What Is a Good Wi-Fi Speed?

futuristic wi-fi router with a green glow sits on a desk in a home office

You’re all set to relax and watch your favorite movie. You have everything ready, and you’re cozy on the couch. Then, it happens. Your internet breaks. The movie won’t load, and you get the dreaded buffering circle. With this kind of interruption, you may be wondering what is a good Wi-Fi speed?

In just a few short steps, you can figure out what internet speed you currently have and what speed you may need for better connectivity.

Measuring Internet Speed

The first area you’ll want to tackle is knowing how to measure internet speed, both in general and for you, personally. You’ll find all internet service providers (ISPs) list their speeds in Megabits per second (Mbps). Gbps — which is 1,000 Mbps — is ultra-fast and isn’t as common as Mbps speeds, but ISPs are reaching those levels more often than ever.

Many ISPs categorize connectivity by download and upload speeds. Your download speed will influence how fast you can get a file, like a document or a movie, off the internet. Conversely, upload speeds influence how fast you can put data on the web.

Typically, internet deals start around 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. They increase in speed from there. To know what speeds you’re currently dealing with, you can use online tools to find out. For instance, Speed Test will measure the download and upload speeds you currently have.

Once the site shows your download and upload speeds, you can decide if you need to make a change to a higher package. If you’re looking for good Wi-Fi speeds, you’ll need to consider a few more factors — primarily, how you use the internet on a daily basis.

Factors That Influence Internet Speed

Do you find your internet slow and lacking good connectivity? Does it only need minor upgrades? Use the results of your speed test to understand where to go from here. Then, consider that the connectivity you need will depend on your location, the number of people and internet-based devices in your household, and how you generally use the internet.

Location affects Wi-Fi. People in urban areas may need faster speeds due to the density of the population and the city’s constant network needs. Someone in a rural area may not have such demands and won’t necessarily need a high-speed plan.

Next, consider how many people are in your household. How many devices does everyone use? If you live alone, a good Wi-Fi speed could be as low as 25 Mbps. However, with more people, that number will go up. Additionally, more devices than ever connect to the internet — phones, computers, printers, and home hubs like Alexa. The more you have, the higher starting speed you’ll need.

Last, how do you use the internet? Will you only be browsing and sending emails? Or will you be gaming online and streaming high-quality videos? The gap between 25 Mbps and 50 Mbps can make a huge difference in practice.

What Is Good Wi-Fi Speed?

With the above information, you’re ready to figure out which internet speed will work best for you. In general, 25 Mbps is a good starting point. These kinds of deals will bring you ideal speeds for internet browsing, video streaming, fast webpage loading, and some online gaming.

However, if you have more devices or people, you’ll want to bump up that plan towards the 100-200 Mbps range. These speeds will allow you to stream and game in even higher quality while people use multiple devices at once. This range will work well for up to five users.

Even faster speeds will range from 300-900 Mbps. Some ISPs, like Xfinity, offer even faster speeds of around 1 Gbps. This level of Wi-Fi speed is ideal for businesses that have many staff members connecting to the internet at once — or individuals who want really fast speeds for professional purposes.

To put things into perspective, think of how fast it takes to download a 5-gigabyte file with your current speed. 200 Mbps can cut that time down to a minute or even just a few seconds. It all depends on your needs and devices.

If cost is a factor in your decision, that too depends on your location. However, in general, Xfinity is a good benchmark to compare other packages with. The company offers 200 Mbps for $39.99 per month.

How to Increase Internet Speed

If you have an in-depth game streaming setup, or you download plenty of big files or have countless devices in your home, you may want to upgrade your internet speed. You can use a bandwidth calculator to see what speeds you’ll need. Then, use these steps to boost your speed:

  • Upgrade your router or switch to a different internet plan
  • Get rid of congestion on your network by reducing the number of devices online at once
  • Connect to your router with an Ethernet cable instead of wirelessly
  • Buy a Wi-Fi range extender to boost the signal all over your home

With these solutions, you’ll be on your way to faster speeds in no time.

Fast Browsing, Enjoyable Internet

What is a good Wi-Fi speed? The answer ultimately depends. Once you see what speeds you currently have, you can figure out where you need to go from there. The key is finding what works for your situation specifically. Then, you’ll be on your way to fast, headache-free internet.