Compare 1 Mbps download speed vs 3 Mbps [In Theory & Practice]

Sep 09, 2022 - Views: 742

Rating:4.8 - 51Votes

1 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps are two of the most popular connection speeds some network providers offer. 

So, what are the differences between them? 

Keep reading to find the answer

1 Mbps download speed vs 3 Mbps download speed

1 Mbps download speed vs 3 Mbps download speed

How to know my download speed?

How to know what my download speed is?

Well, before going further into the distinction between the two download speeds, it’s necessary to discuss this issue.

After connecting to a server, run a speed test, which is the easiest way. 

After that, you'll learn how efficiently your local network is running.

You can pick from a variety of online download testers that are available. 

The websites,, and are good options.

You may check your internet connection and run a speed test using these websites from anywhere at any time.

Before your network starts transmitting the signal throughout your house, a speed test will then let you know how fast your internet is.

Depending on the operating system, different steps must be followed to do a download speed test.

However, here is a general guide:

  • Step 1: Visit the testing website

  • Step 2: Click on the ‘‘GO/Start’’ option on the screen

  • Step 3: Wait for the result

For more details, look at this example:

Using MySpeed to check the download speed

Using MySpeed to check the download speed

Do you know your download speed?

Now, let’s move on to the main part of today’s post!

The difference between 1 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps

As shown in the title, we’ll go over both in terms of two aspects: in theory and in practice.

Why not go for the details?

Theoretical speed

When an Internet service provider offers a 1 Mbps or 3 Mbps connection, it is not the guaranteed minimum speed you will receive. 

That isn't even the expected average speed. 

Instead, it's the highest possible speed. 

You'll never get more than that, and you'll almost always get less — especially during peak network traffic periods. 

Download speed

Download speed

These limits are imposed by ISPs due to technological constraints, cost-cutting strategies, and an effort to prevent users from abusing the system. 

Using the aforementioned download speed calculator Mbps will help you to know the exact internet speed. 

From there, you can easily make realistic comparisons and make the right decisions before changing network service packages.

Practical comparison

Many people also question why not compare 1 Mbps and 2 Mbps download speeds.

But in fact, 1 Mbps and 2 Mbps are not much different, so comparing 1 and 3 Mbps will get clearer results.

A 3 Mbps Internet connection will be three times faster than a 1 Mbps connection, as you might expect. 

Text and basic Web pages are handled quickly by both connection speeds. 

On a 1 Mbps connection, you'll spend more time waiting for things to load than on a 3 Mbps connection for larger downloads.

With a 1 Mbps download speed, a 7MB music file should take roughly 1 minute to download, but just about 20 seconds on a 3 Mbps connection. 

With 3 Mbps, you will get a better picture than with a 1 Mbps connection while watching movies on a website that instantly changes the video quality.

3 Mbps is better than 1 Mbps for online activities

3 Mbps is better than 1 Mbps for online activities

What is a good download speed?

Definitely not 1 Mbps or 3 Mbps.

Both speeds are too slow to do everything online smoothly. 

Even if you are in your network, these speeds are still insufficient for basic online demand due to several factors such as wifi interference,... 

Is a 1 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps sufficient for regular use?

As previously mentioned, a 3 Mbps and 1Mbps download speed appears to be very slow internet connection speed in today's fast-paced world. 

It is only enough for our day-to-day browsing and sending emails for one user. 

If you often stream HD content, broadcast Livestream, or play video games, you will need much more than this. 

Let’s look at the minimum and recommended speed for common online activities.

Common activities

Minimum speed 

Recommended speed


1 Mbps

1 Mbps

Web browsing

3 Mbps

5 Mbps

Social media

3 Mbps

10 Mbps

Streaming SD video

3 Mbps

5 Mbps

Streaming HD video

5 Mbps

10 Mbps

Streaming 4K video

25 Mbps

35 Mbps

Online gaming

3–6 Mbps

25 Mbps

Streaming music

1 Mbps

1 Mbps

One-on-one video calls

1 Mbps

5 Mbps

Video conference calls

2 Mbps

10 Mbps

Data from

How to improve my download speed?

Indeed, 1 Mbps download speed is quite slow.

Therefore, you should try to speed it up.

Apply our following tips and you’ll be surprised at the final results!

  • Download one item at a time

Each download will be in competition with the other if you simultaneously download numerous files on various platforms.

  • Move closer to the router or use an Ethernet wire

Connect your computer directly to your modem if it has an Ethernet connector.

The connection will remain steady if the router is avoided. 

If doing so isn't an option, make sure your computer and router are as close to one another as possible by clearing any obstacles in their path.

You should be near your router

You should be near your router

  • Get rid of the temporary files

In order to speed up the performance of apps you use frequently, your computer stores temporary files. 

However, having too many temporary files can cause performance issues.

  • Change your web browser

Try downloading the file in a new browser if your default one isn't working well with your internet connection.

Changing the web browser may be effective

Changing the web browser may be effective

  • Disconnect from the metered connection

To increase download speeds, turn off any metered connections that you have enabled to restrict data usage.

  • Activate background programs

Disable any programs that consume a lot of bandwidth and resources because they can slow down download rates and run in the background.

  • Make use of a download manager

Some download managers enable quicker download speeds by allowing simultaneous file downloads from different sources.

They are some useful tips for a slow download speed.

Try them!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can I go much slower than 1 Mbps?

It is, technically. 

But it would be quite uncommon. 

1 Mbps was a very typical download speed ten or so years ago. 

Today, it's so low that the majority of individuals on earth have long since passed it.

You can rest easy knowing that even if you're only getting 1 Mbps right now, things will most likely become better for you soon.

2. Is 1 Mbps download speed enough for Netflix?

A single standard definition requires 1 Mbps of bandwidth, according to Netflix.

Therefore, if your internet speed is 1 Mbps, you might get lucky (kind of). 

But it's probably going to stumble. 

You might occasionally have to put up with some buffering.

How about HD? 


You would be miles away from that because even 720p requires 3 Mbps!

3. Is 1 Mbps download speed enough for video chat?

We must take upload speed into account in order to determine this. 

Your upload speed will often be less than a tenth of your download speed.

Therefore, we can conclude that a 1 Mbps download would correspond to an upload speed of 0.1 Mbps (or 100 Kbps). 

Unfortunately, to make a standard definition call, Zoom needs an upload speed of 600 Kbps. 

This means that a 1 Mbps download connection would be insufficient for video calls.

4. Is 1 Mbps download speed enough for online gaming?

Games can be incredibly large downloads that take a while to download. 

This is especially true if your download speed is only 1 Mbps.

Think about the case study of Borderlands 3. 

The download size for this game is 116GB. 

That's a lot!

Borderlands 3 would take an absurd 10 days and 17 hours to download at 1Mbps.


Does the download speed on your internet speed test only reach 1 Mbps? Most likely, you ought to take action in that regard. There's a very good chance you can be getting a faster speed than that at home, and 1 Mbps is simply not fast enough. That’s the end for today’s post on 1 Mbps download speed in a comparison with 3 Mbps. Also, don’t forget to check out our upcoming post on how fast is 5Mbps download speed.

Rating:4.8 - 51Votes


  1. Lily Watts

    What can cause my download speed to be approximately 3mb/s (3.5 peak) when I have 100Mbps internet (having 1 device connected only)?

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    1. MySpeed

      Maybe your ISP has a connection to the internet backbone. This is shared by all the customers of your ISP. Another possibility is that the server computer that you are communicating or its ISP may be overloaded and limit your download speeds

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