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Are Smart Devices Slowing Down Your Connection?

Victor in Buffalo, MO wants to know if IoT devices will slow down his Internet

Nest Learning Thermostat

Victor asked: All these Internet connected things for the house (Echo, doorbells, thermostats, etc.) How much bandwidth do they use? Do they slow your Internet down do it’s difficult to watch a streaming video?


That’s a good question, Victor. It depends on the device. Things that send video across your network, like the Ring video doorbell, will use a good bit of bandwidth, but only when they’re active. How often does someone ring your doorbell when you’re in the middle of streaming something on Netflix?

Other network connected devices, like Amazon’s Echo or the Nest thermostat, don’t use very much bandwidth at all. Even if you were to ask Echo to stream some music, that doesn’t demand a lot of bandwidth.

Video is the bandwidth killer

Video is the bandwidth killer, HD video is worse, and 4K video is the biggest problem of all. If you hope to stream 4K video in the future without buffering or degraded picture quality, you’d better plan on having something quite a few notches up from the basic Internet plan.

How far up? 15 megabits per second is the minimum for streaming 4K, but the truth is that you need a lot more. Closer to 50 megabits per second, if you hope to have people do anything else with the Internet at the same time you want to stream a movie.

So, as long as your Internet connected devices are not moving video around, you’re probably okay. But it’s also true that there is no such thing as “too much Internet speed.”

Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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