How much internet do I need?

December 06, 2019 | General

Do you watch Netflix? How often? Do you do any online gaming? These are just some of the questions we ask customers when they call in to sign up for internet services.

For instance, if a family of four is signing up for services and they each have a phone and/or tablet, they all want to stream Netflix on their smart TV or through their gaming console, and a couple of them want to do some online gaming, we would most likely suggest our Extreme package which provides a traffic limit of 1000 GB per month.

The biggest data hogs are streaming videos and downloading video games, movies, or software updates. Netflix alone can use up to 7 GB of data per hour if you are watching in Ultra HD. And one video game download can eat up to 50 GB of your monthly traffic limit.

According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in its 2018 Communications Monitoring Report, the average monthly data use by high-speed residential internet service subscribers increased by 30 per cent in one year to 166 GB in 2017. Being that this report is already two years ago, those needs have most likely skyrocketed with the increase in streaming services.

GlobalWebIndex reports that 92 per cent of internet users now watch videos online each month, meaning that more than four billion people around the world were consuming online video content in early 2019.

This chart outlines how many GB per month you might use just streaming Netflix. This includes one user and doesn’t take into account the amount of data the other members of your household are using.

Netflix and other streaming apps do allow you to adjust playback settings. But with most televisions boasting HD and 4K definition resolution in their specs, many users prefer to watch movies and TV series on resolutions better than the standard definition.

Online gaming takes anywhere between 50 MB and 300 MB per hour, depending on the video game and the playback settings. Downloading a game is a different story. Since most games need to be downloaded, one game could use up to 50 GB in a single download. And remember that many of these games need to be updated as well, which is another download and more GB. 

Add in smart home devices, home security, and whatever new technology comes our way and we will continue to see the increasing need for reliable, high-speed internet.

If you don’t want to worry about traffic limits, unlimited packages are the way to go. The demand for unlimited internet packages is also on the rise and is one of the reasons why we started offering this option as of October 1, 2019. The percentage of subscriptions to internet service packages with unlimited monthly data transfer went from 12 per cent in 2013 to 37 per cent in 2017.

This infographic explains some of the common uses and the packages we would most likely recommend to you. As with all of our packages, you can upgrade to a higher package at any time. You must remain on the upgraded package for 30 days before downgrading.

See more on our internet packages page!