Is 200 Mbit / s fast internet

How much DSL speed do I really need?

Daniel Behrens

Internet access with 100 or even 200 Mbit / s sounds tempting at first. For what purposes such a high bandwidth makes sense and for what it is a waste of money, you can find out here.

EnlargeWhat DSL speed do you need?
© iQoncept -

DSL is sometimes available with up to 100 Mbit / s in the download and 40 Mbit / s in the upload. With cable internet connections up to 200 Mbit / s (download) and 12 Mbit / s (upload) are possible. And LTE is advertised with data rates of 50 to 300 Mbit / s. But for what purposes do you need how much bandwidth? And how does it behave if several users share access and want to use it at the same time? We'll clarify that in this post.

Tip in advance: If your downloads are slowly crawling through the line like a snail, it is worth taking stock first. With a 4-point check you can find out why your DSL is lame.

Surfing, downloading, uploading, streaming: this is how much Mbit / s you need

If several people use your Internet access at the same time, add the following information according to the typical usage behavior in your household.

Web surfing: Web pages tend to get bigger and bigger. Aware that users have ever “thicker” services, many operators rely on ever more extensive visual equipment for their websites: high-resolution photos, interactive infographics and, of course, numerous animated forms of advertising. This can mean 2 MB or more per page view. With a (slow) DSL connection with a bandwidth of 2 Mbit / s, around 250 KB per second can be transferred. A web page with a volume of 2 MB would be completely loaded in 8 to 10 seconds. That is just about acceptable.

With ten times the bandwidth, you would only have to wait around a second. Theoretically at least - because your computer, smartphone or tablet must first process the information, i.e. interpret HTML source text and Javascripts and display ("render") the page together with images and all other elements in the web browser. This is also very fast with current devices, but rarely in less than a second. In other words: To be able to surf at a bearable speed, a connection with 2 Mbit / s is still quite good. Around 10 Mbit / s would be ideal. From 20 Mbit / s you come to the limit of what a web browser can calculate in real time on an average device.

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Software downloads: Most tools, application programs, drivers, updates & Co. are well under 500 MB in size. But even half a gigabyte is loaded in around half an hour with a 2 Mbit connection and in three to four minutes with 20 Mbit / s. For this purpose, too, faster Internet connections are only worthwhile if you are really in a hurry and don't want to wait a minute too long.

Game Downloads: The attention to detail of top games is becoming more and more spectacular. This not only increases the demands on the processor and graphics card, but also the volume of data in the textures, i.e. the graphic coating of the dynamic objects in the gaming world. As a result, as with the current action hit Grand Theft Auto V, a download package with a size of 65 GB can come about. And patches and updates subsequently submitted are often in the gigabyte range.

EnlargeGrand Theft Auto V: The splendor of graphics that the action game comes up with is a challenge for your Internet access, as you have to download over 65 GB of data

Load 65 GB with a 2 Mbit connection? You have to be very relaxed for that: the download would take almost exactly 72 hours, i.e. three full days. Even at 20 Mbps, you might not start playing for seven to eight hours. Of course, those who have a connection with 100 or even 200 Mbit / s laugh because they only have to wait around 90 or 45 minutes.

GTA V is of course an extreme example here. The Witcher 3, also a current top title with the finest graphics, “only” has 35 GB, so it would be loaded in around half the time. At 2 Mbit / s this still corresponds to one and a half days. For hardcore gamers, high bandwidth access is definitely worth it.

Music streaming: Spotify, Deezer & Co. are booming like never before. It seems like hardly anyone is buying and downloading music any more. Instead, whatever it takes is streamed at a monthly flat rate. The good news: With an average of 128 kbit / s to 192 kbit / s, music transmission only takes up a small amount of bandwidth and works even with slow internet connections without any problems.

On the next page we clarify how much bandwidth you need for streaming and uploads.