Work from Home Internet Speeds – How Fast Is Fast Enough?

Whether you have recently ditched the 9-to-5 grind to start working remotely or you’re a work from home veteran, you may be wondering how fast your Internet connection should really be.

There’s nothing more frustrating than the sound of someone working from home without a proper connection. Over the past two years, work from home has become the norm for millions and millions of people and the speed of the Internet connection is now essential for productivity.

But what kind of Internet speed do you really need when you work from home? We put together a helpful guide to understand the minimum Internet speed that will help you work from home without a hiccup and what is actually overkill.

internet speeds

What is the minimum Internet speed to work from home?

You should have at least 25 Mbps for download and 3 Mbps for upload in order to be able to stream content, keep up with video calls and access any cloud heavy applications that you may be required for your work.

Most likely, your current Internet plan will allow you to work from home without too many interruptions because unless you live in a remote rural area, most providers already offer more than 25 Mbps for most of their plans. 

If you’re shopping around for a new Internet service provider, you may be wondering whether the recommended download and upload speeds for the most common work from home apps.

Here’s a quick list:

  • Zoom: 1.2 – 3 Mbps
  • Skype: 30 Kbps – 8 Mbps
  • Slack: 200 Kbps – 4 Mbps

As you can see, you don’t need fabulous speeds to access some of the most common work from home apps. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that when you’re working from home, you’re sharing the Internet with your partner, kids, or roommate, which means that you will need more speed for everyone to remain connected and not fight for the bandwidth.

Here’s what kind of minimum bandwidth you need to stream your favorite music or videos:

  • Spotify: 160 kbps
  • Apple Music: 256 kbps
  • YouTube Music: 256 kbps
  • YouTube: 2.5 Mbps
  • Netflix: 1.5 Mbps (medium)
  • Amazon Prime Video: 5 Mbps (HD)
work from home internet speeds

What is a good Internet speed for working from home?

A good Internet speed for working from home depends on your situation. For example, if it’s just you working from home and you don’t need to tackle projects that require you to upload large files, deliver graphic designs to clients, or attend live videoconferences, you could do okay with a connection of at least 50 Mbps.

However, if your partner or roommate also works from home or you have children who want to play games on their console while you’re working, you want to start adding more speed. And if you are a graphic designer, photographer, or YouTuber, or you need to hop on multiple video calls a day, you definitely want to look into faster speeds.

Download speeds of 100 Mbps should be enough for most families not only when you’re working but also when it’s time to relax. This sort of speed will allow you to stream the latest episodes from your favorite TV show while your partner is playing a game on the console and the kids are on their tablets. If you want to check out what your current download/upload internet speeds are currently you can use Speedtest by Ookla.

home internet speeds

What is an excellent Internet speed for working from home?

If you have a family who loves to spend most of their time online and into smart home systems, you should look into downloading speeds of 200 Mbps and more. This is a good speed for larger households where all family members play online games, stream Netflix, or watch videos in 4K.

How do you increase your Wi-Fi speeds when you work from home?

No matter what Internet plan you have at home, there are multiple ways to increase Wi-Fi speeds without having to switch providers or upgrade to a more expensive plan.

Here’s what you can do to make sure that your Wi-Fi connection is fast enough to handling working from home:

  • Check the placement of your router to make sure it’s centrally located in the way from any obstacles in the room.
  • Make sure your router is updated to the latest firmware version.
  • Try to boost your Wi-Fi signal if you don’t get the same speeds in all rooms of your house. You can easily do so by investing in a Wi-Fi extender so you can get quality signal in every corner of your home.
home wifi router

What is typically considered fast Internet in urban and rural areas?

The concept of fast Internet may be different from country to country, but generally, you would expect any connection over 25 Mbps for download and 3 Mbps for upload tool be defined as broadband Internet. 

The global average for broadband Internet is 93 Mbps for download and 52 Mbps for upload. The speeds are definitely faster in urban centers, while rural areas lag behind considerably in most countries.

For example, rural Internet speed averages were just 39.01 Mbps in the US in 2019. This means that many people living in areas with poor Internet might experience difficulties working from home. 

Fiber optic Internet is becoming more and more popular in many countries. Still, the infrastructure is often too expensive to deploy in rural areas, so most residents are currently limited to satellite Internet, which is often unstable.

The minimum Internet connection that allows you to work from home without any difficulties should be at least 25 Mbps for download and 3 Mbps for upload. The rule of thumb is to add another 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload for every additional person in your household. This way, you can be sure that you can perform your work from home tasks without issues.

rural internet speeds

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