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Tech tips

Try this handy calculator that shows how much internet you really need

The pandemic has shown us how reliant we could become on the internet. People have been working and educating themselves remotely. Online retailers saw an increase in sales as essential and non-essential items were in high demand.

Speedy internet is important no matter what you do with it. Want to know if you’re getting what you’re paying for? Tap or click here to find out.

Nobody wants to pay for the bandwidth they don’t use, but the hard part is figuring out what is needed. We’ll show you how to calculate this and give advice on what internet speeds you really need.

Just how much interned do you really need?

Internet service providers offer various plans and packages so you can choose what works best for you. You can bundle internet, phone and television service altogether or just the ones you want. Tap or click here for 12 ways to lower your monthly internet, cable and streaming bills.

RELATED: Half of Americans don’t know their internet data caps – How to check yours

Speed plays a large role in determining how much you’ll pay every month for the internet. Your ISP will usually try to convince you to sign up for a pricier plan, and in some cases, it might be worth it.

What do you use the internet for? Is it mostly for answering emails and browsing the web? Do you do a lot of gaming? Here are some guidelines to help you figure out what you need:

  • If you have just a few devices connected to your Wi-Fi and use your network mostly for browsing, you can do okay with a plan that has 10Mbps download speeds.
  • If you want to watch videos and download media, 25Mbps should be good for you.
  • If you participate in online gaming and/or want to stream content, you’ll need 100Mbps or more.
  • Whichever plan you go with, make sure to check the data cap – you can be charged for exceeding it.

RELATED: Money-saving tip: Find out if you’re paying too much for internet service

Check out this handy calculator

Consumer Reports just released a tool to help you determine how much bandwidth you need based on what you have. It considers how many devices are using each type of service, such as social media/web browsing, streaming video, streaming music, online gaming, home surveillance systems and more.

The calculator can estimate “based on a range of industry sources,” and that these numbers can vary. Still, it’s a good way to get an idea of what you need.

To get started, click here. Use the plus buttons to enter the number of devices you are using for each service. You may want to walk around your home and make a list. Beyond your phones, computers, tablets, and TVs, there are gaming consoles, smart speakers, smart thermostats and more.

As you enter each device into the calculator, the Mbps number at the top of the page goes up. Your results can help you decide to upgrade or downgrade your current plan and save some money.

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