Simply put, internet speeds in the 100-200 Mbps range are ideal for most households since they can handle common activities like streaming and video chat for two to five users at once. However, several factors should also be considered — especially for home offices and gaming where upload capacity for files and reaction times are particularly important.
Along with upload speeds, latency, and your location, another factor to consider is your Wi-Fi network. The average Wi-Fi speed you experience around your home will generally be anywhere from 20-50 percent below the advertised download speed due to wireless interference and fade as you move further from the router. With that said, it’s important to choose a speed slightly faster than what you need to account for network slowdowns.
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While each household will have their own definition of what a good internet speed is based on their needs, here are a few simple guidelines on different speeds and what they can handle:
Internet Speed Users Supported Speed Summary 25 Mbps 1-2 Basic 100 Mbps 3-4 Average 200 Mbps 4-5 Fast 500 Mbps 5+ Very Fast 1,000 Mbps 5+ Gigabit
To get a quick recommendation based on the number of users and devices in your home, take a look at our bandwidth calculation tool. If you already have Wi-Fi and are having slower-than-normal speeds, try troubleshooting your Wi-Fi, or consider learning how to extend your Wi-Fi network.
In this article, we help you determine how much internet speed you need based on how many internet users are in your home and how they use the internet.
Mbps stands for “Megabits per second.” This is the standard measure of “speed” or “bandwidth” on home internet connections. It measures how many bits (units of digital information) can be transferred each second. You’ll normally see speeds ranging from 10-1,000 Mbps advertised for home internet plans.
How Much Speed Do I Really Need?
Here are some general download speed requirements based on everyday online activities:
- Check email and browse the web: 1-5 Mbps minimum
- Stream HD content: 5-25 Mbps minimum
- Stream 4K content and play competitive online games: 40-100 Mbps minimum
- Stream 4K content, play competitive online games, and download very large files: 200 Mbps minimum
What Is a Good Internet Speed?
Any internet connection above 25 Mbps is a good internet speed. The FCC currently defines a “broadband” internet connection as one that provides at least 25 Mbps for download speed and 3 Mbps for upload. This is a decent benchmark for the average family of three; however, larger households of three to five people should consider speeds closer to the 100-200 Mbps range.
In order to be a “good” internet speed, the connection has to meet the needs of the household, which will vary based on number of devices connected and how many people use the connection at once.
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The experience using an internet connection depends on several factors:
- How many devices are connected and in use simultaneously?
- How many people are streaming video from Netflix, YouTube, or another service?
- Are you using your home Wi-Fi for competitive online gaming?
- Do you frequently need to send large files for work?
- Do you regularly stream 4K video, or do you mostly stick to simple online tasks?
- Do you get frustrated easily if your game lags or your webpage takes a while to load?
As you can see, good internet speed can mean something different for every household. For instance, if you’re using your home Wi-Fi for only web browsing and email, you might feel that you have fast internet with only 10 Mbps.
On the other hand, someone who streams 4K video on multiple devices, plays video games online, and has smart home IoT devices, may not be satisfied with even 100 Mbps. They should look at fiber options like those offered by AT&T Fiber internet or Frontier Communications FiberOptic which offers higher uploads speeds than other common connections like cable and DSL.
It’s worth mentioning that the range of performance you can get is somewhat relative to your location. Rural areas in states like California and even New York often have much lower speeds (around 25 Mbps) and fewer options, when compared to urban centers within the state which typically have 100+ Mbps plans available, such as Los Angeles, San Diego, or Brooklyn.
Different providers have various deals going all the time. Shop the latest from major providers:
- Verizon Fios Internet Deals
- Xfinity Internet Deals
- AT&T Internet Deals
- Spectrum Internet Deals
You can also shop local deals for internet service providers in your area here.