Are Your Devices Hogging Bandwidth?  - Blackfoot Communications

Are Your Devices Hogging Bandwidth? 

March 29, 2024

In today’s world, you are more than likely to have multiple electronic devices in your home, and it’s easy to underestimate how many of these devices are using your home internet connection. When using your mobile device, you switch from cellular service to WiFi at home. Other connections in your home could include computers, all smart devices (such as TVs, speakers, and thermostats), video doorbells, gaming consoles, and tablets. Having all these devices connected can slow your internet speed. By understanding what your internet plan is and knowing what devices you have connected at home, you can have a better home WiFi experience. We’ve included some examples below with their average bandwidth consumption. Please note: each device will use more or less bandwidth depending on what it is being used for.  

Smartphones and Tablets 

While smartphones and tablets are convenient for mobile internet, they can gobble up bandwidth quickly depending on activities like streaming or gaming. 

  • Basic web browsing and email: minimal bandwidth, generally less than 1 Mbps 
  • Steaming music services: 0.5 Mbps to 1 Mbps 
  • Standard Definition (SD) video calls: up to 1.5 Mbps 
  • HD video calls: up to 6 Mbps 
  • Video streaming: can vary from 1-3 Mbps to 25 Mbps depending on type 

Smart TVs and Streaming Devices 

To ensure smooth streaming on your smart TV or streaming device, prioritize a strong internet connection, as high-quality video eats up bandwidth. 

  • HD streaming: about 5 Mbps 
  • 4K Ultra HD streaming: at least 25 Mbps 


General web browsing and email are low bandwidth activities similar to smartphone and tablet usage. 

  • Online gaming: can vary from 3 Mbps to 6 Mbps 
  • Video conferencing: anywhere from 1 Mbps to 6 Mbps depending on type 

Gaming Consoles 

These devices require robust bandwidth to deliver seamless online gaming experiences with minimal lag and latency. 

  • Gaming consoles: about 3Mbps to 6Mbps, can vary with number of players in each gaming session, using 10Mbps or higher with larger multiplayer games (8 Players or more)   
  • Game downloads and downloading new games: can consume bandwidth and use whatever is available on your network

Smart Home Devices 

Smart home devices generally require minimal bandwidth, although specific devices such as smart security cameras may require higher bandwidth depending on resolution and streaming/recording activities. 

  • Smart speakers: up to 320 Kbps for high–quality audio 
  • Smart security cameras: vary significantly based on resolution, frame rate, and whether they’re streaming or recording; can vary anywhere from .5 Mbps to 5 Mbps per camera 
  • Other smart home devices: generally, use minimal bandwidth  

We understand the importance of a reliable and high-performing home WiFi experience, especially when multiple devices are connected. By reviewing our internet plan options on our website, you can ensure you have the bandwidth you need to support all your devices and online activities. Don’t forget to download our Blackfoot Connect mobile app, which allows you to effortlessly manage and monitor your devices on your network, giving you peace of mind and control over your connection.