Not exactly. Actually, 30 Mbps is far from fast. At this speed, you’ll be able to get some things done. But it’s probably going to cause some problems if more than one or two people want to use the network at the same time.
How do we know this? Because we’ve been going to work! We’ve been spending a lot of time with 30 Mbps so that you know what it looks like.
Sure, you can get a single 4K Netflix stream at this speed. And that’s not bad at all. But it gets a little more complicated with multiple users.
Let’s unpack that.
Is 30 Mbps going to be problematic for me?
Not necessarily. If you’re a single person, 30 Mbps should be enough to keep you happy. It allows you to do most internet processes without an issue.
However, if you like to download a lot of large files or you’re planning on sharing your home network with one or more people, it can be problematic. Here’s how.
There are two factors we need to look at when we decide how well video calling will perform at 30 Mbps: upload speed and download speed.
Usually, the former is around one tenth of the latter, so let’s assume that 30 Mbps would give an upload speed of 3 Mbps.
Zoom, the most popular video calling platform these days, has a number of different quality settings for video calling . There’s a standard definition which requires 600 Kbps (0.6 Kbps). You could have five on the go with a 30 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload speed.
Then there’s 720p HD. That requires double the upload speed at 1.2 Mbps. So, two 720p video calls on Zoom under 30 Mbps is achievable.
However, you need a lot more for 1080p HD. Zoom requires a 3.8 Mbps upload speed for this level of quality so it would probably be out of the question at this speed.
If seeing your friends and family in the clearest of definition is crucial to you then you’re going to want to do better than 30 Mbps.
Another popular area of internet usage that requires a decent upload and download speed is gaming. It’s said that a decent upload and download speed for gaming is between 0.5 and 1 Mbps .
Even if we look at the top end of that bracket, we can say that three gamers could use a 30 Mbps network alongside one another. This might still cause a bit of lag but it should be fine for the most part.
It’s with gaming that we begin to bring in another factor: download time. Games are some of the biggest files one can download on a casual basis. As the world moves further and further away from physical discs, this is becoming more of a thing.
Let’s take a look at the example of Final Fantasy XV. It’s one of the biggest games, but still not the biggest at 148GB. If you were to attempt to download that at 30 Mbps, it would take almost 11 hours. You could fly from LA to London in that time.
Now you might see what we mean about the downloading problem at 30 Mbps… you’re going to need a bit of patience if you’re a gamer with this download speed.
Streaming Netflix and Spotify
You don’t have to worry about uploading when it comes to streaming Netflix and Spotify. It’s plain old download only here.
Let’s start with Spotify, by far the least heavy on your bandwidth due to being audio only as opposed to the audio and video of Netflix.
Spotify requires a download speed of 0.6 Mbps for its Premium members  (it’s a slightly better quality than the Free member subscription). So, you can have a massive 50 streams on the go at the same time with 30 Mbps. No problem here.
Netflix is a bit of a different story. It requires a download speed of 25 Mbps to unlock its highest quality, Ultra HD . Of course, you’d be able to do this one time with 30 Mbps but you wouldn’t have much room left over for any other processes or users.
You might be better off using regular HD with this download speed. It only needs 5 Mbps, so you could technically have six streams on the go at the same time here.
Overview: 30 Mbps
- 5 standard definition Zoom calls
- 2 720p Zoom calls
- 1 4K Netflix stream
- 6 HD Netflix streams
- 50 Spotify streams
- 11 hours to download Final Fantasy XV
- 3 video gaming sessions
Comparing 30 Mbps to some other common speeds
It’s all well and good looking at these numbers but to really get some perspective on 30 Mbps it’s best to look at it in comparison to other speeds. So let’s do that right now.
Let’s start right at the bottom so that you don’t feel so bad if you’re stuck at 30 Mbps. Because really, it could be a whole lot worse at 1 Mbps. Here’s why.
At 1 Mbps, you wouldn’t be able to carry out even some of the most basic internet tasks. In fact, even browsing the web could be a bit long winded some of the time.
Netflix at standard definition might just about be achievable but you’re likely to encounter some buffering pauses. But consider this. Downloading Final Fantasy XV would take almost two weeks!
So count yourself lucky you don’t have an internet speed of 1 Mbps.
At 100 Mbps, we’re getting a bit closer to the average of the US as a whole. And things are getting a lot more comfortable at this speed.
Imagine being able to have 4 Ultra HD Netflix streams on the go at the same time. That’s fun for the whole family, and it’s possible at 100 Mbps.
You’d also be able to enjoy 1080p HD Zoom calls to your heart’s content, including large conference calls or calls on multiple devices.
And what’s more, that game download we’ve been mentioning? It’d take just 3 hours and 17 minutes. About enough time to watch Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Get the popcorn ready.
If you’re all the way down at 30 Mbps, you might think that 500 Mbps is out of the question. And it is for some people. But definitely not all.
A whole office full of people will be able to consume bandwidth without any issues at 500 Mbps. It’s more than enough speed for as many as 10 (or perhaps even more) people at the same time, provided your router is good enough to handle this speed.
To download that Final Fantasy game, you’d only need 39 minutes. So, we’ve gone from a holiday in Spain at 1 Mbps to a seriously long haul flight at 30 Mbps. Then at 100 Mbps, it’s the length of a classic movie. But at 500 Mbps, you’ve barely got enough time to listen to Nas’ classic album Illmatic, arguably the greatest hip hop album of all time.
How can I beat 30 Mbps?
If you’ve just put Final Fantasy XV on to download and want to be able to play it in a shorter time than a transatlantic flight then you’re going to need a faster internet speed than 30 Mbps.
Here are our top tips to do that.
#1 Check your plan
All internet service plans are capped in one way or another. When you signed up for your plan, you’ll have been given a figure for your max download speed. You won’t be able to get anything faster than that while you’re on that plan.
So, if you have a plan of 30 Mbps, therein lies your issue. Just reach out to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and get them to put you on a higher plan! If they can’t beat it, speak to some other ISPs in your area and see if anyone else can do better.
#2 Reset your router
A lot of internet issues surround the router itself. A good place to start in troubleshooting your router is just by that old trick of turning it off and on again.
Over time, your router can become a little ‘confused’, so to speak, by the number of processes it has to undergo. To give it a little refresher, just switch it off at the wall for 10 seconds then bring it back to life.
Still not working correctly? A hard reboot might be what the doctor ordered. See the small reset button on it? Just hold that down for 10 seconds. Be prepared, however, for all your settings to be reset to the factory default.
#3 Extend your Wi-Fi range
If you can get 100 Mbps right next to your router or using an Ethernet cable but only 30 Mbps in the next room, it’s probably the range of your router that’s causing you an issue.
If your home network is lacking range, there are a few things you can do about it. First of all, you can grab a Wi-Fi extender. We’ve put together some of the best examples of them here.
Or, if you want to get really fancy, you can upgrade to Mesh and switch between satellites seamlessly rather than having to connect to a new network name each time you move into a new room.
#4 Pick up a new router
‘There’s no point flogging a dead horse’ as the saying goes. If your router is outdated or failing, picking up a Wi-Fi extender is going to be a waste of money. At this point, you’re probably going to want to buy a shiny new router.
Not sure which one to get? Fear not. We’ve got a few of the best ones right here.
#5 Reach out for further support
If all else fails, you might want to get back on the phone to your ISP. On the rare occasion there is a problem on their end, only they will be able to fix it. Your ISP should be able to provide you with a network status update whenever you need it.
How to test the results of your endeavors
You’re probably going to want to measure your progress as you work your way through the levels of internet speeds, no? Fortunately, there is a very quick, easy and free way to do this.
Just head over to the speedtest website and hit the GO button. Now, sit back and wait for the results to roll in. It will only take a few seconds.
30 Mbps FAQ
Here are some common questions regarding 30 Mbps.
Is 30 Mbps average?
Even though 30 Mbps isn’t mega slow, it’s actually still quite far below average. The average download speed in the US is over 150 Mbps now . That’s five lots of 30 Mbps.
30 Mbps is actually half the average for the world these days. Currently, the world average is a touch above 60 Mbps but it is growing all the time. At 30 Mbps, you’re around the average for South Africa, Cyprus, and Turkey.
Why do we measure in Mbps instead of MB/s?
While these two units of measurement look similar, they are in fact very different in terms of scale. They measure exactly the same thing, but one 1 MBps is actually 8x more than 1 MB/s.
ISPs decided to make the switch from MB/s to Mbps when they decided that the scale of MB/s looked too tight. Now, their service plans look a whole lot better! Coincidence? We think not…
Can I upgrade my network range without having to connect to a new network?
Earlier on, we mentioned how handy it can be to grab a Wi-Fi extender to boost your network range. But it can be a bit of a pain to have to connect to a new network when you go out of range of the original signal.
To get around this, you can use something called Mesh. Mesh uses Wi-Fi repeaters but with different technology for seamless roaming around the home. It’s all done under one connection that changes automatically and it’s pretty darn cool.
Wrapping up on 30 Mbps
For a single internet user, 30 Mbps might just about do the trick. However, for those who like to download large files (namely games, as we explored earlier on) or households with multiple users sharing the same network, it might not cut it.
There are a few things you might be able to do if you’re stuck at 30 Mbps and want to go faster. Check our top tips for improving your home internet speed for some help with that.