Is 5 megabits per second fast? Well, the answer is NO. In fact, a 5 Mbps internet can hardly carry out the daily data needs of a single user. So, you can just imagine how it will be with multiple users!
5 Mbps download speed is slow, giving you a max upload speed of 1 Mbps and a download speed of 610 Kbps. At this speed, you can hardly imagine downloading large files or making HD video calls frequently. The only thing achievable without any difficulty at 5 Mbps WiFi is surfing the web.
If you’re a student or a sole practitioner, I would recommend you to go with at least 10 Mbps internet speed. But if you are low on budget or keen to know how fast is 5Mbps in real-time, stick around as I shall cover everything you need to know!
So, How Fast is 5 Mbps?
Ideally speaking, 5 Mbps internet is not fast enough. It is good only for single users with fewer data needs. Sharing this plan with multiple users is going to leave you frustrated and struggling even if you optimise your router for improved speeds.
Look at the following table to have a better understanding:
|Activities||Required Download |
|Required Upload |
|Can 5 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||Yes|
|Skype HD Call||1-3 Mbps||125 - 300 Kbps||Yes|
|Skype Group HD Call||4-5 Mbps||500 - 600 Kbps||Yes|
|Zoom HD Call||3.5-4 Mbps||400 - 500 Kbps||Yes|
|Zoom Group HD Call||4-5 Mbps||500 - 600 Kbps||Yes|
|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|
Time Taken to Download Different File Types & Sizes with 5 Mbps Speed
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 “Gears of War 4” has a file size of 112.3 GB. It will take almost 2 and a half days to download the game completely. Not at all worth it!
|Type & Size of File||Download Duration|
|Mobile Apps & Games [Up to 40 GB]||Approximately 18 Minutes|
|HD Movies [Up to 3 GB]||1 Hour 30 Minutes|
|Email Attachments [25 MB]||40 Seconds|
|HD Music Album [Up to 500 MB]||13 Minutes 33 Seconds|
|High-Quality Photograph [Up to 10 MB]||16 Seconds|
What Can You Do with 5 Mbps Internet?
With 5 Mbps internet speed, single users can have one HD Netflix stream, almost two gaming sessions and one standard Zoom call. Let us understand this better in the following sections.
You might wonder, is 5 Mbps good for streaming? If you are the only person using this plan, you can watch 720p YouTube videos without facing the buffer. For watching 1080p videos, you might get stutters, especially if you’ve other devices connected to the network.
Coming to your next question, is 5 Mbps fast enough for Netflix? Technically no! Netflix’s 4k videos have a bandwidth of 25 Mbps, so let’s not go there. Regular HD videos have a minimum requirement of 5 Mbps. So, with this plan, you can stream HD videos on Netflix. But only when the single device is connected to the network.
The audio streaming platforms, on the other hand, require very less bandwidth, as low as 0.4 Mbps. So, with the 5 Mbps internet plan, almost 12-13 people can stream music through Spotify or Apple music.
Online gaming performance is determined by two factors – upload speed and download speed. In general, online games have a download speed of 3-5 Mbps and an upload speed of 0.5-1 Mpbs.
So, is 5 Mbps good for gaming? Well, you can have one to two gaming sessions. Going beyond that, you will start facing lags and delays even with a modem good for gaming.
Another point in gaming is downloading. Low-end mobile games like Modern Sniper has a file size of 9.8 Mb. It will take almost 15 seconds to download it with this plan, which is fair. Similarly, mid-end games like Fruit Ninja have a file size of 151 MB. It can be downloaded in 4 minutes, which is also acceptable.
But for high-end games like Quantum Break, downloading will feel like an eternity. The file size of Quantum Break is 178 GB. With the 5 Mbps internet, it will take you almost 3 days to download the game. By no means it sounds practical.
3. Video Calls
Let’s talk about Zoom calls first. As stated in Zoom bandwidth requirements, A 1:1 720p call requires 1.2Mbps upload/download. But with 5 Mbps internet, you will get an upload speed of at max 1 Mbps. This means Zoom 1080p HD calls are out of the question here.
While 720p group video calls need an upload speed of 2.6 Mbps and a download speed of 1.8Mbps, which is again not achievable.
Basic quality calls with Zoom require a download and upload speed of 600 Kbps. Hence, with the 5 Mbps plan, you can make at least one standard definition Zoom call. WhatsApp calls have better chances here. The bandwidth is fairly less, so almost 3-5 devices can make calls simultaneously.
Frequently Asked Questions
Depends on how many devices are sharing the plan. For single users, 5 Mbps can work fine for low data-related tasks like surfing the web or playing basic quality videos or streaming Spotify. More than that, the internet won’t work properly, resulting in delays and lags.
With the 5 Mbps internet, single users can stream 720p YouTube videos without facing a buffer, but for streaming 1080p videos, you need to disconnect every other device connected to the network.
No, you need at least 10 Mbps of download speed and 1 Mbps of upload speed for working from home. Having 5 Mbps internet is not going to help you.
Online learners need a minimum internet speed of 1.5 Mbps to take online classes. With the 5 Mbps internet, students can watch smooth 720p videos.
Having to work with the 5 Mbps speed is similar to using a 1 Mbps speed. You will face a lot of lag and buffering when playing games or watching HD videos. Also, heavy data-related tasks like uploading videos or downloading large files will appear next to impossible with this speed. Hence I recommend you opt for a more balanced 50 Mbps internet.