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Is 5 Mbps fast? What you need to know

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on January 5, 2024
Is 5 Mbps fast
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Is 5 Mbps fast? The answer to this question may vary depending on what you plan on using it for, but the general consensus is that 5 Mbps is not fast by today’s standards.

A 5 Mbps internet connection might be able to handle casual tasks such as emails, voice calls, messaging, and streaming music, but anything over that might be too much for it to handle. That said, this internet speed should come at a low cost – so if you’re planning on changing places or just want a placeholder connection till you move onto a better one – 5 Mbps should keep you running for basic work and entertainment tasks.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what 5 Mbps can deliver and whether it is the right option for you or not.

Is 5 Mbps fast enough?

A 5 Mbps internet connection is not fast enough by any means to handle bandwidth-intensive tasks such as competitive gaming, using cloud services, streaming HD content, and more. The slow speed and limited bandwidth will result in slow web browsing, videos will take longer to buffer, and voice or video calls may have static or frequent disconnection issues.

Putting the cons aside, if your primary activities consist of communicating via email or messaging applications such as WhatsApp, listening to Spotify, and sending voice notes – then 5 Mbps should be sufficient to handle this workload. However, even with two devices connected, you may run into slow speed issues – so keep that in mind.

How fast is 5 Mbps download and upload speed?

Download speed can be affected by many factors, such as your type of connection, whether you have a wired or wireless connection, or the type of equipment you’re using. However, we’ve put together two tables that should give you a rough estimate of how long some of the most common downloads and uploads can take.

File typeThe time it will take to download at 5 Mbps
25 MB email attachment 42 seconds
500 MB music album 15 minutes
1.5 GB 1080p video44 minutes 
3 GB HD movie2 hours 
40 GB game 19 hours
File typeThe time it will take to upload at 5 Mbps
25 MB email attachment 41 seconds
500 MB music album 14 minutes
1.5 GB 1080p video43 minutes
3 GB HD movie1.5 hours
40 GB game 19 hours

Is 5 Mbps good for gaming?

A 5 Mbps internet connection offers 2 Mbps download and 4 Mbps upload extra, as the minimum requirement for online gaming is 3 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload. However, this level of extra speed and bandwidth shouldn’t make a considerable difference to elevate your gaming experience.

If you plan to game with a 5 Mbps internet plan, then keep in mind that you probably will experience frequent lag and disconnection issues and high ping and latency as modern-day titles are bandwidth-hungry. However, to keep the odds in your favor, it is recommended to connect your gaming device or console via ethernet cable. This should provide you with the full speed of your internet and eliminate interference issues that happen over Wi-Fi.

On top of that, downloading games will require a lot of patience, as AAA titles can range anywhere from 70GB to 200GB+. To put things into perspective, downloading a 200GB game over 5 Mbps internet will take approximately 4 days. This is less than ideal, but there is always a silver lining.

Mobile gaming should be possible with this internet speed, as mobile games don’t require a lot of bandwidth. So, you can go for the high score on Subway Surfers or raid another castle in Clash of Clans.

If you want to elevate your gaming experience, it is recommended to go for a high-speed internet plan such as 100 Mbps. If you’re wondering just how fast 100 Mbps is, we’ve got you covered. However, this is only half of the equation, as you also need equipment that can handle your high-speed internet, and we’ve explored the best gaming routers on the market to provide you with the best picks for an unrivaled gaming experience.

Is 5 Mbps good for streaming?

A 5 Mbps internet plan should be enough for streaming, as according to Netflix, the minimum requirement to stream 720p movies and TV shows is 3 Mbps. However, 720p isn’t the best resolution anymore, and the viewing experience will be less than ideal. Consuming HD or 4K content with this speed will be very slow, with a lot of buffering in between, so that is not recommended.

Is 5 Mbps good for working from home?

Generally, working from home consists of sending emails, attending meetings over Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Teams, connecting to the company portal, and downloading and uploading small to medium-sized documents. So, a 5 Mbps connection should be able to handle this workload, with the condition that it isn’t being shared with anyone else as it doesn’t have enough bandwidth to cater to multi-device usage.


Can I play online games with a 5 Mbps connection?

You can plan online games with a 5 Mbps connection, but it won’t be the smooth gaming session you might have in mind. This internet speed isn’t enough to deliver a low-ping, lag-free gaming experience, and you might even face frequent disconnections, which is frustrating to experience while you’re gaming.

How many devices can 5 Mbps support?

A 5 Mbps broadband connection can connect to multiple devices but whether it can provide sufficient download and upload speeds to them all is a separate matter. This internet speed can cater to one or, at most, two devices at the same time due to its limited bandwidth – so connecting multiple devices will most likely result in poor performance and a subpar experience for all.


After taking into consideration different use cases, it is clear that 5 Mbps isn’t fast by today’s standards. While you can use it for basic activities such as streaming music, sending emails, and voice calls – anything over this will be pushing its limits and will dampen your experience. We recommend going for a 20 or 40-Mbps internet plan as the minimum threshold, as they should deliver a decent experience without burning a hole in your pocket.

However, if price isn’t an issue, there are multiple high-speed internet plans that can range anywhere from 100 Mbps to 1000 Mbps. So, if you’re wondering if 200 Mbps or even 400 Mbps is an option for you, then check out our guides, where we explored just how fast 200 Mbps is and how fast 400 Mbps is.

Sean is a tech enthusiast who contributes predominantly to networking content on PC Guide - using his knowledge and love of routers and modems to give expert advice to beginners and enthusiasts alike.