Is 400 Mbps Fast?

Oh yes! 400 Mbps is getting into rapid territory. While it’s still not the fastest download speed in the world, it’s way above average for most of the world.

A whole family or small workplace who uses the internet heavily would be more than happy at this speed.

What is a good internet speed

We’d know, because we spent quite a lot of time putting it through its paces.

So for the results of our experiments at 400 Mbps, read on!

What can I get out of 400 Mbps?

There aren’t many casual internet users in the world who would complain about 400 Mbps. At this speed, you’re likely to encounter very few issues. We tried to max it out, but couldn’t!

Here’s a look at the limits of 400 Mbps so that you know what you’ll be able to do if you get this speed.

Minimum internet speed Explained

Online gaming

We need to look at both download speed and upload speed when we think about online gaming. That’s because you’re uploading your own actions while downloading others. 

But most of the time, your upload speed will be a lot lower than your download speed. In fact, it’s generally around one tenth. But that still leaves 40 Mbps from 400 Mbps, which ain’t half bad. 

It’s generally thought that a solid gaming session demands between 0.5 and 1 Mbps [1]. So technically, you could have 40 gaming sessions on the go at the same time with 400 Mbps.

There are a few other factors at play here including ping and the fact that it’s unlikely all 40 consoles would be able to get the same share of the bandwidth. But the bottom line is, gaming is no problem at all at this kind of speed.

But as any gamer will know, it ain’t just about the gaming sessions themselves. A real woe for a gamer with a slow internet speed is how long it takes to download updates and game files.

Game files can be some of the biggest downloads we’ll ever do. Just look at Quantum Break, for example. It comes in at a massive 178GB. At 400 Mbps, that would take just under an hour at 59 minutes. Impressive. 

Video chats

Experiencing issues with a video call due to poor bandwidth is super annoying. But are we going to encounter that kind of issue at 400 Mbps?

To cut a long story short, the answer is no. Video calling will be a walk in the park at 400 Mbps. Let’s break it down. 

Zoom themselves say that you’ll need an upload speed of 3.8 Mbps to make a 1080p HD video call with them [2]. That’s the highest quality they have to offer. Based on that, you’d be able to make 10 Zoom calls at the same time with 400 Mbps if we use the same upload speed assumption as before.

And it doesn’t necessarily have to be 1080p HD either. The 720p HD mode requires just 1.2 Mbps. At that point, a whole office full of people could easily be making simultaneous calls.

Streaming Netflix and Spotify

Netflix’s Ultra HD (4K) mode is pretty impressive visually but it does require a lot of bandwidth: 25 Mbps per stream, no less [3]. We’re only looking at download speed here, though. So technically, you could stream in Ultra HD 16 times over at 400 Mbps.

Spotify is even easier. Fancy a silent disco? You could invite 666 people to stream Spotify Premium at the same time with 400 Mbps. A spooky number indeed.

Internet speed, the time it takea to download a 10 GB file

Overview: 400 Mbps

400 Mbps is enough for: 

  • 10 108p HD Zoom calls
  • 40+ gaming sessions
  • 16 Ultra HD Netflix streams
  • 666 Spotify streams
  • 59 minutes to download Quantum Break (178 GB)

400 Mbps vs. a few other speeds

It’s fair to say that 400 Mbps is very capable. But it could certainly be better! Then again, it could be a heck of a lot worse. It dwarfs the kinds of speeds a lot of people out there are stuck at.

Internet Speeds

Let’s find out what 400 Mbps looks like in comparison to some other speeds.

10 Mbps

You’d have to be pretty unlucky to wind up with a download speed of just 10 Mbps. This speed is lower than the average for most countries in the world (only 37 countries are achieving less than this at the time of writing [4]).

How would it feel if you had it for yourself? Well, we didn’t enjoy it very much when we tried it out. You can’t get a single Ultra HD Netflix stream at this speed, nor can you make a 1080p or even a 720p HD Zoom call. 

Downloading is quite a pain, too. Remember how we mentioned that Quantum Break would take 59 minutes to download at 400 Mbps? Well, at 10 Mbps, it would take all of 39 hours and 33 minutes. Imagine having to wait nearly two whole days for a game to download!

100 Mbps

If you’re managing to get 100 Mbps, things aren’t so bad. While it’s still quite a way below the average for the US right now, it’s probably enough for a small family

We say that because it would enable 4 Ultra HD Netflix streams at the same time in theory. Furthermore, you could have a couple of 1080p HD Zoom calls here.

Downloading Quantum Break isn’t going to take an exhausting amount of time but you will need some patience. 3 hours, 57 minutes is the likely time here.

1000 Mbps

Now we’re talking. Things are pretty blistering at 1000 Mbps. In fact, it doesn’t get much faster than this when it comes to home networks. Not a lot of people manage to get this kind of speed, and it trumps the average speed of every country in the world.

Pretty much all home internet usages will be a walk in the park at this speed. But here’s the main thing: actual downloading becomes immensely quick here. Quantum Break would take a very relaxed 27 minutes. Just enough time for a cup of coffee.

The one thing we should point out about 1000 Mbps is that not a lot of routers can actually handle it. Make sure you find one that’s powerful enough if you’re shooting for this kind of speed!

How to maximize your chances of unlocking 400 Mbps

If you’ve read this article so far and found yourself really wanting that 400 Mbps download speed, we do not blame you. It sure is desirable! Here are a few things you can do to have a shot at it.

#1 Look at your internet service plan

There’s a good chance your internet plan at home has a cap on download speed set by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If that’s the case, you’re not going to get any faster than that. So the first thing you need to do is find out what that cap is.

ISPs will often have a few different tiers so ask them if you can upgrade. Who knows? They might have 400 Mbps on offer or even more. And if they don’t, another provider in your area could well do. 

#2 Disconnect all other devices from the network

If you’re supposed to be getting 400 Mbps but your internet speed test is coming up short, it might be other devices connected to the network that are compromising your speed.

Smartphones, computers and games consoles etc. often perform a lot of background activity such as updates or syncing data. This can actually be pretty heavy on your bandwidth even if the device is technically idle. 

So, if you need as much power as possible out of your network, just switch off all the other devices that are connected to it or disconnect them from the network.

#3 Use Quality of Service 

Perhaps a more practical approach (albeit not quite as effective) than turning off the devices is to use something called Quality of Service (QoS). This is a tool that comes with most routers that allows you to prioritize certain devices on the network.

If you do it, you’ll be able to get more speed out of one, two or more devices at the deficit of other devices. It’s something to think about if you want to download something as quickly as possible.

#4 Grab a powerful router

If your internet plan is 400 Mbps, there’s a good chance your ISP will have provided you with a router that can handle it. But sometimes, that might not be the case. At this point, you may wish to upgrade your router to one that can handle faster speeds

A router upgrade is also often a good idea if you need to improve the range of your home network. So if you’re noticing poor performance in the far corners of your home, this might not be a bad idea.

We’ve put together a list of some of the best routers so that you can find the perfect one for you.

#5 Move house

Okay, this might seem a little drastic. But the fact of the matter is, internet performance is a lot better in some areas than others. If you’ve spoken to all the internet providers in your area and none of them can give you 400 Mbps, the only thing left to do is relocate. Damn. 

Check your internet speed for free at home

Of course, it helps to be able to find out what your internet speed currently is before you embark on trying to do something about it. That way, you can keep track of your progress or celebrate if you’re already there.

Fortunately, there are a bunch of free speed tests online that only take a couple of minutes to carry out. Check out this one from Ookla. You’ll know your download and upload speed in no time just by hitting the GO button.

400 Mbps FAQ

The download speed of 400 Mbps proposes a few questions. Here are some of them and the answers to them.

Is 400 Mbps really achievable? 

Absolutely! While 400 Mbps is quite a lot faster than the average download speed of every single country in the world, it doesn’t mean it’s out of reach at all. There are some areas in which 400 Mbps is more than achievable. 

So, if you’re desperate for that speed, you might want to find those spots and head to one of them. It’s the only way to get this speed!

Can my router handle 400 Mbps?

A good question. It definitely depends on your router. Quite a lot of them won’t be able to manage 400 Mbps! But if you take a look through our router reviews, you’re bound to find one that will be up for the task.

A hint: make sure you find one that has a decent range if you have a medium to large-sized home as well.

Why do we measure this speed in Mbps?

You may remember a time when internet speed was measured in MB/s instead of Mbps.

But a few years back, everything changed. The ISPs decided that MB/s wasn’t impressive enough. So, they basically multiplied the scale by eight and changed the unit.

Now, 8 Mbps is literally just 1 MB/s.

Last thoughts on 400 Mbps

Anyone managing to unlock a download speed of 400 Mbps is in a pretty good place. It’s a lot faster than the average for most locations in the world. And realistically, it will be enough for a family of any size, even if each member of that family is heavy on their internet demand.

If you’re not quite managing 400 Mbps but want to know more about the kind of internet speed you need for your own personal situation, check out our guide.

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