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Get the speed you want

Internet service providers offer plans at varying speeds. Faster data rates let you do more demanding tasks and run more smoothly when connected to multiple devices.

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The speeds listed in the first chart below are merely recommendations. Keep in mind that your connection will need to sustain these speeds (rather than just reach them as peaks) to achieve the performance listed below.

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Providers' availability varies based on region. Subject to providers' terms and conditions.
Download Speeds
Internet Usage Minimum Speed Per User and Device
Web surfing 1.5 Mbps
DVD-quality browsing/viewing 3 Mbps
1080p-quality browsing/viewing 5 Mbps
3D-quality browsing/viewing 12 Mbps
4K Ultra HD-quality browsing/viewing 25 Mbps

These speeds are for devices using the Internet. If you have two devices working at the same time, then you need to add up the speed requirements. For example, if someone is surfing the Internet on their computer (1.5 Mbps) and someone else is streaming a 1080p movie (5 Mbps), then 6.5 Mbps is your recommended speed.

If your connection isn't fast enough, streaming videos can stall due to buffering issues, or your content provider might deliver a lower-quality stream because it senses your connection can't handle a higher-quality one.

Upload Speed Recommendations
Internet Usage Recommended
Online interactive gaming 3 Mbps
Slingbox usage 3 Mbps
Remote cloud access 3 Mbps

Note: If you are looking for the best Internet speeds for online gaming or remote cloud access, you'll need to pay attention to the upload speed within a provider's Internet package.

Online gaming relies on data sent from the customer's location to the host server. Any upload speed that is 2 Mbps or higher should be sufficient. This also applies to Slingbox users and people who access their home content remotely.

Providers Connection Speed Ranges* Hardware Needed
CenturyLink, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse DSL service over existing phone line Up to 65 Mbps Modem
Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Bright House, Suddenlink, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse Fiber optic Up to 1 Gbps Modem
Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Bright House, Suddenlink Coax cable Up to 300 Mbps Modem
HughesNet Wireless/satellite signal Up to 40 Mbps Modem and satellite dish

DSL Internet is available via local telephone networks and is delivered simultaneously with a wired phone service on the same phone line.

Cable Internet is provided via fiber optic/coax cables that run from a cable provider's headend to your house via modem.

Satellite Internet is provided via satellite technology.

*Actual speed availability varies by provider and may not be available in all areas.