What Is a Good Internet Speed?
Our experts recommend 100 Mbps download speeds—but if you have lots of devices, you may need even faster internet.
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Jump to the answer for your internet speed question:
- What are good internet download speeds?
- What does Mbps mean?
- What are good internet upload speeds?
- What is the difference between download and upload speeds?
- What are slow internet speeds?
- I pay for fast internet speeds, but my Wi-Fi still seems slow. What can I do?
- How can I boost my Wi-Fi in a big home?
- What is my download speed?
- What is a good download and upload speed?
- What can I do if my provider doesn’t offer fast speeds?
What is a good internet speed Mbps?
For most folks using the internet today, 100 Mbps is a good download speed. But you may need more or less depending 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, 25 Mbps—which is the FCC’s minimum recommendation and a standard called broadband speed—will provide good internet performance.
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. Maybe you’ll even want to spring for those legendary gig speeds—around 1,000 Mbps.
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.
What is the difference between download and upload speeds?
Download speeds refer to how fast you can download data over your internet connection. Internet data includes everything from emails you want to read to the YouTube video of that guy trapping the alligator in the trash can. With faster download speeds, it’ll take less time to do all of these activities.
Upload speeds describe how quickly your internet connection can transfer data from your computer to the internet. Upload speeds are important if you’re trying to send a file to a teacher for class or posting videos of the grandkids on your group text.
What are slow internet speeds?
If your download speeds are 50 Mbps or slower, you’re probably getting average internet upload speeds of 5 Mbps or less.
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.
I pay for fast internet speeds, but my Wi-Fi still seems slow. What can I do?
Even if you have an internet package with good download and upload speeds, the fastest routers can still 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.
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.
What is a good download and upload 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.
Is 50 Mbps or 100 Mbps a good download speed?
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 50 Mbps will probably be fast enough to support most of your online needs.
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.
Normal upload speed
Your internet connection’s typical upload speed depends on your provider and the type of internet your home can get.
DSL upload speeds are typically less than 10 Mbps, while cable internet upload speeds usually fall between 5 Mbps and 35 Mbps. Fiber internet offers the best upload speeds because they’ll be equivalent to your download speed, which can be between 100 Mbps and 940 Mbps.
If your household uses the internet only for emails or Facebook updates, you’ll be fine with an upload speed of less than 10 Mbps. But if your family is regularly taking Zoom calls or uploading files for class, you’ll want an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps for starters.
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.