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Work From Home Internet Speed Test

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Frequently Asked Questions
How do my speeds compare to others?
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How much speed do you need to work from home?
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What is the best internet for working from home?
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Why is my internet so slow?
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How can I improve my internet speed?
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Is Your Internet Good Enough for Working From Home?

Your internet is good enough to work from home if you have download speeds of at least 25 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps. You’re even better off if you can get home Wi-Fi with download speeds of 100 Mbps. You don’t need the fastest speeds ever, but when it comes to working from home, a fast and reliable connection is paramount.

Although most work tasks don’t actually require fast internet, ample bandwidth is important because you need to be able to perform multiple online tasks with ease while also balancing the Wi-Fi needs of roommates or family members. Fast speeds also help make for a fluid workflow and low-stress day—you can download files in a timely fashion and maintain a smooth Wi-Fi connection during crucial meetings and brainstorm sessions.

Take our speed test above to see if your home Wi-Fi is good enough for your remote work tasks. Then keep reading below for in-depth guidance on how to get the best internet for working from home.

Best internet plans for working from home

PlanPriceSpeedOrder online
Google Fiber 1 Gig$70.00/mo.*1,000 Mbps
Xfinity Connect More$40.00/mo.†200 MbpsView Plans
Spectrum Internet®$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.‡Up to 300 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)View Plans
AT&T Fiber Internet 300$55.00/mo.§300 MbpsView Plans
CenturyLink Fiber Internet 200$30.00/mo.║Up to 200 Mbps
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet$50.00/mo.**33–182 MbpsView Plans
Starlink$110.00/mo.††20–220 MbpsView Plans
AT&T Internet up to 100 Mbps (DSL)$55.00/mo.‡‡Up to 100 MbpsView Plans

Looking for a sweet internet connection to handle your daily workload? Type in your zip code below to see what’s available in your area.

How fast should your internet be if you work from home?

Remote work taskRecommended minimum bandwidth
Checking email1–5 Mbps
Using Google Docs1–5 Mbps
Streaming music1–5 Mbps
Making video calls on Zoom1–5 Mbps
Downloading/uploading small files (1 MB–1 GB)25–100 Mbps
Downloading/uploading large files (20 GB or higher)100–1,000 Mbps

To work from home, you should have an internet download speed of at least 25 Mbps and upload speed of 3 Mbps. These speeds are the baseline standards that the Federal Communications Commission sets for broadband internet—and they should be enough to cover most daily work tasks.

Realistically, though, you may want a faster connection. A great download speed for most people is 100 Mbps. That gives you ample bandwidth to cover all your work tasks while leaving plenty of room for streaming, gaming, and more.

Here’s what you can do at work with fast Wi-Fi:

  • Juggle multiple tasks at once
  • Stream music and podcasts while on the job
  • Handle numerous video calls during the workday
  • Share the same Wi-Fi with others without slowdowns or disconnects

Get fiber internet for smooth video calls (and other benefits)

If you really want good internet for working from home, get fiber.

Fiber internet is the fastest and most reliable internet you can get. Not only does fiber have incredibly fast speeds, but it also gets you symmetrical uploads and downloads.

When your upload speeds are just as fast as your download speeds, you get a ton more support to handle upload-heavy tasks like Zoom calls, uploading files to a cloud, posting to YouTube, and streaming over Twitch. It’s the best internet for influencers and other full-time content creators.

Run a search with your zip code below to see if any fiber internet providers can hook you up with fast internet in your area.

Can you work at home with satellite internet?

Yes, you can work from home with satellite internet. But it’s not as easy as working from home with a faster connection, and you may need to budget for slowed speeds and extra data. And you’ll need to make sure other people and devices in your home aren’t trying to stream or video conference at the same time that you work, especially if you have an important meeting to take.

Satellite isn’t an ideal internet connection type for remote working. Since the connection is beamed down literally from space, you have to contend with slow speeds, high latency, and tight data restrictions. Satellite internet plans also cost significantly more than most internet packages.

If you live in a rural area, you’re better off seeking out a fixed wireless or DSL internet plan if they’re available. Or just work from the office, which (hopefully) can get you a better connection.

What is the best satellite internet provider for working from home?

ProviderSpeedData capPriceOrder online
Starlink20–220 Mbps1 TB/mo. (after that speeds reduced)$110.00–$500.00/mo.*View Plans
HughesNet25 Mbps (same speed on all plans)15–100 GB/mo. (after that speeds reduced)$49.99–$124.99/mo.†
Viasat12–100 Mbps12–100 GB/mo. (after that speeds reduced)$30.00–$169.99/mo.‡

Starlink is the best satellite internet provider for working from home. Though installation prices are steep, Starlink’s flagship plan gives you ample speeds and 1 TB of high-speed data per month—a luxury compared to the stringent data caps you get from other satellite providers.

How much data do you need for working from home?

Remote work taskMinimum recommended data per month
Streaming video in HD300 GB
Making video calls on Zoom60 GB
Web browsing and checking email40 GB
Streaming music or podcasts13 GB

Ideally you need at least 600 GB per month of internet data if you’re working from home.

While internet speeds are important, you also need to think about the amount of data you consume per month as part of your regular tasks. Zoom video calls, downloads, and video streams can be a huge drain on your data, so make sure you have a big enough data cap on your monthly Wi-Fi package.

Data caps put a limit on how much data you can use before overage fees or throttled speeds kick in. Most providers give customers 1 TB per month, which is plenty. But if your job involves a ton of downloading and Zoom calls, aim to get an internet plan with unlimited data.

How much internet speed do you need for Zoom calls?

Activity*Required internet speed (upload/download)
1:1 video call in “high-quality video” (480p)**600 Kbps/600 Kbps (0.6 Mbps)
1:1 video call in 780p HD1.2 Mbps/1.2 Mbps
Sending and receiving video in 1080p HD1.8 Mbps/1.8 Mbps
Group video call in 480p SD800 Kbps (0.8 Mbps)/1.0 Mbps
Group call/gallery view in 720p HD1.5 Mbps/1.5 Mbps
Sending and receiving group call video in 1080p HD2.5 Mbps/3.0 Mbps
Screen sharing50–150 Kbps (both upload/download)
Audio VoiP60–80 Kbps (both upload/download)
Zoom Phone60–100 Kbps (both upload/download)

Technically, Zoom doesn’t require a whole lot of speed to work properly. According to the app’s bandwidth requirements, you don’t even need 1 Mbps of download speeds to get a Zoom video call going in 480p SD resolution.

Honestly, though, you’re going to want a fast and consistent internet connection for this sort of thing.

In our experience, sluggish Wi-Fi makes for herky-jerky video calls. The video buffers. There are delays between the video and audio. Voices start speeding up and slowing down as the connection struggles to play catch-up with the live feed. It’s frustrating—and potentially disastrous if you’re conducting important business.

So if you’re using Zoom all day—or you’re regularly on another video conferencing app, like Skype, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts or WhatsApp—don’t stick to bare-minimum speeds. Leave a wide buffer of bandwidth to account for other tasks, other users, and technical glitches that may come along unexpectedly.

Pro tip:

Take a look at our Zoom speed guide for tips on how to get a solid video call when you have slow Wi-Fi.

How much internet speed do you need for downloading files?

File10 Mbps down/1 Mbps up25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up100 Mbps down/10 Mbps up1,000 Mbps down/1,000 Mbps up
Downloading a 5-page PDF file (5 MB)4 seconds1 secondLess than 1 secondLess than 1 second
Downloading a small video file (300 MB)4 minutes, 24 seconds1 minute, 45 seconds26 seconds2 seconds
Downloading a large piece of software (3 GB)40 minutes16 minutes4 minutes24 seconds
Downloading a large video file (10 GB)2 hours, 30 minutes1 hour15 minutes1 minute, 30 seconds

Next to video conference calls, downloading and uploading are the biggest bandwidth bandits in the work-from-home world.

It’s true that many workplaces don’t require you to download large files on the regular. Most stuff we download for work—say, a PDF or screenshot or high-resolution image—can be downloaded in a matter of seconds even on a 10 Mbps connection.

But lots of jobs entail downloading of larger files, including software, videos, and more. Also, many workers have to upload files as well, helping them work over cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive. In these cases, it’s better to have faster speeds because it minimizes the amount of time it takes to complete each download (or upload). Fast speeds also let you multitask a lot easier, without fears that the download will freeze and you’ll have to start all over.

Use a hotspot for remote work at hotels and restaurants

Hotspots aren’t the best tools to use for working from home. But when you’re working from a hotel or a restaurant, they can’t be beat.

A hotspot gives you a Wi-Fi connection on the go, letting you connect laptops, phones, and other Wi-Fi devices. Most phones come with built-in hotspots, but you can buy a standalone hotspot to get faster speeds and connect more devices.

Best hotspots for remote work

ProductPriceConnectivityMax devicesOrder online
Inseego 5G MiFi M2000$336.005G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)30View on T-Mobile
Verizon Inseego Jetpack MiFi 8800L Hotspot$199.994G LTE, 802.11ac15VIew on Verizon
NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 4G LTE Mobile Router$338.004G LTE, 802.11ac20View on Amazon
NETGEAR Nighthawk M6 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router$799.995G (mm-wave, C-band), Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)32View on Amazon
Alcatel LINKZONE$84.874G LTE, 802.11n16View on Amazon
Huawei E5577-320 4G LTE Mobile WiFi Hotspot$83.994G LTE, 802.11n10View on Amazon

Of course, you can always use the Wi-Fi hotspot at a coffee shop or restaurant to get some work done when you’re away from home. But, like, do you really want to do that? Restaurant Wi-Fi is often horribly slow and unreliable, and connecting to an unsecured public network also opens you up for attacks by malware and viruses.

Using a hotspot gives you faster speeds—because you’re not sharing your internet with 100 other people. And quality hotspots also come with password protection and other security features like WPA2 encryption, keeping your sensitive work docs safe.

For more information, read our full guide to portable internet and our guide to the best hotspots on the market today.

Why use a hotspot instead of coffee shop Wi-Fi?

  • Faster speeds
  • Connectability for more users
  • Better privacy and security safeguards

What to do if your internet speed is slower than expected

There are several reasons why your speed test results might not be as fast as you expected. Try these tips to see if you can get a more accurate reading:

  • Temporarily disable your firewall (but don’t forget to turn it back on afterward) and rerun the test.
  • Reboot your modem and router, and rerun the test.
  • Unplug your router from the modem, plug a desktop or laptop into the modem’s Ethernet port, and rerun the test.
  • If you have a wireless gateway rather than a separate modem and router, plug a desktop or laptop into one of the Ethernet ports, and rerun the test.

If you see inconsistent results, there might be a bottleneck on your end. You can troubleshoot poor internet speeds with our guide on how to fix slow internet. But your internet connection may just be slow either from your plan or your internet type.

If nothing helps, call your internet provider or look for a new one.

How to make sense of your speed test results

Here’s a brief overview of what your speed test results mean and how they affect your internet’s performance. For more in-depth information, check out our consumer’s guide to internet speed.

Download speed

The speed at which your device pulls data from the internet. Usually measured in Mbps or Gbps.

Upload speed

The speed at which your device sends data to the internet. Usually measured in Mbps or Gbps.

Latency (ping)

The time (measured in milliseconds) it takes for a signal to travel from your device to an internet server and back. Lower latency means your connection has a better response time for activities like gaming and livestreams.

Provider

A company that provides internet services in a local area. Examples include Xfinity, Spectrum, and Google Fiber.

IP address

Internet protocol address—the unique numerical code that identifies an internet-connected device and its geographic location.

Server location

The location of the server you connect to in order to run the speed test.

How do I test my Wi-Fi speed?

You can use our internet speed test to check your Wi-Fi speed. Just follow these steps.

Test your Wi-Fi speed with a separate modem and router

Step 1: Run our speed test on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop connected to your Wi-Fi network while standing next to your router and record the speed test results.

Step 2: Connect a wired desktop or laptop to one of the wireless gateway’s Ethernet ports.

Step 3: Rerun our speed test with the wired connection, and compare the results against the first Wi-Fi speed test.If you see a huge difference between the two tests, check out our guide on what to do if you’re experiencing slow Wi-Fi.

Looking for an easy way to test and track your internet speed on your phone?

Download our free, easy-to-use speed test app for quick and reliable results.

         

Looking for provider speed test results?

AT&T

AT&T logo

Avg. Speed: 56.92 Mbps*

View Full Results

Xfinity

Xfinity logo

Avg. Speed: 90.23 Mbps*

View Full Results

CenturyLink

CenturyLink logo

Avg. Speed: 26.93 Mbps*

View Full Results

Spectrum

spectrum internet provider logo

Avg. Speed: 65.59 Mbps*

View Full Results

Frontier

Frontier internet provider logo

Avg. Speed: 61.28 Mbps*

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Verizon

Verizon

Avg. Speed: 93.76 Mbps*

View Full Results

*Average of HighSpeedInternet.com speed test results for all provider’s users.

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