Video entertainment streaming is demanding for network connections. The ISP has the most important part of the connection because it is the slowest part of your internet/ethernet/wireless connection. ISP connection speeds can vary hugely between providers and some slower “broadband” and “Dial up” services will result in unacceptable performance.

Luckily, download speeds are easy to get from your cable or DSL (phone company) provider up front, and you can measure your existing connection by going to sites such as:

    www.speedtest.net
    speedtest.zoomtown.com
    www.aroundcincy.com/speedtest

The rule of thumb for adequate download speed for video entertainment is that it will take about 2.4Mbps if only one video stream is running at a time, and there is no other heavy online activity such as uploading/downloading photos. More bandwidth is always better.

You will note that an air card probably won’t provide adequate quality and the average DSL connection is borderline, though many people are very happy with DSL, including me.

    Critical download speeds:

  • 1.1 MBbps average 3G air card
  • 2.4 MBbps for Netflix near DVD quality
  • 2.5 MGbps average DSL
  • 5.0 MGbps average cable internet