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Do I need 50 Mbps internet? (and what is it good for?)

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If you’re choosing between internet plans for your household, it’s important to know the differences between speeds to understand which will best suit your needs and habits. With so many speeds available, however, it can be difficult to know what will be the best internet speed for streaming, video conferencing, gaming or working from home.

In this article, we’ll explain what 50 Mbps internet speed is, what you can do with it and who might benefit from it.

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What is 50 Mbps internet?

50 Mbps is an internet connection that allows users to access the internet, transferring 50 megabits per second. A single megabit contains 1 million bits, meaning 50 Mbps transfers data at 50 million bits per second.
 
What is 50 Mbps internet good for?

50 Mbps internet is good for users that want to browse the web on a budget. With 50 Mbps internet, one or two users can:

    • Browse the internet.
    • Stream some videos.
    • Download some files.

 
Though a 50 Mbps internet connection may be fiber powered, your actual speed experience may vary due to network congestion, device performance and the quality of your WiFi connection.

When figuring out usage needs, most people consider download speeds. However, a fast upload speed is essential for sending large amounts of data – whether through file uploads and video conferencing, streaming content or online gaming.

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50 Mbps at $9.95/mo.

High speed internet access for getting more done – studying, surfing, streaming! Whatever your online adventure, Astound has affordable internet plans to fit your budget.

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50 Mbps vs. 100 Mbps

When comparing internet speeds of 50 Mbps and 100 Mbps, there are key differences between the bandwidth available for various activities, the number of users or devices that can be supported simultaneously and the types of activities that can be performed.

Here’s a detailed breakdown:

  • Download and upload speeds:
    • 50 Mbps: Suitable for light usage, including streaming videos on single device, some online games and general browsing.
    • 100 Mbps: Doubles the capacity, supporting more devices and more data-intensive activities. Great for better HD streams, online gaming and faster file downloads.
  • Number of Devices:
    • 50 Mbps: Can support 2 devices simultaneously, depending on the activity. If most devices are used for high-demand activities like streaming video or gaming, you might start noticing slower speeds.
    • 100 Mbps: Can support up to 4 devices simultaneously. It’s a better option for larger households.
  • Online Activities:
    • 50 Mbps: Adequate for streaming low-res video but may struggle with multiple streams.
    • 100 Mbps: Can handle multiple video streams and light gaming.

The FWA technology gap

You deserve better internet

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) uses radio waves which are impacted by obstacles like buildings and trees, resulting in reduced reliability.

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50 Mbps vs. 5G home internet

50 Mbps and a 5G home internet connection are two different internet technologies.

Fiber and cable internet connections offer consistent speeds with minimal interference, lower latency, more reliability and broader coverage. Most urban and suburban areas are equipped with cable and fiber infrastructure.

5G home internet is a wireless internet service that operates on high-band frequency radio signals transmitted over the air by 5G cell towers. While 5G internet provides faster speeds than the previous 4G/LTE technology, performance can be inconsistent.

5G’s wireless signal transfer introduces latency, resulting in slower data transfer and lag for applications that require real-time response, such as gaming and video conferencing. Other factors that can affect 5G’s performance include:

    • Distance between devices and cell towers.
    • Weather events.
    • Signal interference from physical barriers like buildings.
    • Network congestion.

In addition, 5G home internet is a newer technology, with coverage limited to select urban areas with 5G infrastructure. 5G home internet plans provide less value to users, as some providers include data caps in their plans while charging extra fees when you exceed the limits and throttle the speeds.

The cost of 50 Mbps plans varies depending on your ISP. However, most ISPs bundle internet, mobile and TV services to make them affordable. Additionally, if you are a prior ACP beneficiary, you can transfer your ACP benefit to Astound or choose from one of our many low-cost options, including Internet First.

Is 50 Mbps fast enough?

50 Mbps is recommended for light internet usage. Learn more about how 50 Mbps can handle different activities online, depending on the bandwidth each user and device needs.

For gaming

50 Mbps will get you gaming online on a single device. With a 50 Mbps connection, you’ll be able to:

  • Play some games.
  • Watch some streams on YouTube or Twitch.
  • Download some games and game updates.

If you’re a serious or competitive gamer, check out our higher speeds and dedicated gaming router. Our gaming router optimizes performance and provides high-quality streaming experiences.

Learn more: What internet speed do I need for gaming?

For streaming

Streaming platforms like Netflix and YouTube recommend a minimum of 3 Mbps and 5 Mbps, respectively. With a 50 Mbps connection, your household should be able to:

  • Stream some videos.
  • Stream audio.

Your stream quality will depend on the number of people and devices in your home. If you’re concerned about bandwidth, consider looking into higher speeds, such as 300 Mbps.

 

Learn more: What internet speed do I need for streaming?

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Tiny, large, or somewhere in between; find WiFi coverage to fit any space. Blanket your entire home with a fast and ultra‑reliable connection.

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For working from home

A 50 Mbps connection provides just enough speed and bandwidth to handle working from home. You’ll be able to do the following tasks:

  • Video conference on platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Slack or Teams.
  • Manage email and access the web.

If you have multiple users working from home on different devices, or need to access cloud-based development or other bandwidth intensive applications, check out some of our higher speed plans, such as 600 Mbps or 1500 Mbps.

 

Learn more: What internet speed do I need to work from home?

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Mesh WiFi with eero Secure

Enhanced Whole Home WiFi enables multiple WiFi routers (or eeros®) to work as a team, resulting in improved range, speed and stability of your WiFi network. Plus, with eero Secure now included at no additional cost, it keeps your family safe with parental controls, ad blocking and internet backup so you’re always connected.
 

For smart devices and IoT devices at home

Smart home and IoT devices require a minimum internet speed of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. If you have more than two smart devices, you’ll reach your bandwidth ceiling.

Smart devices, unlike personal devices, are always on and accessing your bandwidth. If you have multiple smart and personal devices connected, consider them when choosing your internet speed. Each additional smart home or IoT device may need up to 10 Mbps.

If you find you are exceeding your Mbps, look into a higher speed to keep your devices online.

For your apartment

Determining whether an internet speed of 50 Mbps is enough for living in an apartment depends on a few factors: the number of individuals in the apartment, their internet habits and the number of devices.

In most settings, apartments tend to be smaller, with fewer occupants and fewer connected devices.

50 Mbps will provide upload speed and download speed for two people. However, if your household engages in extensive online gaming, 4K content streaming or data-intensive tasks, you will want to consider a higher speed plan.
Learn more: How to set up your internet and WiFi in a new apartment

For a large home

Larger homes typically house more people, each with individual devices. A home may also have connected smart devices.

A 50 Mbps internet connection can provide connection to a household, but overlapping online activities, such as gaming, streaming, or video conferencing, may cause bandwidth issues.

Additionally, smart devices, heavy-bandwidth activities or other unanticipated users—such as visitors or guests—may strain your internet speeds. If so, you may want to consider higher speeds like 600 Mbps or 1500 Mbps.

Internet speed is important for a homeowner, but so are reliability and coverage. If you’re worried about dead zones or an unreliable connection, consider introducing a mesh WiFi router into your home.

Mesh WiFi expands home WiFi coverage, reduces signal interference and optimizes the performance of your wireless devices. Moreover, mesh WiFi routers are flexible, modular and moveable. If you want more coverage throughout your home, it’s as simple as placing a new device where you want a connection.

Learn more: How to set up your internet in a new home

Is 50 Mbps worth it?

50 Mbps is ideal for households with less than two individuals simultaneously accessing the internet. It’s great for one user and one device, as long as that user isn’t using excessive bandwidth.

With a 50 Mbps internet connection, you’ll be able to:

    • Browse the internet.
    • Stream videos.
    • Play some video games online.
    • Participate in online learning.
    • Work from home.
    • Upload content to social media.

When should you consider upgrading to a faster internet speed? It may be time to upgrade to a faster internet speed if you experience any of these issues:

    • Network congestion.
    • An increase in users in your household.
    • An increase in devices in your home.
    • Frequent buffering.
    • Long loading times.
    • Latency or lag while gaming online.
    • Slow upload or download speeds.
    • Video connectivity issues when streaming.
    • Poor video or audio call quality.

 
Before deciding to upgrade, evaluate your internet requirements. It might be a good idea to do regular speed tests to determine whether the current provider delivers their advertised speeds, as well as check your minimum download speed and minimum upload speed.
 
Also, try optimizing your WiFi to access the highest speeds available. By optimizing your WiFi, you’ll improve your network’s performance, minimize channel interference and rebalance your device load.

Find your speed

What speed do you need?

Maybe you just need the essentials—or maybe you need to unleash the ultimate internet speed. Explore your options to get the best experience for every device in your home.

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How much speed do I really need?

To determine your internet speed connection needs, ask yourself the following questions to understand your usage patterns:

    • How many people in my household will use the internet simultaneously? Consider how many people will be using the internet. Each user adds to the demand for bandwidth.
    • What are the online access needs for my household? Identify the primary online activities people in your home typically perform, such as streaming, gaming, video conferencing, browsing and uploading photos and videos to social media.
    • Which devices will be connected? Determine the number and types of devices like smartphones, laptops, smart TVs and gaming consoles that will be in use.
    • Will anyone be working remotely or learning online? If anyone in your household works from home or takes classes online, consider the bandwidth required for video conferencing, file sharing and any other work-related tasks.
    • Will anyone stream HD or 4K videos? If you frequently stream high-quality videos, a faster internet connection is essential to ensure smooth playback without buffering.
    • Is gaming a priority for anyone? Gamers may require faster speeds for better gaming performance, with more immediate download and upload speeds and reduced latency.
    • Does the house have smart home devices? IoT devices, like smart thermostats or security systems, will impact your accessible bandwidth.
    • Are large files frequently downloaded or uploaded? Consider the need for faster download and upload speeds if you work with large files or use cloud services.
    • Am I satisfied with my current internet speeds? Identify any pain points or limitations you may have.
    • What are my future internet needs? Do you anticipate potential changes in your internet use? Will you be adding more devices or engaging in more data-intensive activities?
    • What internet plans are available to me now? Check with local internet service providers to see what plans and speeds are available at your location.

Balance performance, cost and usage to choose the best plan for your household.

50 Mbps internet equipment requirements

You’ll need the following equipment to fully utilize the high-speed capabilities of a 50 Mbps connection:

  • Fiber or DOCSIS compatible modem: A fiber or DOCSIS modem is required to convert optical signals from a fiber/COAX line into electrical signals so your router and devices can understand each other. Astound’s installation process includes a modem. But you can bring your own modem if it meets our compatibility requirements.
  • A router: A high-quality router supporting high-speed connections is necessary to distribute the internet signal to your wired and wireless devices. Look for a router supporting Ethernet ports and modern WiFi standards like 802.11ac or 802.11ax (WiFi 6).

How do I get 50 Mbps internet with Astound Broadband?

50 Mbps internet is available for eligible households starting at $9.95/mo and includes equipment, no credit check and no cancellation fee. See if you qualify.

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Bottomline: Is 50 Mbps good enough?

Generally, 50 Mbps provides bandwidth to support two users engaging in non-simultaneous activities such as streaming, online gaming or video conferencing.

For individuals with high internet usage, such as extensive online gamers or households with many people and multiple devices, higher speeds, like 600 Mbps, are recommended.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, to qualifying beneficiaries of Internet First, Astound offers 50 Mbps internet plans in select areas.

50 Mbps WiFi is good for a single user who does not need a lot of bandwidth. If you feel you may need more bandwidth for yourself or your household, look into other speeds.

While we can’t guarantee an average of upload speeds for 50 Mbps, aim to find a provider that can offer 25 Mbps upload. However, due to the limitations of existing WiFi technology, upload speeds on WiFi can be slower depending on the device.

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Disclaimers

*Internet speeds may vary & are not guaranteed. Certain equipment may be required to reach advertised speeds. DOCSIS 3.1 modem with 2.5GE physical LAN port is required for 1 Gigabit speeds and higher. See astound.com/yourspeed for why speeds may vary. To view Astound’s FCC Network Management Disclosure see astound.com/policies-disclaimers. Modem required for Internet service. No contract required. Subject to availability. We substantiate that the cable modem equipment provided, and the configuration of such cable modem, meets the broadband speeds advertised when attached to a wired connection based on SamKnows testing procedures.

Not all services, speeds, packages, equipment, channels, tiers, pricing, streaming services, product offerings and product features are available in all areas. Offers valid only for new residential customers or previous customers with account in good standing who have not had our service within the last 60 days. All names, logos, images and service marks are property of their respective owners. Other restrictions may apply.

While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this site has been obtained from reliable sources, Astound Broadband is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this site is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Certain links in this site connect to other websites maintained by third parties over whom Astound Broadband has no control. Astound Broadband makes no representations as to the accuracy or any other aspect of information contained in other websites.

eero Plus is available for an additional $9.99/month and requires subscription to whole home WiFi powered by eero.