How do different devices affect my home Internet speed?

Mar 18, 2021Articles, Blog, News

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Your home Internet groans to a halt and the website you’re trying to view does nothing but spin that annoying little wheel. You walk around the house and check in with everyone. Who is downloading a game on their computer? Who is uploading a video to YouTube?

The answer may be that nobody is doing either of those things. The truth is there are many devices that families – and even those who live alone – may be operating every day that run in the background and may have been forgotten that they are even there, doing their job, utilizing bandwidth.

In addition to the obvious bandwidth-user (computers), here are a few things that might be eating up bandwidth and slowing your Internet:

  • Phones – In general, a phone does not take up a lot of bandwidth if you are texting or making calls. But when you start watching videos on social media, streaming movies from any streaming service, or using any sort of video call option (FaceTime, etc), the drain on your Internet speed might become apparent.
  • Gaming Systems – Certain gaming systems not only take up a lot of bandwidth while someone is using them, but even when they are not being used. Xbox, PlayStation, Wii and Switch will all perform updates or download games while in standby or rest mode. Check settings on your gaming system(s) to see if may be slowing down your Internet even when not in use.
  • Streaming Videos – If you are streaming 4K video, expect it to take up a lot more bandwidth than HD. Some estimates call for a minimum of 25 Mbps, which is five times more than is estimated necessary for HD video streaming.
  • The Cloud – Saving items to cloud-based services, like iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive can also slow your Internet connection down. Think about all those large photo files that your device may be trying to back up and then consider whether or not multiple devices are backing up at the same time!
  • Multiple Users – How many people are in the house using the Internet at one time? Now think about how many devices each of those people are using. According to Statista.com, the average American had access to more than ten connected devices in their household in 2020. Do you have company? Each visitor that hooks up to your Internet is putting even more strain on the system.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) – This is a broad term that includes all those little smart devices that just go about doing their job every day. You may have several of these devices and have forgotten all about them. While each of these things individually do not generally take up much bandwidth, when you add them all together, it can make a substantial impact on your Internet speeds. Some of the most common, popular IoT devices include:
    • Voice Controllers, whether it be Amazon Echo, Google Home or another popular device.
    • Video doorbells
    • Smart TVs
    • Smart locks
    • Smart bulbs and switches
    • Smart thermostat
    • Smart watches
    • Video home security systems
    • Smart appliances

So, the next time your Internet seems to be running slower than usual, look for the culprits in unlikely – perhaps forgotten – places. Use this “cheat sheet” to reflect on all the devices and services that may be hooked up to your home Internet.

If you are unsure what speed Internet you currently have in your home, check your monthly statement or call a Nuvera representative. They can tell you what your Nuvera Internet speed is and let you know what speeds are available in your area. To talk to a sales associate, you can stop by any of our Customer Solutions Centers or contact them by phone at 844.354.4111 or via online chat at nuvera.net.

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