While most internet speed has grown beyond the early days of slow dial-up connections, speed can vary a lot. Internet speed is measured in Mbps, or megabits per second, which indicates amount of data per second. When a user checks email, browses online, checks social media, or watches a viral video, all of that content represents data, and some internet usage accesses more data than other online activities.

If you check reliable internet speed test websites that are optimized for the kind of internet service you use (like DSL or satellite), you can test how fast your internet is.

How Fast Is 1 Mbps?

It’s possible for 1 Mbps internet speed to seem fast or slow depending on what your online activity is. The FCC considers 1 Mbps a minimum download speed for light or casual internet use like checking email. However, if you try to stream a video, 1 Mbps internet speed could seem slow; a minimum of 3 to 4 Mbps is the estimated basic speed needed to stream a standard definition video. A remote student or employee requires an approximate minimum range of 5 to 25 Mbps speed.

Can I Do Anything to Optimize my Internet Access?

If your internet access is running slower than you prefer or you’ve met a data threshold, there are simple things to check that may help to remove access hurdles. Several things work together to affect your internet usage experience. These may include:


If you test your internet speed and find that it’s 1 Mbps, you may be able to check your email or browse online without too much disruption. At 1 Mbps, it’s unlikely that you will be able to stream videos or participate in video conference calls without significant interruption or delay. At least you don’t have to listen to the dial-up connection sound while you wait.

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