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 states||Mean download speed (Mbps)|
|Rhode Island||129.0 Mbps|
|New Jersey||120.4 Mbps|
|Washington, DC||117.7 Mbps|
|New York||108.8 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 states||Mean download speed (Mbps)|
|West Virginia||55.2 Mbps|
|South Dakota||70.8 Mbps|
|New Mexico||72.2 Mbps|
|Mean download speed (Mbps)||54.4 Mbps|
|Slowest states||West Virginia|
|Mean download speed (Mbps)||55.2 Mbps|
|Mean download speed (Mbps)||55.4 Mbps|
|Mean download speed (Mbps)||56.3 Mbps|
|Mean download speed (Mbps)||60.0 Mbps|
|Mean download speed (Mbps)||61.5 Mbps|
|Mean download speed (Mbps)||64.9 Mbps|
|Slowest states||South Dakota|
|Mean download speed (Mbps)||70.8 Mbps|
|Mean download speed (Mbps)||71.7 Mbps|
|Slowest states||New 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.
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)||State||Average download speed in Mbps (mean)|
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 Wheelwright
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 HighSpeedInternet.com 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.