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The Need For Speed

I can remember sitting in the TrustedReviews office about a year ago having a chat with Jalal about broadband. He had just moved flat and was looking for a new service provider in order to get connected at his new abode. After much searching around and comparing, he had decided to go for a 2Mbit service from Bulldog, which cost considerably more than the standard 512Kbit service that he’d been using previously. At the time my response to Jalal’s decision was “You don’t need 2Mbit”. So, imagine the retorts that I received from my Features Editor when I secured myself an 8Mbit connection from UK Online a couple of months back – if Jalal didn’t need 2Mbit, why on earth did I need 8Mbit?

The answer to that question is that there is a big difference between what we need and what we want. Take cars for instance, even in completely standard specification my car was fast, fast enough to wipe the smile of many a Porsche Boxster driver’s face, and fast enough to be a real blast every time I got behind the wheel. However, that didn’t stop me remapping the ECU, bolting on a K&N cold air induction kit and replacing the standard exhaust with a custom made Powerflow system. The result is a car that’s even faster and even more of a blast to drive, but did I actually need that extra speed? Probably not, but now it’s there I’d never want to be without it.

I guess it’s the same story with my 8Mbit broadband. I probably didn’t need a connection speed that was 16 times faster than the one I had, but now that I have it, I’m not sure that I could live without it. When my UK Online service went live, the first thing I did was try to download a few decent size files from fast servers. As you can see from the screenshot below, the result was pretty damn impressive.

These days downloading movie trailers takes a matter of seconds, even if they’re full screen encodes measuring 20 or 30MB in size. Since I run an online business, the faster my Internet connection, the faster I can do my job – this is particularly true when I’m having to download high resolution images, large PowerPoint presentations and PDF files. The amount of service packs, patches and game demos that need to find their way onto my hard drive is also significant, and having a super-fast connection has definitely taken some of the tedium out of those pursuits.

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