When comparing internet plans, how do you know what a good internet speed is? The best internet speed is different for everyone, and it depends on how you use the internet. 

  • Do you go online to do basic functions like check email or social media? 

  • Do you work from home and make video calls frequently?

  • Are you streaming video in HD? 

How does internet speed work? 

A good internet speed also depends on how many people are in your household. The Federal Communications Commission recommends that a one- or two-person household could operate with internet speeds up to 10 Mbps.

  • Internet speed is measured in units called megabits per second, or Mbps. This is different from MBps, which stands for megabytes per second. One bit = 1/8 of a byte. 

Meanwhile, a larger family would likely do better with an internet plan offering speeds up to 25 Mbps.

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What is download speed?

Most internet providers advertise plans based on the download speed they offer. 

Download speed determines how fast data can be delivered to your home. If you’re streaming music on Spotify or watching movies on Netflix, you are receiving data. You’ll want to pick the right internet plan with the download speed that fits your internet habits. 

Is upload speed important?

You’ll also find upload speed noted on many internet plans. Upload speed refers to how fast you can send data such as pictures or files to another device online. 

The FCC recommends a minimum upload speed of 3 Mbps for most households. Typically, though, download speed will be more important when choosing an internet plan. 

Who offers fast internet speeds?

The internet speeds providers offer you will depend on the type of internet connection available in your area. 

Fiber and cable internet connections will deliver the fastest download speeds. A digital subscriber line, or DSL, internet connection will also offer higher speeds.

Xfinity 

Gigabit Pro Internet. Xfinity offers one of the fastest internet speed plans today. Their Gigabit Pro Internet plan has speeds up to 2,000 Mbps. This plan would fit a household that has several connected devices at the same time, streams 4K video, or participates frequently in online multiplayer gaming. Note that the plan isn’t available in all areas, and your desktop or laptop will need to meet specific system requirements. 

Cost: $299.95 a month with a two-year agreement. 

Gigabit Speed. The next fastest internet speed offered from Xfinity is 1,000 Mbps with their Gigabit Speed plan. This plan is ideal for a home that has multiple connected devices and includes smart-home technology. 

Cost: $299.95 a month with a two-year agreement. 

EarthLink

HyperLink. The HyperLink plan from EarthLink offers internet speeds up to 1,000 Mbps via a fiber internet connection. The HyperLink plan comes with no data caps. 

Cost: $99.95 a month with a one-year agreement. 

AT&T

AT&T Internet 1000. AT&T’s fiber internet connection plan offers speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. with this speed, you are able to download a 1GB file in less than a minute as well as stream HD and 4K Ultra HD video. 

Cost: $60 a month with a one-year agreement. 

CenturyLink

Fiber Gigabit. CenturyLink’s Fiber Gigabit internet plan offers speeds up to 940 Mbps. If you work from home, stream HD or 4K video, this plan might be a good fit for you. 

Cost: $65 a month with a one-year agreement.