download speed

Boost Your Download Speed and Never Wait Again!


We all access the internet to connect with our loved ones, stream our favorite TV programs, and download the videos of our choice. Many factors come into play for smooth browsing and downloading. However, download speed is one important factor that can make or break your experience on the internet.

You must have had a question about what is a good download speed to surf the internet smoothly. Download speed is the rate at which digital data is transferred from the internet to your computer. This means the faster the download speed, the less time it will take to download a movie or a file from the internet.

The download speed is also applicable to the mobile internet. Usually, this speed is lower than the downloading speed of Broadband. However, with the rolling out of 5G, the mobile data speed is also increasing.

2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G are the most discussed terms about mobile internet, but what impact do they have on internet speed? The G’s are generations of mobile internet that significantly impact the download speed of mobile internet. With every successive generation, the download speed has increased dramatically, making 5G the fastest of all generations.

This blog will have a detailed discussion on each generation of mobile internet so you get to know how every upcoming generation improved the download speed. The real-world speed differs from the theoretical speeds; we have that covered too. After reading the blog, you will have detailed answers to almost all your download speed questions.

What is download Speed?

Download speed is the rate at which the data is transferred from the internet to your smartphone or laptop. The data can be an image you’re viewing, a web page, an application you want to download, or a movie you are trying to stream.

The Internet download speeds are measured in “bits per second” b/s, where a bit is a zero or one in binary. The more common measuring unit for download speed is megabytes per second, mb/s, where 1 Megabyte equals 1,000,000 bits.

Download speed test is conducted with the help of different tools. Ookla, for example, is the highly recommended download speed calculator which measures the download and upload speed. The best thing about the tool is that it gives you the most accurate results.

Faster download speeds always mean the internet will load faster, and your waiting time will be less. Faster downloading speeds also support higher-quality streaming. You can watch 1080 HD videos if you have a faster internet connection.

To check download speed, you have to visit a speed tester that will give you the most appropriate results. Many tools are available online, and you just have to write “download speed test” to see the most accurate results.

2G, 3G, 4G & 5G Download Speeds

Every generation of the internet has a different download speed. The speed also depends on your cellular network. For example, if you are on EE, you might experience a different speed compared to when you are using the internet of Vodafone.  We have created a table to demonstrate what you may expect from every generation of the internet.

Generation Max. Download speed Typical download speed
2G 0.1Mbit/s <0.1Mbit/s
3G 21Mbit/s 4Mbit/s
4G 150Mbit/s 15Mbit/s
4G+ 450Mbit/s 45Mbit/s
5G 1,000-10,000Mbit/s 150-200Mbit/s


The table has two different speeds; the first one is downloading speed, which is based on the limits of technology. Whereas the typical download speed of every generation represents what you will experience on your daily usage. The max download can only be achieved when you have perfect coverage and there isn’t anything blocking your signals.

The typical download speed depends on several factors, such as location, distance from the masts, and the number of users around you.

Impact on Download Times & Streaming

The table below shows how much download speed you can expect from different internet generations.

Activity 4G Download Time 3G Download Time 2G Download Time
Accessing a typical web page 0.5 seconds 4 seconds 3 minutes
Sending an e-mail without attachments <0.1 seconds <0.1 seconds 1 second
Downloading high-quality photograph 0.5 seconds 4 seconds 3 minutes
Downloading a music track (MP3) 3 seconds 10 seconds 7 minutes
Downloading an application 8 seconds 1 minute 40 minutes


Streaming Applications

Some applications stream data, Netflix, for example. These apps need more download speed to stream high-quality content. Streaming usually means the content is shown on your phone while also being downloaded. If the content isn’t downloading appropriately, you will experience pauses while playing the video.

The table below represents how much data every application requires to work smoothly.

Activity Required Download Speed
Skype/WhatsApp phone call 0.1Mbit/s
Skype video call 0.5Mbit/s
Skype video call (HD) 1.5Mbit/s
Listening to online radio 0.2Mbit/s
Watching YouTube videos (basic quality) 0.5Mbit/s
Watching YouTube videos (720p HD quality) 2.5Mbit/s
Watching YouTube videos (1080p HD quality) 4Mbit/s
Watching iPlayer/Netflix (standard definition) 1.5Mbit/s
Watching iPlayer/Netflix (high definition) 5Mbit/s
Watching iPlayer/Netflix (4K UHD) 25Mbit/s

A 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation should be able to cater and sustain most of these activities. Having a stronger connection always allows you to stream high-quality content.


Latency is another important factor that impacts your experience on the internet. It is sometimes called lag or ping if you know what online gaming is. Latency is the time it takes to transfer data from a source to its destination.

More latency means delayed data transfers. When your mobile starts loading content from the internet, there is a delay before the server responds. The download will only be possible after a response from the server.

High latency causes the pages to load slowly; this can be problematic with applications that need real-time connectivity. For example, voice calls, video calls, or gaming applications.

The table below shows the typical latency rates for different generations.

Generation Typical latency
2G 500ms (0.5 seconds)
3G 100ms (0.1 seconds)
4G 50ms (0.05 seconds)
5G 1ms (0.001 Seconds)

The latency rate has significantly decreased in the 5th generation of mobile internet. This is an excellent achievement for this generation. The download speeds were already fast in the previous generations. 4G had a speed of 5Mbit/s which is sufficient for high-definition videos.

Despite these speeds, the latency rates were higher, affecting the overall response in 4th generation.  Reducing latency rates in the latest generation helps improve overall user experience.

The decrease in latency will be helpful for the newer applications. For example, a self-driven car traveling at a higher speed will need 5G speed to perform its roles efficiently.

Download Speeds & Download Limits

In today’s digital age, downloading files is a routine activity for many people. Whether downloading a movie, a music album, or an important document, the download speed, and limits can play a significant role in the user’s experience.

Internet service providers (ISPs) advertise different download speeds depending on your subscribed package. The advertised speed is the maximum download speed you can achieve under optimal conditions. However, various factors affect your download speed, such as your distance from the server, the quality of your connection, the type of connection, and the time of day.

Download limits refer to the amount of data you can download within a specific period. The limit can be a fixed amount of data, such as 10GB per month, or a time-based limit, such as 10 hours of download time per month.

Download speeds and download limits can have a significant impact on the user experience. Slow download speeds can be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to download a large file, and can result in longer wait times. On the other hand, fast download speeds can make the downloading process quick and efficient, saving you time and effort.

Download limits can also affect your experience. If you reach your limit, your download speed may be reduced, making it harder to download large files or access data-heavy applications. Additionally, if you exceed your limit, you may be charged an additional fee, which can be an unexpected expense.

Factors that Affect Download Speed

Several factors can affect download speeds and download limits. These include:

  • The further you are from the server, the longer it takes for data to reach your device.
  • A weak or unstable connection can result in slower download speeds and can cause interruptions during the download process.
  • The number of users on the network can affect download speeds, as peak usage times can result in slower speeds.
  • The quality and capacity of the ISP’s infrastructure can affect both download speeds and download limits.

Also Read: 9 Awesome and Useful Apps to Download That Don’t Need Wi-Fi


The speed of mobile data download is measured in terms of bits per second (bps) or its multiples, such as kilobits per second (Kbps), megabits per second (Mbps), and gigabits per second (Gbps).

The second generation of mobile communication technology provides data download speeds ranging from 9.6 Kbps to 384 Kbps. 2G networks are now considered outdated and are no longer used in most parts of the world.

The third generation of mobile communication technology provides data download speeds ranging from 384 Kbps to 2 Mbps. 3G networks were introduced in the early 2000s and are still used in many parts of the world.

The fourth generation of mobile communication technology provides data download speeds ranging from 2 Mbps to 1 Gbps. 4G networks are currently the most widely used mobile networks worldwide.

The fifth generation of mobile communication technology provides data download speeds ranging from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps. 5G networks are the latest and most advanced mobile networks, offering faster speeds and lower latency than 4G networks.


Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data transmitted over a network in a given period. The higher the bandwidth, the more data can be transmitted in a shorter amount of time, resulting in faster download speeds. Megabits per second, a unit of measurement for data transfer speed. It represents the number of bits that can be transmitted in one second. The higher the Mbps, the faster the download speed.

The geographical area a mobile network covers is called network coverage. The quality and speed of mobile data download may vary depending on the network coverage in a particular location. A technology that enables mobile devices to combine multiple frequency bands to increase the amount of data that can be transmitted simultaneously. Carrier aggregation can result in faster download speeds.

Bottom Line

Your questions on download speed must have been answered after reading the blog. The latest generations of the internet have boosted download speeds, meaning you can surf the internet more smoothly.

If you are a heavy downloader, faster speeds will allow you to download the files quickly. Streaming high-quality videos shouldn’t be a challenge if you have a speed of 5MB. You might need a higher speed if more internet users are on the network.

If you experience continuous buffering of videos, it indicates that your download speed is lesser, and you might need a speed upgrade.


What is good download speed?

100 Mb/s is a good download speed for watching Netflix or YouTube without buffering, attending zoom meetings and playing most online games.

Is 5.7 Mbps download speed good?

5.7 Mb/s gives an excellent web surfing experience. The speed is sufficient to stream 720p high-definition videos. It is also possible to download videos within 20 minutes at this speed.

Is 100 Mbps download speed good?

Anything that ranges from 100-200 Mb/s is an excellent download speed. Slower speeds are also good, but you might need up to 100 MB/s if you live in a family with more people frequently using the internet on multiple devices.

Is 25 Mbps download fast?

25 MB/s download speed with 3 MB/s upload speed is considered high-speed internet. This speed allows for basic internet activity. This speed is ideal for small households or businesses with few people.

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