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What Is a Good Internet Speed?

Find out about download speeds, upload speeds, Wi-Fi hacks, and more.

Bottom line: What are good internet download speeds?

The right download speed depends on how many people use the internet in your home and what they use it for.

If you’re the only one at home and your primary online activities are shopping, checking social media, and watching Netflix, you’ll be fine with the FCC’s minimum recommendation—a standard called broadband speed—which is 25 Mbps.

But if you have more people around, keep connected with smart home devices, or work from home, your experience will be better if you get higher download speeds.

What does Mbps mean?

Mbps stands for megabits per second, and it’s a common way to describe internet speeds.
Megabits are a measurement of data—information that moves from your computer to the internet (like when you upload a Youtube video), and from the internet to your computer (like downloading a picture).

The higher Mbps your download speeds, the faster your internet is.

Not happy with your download speed?

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What are good internet upload speeds?

The broadband internet standard for upload speeds is 3 Mbps. Upload speeds don’t have to be as fast as download speeds, since the most common activities like looking at pictures, reading, or watching video on the internet are download-heavy and don’t require a lot of upload capacity.

But if you’re posting pictures to social media, sending videos to a friend, or holding a conference call, you’re uploading more significant amounts of data, which means upload speeds are more important.

Zoom recommends you have upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps for crystal clear Zoom video conferencing. And if you’re streaming online games, you may need as many as 6 Mbps.

To find out the upload speeds for an internet plan, you may have to ask.

Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) don’t advertise their upload speeds. But you might find it in the fine print somewhere, or you could ask a customer service representative from your ISP.

If your download speeds are 50 Mbps or slower, you’re probably getting upload speeds of 5 Mbps or less.

With uploads speeds that low, you may have to ask other people to stay off the internet while you have a Zoom conference call for work. Otherwise, your coworkers might not be able to see or hear you very well because your upload connection will be too slow.

What are slow internet speeds?

Download speeds below the 25 Mbps broadband standard are too slow to meet the average American household’s needs.

If you use the internet only for searching Google and using Facebook—or you’re just patient enough to wait for pages to take a while to download—you might be fine using internet speeds slower than 25 Mbps.

But your movies and games will download much more quickly if you upgrade to a faster internet speed.

Is your internet speed too slow?

Enter your ZIP code to see if you can get a faster plan.

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I pay for fast internet speeds, but my Wi-Fi still seems slow. What can I do?

Even the fastest routers have trouble beaming your Wi-Fi signal through walls or furniture. If you notice your Zoom calls cut out or your PS4 takes forever to download a new game, see if you can find an Ethernet cable in your odd-and-ends closet or buy one on Amazon.

With an Ethernet cable, you can wire laptops, PCs, and most game consoles directly to your router to take full advantage of the speeds you pay for. A wired connection might seem a bit old school, but it can take your internet speeds to a whole new level.

How can I boost my Wi-Fi in a big home?

If your house is giant, running an ethernet cord to every room where you need internet isn’t efficient. In this case, you might consider mesh Wi-Fi setups or long-range routers. We have a whole article to help you figure out your ideal setup.

What is my download speed?

If you want to see how fast your internet is, you can try a speed test like this one on HighSpeedInternet.com. You’ll get the most accurate results by plugging in an Ethernet cable, turning off your Wi-Fi, and closing all other programs besides the test.

You can use the test when you’re on Wi-Fi to see how fast your Wi-Fi signal is, but you’ll probably find your download speed is much slower on Wi-Fi than it would be with an Ethernet connection.

Is 20 Mbps a good download speed?

The broadband standard is 25 Mbps download, 3 Mbps upload—so 20 Mbps is a bit slower than the current standard for an average-performing internet speed. It’s not great for supporting multiple internet users, especially if you enjoy streaming TV at the same time.

But if you’re the only one using your internet service, you use an Ethernet cable, and you don’t mind a bit of buffering from time to time, then 20 Mbps will probably be fast enough to support most of your online needs.

Is 100 Mbps a good download speed?

You’ll find 100 Mbps supports most homes’ internet needs well, even if you have multiple users and some smart devices. You’ll still get fast speeds on a Wi-Fi connection with most routers, and your Switch or PS4 should download games quickly.

But if you find 100 Mbps speeds are too slow for your needs, you may need to upgrade to a faster plan, get a new router, or connect with an Ethernet cord.

What can I do if my provider doesn’t offer fast speeds?

If your provider isn’t fast enough for you, it may be time to find a new internet provider.

When you put in your ZIP code below, we’ll show you a list of all the top providers in your area and their fastest download speeds.

Please enter a valid zip code.

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