A stable Internet connection for the entire family is very important today and is said to be among the most essential items in life. A Which survey asked people what was essential in their house hold and 90% answered that broadband was essential, that is only 5% less than water and food. It is, therefore, important that the correct broadband package has been purchased for your family so that every activity can be enjoyed by all.
I will look into the main areas that the family require broadband for and ultimately is should allow you to decide what broadband packages suits you the best.
Top of the list of uses for broadband in the family home is entertainment. This covers areas such as TV shows and films, without the right broadband package, it may be hard to enjoy your favourite TV show every week. With improved technology in televisions and monitors, we are seeing a rise in the number of high-definition television shows and films. 4K TV’s are now fairly common in homes and alongside devices such as the Amazon Fire TV, we are now able to download and stream large files sizes to watch the best quality TV shows and films available.
In order to watch 4k shows without a drop in performance, a high-speed Internet connection is required. Standard ADSL Broadband may be insufficient for high definition TV viewing, and it may incur lag or buffering on your device.
It is not uncommon to have many different TV’s and devices running at once in the household. You may be watching Sherlock on BBC iPlayer in the living room, and your children may be watching the X Factor on the ITV Hub upstairs. With both running and streaming at once, it may be that there is a drop in quality of buffering present when streaming simultaneously.
Gaming consoles are common in households with teenagers and maybe even those of us adult kids who like to unwind with a quick game of FIFA or Call of Duty at the end of the day. Gaming today is shifting towards downloads rather than physical discs and the file sizes for modern games can be rather large, often over 50gb. Discs are still, however, commonplace and that is partly because it can be quicker to go out and buy the physical than wait for the download to complete.
Even if you do buy the disc version, it is likely you will still need to download updates at some point, and with a slow broadband connection, this could take a number of hours. Something that many gamers could without when they just want a quick 10 minute game of FIFA.
Online gaming is an area where a fast connection is very important, and for many pro gamers, the faster the connection, the better the experience. Many gamers won’t even consider playing certain games online without fibre optic broadband.
The main reason superfast broadband is required for online gaming is due to the lower latency speeds. While ADSL broadband has latency below 30ms generally. A fibre optic connections will often have speeds lower than 20ms or sometimes 10ms. This can make a lot of difference when playing games that require low latency. Shooting games generally benefit the most from low latency speed, and this is due to the fact that the server and client screens are more in sync and the better sync you have, the more likely you are to make the kill or not be killed. If you have a high latency, it can often be so out of sync that a shot you made may not register on the server and so the kill won’t be counted.
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There are many music streaming services available in the United Kingdom right now, such as Spotify and Deezer. These music streaming services have been around for a while and while they do not require high speeds to stream a song it may take a while for a whole music library to download. If you need these on the move, you will have to start downloading well before you leave the house.
There may also be issues in streaming music if there are may users in your house doing the same thing or if they are streaming a film or show in another room. The advantage of fibre broadband is that there is more bandwidth to share across the household.
Many families today will have more than one mobile device, and so it stands to reason that access to the Internet on the move is required. Mobile broadband can be beneficial for those families that are often on the move, and many networks will offer mobile contracts for families which means you can spread the cost over many devices and have one access point at home.
The biggest problem here, however, is that there is likely to be a data cap on your mobile broadband and if you have a large family this could be used up very quickly. I would advise that you assess your usage before deciding to take out a mobile broadband package as you may find yourself going over the limit often and spending much more as a result.