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What Is Your Downstream Bandwidth?

In this week's Home Theater Geeks podcast, Boxee co-founder and CEO Avner Ronen talks about the new paradigm of streaming TV. Of course, the image and sound quality depend greatly on how much downstream bandwidth you have—for 720p, many people recommend at least 3 to 4 megabits per second (Mbps), while 1080p normally requires 6 Mbps or more. (Vudu specifies 2.25 Mbps for 720p and 4.5 Mbps for its HDX 1080p stream.)

Which leads me to ask, what is the downstream bandwidth in your home? If you don't know, there are several websites that let you measure it, both downstream and upstream; I use, which yielded the results shown above at my home, where Charter Cable provides my Internet access. If you know how much bandwidth you're paying for, you might want to verify it. Also, I'd love to know if your broadband Internet access is provided by DSL, cable, or another service—my impression is that cable is generally faster than DSL—so please leave a comment about that if you would be so kind.

Vote to see the results and leave a comment about your choice.

What Is Your Downstream Bandwidth?

dnoonie's picture


Provider is Centurylink (old Qwest)
I test between 6Mbps and 7Mbps (it's DSL) as long as it's along a major internet backbone.

David N

David Vaughn's picture
Comcast here (or Xfitity if you prefer) and it's blazing fast for $44.95 a month.
dnoonie's picture


I know folks in other neighborhoods get great service from Comcast but...

My neighbor with Comcast was continually coming over to use my DSL line because their Comcast would slow to a crawl (less than dial up speed) after about 3pm. I know this doesn't happen everywhere but in my neighborhood Comcast isn't a good option.

KikassAssassin's picture

I have a 15 Mbps plan with Charter, but it usually runs around 18 or so. It's measuring at 20 Mbps at the moment.

I had SBC DSL previously with a 3 Mbps plan, but most of the time it ran at about 2 Mbps, so cable was definitely an upgrade for me.

Hulcster's picture

I am getting about 15mbps.

Savant's picture

Where I am currently staying I am getting 1.25mbps. Its frustrating to do anything. My phone's 3G can smoke my home internet which is embarrassing for DSL. I'll be jumping back on cable as soon as possible. When I lived in Portland, OR I had comcast providing me with 25+.

HardBoiled's picture

download = 17.39, upload = 0.97. time/warner.

loop7's picture

Love hate relationship with Comcast. I pay approx $60/month for about 27 down and 6 up.

dd3kv2's picture

I get roughly 20.12 down and 2.02 up on Brighthouse cable. They are pretty good in the area I live in.

Will's picture

Down 50 up 20

dmusoke's picture

As popular as this site might be, its not a good representation of your true download speed for large file. I have Vudu as my online movie service and they recommend the site below:

This is a much better of download speeds for large files like movies and sucn. If i run, i get 18 - 28Mbos depending on time of day. With the Vudu site, i get an avearge of 10Mbps, which is what TimeWarner has for me.

David Vaughn's picture
17.6 down 4.7 up using the Vudu site.
Scott Wilkinson's picture
With the Vudu speed test, I got 14.2 Mbps down and 2.4 Mbps up—23% lower downstream speed and 14% lower upstream speed than measured. Not a tremendous difference, but not insignificant, either. Thanks for the tip!
notabadname's picture

50 down, 20 up, but at a price. That is not their standard package.

Ed Trigg's picture

Here in Anaheim -- using TWC -- our download speed is just under 20 and upload is just under one. Although there are times when the download drops drastically, I am generally happy and would never substitute with our local DSL. Fortunately, I'd don't upload that much, so the rather consistent and pathetic upload speed of just under one is more of a philosophical annoyance.

Evening hours do yield occasional blips while watching Netflix, but it generally works just fine.

All of this internet "goodness" runs around 50 bucks a month as part of the cable "bundle" TWC is so kind to supply.

msardo's picture

When I am connected to my router via wireless I clocked in with 12.83 downstream and only 1.77 upstream.

However, my streaming devices (Oppo Blu*Ray player and Roku Streaming) are both connected to my router with a wired connection.

I am going to edit this post after I connect my computer to the router with an Ethernet cable and give you that information.

UPDATE: Wired offered interesting results: faster download at 18.13 (good for streaming) but slower upload at only 0.45.

Scott Wilkinson's picture
I might expect slower speeds in both directions with wireless, not faster down and slower up. Good experiment!
notabadname's picture

You could take 10 test's of speeds over several hours and get significantly different results fromfthe same type of connection and computer. I would suspect the variation is more likely caused by the ISP and connection or traffic variances than the switch to Wi-Fi. I see it regularly, even over the course of minutes, on a single computer, hard-wired to Ethernet. Rarely, will anyone see either Wi-Fi or an Ethernet connection be the cause of a significant speed change, as either has greater throughput than most people's ISP allowance/cap. (assuming current Wi-Fi "N" or Ethernet hardware is being used on their computer).

But if one we're to be slower (given the same ISP connection), it should always be wireless that would bench a little slower unless you have a damaged Ethernet cable. The spec is simply faster for fast Ethernet and its full duplex capability versus half duplex for wireless N. Then there are walls, and radio interference that always keep wireless from achieving 100% theoretical spec.

IslandTosh's picture

Just under 10 down / 1 up. It definitely slows down during the evenings on weekdays. Too bad FIOS isn't available in my neighborhood.

Scott Wilkinson's picture
FiOS is not available in my neighborhood, either, which really bums me out.
Oruki's picture

Where i live we are stuck with less the 1 mbps (750 kbps), but fortunately we are able to get that through DSL (embark is our provider I believe) where we first relied on satellite to leave the world of dial up behind. The real frustrating part about this, is that true high speed internet ends 1/4 mile down the road... but that's how it goes in rural areas. At least my brother and I can COD online with our DSL connection as long as now one else is surfing the web.

Just a side note, our situation is not uncommon in rural areas, and this is why I hope that physical media remains for as long as possible. Until high speed internet is the equivalent to other public utilities we cannot rely on broadband as a lone distribution source. This problem sometimes seems forgotten as the world of cities move to faster and faster internet, while other areas are stuck with less than ideal solutions to even access online media.

Orcas400's picture

I have 1.5M service from Frontier. However, the fastest speed I ever see is 125kbps. I have used all the popular DSL speed tests, and they all show the same thing. It does no good to complain/negotiate/troubleshoot/etc to Frontier. I might as well have dialup. It's wonderful! I had the same speed with Verizon (which sold off the DSL service to Frontier). Everybody in the neighborhood with Frontier has the same experience.

spocksbrother's picture

FiOS in Northern NJ... 43MB Down, 35MB Up.

Brianhbr549's picture

Just ran the here in Ellensburg. As is typical I get 14.54Mbps down and 16.44Mbps up. Love my T3 internet I get though my apartment complex.

Jarod's picture

8.92 download.

MatthewWeflen's picture

Comcast in Chicago. Wired: 24 down/ 4 up. Wireless 9 down/ 4 up.

karausa's picture

My downstream is recording 20 Mbps and I think this is a safe number for the system. retro bowl