Frequently Asked Questions
Why isn't my connection faster?
Here are some quick ways to stop most problems that may be slowing down your connection:
- Ensure you're getting a clean test. Stop any ongoing downloads, and shut down any programs that may be using your connection, such as peer-to-peer software.
- Simplify the picture. If you're using a wireless client to connect, try using its wired Ethernet connection, to eliminate the possibility of local wireless interference.
- Reboot your device or wireless client. It's the stock advice, but it solves an astonishing number of problems. Quora has a great explanation of why restarting a device simply works most of the time.
If those steps don't work, please contact us to see if there's a mismatch between your plan and the speeds you're getting.
What speeds do I need for Skype, Netflix, video games, etc.?
Skype (source: Skype Support)
- For voice calls: 0.1 Mbps download / 0.1 Mbps upload
- For video calls: 0.5 Mbps download / 0.5 Mbps upload
- For HD video calls: 1.5 Mbps download / 1.5 Mbps upload
Important note: these connection speed requirements include downloading and uploading at the same time. Since Speedtest.net tests download and upload separately for accuracy, your results will need to be higher than the the numbers provided above. For example, your upload speed may be 2 Mbps in the Speedtest.net result, but may go down to 1 Mbps while your connection is downloading something.
Netflix (source: Netflix Help)
- Basic-quality video: 1.5 Mbps download
- High-quality video: 3.0 Mbps download
YouTube (source: YouTube Help)
- Recommended: at least 0.5 Mbps download
YouTube offers several quality levels for videos that you can use. The lower-numbers (360p) indicate that the video is smaller and uses less bandwidth, but also has less detailed. The more detailed the video (480p, 720p), the more bandwidth it takes to stream. Choose the highest video quality that allows you to stream without repeated stops and starts.
Hulu (source: Hulu Help)
- Recommended: at least 1.0 Mbps
Hulu also offers several different quality levels for different connection speeds. Using the gear icon under videos, you can tell Hulu to "Auto-select the best quality for my bandwidth (recommended)".
Online Video Games
- Recommended: a low ping (less than 100ms)
For playing video games online, download and upload don't matter as much as ping, which measures how responsive your connection is. The lower ping to servers and other players, the lower the "lag" will be in your game. To lower ping, you can take steps like connecting your computer to a wiresless client using Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi, and not downloading/uploading files while playing games.
Spotify (source: Spotify FAQ)
- Recommended: 0.25Mbps
The bandwidth requirements for Rdio are similar, though both services offer a low-quality option for slower mobile connections.