What is a good internet speed?
A good internet speed is at least 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. These internet speeds are the bare minimum for a broadband connection as defined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). But you’ll get better results with an internet plan that supports download speeds between 40–100 Mbps.
That said, no one wants to overpay for internet speed. You can use our How Much Speed Do You Need? Tool to generate a personalized internet speed recommendation based on how your household uses the internet. Find that sweet spot of sufficient download speed without overpaying for speed you won’t use.
Speeds you should expect from different types of internet
|Typical speed range||Max speeds up to||More information|
|DSL||10–25 Mbps||100 Mbps||Learn more about DSL|
|Cable||50–100 Mbps||1,000 Mbps||Learn more about cable internet|
|Fiber||100+ Mbps||2,000+ Mbps||Learn more about fiber internet|
(3–5 Mbps after data cap)
|100 Mbps||Learn more about satellite internet|
|Fixed wireless||20–30 Mbps||1,000 Mbps||Learn more about fixed-wireless|
Your internet plan defines your maximum speed no matter what type of connection you have.
We suggest fiber internet because it supports equally fast upload and download speeds, but its availability is currently limited. Cable is your next best connection with broader availability and fast downloads.
According to the FCC, both connections are better than DSL and satellite internet in consistently delivering promised speeds.1
While satellite internet, DSL, and fixed wireless internet can reach speeds up to 100 Mbps or more, speeds that fast are more of an exception than the typical experience with these connection types.
|0–5 Mbps||-Checking email|
-Streaming music to one device
-Using Google or Bing
-Streaming SD content to one device
|5–40 Mbps||-Streaming HD and FHD content to one device|
-Videoconferencing with Zoom
-Gaming online on one device
-Streaming games from Stadia
|40–100 Mbps||-Streaming UHD content to one device|
-Playing an online game
-Downloading large files
-Running multiple smart home devices
|100–500 Mbps||-Streaming UHD content to multiple devices|
-Gaming online on multiple devices
-Participating in group Zoom meetings
-Streaming very high quality audio
|500–1,000+ Mbps||-Livestreaming on Twitch or Facebook|
-Streaming 8K UHD content to one device
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.
Enter your zip code below to see which internet speeds are available where you live.
Why doesn’t my internet speed match my plan?
You likely won’t ever see the maximum speed advertised by your provider in the speed test, but your speed test results should come close. The speeds promised by your internet plan are the max speeds you can expect. Most of the time, your internet speeds will fluctuate within a small range of that max speed. What you see on the speed test is simply where your internet speeds are currently.
Internet providers will state “up to” when advertising maximum speeds because many variables can prevent you from hitting that top speed. You may even see disclaimers like “wireless speeds may vary” because Wi-Fi speeds are always inconsistent no matter what provider you choose—it’s just how Wi-Fi works.
For example, there may be issues with the provider’s service area, like faulty connections somewhere within the neighborhood. Speed may be slow because you’re using the internet at peak times, or your router may be outdated. Roots may be growing into the cable buried in your yard.
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 is the amount of data your internet provider transmits to your device each second. Think of your connection as a faucet: the data (water) downloads in a trickle (slow) or a waterfall (fast). Speed is measured in megabits per second. Most of what you do online requires download speed.
Upload speed is the amount of data your device transmits to your internet provider each second. You need upload speed when you’re posting something online or transferring files. Cable and DSL internet have slower upload speeds than their downloads. Fiber typically has equal upload and download speeds.
Latency is the amount of time a data packet takes to reach its destination and bounce back—like a racquetball. You can measure latency using the ping utility that sends a test packet of data to the destination. For example, gamers can ping remote servers to find one with the fastest connection.
Your internet provider will determine your internet type and max speed. If you don’t recognize the provider name, then it’s a subsidiary of a parent company. For example, Xfinity users will often see “Comcast Cable” because Comcast owns Xfinity.
An IP address is similar to your home address: it’s a number used to deliver email and other digital packages to and from your home or office. Our test displays your public IP address assigned to your router by your internet provider. We will never see your private IP addresses.
Our speed test tool locates a server nearest to you to calculate the correct speeds, and your speed test results show the server’s geographic location.
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.
Which internet service providers have the fastest internet speeds?
According to our fastest internet providers report, Google Fiber, Verizon, and MetroNet have the fastest tested internet speeds in the US. The report also places Cox and Xfinity in the top five fastest providers based on more than 3 million results from our internet speed test.
In terms of advertised numbers, Google Fiber and Xfinity have fiber plans that reach up to 2,000 Mbps, but their availability is limited. Many cable internet providers like Spectrum and Xfinity have plans that reach up to 1,000 Mbps and are widely available.
EarthLink and Verizon customers are both highly satisfied with their internet speeds, according to our annual customer satisfaction survey.
Looking for where the fastest and slowest internet speeds are in the US?
Check out our reports that break down the states and cities with the best and worst internet speeds nationwide.
Looking for provider speed test results?
*Average of HighSpeedInternet.com speed test results for all provider’s users.