Remote work has become the norm for a large part of the workforce due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it may remain so for many workers. In mid-May, 68% of US employees were still working from home to avoid the virus, according to a recent Gallup pollIn addition, several large technology companies have announced that they will either significantly weaken or approve their current teleworking policies.
If you plan to work from home for some time, one of the most important things to consider is that connects you with your employer and customers: your online service. The type of connection you need and the ease with which you can get it can vary greatly depending on where you live, with whom you live and what kind of work you do.
Here’s what you need to know when buying an online plan that will allow you and all your family members to work remotely.
You probably don’t need an incredibly fast connection
Most ISPs advertise download speeds or the amount of data that can be accessed from the Internet per second to gauge connection speeds. This makes sense, since most of the internet activity — visiting a website, checking email, streaming video — is technically a download.
The Federal Communications Commission defines a broadband connection as a connection that can download at a speed of at least 25 Mbps or 25 Mbps. But connection speeds in excess of several hundred megabits are not uncommon throughout the country, and gigabit connections, which are some of the fastest available, can download more than 1000 Mbps.
In accordance with FCC Guidelinesa single remote worker or student probably does not need a connection with a speed of more than 25 Mbps to complete his work. Only a small portion of this is required to browse the web and download files.
Video by Mariam Abdullah
The only time you need to worry about a faster connection is if your job requires you to regularly upload large database files or high-resolution media, or if you have to share it with several people, according to Tyler Cooper’s editor-in-chief. Provider comparison and research site BroadbandNow, If you have a large house, it is important that the router is located near your home office.
The cost can vary greatly between cities, but in Philadelphia a 200 Mbps connection from Comcast costs $ 40 a month, and a gigabit connection costs twice as much. Comcast also offers 25 Mbps connection in town low income residents for 10 dollars a month.
Pay attention to download speed.
While download bandwidth should not be a major concern for most users, download bandwidth — for which you need to send an email, back up a file to the cloud, or call a Zoom conference — tends to be more scarce. Internet service providers almost always allocate much more of their bandwidth to download speeds and their advertising more noticeably.
But decent download speed is important for many services that remote workers depend on.
“For something like Zoom or other forms of two-way communication, download speeds are important,” Cooper says. “You may have a download speed of 1000 Mbps, but if you download less than 1 Mbps, you will still have some problems maintaining HD video chat, and the like.”
Make Zoom Call group In high resolution, you need a download speed of at least 3 Mbps. In the 113 largest cities in America, according to BroadbandNow, everyone except Albuquerque has an average download speed higher than this.
However, if you need to share this relationship with your roommates, spouse, or children moving to remote school classes, you may have to look for something faster.
“If you had a city in which the download speed is only 5 Mbps, and you have five people trying to connect [at the same time in your household]“You can quickly see how this can become a problem,” Cooper says.
Affordable broadband is easier to find in some cities than in others.
Although finding a reasonably quick connection for most Americans may not be difficult, finding an affordable connection can be. In more than half of America’s 113 largest cities, broadband coverage of up to $ 60 per month is available in more than 70% of families. This includes almost universal coverage in small cities such as Toledo, Ohio – which is growing as No. 1 city to work from home. – and big as Philadelphia and Queens, New York,
There is a small but significant number of cities where affordable broadband is much more scarce. These include Denver, Boston, and Seattle, where less than 8% of households are covered.
Cities with many competing providers or state owned and operated municipal providersAccording to Cooper, I usually have better and more affordable Internet. In high-priced cities, there is often only one or two suppliers, many of which are remnants of the old Bell System monopoly, which was destroyed in the early 1980s.
“In areas where there is public choice, prices are lower and speeds are higher on average,” Cooper says. “In virtually every area that has municipal networkEvery day we receive feedback from consumers who write to us that they are more satisfied with this service than ever with a traditional supplier. ”
Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, CNBC’s parent company.
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