Compare typical online activities with the minimum download speed (Megabits per second, or Mbps) needed for adequate performance for each application. Additional speed may enhance performance. Speeds are based on running one activity at a time.

For household broadband needs, use our Household Broadband Guide to compare minimum 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).

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

Activity Minimum Download Speed (Mbps)
Email 0.5
Web browsing  
Job searching, navigating government websites 0.5
Interactive pages and short educational videos 1
Streaming radio Less than 0.5
Phone calls (VoIP) Less than 0.5
Watching video  
Standard streaming videos 0.7
Streaming feature movies 1.5
HD-quality streaming movie or university lecture 4
Video conferencing  
Basic video conferencing 1
HD video conference and telelearning 4
Game console connecting to the Internet 1
Two-way online gaming in HD 4