What Is a Good Download and Upload Speed?

Most internet service providers (ISPs) offer different internet plans with different speeds. Sometimes, choosing a new internet service can be very confusing. Do you want the fastest or the most wallet-friendly connection?

Over the last few years, home networks have increased their download and upload speed. Some of the best internet plans offer more speed than the needs of an average internet user. Getting a plan that’s faster than what you need will cost you a hefty amount. So, it’s better to know all the details before picking up a plan that meets your requirements.

What is Download Speed?

Download speed refers to the time it takes to transfer information from the internet to your phone. When internet users talk about speed, they’re referring to the download speed in particular. For example, when you watch Netflix, browse the web, or update your OS, the information is sent by the server to your device. Almost every online activity requires a good download speed; hence, a connection with a good speed will download files much faster.

What Download Speed Do I Need?

Most households need a download speed of 10 Mbps per person. However, a good download speed for you depends on your internet usage and the number of devices connected to your home network. If you need internet only for checking emails or web surfing, then 10 Mbps is more than enough for your online experience. Whereas, with bandwidth-intensive activities, such as video streaming on Netflix or Hulu, you’ll want to upgrade your download speed to avoid buffering.

What Is Upload Speed?

Upload speed refers to the rate at which information transfers from your device to the internet. We may not notice this, but we upload data all the time. For example, posting a photo on Facebook or even sending an audio note on WhatsApp needs an upload speed. Even when we use Google to search a query, we are uploading information on the web. That information goes from the browser to the server to display results on our screens.

Most internet tasks require a good upload speed but if you are a content creator on social media, you’ll likely have an issue with slow upload speeds while posting photos, videos, audios, or larger files. Slow upload speeds will keep you waiting for hours to store your data on a cloud-based server or upload your content online.

What Upload Speed Do I Need?

For most internet users, a good upload speed is 5 Mbps. Cable internet offer upload speeds ranging from 5 Mbps to 1000 Mbps. On the other hand, a DSL internet connection can have upload speeds as low as 1.5 Mbps. Most online activities can be carried out with 1.5 Mbps. But, you will encounter issues when several tasks such as uploading high-resolution images, video chatting, or live streaming videos are being carried out at once. 

The best solution for low speeds is to get fiber internet. Since they have symmetrical upload speeds, your upload speed will be as good as your download speed. So, even if you live stream videos during peak hours, you won’t have any speed issues.

What Internet Speed Do I Need?

If you want to browse social media, stream in HD or 4K, play games online, and work from home, you will need an internet speed of 50-100 Mbps.

Here are some good internet speeds offered by many ISPs, depending on your online activities and the number of devices connected to the same network:

Internet Speed Number of devices Activities
5-25 Mbps 1-2 Checking emails

Web browsing

Streaming music

Streaming SD videos

25-50 Mbps 1-3 Light work from home


Streaming music

Streaming HD and 4K videos

50-100 Mbps 2-4 Gaming

Using home security devices

Running a home office

Streaming 4K videos

100-500 Mbps 2-5 Gaming

Using home security and smart home devices

Running a home office

Streaming 4K videos

500-1,000 Mbps 10+ Gaming

Using home security and smart home devices

Running a home office or creative profession

Streaming 4K videos


If your current speed is not enough for your online activities, switch to AT&T Wireless for unlimited high-speed data with 5G without any extra cost. 

Plan Price Features
AT&T UNLIMITED ELITE $85 per month per line  Unlimited high-speed data 

AT&T ActiveArmor℠ advanced security

4K UHD streaming 

40GB hotspot data

6 months of Stadia Pro gaming streaming

HBO Max™

AT&T UNLIMITED EXTRA $75 per month per line  Unlimited data + 50GB of Premium Data

AT&T ActiveArmor℠ advanced security

Standard-definition streaming

15GB hotspot data

6 months of Stadia Pro gaming streaming

AT&T UNLIMITED STARTER $65 per month per line  Unlimited data

AT&T ActiveArmor℠ advanced security

Standard-definition streaming

3GB hotspot data

6 months of Stadia Pro gaming streaming


Download Speed Versus Upload Speed: Which Speed Is More Important?

We are constantly downloading and uploading information online; however, the data we upload is usually very small, compared to our downloads. Even when we visit an online shop, your browser downloads information in the form of text and images, including ads that appear in our search results. On the other hand, the only information we upload is the search terms you enter and the information from every button and link we click on. Therefore, generally, your upload speed doesn’t need to be faster than your download speed.

Do I Need More Speed?

If you’re wondering whether you need more speed or not, see if your speed needs are being met. For example, when it takes too long to load a page or you get unexpected pauses, it indicates that you need more speed than what you currently have. So, if your video stops in the middle because of buffering or you have to wait for the images to appear on a web page, it’s time to get faster speeds.

The Bottom Line

You need fast internet for downloading and uploading data from the internet; however, you do not need to pay for an internet plan that promises speeds faster than what you need. So, check out BuyTVInternetPhone for the best internet packages that meet your requirements.