More and more people are opting out of paying for Cable TV. Websites and services like Hulu and Netflix are making it easier to view the same programs for a fraction of the cost. With so many websites offering videos, updates and other services, theres an increase in demand for faster streaming.
YouTube is currently receiving 72 hours of video uploaded to their site every minute. People are watching content online and streaming data now more than ever. If you want to stream videos online you need a fast Internet connection. But which one is the best for streaming?
Options Based On Speed
You have a few different Internet options for streaming content, including Dial-Up, DSL, Cable and fiber optic. The most important factor for uninterrupted service is speed. Lets take a look at what kind of speeds you can get.
Dial-Up was the first major available ISP. Fortunately, this is no longer the case because its the slowest. In some rural areas, its the only one available and is right for customers who cant afford much and dont need the Internet for much more than sending email.
Dont even consider this as an ISP if you want to do a lot of streaming, it simply cant handle the amount of information that must be transferred.
DSL is the next step up from Dial-Up. There have been some improvements in DSL service, bumping the theoretical speeds to about 24 Mbps. In reality, however, you wont get this much because of the physical infrastructure used to provide service.
DSL is transmitted using copper phone lines and the signal quality decreases over distance. So the further you are away from the phone companys signal source, the worse your speed will be. The average streaming rate for DSL is about the same rate youd need to stream Netflix without getting frustrated1.5 Mbps.
Cable provides faster streaming rates than DSL, usually around 2.3 Mbps.The cost of Cable is typically higher than DSL, but provides a faster signal.
Cable ISPs pump your connection through the existing TV infrastructure. Wherever you get digital cable, you can get Cable Internet. The only downside is other people in your area share the same connection, resulting in speed throttling during peak usage. Cable providers are very popular, as they provide great speeds that allow for good streaming without a lot of signal buffering.
The current award for best Internet type for streaming goes to fiber optics, with Verizons FiOS serviceand the most popular and readily available option. According to Netflix, which accounts for roughly 30 percent of all Internet traffic to homes; Verizons fiber optics service is the fastest streaming service available, running at about 2.5 Mbps for movies and TV shows.
Not all services are available everywhere. Fiber optics is the fastest streaming service available, but might not be an option for you. Cable providers like Charter and Comcast are great second options. As HD video becomes more prevalent, expect ISP technology and transfer rates to increase to meet the demand.