Internet speed refers to how much data and information can be transferred over the web on a single connection.
With over 3.4 billion users globally, Internet speed is important. It determines what individuals can and cannot do online. Internet speed is important when surfing the web, playing online games, downloading movies, TV shows, music, video chatting, or sending any kind of communication. Internet speed also determines how many devices can be connected at once.
Bandwidth measures the total number of frequencies that a network connection can handle at any given moment. Broadband tells you how fast your Internet connection is. Internet speed is measured in bits per second (bps) or megabits per second (Mbps).
Internet speed is extremely important for entrepreneurs and business owners. A faster Internet can handle more devices at once and help a business run more efficiently. According to HighSpeedInternet.com, the following Mbps allow users to efficiently do certain tasks:
- 5 Mbps: browsing, streaming music; ideal for a single user
- 10 Mbps: streaming HD videos, casual gaming; ideal for 1-2 people
- 20 Mbps: Ultra HD streaming, frequent gaming; ideal for 2-4 people
- 40+ Mbps: steaming multiple shows in HD, simultaneous gaming; ideal for 4+ people
Internet Speed by State
Every U.S. state sees significant increases in average Internet speed each year as U.S. telecoms work consistently to provide faster networks. Overall, rural states tend to have slower Internet speeds while more densely-populated states tend to have faster internet speeds.
Broadbandnow.com collected speed data on all 2,000 U.S. ISPs and ranked each state based on coverage and internet speeds.
States with the Fastest Internet Speeds
All of the five fastest average Internet speeds are located on the East Coast. Because of cheaper costs of living and better Internet speeds, these states provide potentially better start-up environments for businesses than Silicon Valley. These states are:
- Maryland - 196.2 Mbps
- Virginia - 193.1 Mbps
- New York - 190.5 Mbps
- Massachusetts - 188.2 Mbps
- New Jersey - 174.3 Mbps
States with the Slowest Internet Speeds
The states with the slowest average Internet speeds are more rural states with lower population densities. These states are okay for a couple of people to stay connected but are not ideal for businesses or those who are serious gamers. The five slowest states are:
Of these states, Alaska also has the lowest broadband coverage at 60.8%. Maine has the highest at 86.6%.