Is 1 megabit per second fast? Absolutely not! In fact, 1 Mbps internet speed is quite slow. Barely enough for even a single person. With this speed, you will be able to only send online messages or emails and do web browsing.
Forget about streaming HD content or playing online games. The 1 Mbps plan is hardly good for streaming 360p YouTube videos. But be ready to face buffering too. Also, Spotify streamers have some relief here.
So, is 1 Mbps good for single users? What can it do? Should you consider getting slightly higher speeds like 5 Mbps, 10 Mbps, or 25 Mbps? To answer all these questions, I tried using an internet speed of 1 Mbps for 5-6 hours, and I couldn’t survive further with it lol!
Anyway, stick to the article as I share some interesting findings below.
How Fast is 1 Mbps?
Ideally, a 1 Mbps download speed is not at all fast. It will take you hours to even download small files of 500 MB. Also, it can hardly support one device smoothly. Consider the following table to have a clear picture in your mind.
|Activities||Required Download |
|Required Upload |
|Can 1 Mbps
|Social Media||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|
|WhatsApp Voice Call||100 Kbps||12.5 Kbps||Yes|
|WhatsApp 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|
Time Taken to Download Different File Types & Sizes with 1 Mbps Speed
There is no point in thinking to download large files with the 1 Mbps internet. It’s only going to test your time and patience. With this plan, you will be able to surf the web and stream audio platforms with lags and delays. Look at the following table to have a better understanding.
|Type & Size Of The File||Download Duration|
|Mobile Applications & Games [Up to 40 GB]||Almost 4 days|
|Email Attachments [Up to 25 MB]||3 and half minutes|
|HD Music Album [500 MB]||Approximately 1 hour|
|HD Movies [Up to 3 GB]||Almost 7 hours|
|High-Quality Photographs [Up to 10 MB]||1 Minute 30 Seconds|
What Can You Do with 1 Mbps Internet?
Is 1 Mbps fast enough to stream a video? The simple answer is no. Let’s talk about YouTube first. The 360p videos have a bandwidth of 0.7 Mbps. So, with this plan, you can stream just about one 360p video, and that too with buffering. 720p and 1080p videos are completely out of the scenario here.
Netflix, on the other hand, has a bandwidth of 1 Mbps for standard definition videos. So, if you are lucky enough, you can stream one SD Netflix video. HD and 720p videos stand no chance at any cost.
You might have some chance in the case of Spotify and Apple Music. With the 1 Mbps internet speed, a single user can stream Spotify but only when all the other devices are disconnected from the network.
Playing online games with slow internet is quite frustrating even with a highly capable gaming modem and a WiFi 6 router. And that’s what you are going to feel when using the 1 Mbps internet plan. Most games require an upload speed of 0.5-1 Mbps and a download speed of 3-5 Mbps.
So, is 1 Mbps good for gaming? You can see yourself, it is impossible to have online gaming sessions at this speed.
Coming to the downloading part. High-end games like Borderlands 3 have a file size of 116 GB. With the 1 Mbps connection, it will take you approximately 11 days to download this game completely. This is not at all practical.
Games like Mortal Kombat are on the mid-end side with a file size of 0.96 GB. It will take you almost five hours to download this game completely, which is acceptable to some extent. Similarly, small games like Temple Run can be downloaded in just 6-7 minutes.
So, it’s safe to say that 1 Mbps internet is okayish for downloading low-mid-end games.
3. Video Conferencing
A smooth video call needs both good upload and download speeds. Zoom has a bandwidth of 3.5-4 Mbps for HD video calls, so there is no point even going there. An internet speed of 1 Mbps can allow you with a single audio call on Zoom. That too, when it is the only device connected to the network.
WhatsApp voice calls have lower bandwidth of 0.1 Mbps, so 1 Mbps WiFi can support it. But again, WhatsApp video calls stand no chance with this plan. To conclude, making video calls with this plan is going to suck.
Frequently Asked Questions
Not at all. You can stream at max one standard definition Netflix video with the 1 Mbps internet speed. Thinking of streaming HD videos is completely out of the question here.
You can hardly do anything with this internet speed. Forget about streaming videos or playing online games; the 1 Mbps speed can barely load the web pages too.
You can watch low-quality YouTube videos with a 1 Mbps download speed. But, be ready to face buffering at times. I would highly recommend switching to at least 5 Mbps internet speed for a single device.
The internet speed of 1 Mbps can barely take care of your web surfing needs. So, online gaming is completely out of the question with this speed.
You need a minimum internet speed of 10 Mbps for working from home. Anything below that won’t help you. However, if possible, I would recommend going for a 50 Mbps plan. It will cost you a bit more money but it’ll handle a couple of connections with ease.
I would not recommend 1 Mbps WiFi to anyone. But in case you can’t switch to anything better, you must know that it can just support 1 device. That, too, is for basic internet-related tasks.
Practically speaking, 1 Mbps internet speed should not be considered in the first place itself. If you have basic internet needs, you can go for the 5 Mbps or 10 Mbps plan. While if you and your family are heavily invested in data-intensive tasks like online gaming, uploading videos, and downloading large files, an internet speed of 200 Mbps should be the best.