Internet speed refers to how much data and information can be transferred over the web on a single connection.
Internet speed is important because it determines what individuals can and cannot do online. Internet speed is important when surfing the web, playing online games, downloading movies, TV shows, or 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
Every U.S. state sees significant increases in average Internet speed each year as U.S. telecoms work consistently to provide faster networks. Rural states overall tend to have slower Internet speeds while more densely-populated states tend to have faster internet speeds.
HighSpeedInternet.com analyzed one million speed tests taken on their site to find out which states and the fastest and slowest average Internet speeds.
Maryland has the fastest average Internet speed of 65.02 Mbps. Maryland’s fast Internet speeds make it an ideal location for tech businesses, multi-person streaming, and gaming. The next four fastest states are New Jersey (59.58 Mbps), Delaware (59.08 Mbps), Rhode Island (56.77 Mbps), and Virginia (55.98 Mbps). New Jersey’s fastest city is Somerset, which has an average Internet speed of 97.6 Mbps. Virginia’s fastest city, Sterling, has an average Internet speed of 96.9 Mbps.
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.
Alaska has the slowest average Internet speeds of 17.03 Mbps. Speeds under 20 Mbps take longer periods for downloads and only works best for single-user streaming. Following Alaska for the slowest Internet speeds in the country are Mississippi (24.77 Mbps), Idaho (25.30), Montana (25.70), and Maine (26.05). These states are okay for a couple of people to stay connected but are not ideal for businesses or those who are serious gamers.
Average Internet speeds and providers for any zip code can be checked on HighSpeedInternet.com. FastMetrics also provides information on each state’s average peak Internet speeds.