Is 200 Mbps Internet Fast Enough for Streaming and Gaming?

While people say that patience is a virtue, nobody wants to wait around for their game to download or their video to begin streaming, and there is nothing more annoying than a buffering video or a lagging game while you are trying to enjoy yourself. Households have internet plans that provide anywhere from 5 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps, depending on the needs of the users.

200 Mbps is a fast enough internet speed for both video streaming and online gaming. Though there are definitely stronger internet connections on the market, a 200 Mbps connection can support multiple users playing games and watching videos at the same time.

Let’s take a look at what 200 Mbps offers and what might speed up—or slow down—your internet connection.

Internet Megabits

The first thing that needs to be understood about your internet connection is what the term “Mbps” means. Mbps stands for “Megabits per second” and refers to how many “bits” of information can be transferred via your internet connection each second. However, this number doesn’t mean much to most people. Internet speed can be better understood by looking at individual download speeds and upload speeds.

Simply put, an internet connection has separate download speeds and upload speeds. The download speed refers to how quickly your computer can download and obtain information through an internet connection. For example, high download speeds will mean that videos and songs download fast, web pages are quickly accessed, and your games will patch quickly. High upload speeds will mean that you can do the opposite—the files that you provide to the internet will upload quickly.

As you can probably guess, download speed is in much higher demand than upload speed. For this reason, an internet service might offer 100 Megabits of download speed while only offering about 15 Megabits of upload speed. Thankfully, it is rare that the upload speed is ever an issue.

Internet Speed Offers

Depending on your internet service provider and the plan that you want, your internet speed might vary wildly. The lowest internet speeds offer 5 megabits per second as a download speed and about 1 megabit per second of upload speed. These service plans give only the lowest forms of internet access. While you can surf the web fine enough, you will have a lot of difficulties trying to watch a movie, and games will take days to download. If you need to download something, you are better off finding public wifi than trying to use a 5 Mbps connection.

Upwards of a 5 Mbps connection, you can find connection plans that offer 25 Mbps, 50 Mbps, 100 Mbps, 200 Mbps, and even 500 and 1,000 Mbps connections. Which plan you get depends entirely on your needs and on how many people you expect to be using your internet at one time. Generally, a 200 Mbps connection is considered to be the best choice for a small family or even an individual.

200 Mbps will allow multiple people to stream movies at the same time without hiccups or buffering. Games should run smoothly without much lag or downtime, and your upload speed should be fast enough that everything uploads almost instantaneously. Furthermore, large downloads which could take slower internet speeds several hours or even days to get through will be completed much quicker, especially if there is nobody else using the internet connection while you are completing your download.

Finding Your Internet Speed

If you are wondering what your internet provider gives you in terms of download and upload speed, or if you are on a different network than your own and you want to know if you have enough internet to watch a movie or play a game, there are several easy ways to test your internet speed.

The best way to do this is to simply search for an internet speed test in your internet browser. There are several free speed tests that you can run which will time how quickly it takes for you to download and upload a small file. They can provide you with a clear idea of how fast your internet is wherever you are.

Another way that you can check into how your internet is doing is by opening the Task Manager on your PC. With the Task Manager open, find the column that is titled “Network”. You can then click on this column to sort all of your apps by how much internet they are using. If your internet speed is unusually slow, this can help you identify what your internet is going towards.

Internet vs. Memory

Thankfully, most of the apps and services on your device don’t use any of your internet. It doesn’t tax your connection to listen to downloaded music, watch downloaded movies, or do a host of other things on your machine. Most games don’t even require an internet connection once they have been downloaded.

Even if you are doing something that doesn’t require an internet connection, you still might deal with slowness and lag. This is usually a problem with your computer’s memory rather than your internet speed. Each computer has a limited amount of space that it can store the software that you are using at any given time. For example, if the game you are trying to play requires more memory than your computer has, you could face slowing and some extremely long loading screens.

For this reason, you should make sure that your computer is built with the specifications required to do something before you blame slow internet speeds. There are several factors that can tie into why a game isn’t running at the right speed, so be sure to investigate all of the options.

Playing Online Games

Though you might think that online games are extremely demanding on your internet, the reality is that most online games can get by with relatively low internet speed. Popular online games like Halo or League of Legends actually only use about 3 Megabits per second to download the real-time updates to the game. The amount required to upload your own movements and actions is only a fraction of that number.

That being said, you should not hop onto an online game if you are getting less than 5 Mbps of internet. Background functions, bad connections, and other users can eat up the internet you are getting before you know it. Furthermore, you will make yourself—and everybody else that you are playing with—wait through long loading screens while your computer struggles to download the necessary data to load up a game.

For this reason, you should ensure that you have a lot more internet speed at your disposal before you begin playing. This is one reason why having a 200 Mbps connection is useful—it allows 4 people, all on the same connection, to each get 50 megabits of download speed every second. Even with several other people using your connection, your game will run smoothly, start quickly, and have the resources it needs to offer you a fun experience.

Latency in Games

Even if you know that your internet speed is fast enough to support everything you are using it for, you still might have a high ping while playing online games. Ping is a measurement of latency, or how quickly it takes for the information that you upload to travel to wherever the information is being handled and back to your computer. This problem can come from several things aside from simply how fast your internet speed is.

If your ping is high, you can experience all sorts of problems while trying to play an online game. Your inputs will take longer to be recognized, things might happen before you see them or have a chance to react to them, and you can even have to deal with “rubber-banding”, a phenomenon in which players and other things will constantly warp from spot to spot as the game tries to keep track of their position.

This can happen for a number of reasons. One of the most common causes is that the game might be experiencing a high number of players, straining the game’s servers as they try to keep up. It can also happen if you have a lot of interference between you and the game’s servers. For example, if you are playing a game whose servers are based in Washington and you live on the East Coast, you will have a much higher amount of latency.

Another thing that can slow your internet or increase your latency is if your internet service provider is struggling to meet all of the needs of the people that use their services. Some times of day have higher than usual internet demands, such as in the evening when people are home from work. Internet service providers will try to allocate all of their connections well, which can mean slowing and bad connections.

Dealing with Lag

Though many issues cannot be easily solved, there is still plenty that you can do to get your game running up to speed (or to get your movie streaming appropriately). The easiest thing that you can do to increase your internet speed is to improve your connection type. If you are using wifi or a satellite internet connection, you are going to have a lot more problems than if you sat down at a computer that uses an ethernet port and cable.

If your home not wired for Ethernet connection, you have few options. check here to see if any one of them fits for your requirement.

  1. Convert your existing coax cable wiring to send and receive Internet signal, check this article on our blog.
  2. Use Powerline Ethernet Adapter to use powerline to send and receive Internet signal, check this article on out blog.

Ethernet ports will connect you to game servers and other services almost instantaneously. Wifi and satellite connections, however, will require bytes to be transferred slowly. Wifi can also be slowed by obstructions such as walls. In every case, an ethernet cable is going to get you faster internet. You might lose a bit of convenience, but the speed is worth it.

When using an ethernet cable, you should know that different types of cables offer different speeds. Some ported connections, like a fiber cable, are incredibly fast. Other connections, like a phone cable, are slower but still offer near-instantaneous connections.

Apart from switching to a ported connection, you can also increase the performance of your router and modem by restarting them periodically. This restart gives the devices a chance to power down and restart. The change you get from doing this might be slight, but it can make a difference.

We have a detailed article on How Often Should Routers and Modems be Rebooted?

You can also improve your internet speed by turning off all unnecessary apps and services on your device. These often take up a bit of your internet and your memory, which slows down the game you are trying to run or the movie you are trying to watch. You can use the “Network” and “Memory” columns of your task manager to check which apps are using the most resources.

The last things that you can do to get a little bit better performance on your machine are to avoid the times of day that bring the most traffic and ensure that you are connected to the nearest servers (if the game you are playing has multiple). If your game is still running slowly, your problem is probably with the capabilities of your machine and not with the speed of your internet.

Other Internet Uses

If you aren’t using the internet for something more intensive like online gaming or downloading movies, you might wonder how many megabits per second you will need to operate. For example, if you are hoping to work efficiently from home without having to wait a long time for things to download, you need to secure a solid internet connection.

If you are using a traditional router this may drag the speed of your Internet, check this article on Best Gaming and streaming routers for your Internet.

Apart from playing games and downloading files, video calls can be one of the most internet-intensive things you can do on a computer. Video call software does everything it can to keep a single video call from eating up all of the space, but it can still slow down the whole house’s internet. This is partly because video calls require much more upload space than other things do, as you need to upload both your video and your sound.

Thankfully, a strong internet connection with 200 megabits should have no problem holding multiple video calls at once. A video call takes a little less internet than a video game, usually needing about 3 megabits of download and 2 megabits of upload to run at the minimum. As long as you have enough internet to spare, you should do just fine.

Sujatha Naidu

Passionate blogger and Technology enthusiast. I love DIY home projects, here I am sharing my experience.

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