How Much Internet Speed Do I Need?


How much speed do I need? What is a good internet speed? These are questions on everyone’s mind when searching for an internet provider, but how much speed do you really need? In short, it’s almost always best to have too fast verses too slow, but every family’s needs are different. So we’re going to unbox what that internet speed really is and look like based on everyday online activities, how many people you have in your household, what can slow it down, and ultimately; what’s most important to you.

What Is Considered To Be High-Speed Internet?

The official definition of high-speed broadband by the FCC is a minimum of 25 Mbps download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds. Mbps stands for megabits per second; which probably doesn’t have any meaning to you. It’s best that we look at what you’re going to do online and go from there so we’ve gathered the most popular online activities and listed the bare minimum speeds required to do them for one user to insure you sign up for the best speeds for your household. To use this list, you’ll have to choose the fastest speed within the activities you take part in. For homes with multiple connected devices running simultaneously, you’ll need even faster speeds for the best experience possible.

Popular Online Activities & Minimum Speeds

Activity Minimum Required Internet Speeds For 1 User
Web Surfing 5 Mbps
Checking Email 5 Mbps
Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) 5 Mbps
Streaming Music (Spotify, Pandora, etc.) 5 Mbps
Streaming Video SD (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) 5 Mbps
Streaming Video HD (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) 10 Mbps
Streaming Video 4K (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) 25 Mbps
Remote Schooling 25 Mbps
Working From Home (Zoom Calls, Facetime, etc.) 25 Mbps
Online Gaming 50 Mbps

The FCC requires lower speeds for some of the most basic activities, but we’ve recommended higher speeds below for the best possible experience.

Also read: How To Negotiate For A Better Deal On Your Internet Bill

What Speeds Are Good For Online Gaming?

For multiplayer online gaming, you’ll need a minimum of 50 Mbps internet speeds or 25 Mbps per player. Choosing a higher internet speed gives you the ability to send and receive more data. Of course fast internet speeds matter when gaming, but they’re not all that matters.

Your ping time or latency also matters because a high ping time can make playing your favorite multiplayer game impossible to play. Ping is how fast you get a response back from your internet connection after you’ve sent out a request. Gamers know, the longer that takes, the more likely you’ll experience lagging or be kicked from the game completely.

What Causes Internet Speed To Slow Down?

The biggest complaint people have about the internet is that it’s too slow. You can avoid it being too slow for you by choosing the right speeds, but also by being mindful of why it can get to be so slow. Always keep in mind; your internet can only be as fast as the slowest part of your network.

Here are some of the ways your internet may be being slowed down:

  • Being On Wi-Fi
  • Outdated Router Or Modem
  • Internet Provider Congestion During Peak Hours
  • Home Network Congestion
  • Outdated Devices
  • Weak Or Spotty Wi-Fi
  • Exceeded Data Cap
  • Throttling
  • Too Low Of An Internet Plan

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