How fast does my internet need to be?

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Let’s cut to the chase: smart homes need an average internet speed of 100Mbps.

Fast internet is considered 100Mbps and up. That lets multiple people watch Netflix, enjoy uninterrupted Zoom calls, and play games online on several devices at the same time.

The speed of your internet will vary depending on what you use it for and how many connected devices you own. However, we’re guessing that readers of this blog aren’t using the net to simply browse the web.

You’ll likely need speeds that can support uninterrupted video streaming for a home cinema, live gaming, and fast upload and download speeds for remote working.

That’s before we get to smart features like automated lighting, home security, and other smart appliances.

If you want the quick version read our handy breakdown below. Otherwise keep scrolling for more advice and tips to help you determine how much to pay for each month.

What different internet speeds get you


Ideal for 1-2 users. Works for:

  • Checking email
  • Streaming music on one device
  • Browsing Google


Ideal for 3-4 users. Works for:

  • Streaming video on one device
  • Skype or FaceTime
  • Online gaming for one player


Ideal for 5-7 users. Works for:

  • Streaming HD video on multiple devices
  • Multiplayer online gaming
  • Downloading large files


Ideal for 8-10 users. Works for:

  • Streaming UHD video on multiple screens
  • Downloading big files fast
  • Multiplayer gaming

Speeds above that and you can practically take over the world.

Need for speed — how to get faster internet

Dissatisfied with your internet? Here are some tips to help get you up to speed.

Take a speed test

Before you improve the Wi-Fi in your home you first need to know what you’re getting.

Check your existing internet speed with Uswitch’s speed test.

You’re looking for a download speed of at least 25Mbps in order for multiple people to stream video without buffering.

Next steps

Switch router: Are you using a single-band router? If so it might be time to upgrade to a more powerful dual-band so you can enjoy the internet without buffering.

WiFi points: WAPs (Wireless Access Points) can help boost the signal around your home. Specifically, cabled WAPs to ensure the signal isn’t diluted but flushes your home with reliable, superfast Wi-Fi.

A clear path: Did you know that walls and objects can block Wi-Fi signal? Try removing any objects that block your computer’s ‘line of sight’ to the router. Placing the router on a shelf or wall mount can also help create a clear path for the signal.

Update the router firmware: Try to update router firmware regularly. A simple step but a crucial one to zap sluggish speeds to life. It also keeps you protected from hackers.

Read more of our Wi-Fi boosting tips here.

Fastest internet providers 2023

If all else fails, there’s always the option to switch internet providers. Just be sure to double-check that a provider operates a reliable coverage in your area.

Best all-round broadband

Plusnet has won the Expert Review Best Broadband Awards two years on the trot. Consumers love Plusnet for customer service and reliability, with nearly 80% of customers recommending Plusnet to friends and family.

Fastest broadband

Need for speed? Giga-bit ready Virgin Media takes the crown. Ofcom’s independent review found Virgin’s speeds to be the fastest out of all internet providers. Customers also reported being very satisfied with the download speeds they receive.

Fast broadband that covers your area

The trouble with Virgin Media is that it might not cover your area. In that case BT Broadband is your next best bet. If the prevalence of Openreach vans across the UK are anything to go by, BT are rapidly upgrading their fibre network to ensure a speedier service for consumers.

Best customer service

If customer service is your top priority, EE consistently delivers on customer service. If you’re an existing EE customer then you could score a cheaper deal on your internet package, too.

To recap

Follow these tips to boost your Wi-Fi and start living smarter:

  • Determine you recurrent internet capability with a speed test
  • Choose a service that ensures at least 25Mbps download speeds — essential for viewing Netflix or video conferencing
  • Upgrade your router from single-band to dual-band to improve speed and consistency
  • Consider cabled WAPs to boost signal strength and maintain a consistent service throughout your home
  • Keep router firmware up to date. Not only will this improve signal strength and help you get the speeds you paid for, it will keep your home network safe from hackers
  • Clear a path for the signal. If you find your internet still kicks you off or takes ages buffering a physical object could be blocking your signal. Try mounting the router higher up to ensure a clear path
  • Use a wired connected for everything except mobile devices and laptops

For more expert tips and insights on optimizing your smart set-up, read our Smart Living blog for the latest technology and advice.

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