How to run a internet speed test to see if it’s fast enough for streaming


Are you having buffering issues with your internet connection? Sounds like you need to check your internet speed to see how much you can do online. 

The good news? It’s really easy to test the speed of your internet connection. You can determine if it’s fast enough for the different online activities you do. You can also figure out how many devices your internet connection can handle at one time. 

The easiest way to test your internet connection speed is with Google. 

Google Internet Speed Test

Getting your internet speed tested with Google is as easy as typing “speed test” in the Google search bar and pressing enter. At the top, before the search engine results to other websites, is a Google internet speed test. Click the blue “run speed test” button. It will test your speeds and show you each one. It will also tell you what your connection latency is, where your server is, if your connection is fast, and what it can handle. Here’s a screenshot of my test:

Google let me know that my download speed is 162.4 Mbps and my upload speed is 12.3 Mbps. It also says my latency speed is 70 milliseconds, which isn’t bad. My server is located in Moncton, which is a city in New Brunswick, Canada. Google let’s me know that my connection is very fast and that I should be able to run multiple devices while gaming, video conferencing, and streaming HD videos. 

Another site to run an internet connection speed test on is Ookla. Ookla’s speed test will give you your upload and download speeds, as well as your ping rate (reaction time), your server location, your ISP, and will even give you a little information from DownDetector showing reported issues with specific games or websites.

Internet Speed Terms


A ping is a test where your computer sends a data packet to a server to determine whether it’s reachable. If the data packet is sent back by the server, the testing provider determines how long that took. It’s a bad sign if it doesn’t come back. 

Ping time

Ping time is a measure of how responsive your internet connection is. While ping is the sending of a data packet to your server, ping time is a measure of how fast that data packet reaches the server and returns. Ping time is measured in milliseconds, and it’s a good way to find out what the lag is in your internet connection. If your ping time is a bit long, you will notice this when you’re playing a game and when you’re uploading files. There will be a pause in the activity. 


Latency is another measure of how responsive your internet connection is. Latency is based on distance. If you’re communicating with a server in India and you’re in the United States, your latency will be high. The closer your server is, the faster your connection will be. 


Mbps is short for megabits per second. It’s a measurement of your internet speed. Another name for internet speed is bandwidth. Your bandwidth is how much data your connection can handle transferring. 

Download and upload speeds

The download speed is a measure of how fast data can be transferred from a server to your computer. You need fast download speeds when you’re gaming, streaming, or downloading files. The upload speed shows how fast data can be transferred from your computer to a server. You need a high upload speed when you’re gaming, chatting, or uploading files. 

Related Reading: The Ultimate Cord Cutters Glossary

How Much Internet is Enough to Stream?

You will need speeds of at least 3 Mbps to stream videos in standard definition. If you want to stream in ultra HD or 4K then the minimum speed you need is 25 Mbps. Individual streaming services like fuboTV and Netflix have their own streaming requirements. 

fuboTV recommends speeds of 40 Mbps for Ultra HD streaming. 

Netflix recommends 3 Mbps to stream videos in standard definition. To stream in HD, you need 5 Mbps. If you want to stream Netflix in HDR or 4K, you’ll need 25 Mbps. 

YouTube recommends 3 Mbps at the minimum for video viewing but points out the quality of the video you are watching will be a factor in the speed you’re using. You might experience some buffering and pixelation at low speeds. The minimum requirement for HD streaming on YouTube is 7 Mbps and HD streaming on more than one device requires a minimum of 13 Mbps. 

Fastest internet service providers


Verizon provides fiber optic connections (called Verizon Fios) in some areas and DSL in others. Verizon plans offer between 200 Mbps and 940 Mbps, and costs between $39.99 and $79.99 per month. Verizon is one of the fastest internet providers out there, and their upload and download speeds are the same. Some ISPs will throttle one to elevate the other. 

Verizon’s Gigabit connection (940 Mbps) is one of the best priced plans. The only major problem with this is that it’s not available everywhere. Verizon also doesn’t have Wi-Fi hotspots like Spectrum, AT&T, and Xfinity. However, if you don’t need a Wi-Fi hotspot and it’s available in your area, Verizon is an excellent ISP choice. 


Xfinity has the major advantage of covering most of the country. It’s also popular for its great deals and exceptional speeds. The fastest internet speed in the country, 2000 Mbps, is currently offered only by Xfinity and only in specific areas. 

Xfinity internet plans range from 25 Mbps at $24.99 per month (for the first 12 months) to 2000 Mbps at $299.95 per month. 

Xfinity does offer internet services without contracts. They cost more per month, but might save you some money if you need the connection for less than a year. 

Xfinity also features a calculator on their website so you can choose the best plan for you. Choose how many devices are connected to the internet at the same time and what people in your home use the internet for. Xfinity will recommend which plan is best for you. 


AT&T owns DIRECTV, which makes it a good option for those who want to bundle their TV and internet services. AT&T allows you to buy 1TB data bundles so you don’t have to worry about going over, and 1TB is more than enough for most people. It also provides unlimited data plans. 

AT&T provides free Wi-Fi hotspots all over the country in case you need a connection while traveling. 

AT&T’s unlimited plans all offer 100 Mbps and combine a DIRECTV package and range from $94.98 to $164.98. There is an AT&T internet only plan that starts at $59.99 a month. It’s called Internet 100, and with it you can stream on 10 devices at the same time, download a movie (90 minutes in length) in 60 seconds, plus you can upload videos and photos fast. You’ll get Wi-Fi for the whole house. 

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