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The 10 Fastest and Slowest States for Internet Speeds in 2021

In 2021, our internet speed test results show the national average internet speed is 99.3 Mbps. But before you bemoan the fact that your speeds are much slower than that, make sure you know how much internet speed you actually need.

You can always look for a faster internet provider in your area, but sometimes the speeds you need aren’t available. If you find yourself in an internet desert, you may want to move somewhere that’s more tech-friendly.

We ranked each state (and Washington, DC) by the fastest average internet speeds. Where does your state stand?

How did we get these results? Here’s our methodology.

Top 10 fastest states for internet

The East Coast has the fastest speeds in the US, which are often more than double the speeds in some rural areas.

Fastest statesMean download speed (Mbps)
Rhode Island129.0 Mbps
New Jersey120.4 Mbps
Delaware119.1 Mbps
Maryland118.2 Mbps
Washington, DC117.7 Mbps
Virginia116.7 Mbps
Massachusetts116.4 Mbps
Texas110.7 Mbps
California110.0 Mbps
New York108.8 Mbps

Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, and several other states on the East Coast all have average internet speeds over 110 Mbps. And neighboring New York isn’t far behind at 108.8 Mbps.

Tech-heavy Texas and California help cap off the fastest states with averages of 110.7 Mbps and 110.0 Mbps, respectively.

Top 10 slowest states for internet

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) still defines broadband internet as 25 Mbps and up. But these days, even the slowest average internet speeds in each state are at least double that.

Slowest statesMean download speed (Mbps)
Montana54.4 Mbps
West Virginia55.2 Mbps
Idaho55.4 Mbps
Maine56.3 Mbps
Wyoming60.0 Mbps
Alaska61.5 Mbps
Arkansas64.9 Mbps
South Dakota70.8 Mbps
Iowa71.7 Mbps
New Mexico72.2 Mbps
Slowest statesMontana
Mean download speed (Mbps)54.4 Mbps
Slowest statesWest Virginia
Mean download speed (Mbps)55.2 Mbps
Slowest statesIdaho
Mean download speed (Mbps)55.4 Mbps
Slowest statesMaine
Mean download speed (Mbps)56.3 Mbps
Slowest statesWyoming
Mean download speed (Mbps)60.0 Mbps
Slowest statesAlaska
Mean download speed (Mbps)61.5 Mbps
Slowest statesArkansas
Mean download speed (Mbps)64.9 Mbps
Slowest statesSouth Dakota
Mean download speed (Mbps)70.8 Mbps
Slowest statesIowa
Mean download speed (Mbps)71.7 Mbps
Slowest statesNew Mexico
Mean download speed (Mbps)72.2 Mbps

Rural states like Montana, West Virginia, and Wyoming have the slowest internet speeds, averaging only about 55 Mbps. And even though it’s on the East Coast like many of the fastest states, Maine has some of the slowest internet speeds and is one of the most rural states in the US.

Urban and more populous states typically have the speed advantage over rural areas, and this digital divide was made even more apparent by COVID-19. However, on average, internet speeds in the US are only getting better.

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Average internet speeds improved significantly in 2021

In our 2020 fastest and slowest internet speeds report, we saw the top 10 average speeds range from 67.2 Mbps to 84.1 Mbps. This year, 34 states beat that top average speed—and all but seven states exceeded 67.2 Mbps.

Rhode Island now ranks as number one for fastest internet speeds in the US, beating out Maryland’s two-time record.

Montana ranks last in 2021 with average internet speeds of 54.4 Mbps, but still showed a vast improvement from its 2020 average internet speeds of 30.1 Mbps.

Alaska was the slowest state in 2020, with average speeds of 20.6 Mbps. But with improved average speeds of 61.5 Mbps in 2021, The Last Frontier is now on par with some of the faster speeds we saw in 2020.

Overall, we’re seeing internet speeds rise to meet demands nationwide. Do you have the internet speeds you want in your state?

States with the fastest (and slowest) average internet speeds

Rank (average download speed)StateAverage download speed in Mbps (mean)
1Rhode Island129
2New Jersey120.4
5Washington, DC117.7
10New York108.8
11New Hampshire106.7
21North Carolina94.1
24South Carolina88.5
39North Dakota74.5
42New Mexico72.2
44South Dakota70.8
50West Virginia55.2


Our results include speed tests from February 1, 2020, to March 16, 2021, and include 3,105 cities. We required a minimum of 100 speed tests for cities to be included in our data set. 

We filtered out incomplete, duplicate, and cellular phone data to see what most people were working with on their laptops, desktops, and home-connected devices.

After filtering, we used a total of 1,761,079 results generated from our internet speed test tool to rank states as the fastest and slowest for average internet speeds in the United States.

Author -

Trevor's written professionally for five years for editorial publications and retail/e-commerce sites. He lives in Salt Lake City and enjoys photography and making music in his spare time, or you can catch him on your local dance floor bustin' a move.

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.