The criteria for good internet speed varies per your data requirements and the number of devices you wish to connect. For 3-4 devices with streaming, online gaming, and browsing requirements, 100 Mbps download speed, and 10 Mbps upload speed is good. However, for fewer devices with normal browsing and casual streaming requirements, even 50 Mbps download speed and 5 Mbps upload speed is enough.
So, how to determine what internet speed is ideal for you? Don’t worry; this guide will help you out. Check out the recommended speed required for various online activities mentioned here and determine your perfect speed plan. If you would like to know some tips on checking the internet speed, then we recommend checking out our guide on how to check internet speed.
Internet Speed Required for Various Online Activities
Different activities require different bandwidths. Here are the brief details of what all you can do with different internet speeds to pick the right one for you:
|Internet Speed||Activities||Number of Devices|
|0-10 Mbps||Casual web browsing, emailing||1 device|
|15-25 Mbps||Music streaming, occasional SD video streaming, web browsing and emailing||1-2 devices|
|25-50 Mbps||Casual HD streaming, occasional single player online gaming, web browsing, video calls||1-3 devices|
|50-100 Mbps||HD video streaming, Zoom Calls, occasional multiplayer gaming, web browsing||3-4 devices|
|100-500 Mbps||HD and UHD video streaming on multiple devices, console and multiplayer gaming, large file downloads and sharing, video conference calls on 2-3 devices simultaneously||5-7 devices|
|500-1000 Mbps||Suitable for small offices or work from home, live streaming, running smart Home devices, 4k streaming on multiple devices, multiplayer gaming||7-10 devices|
How Much Internet Speed Do I Need?
Do you need the internet for normal work-from-home usage? Or do you require it for live streaming or professional gaming purposes? Depending on what are your primary requirements, let’s understand how much speed is good for you:
1. For Web Browsing
Web browsing is one of the least bandwidth-intensive online activities. A typical web page requires 1 MB to load. So, if you are a casual internet user with normal web browsing, emailing, and social media posting requirements, 10-15 Mbps download and 3-5 Mbps upload speed is enough for a single device.
Any type of internet connection, from DSL to Cable and Satellite, is enough to provide reliable speed for normal web browsing.
2. For Gaming
According to Inspection Support, Gamers require good upload and download speed and low latency for optimal performance. The internet needs vary from casual to professional gaming and depend upon the game mode (single or multiplayer, online or console, etc.).
Most console game manufacturers recommend at least 5 Mbps download and 1-3 Mbps upload speed. However, for fast action games, the leading ISPs like AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, etc., suggest 25-50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload speed.
The data bandwidth required for online gaming depends upon the type and size of the title you want to play. The larger the title’s file size, the faster the speed you need to download it in less time. Although gamers only consume around 100 MB per hour at max, it is better to have a minimum 25 Mbps data speed with low ping/latency (20 ms or less) to get optimal and lag-free performance.
Depending on the file size, here is how much time different speed plans take to download popular titles:
|Title||File Size||Download Time on 10 Mbps Plan||Download Time on 25 Mbps Plan||Download Time on 50 Mbps Plan||Download Time on 100 Mbps Plan|
|League of Legends||9 GB||2 hours||48 minutes||24 minutes||12 minutes|
|DOTA 2||8.7 GB||1 hour 56 mins||46 minutes||23 minutes||11.5 minutes|
|Counter Strike: Global Offensive||15 GB||3 hours 20 mins||1 hour 20 mins||40 minutes||20 minutes|
|Fortnite||26 GB||5 hours 46 mins||2 hours 18 mins||1 hour 9 minutes||34-35 minutes|
|Call of Duty: Vanguard||61 GB||13 hours 33 mins||5 hours 25 mins||2 hours 42 mins||1 hour 21 mins|
|World of Warcraft||62.3 GB||13 hours 50 mins||5 hours 32 mins||2 hours 46 mins||1 hour 23 mins|
|Grand Theft Auto V||95 GB||21 hours 6 mins||8 hours 26 mins||4 hours 13 mins||2 hour 6 minutes|
So, a 50 Mbps plan is good for 1-2 players, while for 3-4 players, a 50-250 Mbps plan is recommended. For multiplayer gaming with more than 5 players choose a plan between 500-1 Gbps for lag-free performance.
3. For Online Streaming
The bandwidth required for online streaming also depends on what type of content (music or video) you want to stream and in which resolution (HD, UHD, 4K). Generally, music streaming requires 2-4 Mbps on a single device, so we will focus here on video streaming.
Streaming content in Standard Definition (720p) requires 10-15 Mbps. But to stream in HD (1080p) or 4K, a minimum of 25 Mbps speed is necessary for a single device for a glitch-free experience.
Different streaming platforms have their internet speed recommendations that you can refer here:
|Streaming Platform||SD Resolution||HD Resolution||UHD Resolution|
|Netflix||3 Mbps||5 Mbps||15 Mbps|
|Youtube||2.5 Mbps||5 Mbps||20 Mbps|
|Amazon Prime||1 Mbps||5 Mbps||15 Mbps|
|Disney TV+||3 Mbps||5 Mbps||25 Mbps|
|Apple TV||8 Mbps||15 Mbps||25 Mbps|
|BBC iPlayer||2 Mbps||5 Mbps||24 Mbps|
So, for HD streaming on 2-3 devices, you need a data plan of 50 Mbps or more. To stream 4K content on multiple devices (4-5), 100-300 Mbps plans are good.
4. For Work from Home & Video Conferences
If you work from home and need data primarily for video conferences, then both upload and download speed matter. The bandwidth consumed on video or conference calls depends upon several factors like how many people you are talking to at once, which platform you are using, video call resolution (HD or normal), call duration, etc.
Along with upload and download speed, latency rate also matters for video conferencing. The higher the latency rate, the more lagging or jittering you experience during video calls. The optimal latency for video conferencing must be 40 ms or less.
Ideally, a 1:1 HD video call requires around 1.5 Mbps upload and 5 Mbps download speed (depending on the software). While the HD video call comprising 3 or more people requires at least 2-4 Mbps upload and 10-15 Mbps download speed.
Generally, Skype calls consume less bandwidth than Zoom or Google Meet. Here are the upload speed requirements for popular video conferencing software:
|Video Conferencing Software||Required Upload Speed|
|Skype: HD 1:1 Video Call||1.5 Mbps|
|Skype HD Group Call (3 people)||2 Mbps|
|Skype HD Group Call (5-7 People)||4-8 Mbps|
|Zoom Call: HD 1:1||3-4 Mbps|
|Zoom HD Group Call (3-7 people)||5 Mbps|
|Google Meet: HD (2 people)||2.6 Mbps|
|Google Meet: HD (5 people)||3.2 Mbps|
|Google Meet: HD (10 people)||4 Mbps|
5. For Uploading Videos and Social Media Content
For uploading large media files (high-quality videos, GIFs, or other attachments) in emails or other social media platforms, you need a good internet upload speed, ranging between 5-20 Mbps. The amount of upload bandwidth required depends upon the file size.
If your plan offers upload speed up to 5 Mbps, it will take around 10 mins to upload a 500 MB file on an online server. So, depending on how large files you need to upload online, you can choose the plan with the appropriate upload speed.
6. For Live Streaming
Live streaming relies more on upload speed than download speed as you send more data online each second. The higher the upload speed, the faster the high-quality data will be uploaded online. Latency also affects the live streaming performance. For lag-free live streaming, the optimal latency rate must be 30 ms or less.
Depending upon which platform you use for live streaming, the upload speed recommendation can vary. One of the most popular live streaming platforms is Twitch which requires at least 3-4 Mbps speed for low-resolution streaming and 5-10 Mbps for high-resolution.
7. For Multiple Devices
Along with your data requirements, the choice of the good speed internet also depends on how many devices you wish to connect.
- 1-2 devices: 25-50 Mbps plan is sufficient for two devices with web browsing, video calling, music streaming, occasional gaming, or video streaming requirements.
- 3-4 devices: 50-100 Mbps is good for up to 4 devices having online gaming, music streaming, Video streaming (SD or HD quality), Zoom calls, and browsing requirements.
- 5-7 devices: The 200-300 Mbps plan is good for more than five devices with live streaming, multitasking, and online gaming requirements.
- 10 or more devices: 500 Mbps – 1 Gbps plan is good for streaming content in HD or 4K quality, sharing and downloading large data files, multiplayer gaming, video calling, and other online activities simultaneously on 10-11 devices.
How to Choose the Right Speed Plan for You?
To choose the right speed plan for you, it is also crucial to determine what type of internet connection will suit you. Not all internet connection types are equally fast and reliable. Check which connection type is commonly available in your region and ideal for your needs:
- Fiber Internet: It is the fastest connection type available, offering Gig plans with download speeds up to 1-5 Gbps, and upload speeds up to 50 Mbps. While it is the ideal choice for streamers, professional gamers, and working professionals with better reliability, it is only widely available for some regions. Some best Fiber internet providers are AT&T, Verizon, and Google Fiber.
- Cable Internet: It is another reliable and fast connection type and a great alternative for Fiber internet with speeds up to 1 Gbps. It offers symmetric upload and download speed, and some of the best internet providers you can consider for it are Cox, Optimum, Spectrum, etc.
- DSL Internet: It is a cost-effective connection type that uses existing telephone lines to offer internet but with speeds up to 100 Mbps only. It is suitable when you have fewer data requirements for a low budget. But keep in mind that the signal strength gets impacted over long distances. Some leading providers are Frontier, AT&T, CenturyLink, etc.
- Satellite Internet: The connection type is suitable for rural or remote areas with poor internet connectivity. However, it is the slowest internet type with high latency and speeds up to 100 Mbps. Some leading ISPs offering satellite internet are HughesNet and Viasat.
- Fixed Wireless: It is another internet type available for rural areas that uses broadcast towers to transmit signals with speeds up to 100 Mbps. Some leading ISPs offering fixed wireless internet are Rise broadband, Nextlink, T-Mobile Home Internet.
Here are some tips to find the right speed for your home/office:
- It is better to go for the double data speed than what is advertised. This is because the advertised speed is offered on a wired connection, while on the WiFi option, around 50-60% speed is provided.
- The right speed choice depends on how many devices you wish to connect because the total bandwidth is split equally among all the connected devices.
- Follow the 20 Mbps dedicated bandwidth rule for each device to get seamless streaming and browsing experience on all the connected devices simultaneously.
- Don’t opt for the Gig plan if your needs are basic, as the speed jump will not be noticeable.
Frequently Asked Questions
A 100 Mbps plan is fast for average data users but not fast enough if you have more than six devices with high-date requirements. The 100 Mbps plan is enough for 3-5 devices with browsing, Zoom calls, SD or HD streaming, and casual online gaming requirements.
Yes, the 300 Mbps plan is fast enough for streaming Netflix content in HD and 4k resolution on 5-6 devices.
It depends on how many devices you wish to connect. To work from home on a single device, 25-30 Mbps speed is sufficient for video calls, emails, research online, etc.
Fiber is the fastest internet type with speeds up to 1-5 Gbps and 99% reliable uptime. The connection uses Fiber-optic bundles to transmit signals faster than other connection types even in bad weather conditions.
The good WiFi speed for home is 100 Mbps for 4-5 devices with basic streaming, online gaming, and web browsing requirements. However, for large households with 8-10 or more devices, 500 Mbps to 1 Gbps plans are ideal for connecting smart home devices, streaming HD and 4K content, and multiplayer gaming.
The good internet speed for both console and online gaming is 25-50 Mbps for a single device with latency rate as low as 20-40 ms. For multiplayer gaming (3-4 people), 100-200 Mbps speed is good.
As per FCC, the basic internet speed for 1-2 devices for normal usage must be 25 Mbps download, and 3 Mbps upload speed. However, 100 Mbps is a basic speed plan for a household with 3-4 devices. For high-end requirements, 1 Gbps residential plans are suitable for 7-10 devices. So, depending on your requirements, choose how much speed you need.