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How much internet speed do you need? 73% of us have no clue

A new survey from Allconnect adds that two in five Americans don't even know what speed they're paying for.

Laptop Internet Speed Test
Sarah Tew/CNET

Plenty of people wonder how much internet speed they actually need at home -- now a new survey suggests that a lot of us don't even know what speed we're actually paying for, either.

Released earlier this week, the report on internet know-how comes from Allconnect, a partner site of CNET under parent company Red Ventures. Among the key findings: 73% of respondents said they didn't know how much internet speed they really needed at home, while 36% of respondents -- nearly two in five -- couldn't say what speed they were paying for, to begin with.

Still, a majority of respondents expressed satisfaction with the speed of their connection -- 66% overall and, interestingly, 80% among respondents who didn't know how fast their own connection was.

"This was a surprising finding," the report reads, noting that internet providers are notorious poor performers by most customer satisfaction metrics. "This leads us to believe that the problem is not with the broadband connections themselves, but the billing and customer service issues that come along with them."

As for your internet connection, and the question of how fast it should be, the FCC defines the term "broadband" as anything with download speeds above 25 megabits per second and upload speeds above 3Mbps, but that's a very slow standard, particularly for homes with multiple internet users, or for anyone who needs to videoconference regularly for work or for school. There's bipartisan support for raising that standard to 100Mbps for both downloads and uploads -- ideally, you'd want a connection at least as fast as that, but those sorts of speeds still aren't universally available

Allconnect's study was conducted by the market research firm YouGov from May 14 to 17, with a total sample size of 1,214 adult respondents in the US.