What is a good internet speed for you? | News & Events

News and Events

What is a good internet speed for… you?

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Pinpointing your home's internet requirements isn't an exact science. "Good" internet is a sliding scale depending on your device, the number of users, time of day and even your neighborhood.

Rightsizing the right tech with your lifestyle is something we work through with customers every day, so let’s help you determine what fits your needs.

Understanding bandwidth, uploads and downloads.

Imagine that you're driving into a city. If you're taking a one-lane highway during peak traffic times, a bumper-to-bumper gridlock means that you'll get there slower. A two-lane highway will get you there faster – three-lane, four-lane and so on. Everyone is sharing the highway, but there's lots of room to steadily keep moving to your destination.

Bandwidth is the size of the highway. The larger it gets, the more data your household can use at a time.

Bandwidth is expressed in megabits per second (Mbps) or gigabits per second (Gbps), or how much data travels to your home each second. A gigabit is equal to 1,000 megabits – or double the speed of 500 Mbps.

Each device or type of entertainment requires a certain bit rate to function at its best. For example, receiving an email barely consists of any data, whereas streaming in 4K video will require a higher bit rate. Back to our analogy above, an email is a speedy motorcycle, whereas a 4K video is a semi-truck.

However, bandwidth – or internet speed – isn't measured by one number alone.

  • Download speed tells you how long it will take to receive a file. For example, streaming on Netflix means that you're receiving video data on your device.
  • Upload speed tells you how long it will take to send a file. For example, video conferencing means that you're sending video data to another device.

Historically, internet service providers deliver higher download speeds than upload speeds through a coaxial cable connection. However, as we look toward even more teleconferencing, telehealth and augmented reality, symmetrical download and upload speeds are possible with advancing fiber-optic growth.

Before you shop, know how many devices you really have.

You may not realize just how many devices you have in your home that use data. Vacuums, refrigerators, wearables (watches, heart monitors), thermostats, security devices, tablets… you get the idea. All these devices can be operating in the home all at once. Just because you aren’t actively using a device, doesn’t mean it isn’t pulling some bandwidth – potentially interfering with your favorite activities below.

Streaming Wifi

What is a good internet speed for… streaming?

Netflix®, Hulu®, Amazon Prime®, HBO Max® – I stream, you stream, we all stream! Internet speeds of yesteryear would have sputtered and stalled out to meet today's streaming demands.

To find the best internet speed for streaming, we took a look at what's recommended. Netflix recommends a download speed of at least 5 Mbps for high-quality HD video, but that's for just one user/device at a time. If you're looking to stream in 4K, then Netflix recommends reserving 25 Mbps of bandwidth.1 (Compared to HBO Max's 4K streaming recommendation of 50+ Mbps.2)

Provider HD Streaming 4K Streaming
Netflix1 5 Mbps  25 Mbps 
HBO Max2 5 Mbps  50+ Mbps 
Hulu3  3 Mbps  16 Mbps 
Amazon Prime4 5 Mbps   

Are you a single individual binge-watching your favorite shows with minimal distractions and just a few in-home devices? We recommend 250 Mbps or higher.5

That said, from our experience, most households today will be streaming and using multiple other devices at once. We recommend 500 Mbps or higher.5

Love streaming? Check out MidcoTV to bring all your apps together

Work from Home

What is a good internet speed for… working from home?

Before the spread of COVID-19, 20% of people worked remotely. Now, more than half of employed adults (54%) hope to continue working from home.6 If you're part of this group, how does this affect your home's bandwidth?

The best internet speed for working from home can mean different things for different people. For example, you may be making phone calls and sending emails. These tasks don't typically take up much bandwidth, especially if you're the only one using the internet during your working hours. Keep in mind that many business phone calls happen digitally these days, so you're not totally off the hook. We recommend 250 Mbps or higher.5

One of the more bandwidth-consuming activities of today's work-from-home employees is the video conference call. Bandwidth requirements depend on what conference call provider you're using, as well as varying based on multiple factors, including:

  • Web camera make, model and resolution
  • Equipment make and model
  • Number of cameras activated in a group meeting
  • Number of active cameras on the same network
  • How many users are actively utilizing the network
  • If users are screen sharing and/or multitasking

We recommend 500 Mbps downloads or higher.5

Family Internet

What is a good internet speed for… families?

If you're starting to feel like your kids have more devices than you do, that's ok – you're not alone. iPads, gaming consoles, smartphones and wearables are increasingly popular for kids and teens.

Our advice? Count them up and see how many devices are in your home (including your own) and understand how many might be used at the same time. On average, we guess it might be around eight depending on your family's size. And remember, if you want to avoid meltdowns from your 14-year-old who can't TikTok® while their sibling is gaming, higher bandwidth may help. We recommend 750 Mbps downloads or higher.5

Win at Parenting with Wi-Fi Controls

Gaming Wifi

What is a good internet speed for… gaming?

If you're into gaming, you know it's more than just gaming. You're gaming, chatting, livestreaming and maybe even searching for pizza delivery on your phone. When we're talking about tech matching your lifestyle, tech is your lifestyle.

We recommend 1 Gbps downloads or higher.5

Extra Credit 

With gaming, bandwidth is just the beginning. Trusting an internet provider that values minimal ping, latency and jitter will improve your overall experience, too.

  • Ping: Measures the time between a signal sent from one computer to another and determines network speed or the status of the target computer.
  • Latency: The time it takes for a data packet to reach its destination and return to the sender. This is measured in milliseconds and is a very important part of delivering quality internet service. Good latency is directly related to reliability and quality. 
  • Jitter: The amount of latency inconsistency over a network. This is also measured in milliseconds and is one of the more important factors in delivering audio and video services.

Improving your internet speed.

A higher internet speed package isn't everything. Sometimes, your highway can slow down due to potholes or road construction. If you're experiencing slow internet and aren't sure why, consider some common issues, such as:

  • Device age
  • Outdated equipment
  • Cords and connections
  • Equipment location

We recommend checking these things before you decide to upgrade to that next level.

Ready to shop?

Find out which Midco internet speeds are available in your area. We’ll help you get the best package and price for your budget and lifestyle.


1 Netflix: Internet connection speed recommendation
2 HBO Max: HBO Max loads slow, buffers, or pauses
3 Hulu: Internet speed recommendations, Q32021
4 Prime Video: Issues with Live Streams on Prime Video
5 Midco cannot guarantee recommendations due to many factors such as location, device type, number of devices, device use and other factors. 
Pew Research Center: How the Coronavirus Outbreak Has – and Hasn’t – Changed the Way Americans Work, Q42022