Mbps vs. Gbps: What Should You Get?

Date Dec 3, 2020
Blog category Broadband
By Staff Writer

Many broadband companies in New Zealand are offering fibre plans that promise high-speed internet from 25 up to 500Mbps. If in the past, Fibre was only available in the city, today, providers are starting to connect rural areas to faster broadband thanks to NZ’s initiative in partnership with the biggest broadband networks in NZ. Ultrafast Fibre can now be accessed in remote and rural households in the country. 

As we shift to a permanent work-from-home setup, the internet now becomes highly important in our homes. Kiwis will soon upgrade their wireless connections to DSL, DSL to Fibre, and eventually Fibre to Hyperfibre connection. 

When choosing a broadband plan, you have to consider the size of your household, your lifestyle, and most importantly, your monthly budget. You need to check your coverage too, as some broadband providers only offer wireless or DSL plans in areas where fibre network is not yet available.

What’s the difference between Mbps and Gbps speeds?

Normally, broadband companies advertise their “megabit” speeds or Mbps that are considerably faster than Kbps. Now that we’re heading towards a new generation of broadband, providers are shifting to a Gbps or gig-speed connection and provide users with more reliable internet. 

Chorus is one of the pioneers to launch hyper fast broadband among Kiwi customers. It is believed to bring a “life-changing” online experience that uses “gig-speeds” or Gbps to indicate speed measurement which most broadband providers do not offer. It boasts speeds that are four times (or up to 4Gbps) faster than the fastest Fibre connection, which can only offer up to 500 Mbps. 

Read more about it here: New Zealand’s internet reaches new levels with Hyperfibre

What is a good internet speed?

Generally, a 25Mpbs internet speed is “fast” in a household of not more than three. Faster speeds are required to support multiple connected devices without experiencing lag or downtime. It really depends on many factors which also include your chosen broadband plan and the number of devices that are connected simultaneously.


Youtube and Netflix are the two most popular streaming services that need at least:

Netflix Youtube
Standard Quality 3Mbps 3Mbps
HD 5Mbps 7Mbps
4K 25Mbps 13Mbps

You may need faster speeds if you’re sharing the internet with 3 or more users. But basically, the table shows the minimum speed you need to stream videos uninterrupted. 

Streaming music, however, requires moderate speeds around 0.150Mbps which can vary depending on where you’re listening as well as your subscription plan. 

Here’s a sample table of how much speed you need to stream songs, podcasts, and the like in the following popular streaming sites: 

Spotify Amazon Music Apple Music
Standard Quality 0.96Mbps 0.5Mbps 0.256Mbps
High Quality 0.160Mbps

How Much Speed You Need To Stream


Typically, gaming needs 4 to 8Mbps internet speeds to enjoy playing without delay, glitching and any interruption. Speed recommendations really vary depending on the game you’re on and the number of users connected to the internet. For those who just got their PS5, faster internet of at least  50 to 100Mbps is highly recommended, and can support digital games like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. 

Video calls

Apart from games and social media, you should also consider choosing a broadband that can support your work duties. Video conferencing, emailing and transferring files are the common concerns in a work-from-home setup, which will need at least 40Mbps to accomplish multiple tasks all at once. File transfer is most crucial as it will also require 40Mbps to successfully send large files from your laptop or PC. 

How fast is a Gbps connection?

A gig-speed connection is a major upgrade that can support the most advanced applications, which are currently running at 1000Mbps or 1Gbps max. With the rollout of Chorus’ Hyperfibre, users can access artificial intelligence that’s available from Google, Apple and AWS, smart home devices, gaming, virtual reality, and many more. Chorus network providers offer 2Gbps and 4Gbps Hyperfibre plans to over 1.2 million customers throughout NZ. 

“With Hyperfibre, video conferencing and access into corporate networks receives a further boost. In fact, you can have ten concurrent devices streaming at maximum resolution with zero impact on quality,” said Chorus head of consumer Tim Webber. 

Do I need to upgrade to a Gbps connection?

If you work from home or have a busy household, you can switch to a gig-speed internet if it’s available in your area. It might be more costly than other broadband offers. Still, it will bring you better internet experience that can give seamless access to online calls, games and other of your digital activities.

Provider can't keep up with your needs? It's time to switch! Find the best broadband provider in your area, right here at CompareBear!