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Household Broadband Guide

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.

  Light Use
(Basic functions only: email, web surfing, basic streaming video)
Moderate Use
(Basic functions plus one high-demand application: streaming HD, video conferencing, OR online gaming)
High Use
(Basic functions plus more than one high demand application running at the same time)
1 user on 1 device (e.g., laptop, tablet, or game console) Basic Basic Medium
2 users or devices at a time Basic Basic Medium/Advanced
3 users or devices at a time Basic Basic/Medium Advanced
4 users or devices at a time Basic/Medium Medium Advanced

Basic Service = 1 to 2 Mbps*

Medium Service = 6 to 15 Mbps

Advanced Service = More than 15 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.

Reviewed: October 30, 2014

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