The biggest bandwidth hog in our house is Netflix.
According to Netflix, you need:
- 2 Mbps (Megabits per second) for viewing standard definition video on a TV
- 4 Mbps for viewing High Definition video
- 5 Mbps or more for the best audio and video experience
We were on a cable plan that provided 15 Mbps, and experienced no problems with buffering or poor quality.
I heard from several people that downshifting to the 5 Mbps plan still worked well with Netflix. We tried it, and this seems to be true.
Admittedly, if you have kids or teenagers who spend a lot of time watching YouTube and the like, you may need the higher bandwidth. There is also a cap of 100 Gigabytes (GB) that you can download in a month (vs. 250 GB for our previous plan). We found from the online data meter that we typically use about 50+ GB per month.
So if you feel that your household might function within these limits, give it a try and save some money on your cable bill. You can always return to a higher tier of service if it proves unsatisfactory.