Over the past few years, more and more people have been working from home. Whether through choice or by necessity, working from home is here to stay.
But with the rise of remote working, there has also been an increase in the internet speeds required to sustain it. Because working from home means that you’ll likely be using the internet for long periods of time every day, you need to have a good internet speed to support it.
But just what sort of internet speeds do you need to work from home? We’ve got all the answers right here.
This article will take you through the minimum broadband speeds you’ll need for remote working, how these can differ based on the job you do, and even some handy ways to speed your internet up to make working from home as smooth as possible.
So, let’s get started!
What Is The Minimum Speed You Should Have?
Broadband speeds vary by location, and someone a few streets away can have a much faster or slower connection based on the cables they are connected to and how far away they are from the ISP (where your under-or-overground internet cables travel from).
The average internet speed in the USA is between 50-60Mbps (megabits per second). This is more than enough for a small household to have a good connection to all their devices.
However, the more people and devices that are using the internet, the higher the broadband speed you’ll need.
To work from home, you’ll typically need at least 15Mbps per person working from home. This will give you the speeds you need for downloads and uploads, video calls, and general internet usage.
While this is a good baseline speed for remote working, some jobs will need a higher internet speed to be sustainable (although we’ll take a closer look at this in a bit).
Additionally, working from home means that you have to contend with other devices connected to the internet , which can be difficult if you live in a larger household.
In general, this 15Mbps benchmark is a good place to start. Most homes will have a connection fast enough to support this, even with other people in the house.
While you might need to increase this to factor in larger household size, as long as you’re getting this minimum speed dedicated for your work you shouldn’t have any issues working from home.
Do Different Jobs Need Different Internet Speeds?
As mentioned previously, some jobs will need a higher or lower internet speed for you to work properly. Depending on your job requirements and the responsibilities you’ll be dealing with while working from home, you may need to dedicate more bandwidth to your job.
Some jobs will require you to have several things on the go at once. This can put more strain on your connection and lead to a slower speed if you don’t have the necessary internet speeds behind it.
If your job will involve a lot of online meetings (which are known for the amount of bandwidth they take up), you’ll need to have a faster internet connection than the minimum of 15Mbps.
Other jobs that are heavily computer-based by nature – for instance, software developers – will also need faster speeds to accommodate the high amount of internet usage and traffic used on a daily basis.
Contrastingly, there are some jobs that will require less bandwidth for you to work from home. Examples of these include tutors who only take on a few clients per day, and customer service reps who primarily work through their phones.
While these jobs still require at least a basic internet connection to be viable when working from home, you probably won’t need to have the same high-speed internet connection as other remote workers.
The stability of your connection also comes into play. The fastest internet in the world won’t do you much good if your connection is dropping out every few minutes.
While you might be worried about working from home if you know your internet speed and stability isn’t quite up to scratch, don’t worry. There are actually several easy ways to improve your connection without having to shell out for a more expensive internet package.
How To Improve Your Internet Speeds For Work
If you feel like you’re not getting the internet speeds that you should be, there are a few things you can do to speed up your internet while you work from home.
Reduce the amount of devices connected to the internet. Having too many devices online at once can put some serious strain on your connection, making your internet run slower and causing a spotty connection. Some devices use much more bandwidth than others.
For example, devices such as games consoles, smart TVs, and other computers (particularly ones that are streaming music and video) are much more broadband-intensive than small devices like a phone or tablet.
Try switching off these greedy devices while you work for a faster, more stable connection. If possible, connect your work computer directly to your router via an ethernet cable.
This will give your PC/laptop a direct connection to your internet, which is much faster and more reliable than constantly using your Wi-Fi.
Internet speeds aren’t always dictated by your bandwidth, and it’s possible that your connection can be poor even though the speed coming into your computer is fine.
Having too many processes running at once can cause your internet speeds to grind to a halt, so try to avoid having too many things going on at once.
This can include closing unnecessary browser tabs, avoiding streaming on your computer while you work, and pausing downloads if you know you need a stable connection.
Working from home may be an increasingly popular choice and a way to continue working if you’re unable to go to work in-person, but it’s not sustainable for everyone.
If you need to work remotely but don’t have an internet speed that can support it, try the simple tips above to try and get your broadband up to speed.