The largest consumer of Internet Speed in most homes is streaming media—entertainment content like movies and music. It is the biggest way most homeowners use bandwidth.
This is a breakdown sample on how you use your internet speed:
A 2-hour movie is about 2 gigabytes of data, and with 4mbps service it would take about an hour and 15 minutes to download. By increasing your internet speed, you simply reduce the amount of time it takes to download the content. That same 2-hour movie would take half the time to download with an 8mbps connection.
Streaming is a bit different; for streaming a movie, you need somewhere between .7mbps to 5.3mbps. High quality audio and video will require more bandwidth or speed in order to stream properly. For the best quality streaming Hi-Definition (HD) video, you would need more than the basic 4mbps down. However, non-HD best quality streaming could be achieved with a 4mbps connection. Music streaming is far less taxing on an Internet connection as it requires about 2mbps for the highest quality audio.
With regards to sending and receiving email, estimates are that an average email without attachments is about 75 kilobits, which is 0.075 megabits, in size. An email with a file attached increases by the size of the file.
For those who are regular online-game players, bandwidth usage estimates are around 150 mb/hour or about 1/20mbps. What takes up much of the bandwidth is the usage for updates to the games and that can exceed 100mb for each update, or the audio calling services gamers use to talk to one another.
For a 2-way video call such as Skype, 0.3mbps is recommended as a minimum upload and download speed. Facebook users average about 0.03mbps when browsing the site, but requirements increase significantly when streaming videos from the site.