Can 1 Mbps Be Considered Fast in 2023? [Real-World Considerations]

One megabit per second is not a fast connection. For the year 2023, that rate is simply unacceptable.

A connection speed of 1 Mbps is woefully inadequate for even a single user, let alone a household with five or ten. You can only do very basic web browsing and online messaging with this speed.

Don’t bother with video streaming or gaming. Watching YouTube videos in 360p or 480p resolution requires much more than 1 Mbps of download speed. However, you should also anticipate buffering. Fortunately, this is a reprieve for Spotify listeners.

How limited is a connection speed of 1 Mbps, exactly? I used a 1 Mbps data plan for about 5 or 6 hours before I crashed and burned, lol! Keep reading though, because I have some fascinating discoveries to share with you!

Is 1 Mbps Fast Enough

How fast is a connection of 1 Mbps?

One megabit per second (Mbps) is a very slow download speed. Even small files of 500 MB will take hours to download.

It also has trouble keeping even a single device running smoothly. Here’s a handy table to help you visualize everything.

Online Activities Minimum Required Upload Rate Upload Rate Prerequisites Does it work with 1 Mbps?
Social Media (Facebook/Twitter
500 – 2000 Kbps 200 – 300 Kbps Yes
Messaging & Email 100 Kbps 12.5 Kbps Yes
Web Browsing 100 – 1000 Kbps 12.5 – 125 Kbps Yes
Google Meet
Voice Call
100 Kbps 12.5 Kbps Yes
Google Meet
Video Call
2-3 Mbps 250-300 Kbps No
Skype HD Call 1-3 Mbps 125 – 300 Kbps No
Skype Group HD Call 4-5 Mbps 500 – 600 Kbps No
Zoom HD Call 3.5-4 Mbps 400 – 500 Kbps No
Zoom Group HD Call 4-5 Mbps 500 – 600 Kbps No
Watching YouTube Videos [480p] 500 – 1000 Kbps 200 Kbps Yes
Watching YouTube Videos [1080p] 2-3 Mbps 250 – 300 Kbps No
Streaming Netflix [720p] 1.5-2 Mbps 250 Kbps No
Streaming Netflix [1080p] 5-7 Mbps 600-800 Kbps No
Online Gaming 3-4 Mbps 300 – 400 Kbps No
Streaming Audio Music 400 Kbps 50 Kbps Yes

Can Streaming Videos Be Done at 1 Mbps?

Obviously, that’s not the case. Let’s start with a YouTube conversation. There is a 0.7 Mbps bandwidth requirement for the 360p videos.

So, you can only stream one 360p video at a time, and even that will buffer with this connection speed. High-definition video formats like 720p and 1080p are totally irrelevant here.

However, Netflix’s standard definition of video streaming only requires 1 Mbps of bandwidth.

So, at most, you can watch one standard-definition Netflix movie while streaming. Videos recorded in HD or 720p have no chance.

With services like Spotify and Apple Music, you may have a fighting chance. If only one device on the network is turned off, then a single user can stream Spotify at 1 Mbps.

Can You Play Games with a 1 Mbps Connection Speed?

Even with a powerful gaming modem and a WiFi 6E router, online gaming is a frustrating experience when the connection is slow.

The experience with 1 Mbps data will be similar. Games typically need a download speed of 3–5 Mbps and an upload speed of 0.5–1 Mbps.

Here we are at the downloading stage. The file size of high-end games like Borderlands 3 is 116 GB. It will take about 11 days to download the game in its entirety using a 1 Mbps connection. It’s not realistic to expect this.

Mortal Kombat and other games of a similar size are relatively standard, with file sizes of 0.96 GB.

This game’s full download will take nearly five hours, which is tolerable. Small games like Temple Run can be downloaded in the same amount of time.

With only 1 Mbps, how do video calls fare?

You’ll need fast download and upload speeds for a good video call. Zoom’s HD video calling bandwidth is only 3.5–4 Mbps, so there’s no point in even trying.

Zoom’s one-to-one audio calling capability requires a minimum connection speed of 1 Mbps. When it is the only computer on the network, that is also the case.

WhatsApp voice calls require only 0.1 Mbps, so even 1 Mbps WiFi should be fine for them. However, this strategy is hopeless for WhatsApp video calls.

To sum up, this strategy is going to make video chatting a miserable experience.

What Is It Like to Download at 1 Mbps?

When your internet speed is only 1 Mbps, it’s pointless to even consider downloading large files. Your persistence and tolerance will be tried.

This plan allows for delayed web browsing and audio streaming. Have a look at the table below for clarification.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 1 Mbps fast enough for Netflix?

Absolutely not. With a 1 Mbps connection, you can watch one Netflix video in standard definition. Streaming high-definition videos is completely unrealistic.

What can I do with 1 Mbps internet?

This slow connection speed severely limits your online capabilities. The 1 Mbps connection isn’t even fast enough to load web pages, let alone stream videos or play games.

Does YouTube require more than 1 Mbps?

YouTube videos can be viewed in low quality with a 1 Mbps download speed. But expect to encounter buffering on occasion. If you’re only connecting one device to the internet, you should upgrade to at least 5 Mbps.

Is it possible to play games online at 1 Mbps?

With only 1 Mbps, you won’t be able to do much more than casual web browsing. At this rate, playing games online is obviously impossible.

Is a speed of 1 Mbps adequate for remote work?

When working remotely, a connection speed of at least 10 Mbps is required. Anything lower than that is of no use.

A 50 Mbps plan is ideal, but anything above that is fine. Although it is more expensive, it can easily manage two connections at the same time.

A 1 Mbps connection can support how many devices?

A connection speed of 1 Mbps is unacceptable, in my opinion. However, if you’re stuck with it and have no other options, know that it can only handle a single gadget at a time. That, too, applies to routine web-based chores.


In terms of actual use, an internet connection speed of 1 Mbps is completely inadequate. Choose either the 5 Mbps or 10 Mbps plan if you only need the internet for basic tasks.

However, if you and your family regularly engage in data-intensive activities like online gaming, video uploading/downloading, and file-sharing, an internet speed of 100 Mbps is recommended.

Further Read:

  1. Is 300 Mbps Fast For Gaming?
  2. Cancel Cox Services – Complete Guide
  3. Xfinity Modem/Router Blinking Blue – Causes And Fixes
  4. What To Use 5GHz Vs 2.5GHz In 2023
  5. Quick Setup Guide – Xfinity X1 30 Second Skip