Back to top
Back to Speed TestBack to Speed Test

What broadband speed do I need?

What broadband speed do I need?

Share this guide:

Last updated: 21 May 2021

Unsure why your internet is so slow? It could be because you do not have enough bandwidth, or a fast enough broadband connection (internet speed).

Internet speeds are advertised in terms of megabits per second (Mbps). But such terms can feel fairly abstract, so this guide can help you apply them to your life. 

What broadband speed do I need for streaming films and TV?

Streaming TV and films are now staple pastimes of our entertainment. What internet speed you need depends, in part, on the streaming platform you’re using and whether you’re after HD viewing.

We’ve outlined the minimum speeds you’ll need for streaming content from your favourite services.

Streaming service



Ultra HD

Amazon Prime Video




BBC iPlayer



Not yet available









Confused by what the numbers and acronyms above mean? Read our guide on the difference between a bit and a byte for more information.

What is a good broadband speed for video calling?

Coronavirus has thrown video calling into the limelight as a necessity. Where before we may have occasionally Skyped or Facetimed family far away, or dialled-in to a meeting from home, a huge proportion of us now depend on video calls to allow our daily lives to function.

With video calls, your device uploads information as well as downloads it – that is, it transmits your data as well as receives it from the recipient(s). Upload speeds are typically slower than download speeds.

How many people are on the video call will also determine what speeds you need – we’ve all experienced someone’s unflattering lag on that Zoom quiz or conference call!

For Zoom, Skype and Facetime, the recommended minimum speed is 1.5Mbps. For HD or group calls, you’re looking at a download speed of 2.5Mbps and upload speed of 3Mbps.

What is the best internet speed for gaming?

Gaming is in its own league when it comes to broadband speed requirements. Online games demand huge quantities of data to be downloaded and uploaded in real time, as well as data-intensive updates.

If you’ve got a heavy gamer in your house, you’ll need to reconsider what broadband speeds you require. When it comes to choosing a broadband deal, it’s not just about the number of occupants, but also what said occupants are doing with the internet. 4K streaming requires equally fast speeds.

Certainly, not every household will be the same, but as a rule of thumb look for a connection with speeds of around 30Mbps higher than the package you’d otherwise choose. And that’s for each individual who games or 4k streams – so if there’s more than one gamer in the house you’ll probably want to look at hyperfast or ultrafast fibre-optic internet. 

To find out more about this, read our guide on what internet speed you need for gaming.

What download speed do I need for streaming and downloading music?

Much like video services, music download and streaming speed requirements depend on the platform, quality, and device in question. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular services. Songs and albums are much smaller files than TV shows and films, so don’t demand such high speeds.


Minimum speed for normal quality

Spotify (Desktop)


Apple Music (iTunes)


Google Play Music


Amazon Music Unlimited


Spotify (Mobile)


Best broadband speeds for different households:

Let’s take a look at a few different types of household and what broadband speeds they’d typically require. Use this as a helpful guide when you are looking for a new connection.

Best speeds for small (1-2 person) households

A small household refers to a single or couple who are the sole internet users of the house – this can, therefore, include families with young children. If you use the internet for browsing, working, and streaming content together rather than separately, then you’ll be grand with a standard broadband connection with average speeds of 10-11Mbps.

Best speeds for medium (3-4 person) households

A 3-4 person household could be a family with teenage children, or adults living together. Occupants may each have a number of devices (laptops; smart phones) and may stream content both independently and simultaneously. As long as none of them are an online gamer or 4k streamer, an entry-level fibre-optic package should suffice for this household – one with speeds of 35Mbps – 64Mbps.

Ideal broadband speed for larger households

A large household is considered 5 or more people all simultaneously using the internet on multiple devices and independently streaming, downloading, or uploading. These households will require a connection with speeds above 65Mbps. If only one person games online or streams in 4k that should be fine, however you may want to upgrade your line to be absolutely safe. 


We are an independent and impartial price comparison website.


Our services are 100% free to use.

check is supported by its users. When you make a purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Danny Lord

Author: Danny Lord

Danny is our Editor-in-Chief, and has been writing news and guides for comparison sites for the last five years.