Use the chart below to compare minimum download speed (Mbps) needs for light, moderate and high household use with one, two, three or four devices at a time (such as a laptop, tablet or game console).

You can also compare typical online activities with the minimum Mbps needed for adequate performance for each application by using our Broadband Speed Guide.

For more information on broadband speeds, see our Measuring Broadband America report.

These numbers are rough guidelines and are not based on surveys or experiments conducted by the FCC. You should use your best judgment when choosing your broadband service.

  Light Use
(Basic functions: email, browsing, basic video, VoIP, Internet radio)
Moderate Use
(Basic functions plus one high-demand application: streaming HD video, multiparty video conferencing, online gaming, telecommuting)
High Use
(Basic functions plus more than one high-demand application running at the same time)
1 user on 1 device  Basic Basic Medium
2 users or devices at a time Basic Medium Medium/Advanced
3 users or devices at a time Medium Medium Advanced
4 users or devices at a time Medium Advanced Advanced

Basic Service = 3 to 8 Mbps*

Medium Service = 12 to 25 Mbps

Advanced Service = More than 25 Mbps

*Mbps (Megabits per second) is the standard measure of broadband speed. It refers to the speed with which information packets are downloaded from, or uploaded to, the internet.

Printable Version

Household Broadband Guide (pdf)


Date Last Updated/Reviewed: 
Monday, July 18, 2022