What Broadband Speed Do I Need?

The broadband speed you need for your home depends on your online activity and usage — so it’s not always easy to decipher broadband plans and work out which one is right for you.

That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to broadband speeds. Read on to find out which internet activities use the most broadband, and what speeds you need for different tasks.

Recommended Broadband Speeds

Firstly, here’s a table demonstrating the minimum broadband speeds required for browsing, streaming, gaming, and more.

Minimum Speed (Mbps)
Browsing and checking emails 1-3
Video conferencing 3+
Streaming 5-25
Gaming 100+
Torrenting 25+

Minimum Broadband Speeds for Different Streaming Platforms

Various streaming sites require different minimum internet speeds depending on the quality you want to watch them in. Here’s a comprehensive list of the most popular platforms:

Standard Definition (SD)
High Definition (HD)
4K/Ultra HD (UHD)
Netflix 1 Mbps 5 Mbps 25 Mbps
BBC iPlayer 2 Mbps 4 Mbps 5 Mbps
Amazon Prime Video 1 Mbps 3 Mbps 25 Mbps
YouTube 3 Mbps 5 Mbps 20 Mbps
Disney+ 5 Mbps 25 Mbps
ITV Hub 1 Mbps
NOW TV 3 Mbps
Apple TV 3 Mbps 8 Mbps 25 Mbps
BT Sport 4 Mbps 6 Mbps 25 Mbps

Remember that as well as being fast enough for your chosen activities, your home broadband also has to be fast enough to cope with several of these activities at the same time — especially if you have a big family or live in a shared household.

What Broadband Speed Do I Need for a 2-Person Household?

A household of two people needs a minimum broadband speed of 10 Mbps — and that’s only for basic online tasks like browsing websites, checking emails, or making video calls.

If both the people in your home want to stream or video chat separately at the same time, we recommend a fast fibre broadband package of at least 60 Mbps.

What Broadband Speed Do I Need for a Family of 4?

A good rule to remember is that you should add 30 Mbps for every person in the house who wants to stream, download files, or play games simultaneously. That means the recommended minimum internet speed for a family of four is 120 Mbps. This should be enough to allow you all to browse, conference call, stream, and do homework at the same time.
That is unless you have gamers in the family…

What Broadband Speed Do I Need for Gaming?

Technically, lots of online multiplayer games require internet speeds of just 5 Mbps. However, it’s worth remembering that modern game files are absolutely massive. You need speeds of at least 100 Mbps for game downloads unless you’re happy to wait a few days for your game to be ready.
The average game is around 500 MB — with an internet speed of 10 Mbps, you’d be waiting 4 days 23 hours 18 minutes 16 seconds to start playing. That’s why a 300 Mbps home broadband package or more is recommended for serious gamers. At these speeds, the same file would take just 3 hours to download. Plus, you get peak performance for lag-free gaming.

What Broadband Speed Do I Need to Work From Home?

You need at least 10 Mbps to be able to check your work emails and take part in one-to-one video meetings. But your requirements will go up if you need to download big files, participate in large video conferences, or stream any video content for work.

It’s also important to take into account if other people are working from your household, or if you’ll have family members engaging in heavy bandwidth activities like streaming or gaming at the same time. For families or households over two people, 300 Mbps will allow you to do all the above and more.

If several of you are working from home at the same time or you run a business from your house, you could also benefit from a business broadband package. Business broadband gives you hyperfast speeds as well as additional benefits like priority customer support, a dedicated account manager, and optional static IP addresses.

How Do I Check My Broadband Speed?

This part is easy! Simply use our online broadband speed test to find out how fast your broadband is currently.

Top tip: For the most accurate speed test results, connect your laptop or PC directly to your router via an ethernet cable. You lose a little speed when you connect over WiFi, so testing this way won’t be as precise.

Broadband Speeds Not up to Scratch? Box Broadband Can Help.

If you’ve been struggling with slow broadband for a while (or our guide has helped you realise your internet just isn’t fast enough), Box Broadband can help. We offer a variety of home and business broadband packages ranging from 100 Mbps to a huge 10 Gbs — one of the fastest packages available in the UK.

Contact us today and we can get you up to speed.