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1 Mbps is not fast enough, but it will get you connected to the internet

Benchmarking internet speed: Is 1Mbps considered fast?
Last Updated on March 19, 2024
how fast is 1 mbps
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If you’re getting a new internet connection and wondering whether 1 Mbps is fast enough for you, then we have you covered right here with our guide.

Now, we want to make it clear that 1 Mbps is not fast and doesn’t even meet the minimum requirement for most basic activities. In fact, as per Statista, the average global speed is 50 Mbps – so 1 Mbps is significantly lower. At most, you can send emails, messages, and voice notes. However, even that might take a bit of waiting, and voice calls will most likely have static and frequent disconnection issues.

However, it is better than having no internet connection at all as it’ll keep you connected with your friends and family and work as you can communicate with them. You can stream music on Spotify and other music platforms. And maybe download smaller files like 25 MB.

So, let’s see what a 1 Mbps internet connection is capable of today and whether it is the right option for you or not.

Quick Answer

So, the main question here is – is 1 Mbps fast?

The answer to this question is sadly no. A 1 Mbps internet connection is below the minimum requirement for most activities by today’s standards. You will most likely face intense lag during gaming and severe buffering issues while steaming, and downloading anything will feel like an eternity.

There is a good likelihood that most ISPs don’t even offer an internet plan of this speed. If you’re experiencing this internet speed with your satellite connection, then a possible answer might be that your speed is being throttled as you’ve depleted the monthly or daily limit assigned to you. In that case, contact your ISP for further clarification.

How fast is 1 Mbps for downloads?

As mentioned, a 1 Mbps speed is not the best speed for downloading stuff – especially larger files. It can, however, download lighter files like 20MB documents, PDFs, MP3 and MP4 music, and more.

To give you a better idea, here’s how long files of different sizes will take to download –

File typeThe time it will take to download at 1 Mbps
25 MB3 minutes 20 seconds
500 MB1 hour 6 minutes
1.5 GB3 hours 20 minutes
3 GB6 hours 40 minutes
40 GB 88 hours 53 minutes
For these estimates, we used the Omni Download Time Calculator.

Is 1 Mbps good for gaming?

An internet speed of 1 Mbps is not enough for any gaming, whether competitive online gaming or story-based console gaming. As suggested by Xfinity and other ISPs, you need to have at least 3 to 6 Mbps speed for gaming.

A 1 Mbps internet plan simply doesn’t have enough bandwidth or speed to cater to high-bandwidth data transfer, and this will lead to severe congestion and disconnection issues as well as high ping or latency. Simply connecting with the respective game server might take too long or drop after any sort of activity because it probably might be too much for a 1 Mbps internet plan to handle.

On top of that, its slow download speeds mean that you’ll have to be very patient to download games. For example, Red Dead Redemption 2 requires up to 150 GB of download space. So, it would take you 15 days to download it.

However, there is always a silver lining and a 1 Mbps connection might be able to handle mobile gaming, which includes games such as Brick Breaker or Candy Crush. We recommend upgrading or opting for a higher-speed internet connection for a better and lag-free gaming experience, such as 40 Mbps – which should deliver good performance while being easy on your wallet.

Is 1 Mbps good for streaming?

To answer this question, let’s put things into perspective. According to Netflix, the minimum internet requirement to stream SD content is 3 Mbps. So, technically, a 1 Mbps connection isn’t sufficient to handle the high-resolution content available on streaming platforms. You will experience grainy quality and a lot of buffering.

That said, you can, theoretically, stream content on YouTube or the mentioned platforms at a very low resolution, such as 480p or 240p. These resolutions are less than ideal as they lack clarity, and the viewing experience will be subpar.

Is 1 Mbps good for working from home?

Some of the activities that require you to work from home include sending emails, attending meetings, downloading and uploading documents, and more. A 1 Mbps internet connection might be able to send or receive emails, but that is where it will probably reach its potential.

Attending meetings with high-quality audio and video and downloading and uploading documents with this internet speed will be very slow; you will probably face a lot of stuttering, hindering your productivity and efficiency. You can, however, increase the odds in your favor by connecting your device via ethernet cable. This should eliminate any interference issues that Wi-Fi signals are prone to and give you the full potential of your internet plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I improve my internet speed if it’s only 1Mbps?

Yes, you can try a few things to make the most of your 1Mbps connection. For example, try not to have too many devices connected at once because that’s like trying to have many cars on a one-lane road – it causes a traffic jam. Also, consider connecting your devices via ethernet, as it’ll eliminate interference issues and give you the full 1 Mbps speed.

Is 1 Mbps enough for Zoom?

According to the Zoom support page, the minimum requirement for a 1:1 high-quality video call is 600 Kbps. We haven’t tested that out, but in our experience, slow internet speeds of 600Kbps or 1 Mbps don’t have enough bandwidth to handle HQ video calls and come across stability issues.


All in all, a 1 Mbps connection doesn’t offer the fastest speed out there, and due to its low speed and bandwidth – it can reach its limit fairly quickly – which will most likely end up impacting your experience. This internet speed should be able to handle low-quality streaming, but the viewing experience will be subpar. On top of that, playing any games will be annoying due to the constant lag and disconnection issues.

However, for basic communication via email or messaging applications, this internet speed should be able to hold on its own, given that no other devices share the same connection.

Maria is a contributer to PC Guide, highly-interested in productivity and AI tools, and ensuring the inclusion of detailed product info and coverage across versus pieces.