Is 5 Mbps Adequate Internet Speed? [In-Depth Analysis]

If you ask anyone in this dang arge, 5 Mbps is incredibly slow. A connection of only 5 Mbps would be woefully inadequate to support even a single user’s average daily data requirements.

You can only guess what will happen when many people try to use it at once! Download speeds of only 610 kbps and upload caps of 1 mbps make 5 Mbps internet painfully slow.

You can’t get large files down or make high-definition video calls. At this rate, only web browsing is doable without much effort.

I would suggest going with at least 10 Mbps if you are a student or sole proprietor. But if you’re on a tighter budget or just curious about the practical performance of 5 Mbps, read on; I’ll cover it all.

How Fast Is Internet Connection Speed of 5 Mbps?

Is 5 Mbps Adequate Internet Speed

5 Mbps is too slow to meet modern expectations. It’s ideal for one-person households with modest data requirements. Even if you optimize your router for better speeds, you will still have a frustrating and difficult time if you share this plan with multiple users.

Check out the table below to see if your 5 Mbps connection can handle the bandwidth demands of your favorite online pursuits.

Online Activities Minimum Required Upload Rate Upload Rate Prerequisites Does it work with 5 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 Yes
Skype HD Call 1-3 Mbps 125 – 300 Kbps Yes
Skype Group HD Call 4-5 Mbps 500 – 600 Kbps No
Zoom HD Call Mobile/Web 3.5-4 Mbps 400 – 500 Kbps Yes
Zoom Group HD Call Mobile/Web 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 Yes
Streaming Netflix [720p] 1.5-2 Mbps 250 Kbps Yes
Streaming Netflix [1080p] 5-7 Mbps 600-800 Kbps No
Online Gaming 3-4 Mbps 300 – 400 Kbps Yes
Streaming Audio Music 400 Kbps 50 Kbps Yes

Can I Stream at 5 Mbps?

Is 5 Mbps sufficient for streaming? 720p YouTube videos won’t have any buffering issues if you’re the only person on the plan.

Stuttering is possible when watching 1080p or 4K videos, especially if you have multiple devices on the same network. And 5Mbps is also not sufficient for 1080p streaming on Netflix.

We won’t even go there because of the 25 Mbps required to stream Netflix’s 4K content. The bare minimum for standard HD video is 5 Mbps.

This plan allows you to watch Netflix in high definition. However, this is only the case when that one device is linked to the internet.

However, audio streaming platforms have a much lower threshold for acceptable network speed, typically only 0.4 Mbps. That means about 12–13 people can use a service like Spotify or Apple Music simultaneously on a 5 Mbps connection.

Can You Play Games at 5 Mbps?

Throughput and latency are the two most important factors in online gaming performance. The typical requirements for playing online games are 3–5 Mbps download and 0.5–1 Mbps upload. You’re allowed up to two playthroughs. Beyond that, even with a gaming-optimized modem, you’ll start experiencing lag and delays.

Gamers should also consider downloading. Modern Sniper, a low-end mobile game, weighs in at 9 Mb. With this strategy, downloading will take around 15 seconds, which is about average.

Likewise, mid-tier games like Fruit Ninja clock in at 159 MB in size. The download time of 4.5 minutes is also satisfactory.

However, the wait for high-end games like Call Of Duty to download will feel like an eternity. Call Of Duty weighs in at 170 gigabytes of downloadable content. It will take nearly three days to download the game using a 5 Mbps connection. It doesn’t make any sense at all.

Can Zoom or Video Calls Operate at 5 Mbps?

Zoom specifies that 1.5 Mbps of upload and download bandwidth is needed for a 1:1 720p call.

However, with 5 Mbps download speeds, you will only be able to upload at a rate of 1 Mbps. As a result, calling in 1080p HD will not be possible.

However, 720p group video calls necessitate an unachievable 3 Mbps upload and 2 Mbps download speed.

A minimum of 512 Kbps download and upload speed is required for basic quality calls with Zoom. Accordingly, the 5 Mbps plan is sufficient for one Zoom call in HD or more in standard definition.

There is a better chance of a successful WhatsApp call. As the bandwidth is relatively low, up to five devices can make calls at once.

To sum up, a single user can watch one HD Netflix stream, play two games at once, and make one standard Zoom call at the 5 Mbps cap. In the following sections, we will attempt to clarify this matter.

How Long Does It Takes to Download Various Files at 5 Mbps?

Depending upon the file size, the downloading duration can vary from seconds to days with the 5 Mbps WiFi. I would not suggest going for heavier file downloading with this plan.

For example, the PC game “Call Of Duty Modern Warfare” has a file size of 130 GB. It will take almost 2 and a half days to download the game. Not at all worth it!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the maximum number of devices that can be supported by a 5 Mbps connection?

Two or three low-data-consumption devices can get by just fine on a 5 Mbps connection for basic tasks like browsing the web and listening to music. In addition, there will be delays and lags because the internet won’t function properly.

Will 5 Mbps suffice for streaming YouTube videos?

Single users can watch 720p YouTube videos without buffering on the 5 Mbps connection, but streaming 1080p videos requires disabling all other devices on the network.

Would a 5 Mbps internet speed suffice for working remotely?

Working from home requires a download speed of at least 10 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 1 Mbps, unfortunately. You will not benefit from internet speeds of 5 Mbps.

Would a 5 Mbps internet speed be sufficient for attending online classes?

Students taking courses online require a download speed of 1.5 Mbps. Students will enjoy watching 720p videos without interruptions on the 5 Mbps connection.

Wrap Up

Five megabits per second in practice is equivalent to one megabit per second. Playing games or streaming HD videos will be extremely frustrating due to significant delays and buffering.

Also, tasks requiring a lot of data transfer, like sharing a video or downloading a large file, will seem incredibly time-consuming and difficult at this rate.

Therefore, a 50 Mbps connection is what I would suggest as a happy medium.

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