and not much higher than my old dialup connection.

seekingwolf's avatar

I looked into DSL in my area (Frontier) and the speeds start at 3Mbps. That sucks. I would have liked a “dedicated” line.

jerv's avatar

DSL is a dedicated line! The only one that uses it is you; you get all the bandwidth.

seekingwolf's avatar

Yeah but what good is it if the max speed is 3Mbps?

jerv's avatar

More than good enough for video streaming.
Enough to download a 4gb ISO file as fast as the server on the other end can send it.
In fact, that latter point is a good one; many servers only send things so fast, , and even 1mbps is faster than many servers serve, and being able to go faster than the server didn’t help much.

And where did you get that max speed anyways? I have 7, and could get 12.

seekingwolf's avatar

I got it from the company’s website. They said that you could get DSL in my area but there were two speeds that you could get it…up to 1Mbps and then one that was up to 3Mbps. And that was it.

jerv's avatar

You must be out a ways from civilization then. Either that, or that particular ISP is using equipment and technology that is rather outdated. Either way, if that is what DSL offers, I doubt cable will meet the speed claims either.

Moegitto's avatar

Cable High Speed internet doesn’t have the restriction DSL has, which is distance. The further you are from the central hub/station the less bandwidth you get. The other main difference between DSL and cable is that DSL runs through the phone lines, which also use the lines for phone calls. That’s why DSL is restricted so much. Cable allows independent flow through, that’s why they can get them T1 connections.

jerv's avatar

@Moegitto If by “independent” you mean that the entire neighborhood shares bandwidth because they are effectively one big LAN (with the potential security issues that entails), then yes. But you are entirely correct that DSL has issues with distance; for all practical purposes, you need to be within two miles of a switching station or repeater.
Also note that the bandwidth useed by voice calls is relatively small. I forget the exact number, but it’s somewhere under 20kbps (0.02Mbps).

seekingwolf's avatar

I’m really not in the middle of nowhere. These speeds were for the city that I live 30 min from and am planning to move to this summer. It’s the 3rd largest city in my state and it has hundreds of thousands of people.

Cable, on the other hand, it seems like that is what everyone else has in that area. That is what we have at my house which is more rural and the speeds are great. I guess the DSL company really sucks in my area. They are separate from the cable company, and they aren’t doing as well financially, I know that.

jerv's avatar

Sounds like where I lived in NH; the company that Verizon sold three states worth of phone/DSL/FIOS to went under. Fortunately for me, Verizon sold WA to a company that is still around, and actually does a decent job.

If everyone else has it, well, expect your bandwidth to fluctuate wildly. They are better than they used to be, but you are still sharing with your neighbors, which may cause issues.

Moegitto's avatar

DSL is typically far more economical than cable internet. I used DSL for years and never really had a problem playing games online on my PS3 (CoD Black ops was flawless online). It was 4Mbs in the barracks. Now I’m using DSL with a 10Mbps “limit”. It can over that limit but it can’t be by my own hand, someone mentioned how servers can send information in low amounts. You really only need around 2.5Mbps to have a strong SINGLE connection. If you want to multitask it’s advised that you have atleast upwards of 5Mbps.

On another note, you can typically get DSL from any phone company, AT&T, Verizon/Bell south and others. If the hometown company doesn’t have anything that looks good to you I’d try calling comapnies to see if they can get out to you. Also, some retailers like Best Buy and Radio Shack actually offer service too.

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seekingwolf's avatar

I ended up getting cable Internet for my apartment in the city. Cable Internet was actually cheaper and faster than the DSL, go figure. I am signed up for the 10Mbps standard speed but I get way more. I usually don’t fall under 25 Mbps. I think this is because I brought my own modem instead of using theirs. I suspect their modem may limit or cap the speed. I don’t have that problem.

It’s nice cause I also got cable TV and 1 DVR. I only pay about $100/month for both. It’s a steal, honestly.

seekingwolf's avatar

Oh and my boyfriend lives with me, and it’s definitely fast enough for us both. I have a laptop and he has a PC and we both game. No issues.

RocketGuy's avatar

My brother used to work at a cable modem company. Yes, they cap the speed so that many people can share the same line and not see any change in speed. Most people would complain if their speed varied up and down all day from 25 Mbps to 10 Mbps. No one would complain if it stayed at 10 Mbps all day. So my brother created his own ROM and flashed his cable modem to uncap the speed. Nice to be working for the Man.

blueiiznh's avatar

It all depends on what your expectations are.
Most video streams are buffered based on the load speeds.
You will more than likely not notice any issues at 10.
If you work from home and connecting to a corporate network over vpn or ssl, you may feel sluggishness or have some timeouts with some fat client applications.
I am on 50 and still want for more when doing work from home. Everything else is unnoticable.

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