What Are Good Upload and Download Speeds for Internet

We often complain about the speed of the Internet – it’s slow, stuck in download, error in uploading, etc. But do you really understand what Internet speed means and what are the ideal upload and download speeds?

Download signs

When a website takes about 5-10 seconds to load, we immediately dismiss it as slow Internet speed. This is without considering the content that’s being loaded, such as images, videos, graphics, and texts. Without a proper understanding of Internet speeds, it’s going to be very hard to gauge the speed your Internet service provider delivers. Measuring actual performance would likely end up inaccurate. Moreover, you’re going to end up sulking over ‘slow’ Internet connection with all your devices.

Understanding Internet Speed

Running a speed test doesn’t necessarily reflect the accurate measure of the Internet speed that you need. Based on your Internet service provider’s service level, the results of the speed test may help in measuring whether or not the Internet service provider is delivering the promised speed. The speed test verifies that delivery based on the promised speed they’re selling using megabits per second or MBPS.

How-fast-is-fast is a very tricky question. The current record for the fastest Internet connection speed is 2 GBPS or 2,000 MBPS. This is home Internet speed offered by XFINITY in select areas in the United States. That also costs a lot more money than getting what’s commonly offered by most Internet service providers. In relation to that, fast home Internet speeds (on average and likelihood) are around 100 MBPS. That’s considerably fast by normal standards.

However, when you talk about the most ideal speed you’ll need to download or upload content, getting the 100 MBPS may not be that necessary. It may sometimes appear overkill if you’re talking about home Internet speed. Come to think of it, 100 MPBS will cost over $60-70 a month. Sometimes even higher from other providers, particularly those using satellite.

So, is 100MBPS ideal? Not all the time. When it’s a little too heavy for your budget, it’s absolutely not the ideal. Let’s break it into more understandable pieces.

  • Download speed is the speed of transferring Internet content to your home network, computer, or Internet device in megabits per second.
  • Upload speed is the speed of transferring your own files, data, or whatever content to the Internet.
  • Ping or latency is the amount of time it takes for data to travel across the network, or from one computer to another, in milliseconds. This is important when you’re trying to test how fast data is transferred between one computer to another within your ISP’s servers.

These three important elements are crucial in determining what’s a good or better upload or download speeds. These are also the three major elements you’ll see when you run a speed test for your Internet service.

Best Internet Speeds

There are varying Internet activities that require ideal speeds to achieve a level of satisfaction and enjoyment. Activities such as video streaming, audio streaming, gaming, and Live TV, require minimum Internet speeds to be able to load content without the annoying buffering delays and continuity. Here are some of the best Internet speeds based on specific situations:

  • Streaming Netflix requires a minimum 3 MBPS speed with varying recommendations below:
    • Standard definition video streaming is at least 3 MBPS
    • HD video streaming is at least 5 MBPS
    • HDR video streaming is at least 25 MBPS
  • Streaming Live TV using DIRECT NOW requires a minimum of 2.5 MBPS and more depending on the device you’re using. Below are some recommendations:
    • HD video streaming on a mobile device is at least 2.5 to 7.5 MBPS
    • Stream via web browser on a computer is at least 12 MBPS
  • YouTube TV, on the other hand, requires at least 3 MBPS and recommends varying speed depending on video quality, such as below:
    • Standard definition video streaming is at least 3 MBPS
    • HD video streaming on one device is at least 7 MBPS
    • HD video streaming on multiple devices is at least 13 MBPS
  • Streaming standard compressed audio requires at least 1 MBPS.
  • Streaming lossless music requires at least 2 MBPS.
  • Minimum Internet speeds for gaming is at least 4 to 8 MBPS, both download, and upload. This is considering the amount of data being shared in online games. However, to get a very consistent good gaming experience, speeds of at least 10 to 25 MBPS are most highly recommended.

How to speed up your Internet connection?

If you want to speed up your Internet connection or get the most optimum Internet speed offered by your Internet service provider, these recommendations can help you achieve that.

  • Test your Internet speed using a reliable speed test. Keep track of the results and carve out a trend of drops and spikes in the speed. Raise it up to your Internet service provider and negotiate for a more consistent offer to counter the Internet speed results you’ve tracked.
  • Limit the number of users that connect to your Internet service. If you haven’t assigned a password to your hotspot, better do it so you can limit the access to your family members only.
  • Invest in a high-end and sophisticated dual-band wireless router. This will offer two frequencies, which are 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. This will enable you to connect devices on either band, whichever they’re compatible with.
  • Watch out for signal interference that might be affecting the Internet speed and find a way to reduce or eliminate them. This can be in the form of an appliance, such as a microwave, which greatly interferes with the router’s signal. In this case, you might want to make sure your router is far from the microwave. Other elements that can affect Wi-Fi connectivity are pine trees and other pointy things that create vibrations.
  • Invest in range extenders to ensure a continuous and consistent Internet speed across all corners of your house.


Ultimately, the most recommended upload and download speeds for Internet over home use with multiple users are between 12 to 25 MBPS. That’s according to the Federal Communications Commission or FCC. With the growing number of content and the sizes of the data being shared across the Internet, the good upload and download speed shouldn’t be lower than 10 MBPS to fully enjoy the optimum entertainment and purpose of any content over the Internet.