What is a Good Broadband Speed in the UK?

By: Jake Mellor
Updated: October 18, 2021
Internet Speed in the UK

I hate getting poor picture quality when streaming or watching a video. I'm sure you don't like it either. As a person who's had numerous struggles with different network providers, I understand how broadband connections work in the United Kingdom. 

With this experience, I can answer some important questions like what is a good broadband speed for different online activities.

The broadband market in the UK directly affects more than 82% of the United Kingdom's population. And on average, every household spends between £37 and £40.25 monthly on data and voice services. 

With prices like this, you want to enjoy the value you’re paying for in the form of fast broadband speed. 

Here, I’ll provide information to help you determine the best broadband speed for your online activities. Let’s start with web browsing!

What is a Good Internet Speed for Web Browsing?

For web browsing, you don't need high speed. A broadband speed of about 3Mbps is enough. Mbps means megabits per second, and it's the standard measurement for broadband speed. 

If you have a broadband speed of, say, 3Mbps, you're good to go for web browsing because most websites have quick loading speeds with compressed images and written text. 

Hence, browsing at 3Mbps is excellent, but if you can get a bit higher, say 5Mbps, you'll enjoy a smooth surfing experience.

What is a Good Broadband Speed for Streaming?

Online streaming is a different ball game entirely because of the size of video media. Videos are heavier and often have more loading time compared to web pages. 

But, you can stream with a broadband speed as low as 1.5Mpbs. Surprised? That's how I felt too!

A good broadband speed for streaming is a function of what video quality you’re trying to watch. 

Videos come in different qualities, including high definition, full high definition, standard definition, and 4K. Therefore, the broadband speed you'll need for streaming differs per video quality.  

Putting that in perspective, you may need your broadband speed in the UK to run at 30Mpbs to watch live 4K video!

What Speed Do I Need to Watch Movies and Stream TV?

Again, what is a good internet speed for watching and streaming TV depends on the quality of the movie and the type of TV. 

If you're streaming in HD, a broadband speed between 2Mbps and 6Mbps will be ideal. 

If you're streaming the movie via the TV or Netflix, a broadband speed of 15Mbps and 30Mbps is great. 

Another factor that affects broadband speed is the number of people using the network simultaneously. If you have a large family, you'll have multiple users, which can affect broadband speed. 

How Much Data Does Streaming Use?

The amount of data streaming requires depends on the quality of your videos. Likewise, it depends on the amount of time you spend streaming. 

For instance, if you watch Netflix for about an hour, the amount of data you'll use should be around one gigabyte.

Here’s a breakdown of how much data you need for different picture qualities:

  • Low - 300 megabytes per hour
  • Standard definition - 700 megabytes per hour
  • High - Between three gigabytes and seven gigabytes per hour. 
  • Auto - This particular speed changes as your internet speed changes.

The frame rate also affects the amount of data streaming takes. Frame rates refer to the frequency of images in a video or computer graphics, and it has a standard measurement unit of frames per second. 

A video with higher frame rates shows more images per second. As a result, that video will consume more broadband data per second. In the UK, videos usually have high frame rates, so you can expect higher broadband data usage. 

Good Internet Speed for Twitch Streaming in the UK

Twitch is a popular live-streaming video service available to residents in the UK. Your broadband data speed should be high if you want to stream content on Twitch without delay and connection issues. 

If you want a live video of great quality, you'll need an upload speed between 6Mbps and 9Mbps. But at this speed, you may be seeing some slow motion in your live feed. 

If you want live video in high quality and speed, you need a broadband speed between 9Mbps and 13Mbps. 

What is a Good Broadband Speed for Gaming?

You and 36 million other gamers in the UK have questions about what a good broadband speed for gaming is.

From my findings, the data speed you need for gaming depends on the type of game you're playing and its picture quality. 

If you're playing on a PlayStation 4, you'll need a download speed of 3Mbps, and an upload speed of at least 1Mbps. 

For Xbox One and Nintendo, you can have the same speed as a PlayStation 4, but your upload speed can even go lower. 

Minimum Download Speeds Required by the Most Popular Gaming Consoles

  • Nintendo: 3Mbps
  • Xbox One: 3Mbps
  • PlayStation 4: 3Mbps
  • PlayStation 5: 5-6Mbps
  • PC games: 4-6Mbps 

Good Internet Speed for Streaming Audio and Music Videos 

Audio sounds have diverse qualities, so again, quality comes to play with audio content. In most cases, you can stream audio files with a broadband speed of 0.5Mbps.

For music videos, you'll need 3Mbps for a standard picture quality, 5Mbps for the high definition version, and more than 20Mbps for 4K images. 

What Speed Do I Need for Video Calling?

Video calls don't need high internet speed, although it depends on the quality. With 12 Kbps, you'll have a great video call. 

But if you want better quality, then you'll be needing between 1Mbps and 3Mbps for a video call. 

A higher number of participants in a video call will require faster broadband speeds. For three people, you'll need a minimum of 0.5Mbps. 

Standard vs Fibre Broadband

Standard broadband was in use long before fibre broadband and is still relevant today. If you're single or not more than two individuals use the same network, standard broadband works excellently. 

This type of broadband depends on the Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) technology. It’s slower and is not all that ideal for streaming videos. 

On the other hand, fibre broadband is the latest technology and is perfect if you have multiple users. Fibre broadband depends on copper wire to the exchange. 

How Much Internet Speed Do You Need?

If you live in the UK, the ideal broadband speed for a comfortable all-around streaming experience is 10Mbps. 

You can enjoy yourself online, including gaming, browsing, and streaming live videos at this speed. 

However, if you love high-quality pictures or have many users on your broadband, you need a higher speed. 


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions concerning what is a good broadband speed: 

What Broadband Speed Do I Have?

You can quickly check your internet speed on different platforms like Broadband Speed Test and Speed Test.

What is a Good Broadband Speed Mbps

A good broadband speed is any speed within the range of 3Mbps and 25Mbps.

What is a Good Broadband Speed for Home Use?

In your home, a good broadband speed for one or two users is between 3Mbps and 5Mbps. For more users, it’s best to use between 6Mbps and 20Mbps. 

What is a Good Broadband Download and Upload Speed?

Most of the time, you download data more than you upload it; hence, you need a higher download speed. If you have a download speed of 3Mbps and an upload speed of 1Mbps, you're good to go. 

What is the Average WIFI Speed in the UK?

According to BBC, the average broadband speed in the UK is around 64Mbps. 

What is a Good Broadband Speed for 1 Person?

Since you live alone, you'll seldom have people on your broadband. Therefore, a broadband data speed of 3Mbps is excellent if you live alone in the UK. 

Final Words

I have answered all the questions you have about broadband speed and streaming in this blog. Now, you can decide on a service provider depending on the speeds you need.