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Poll Results: Internet Connection Speed

Published by Chris Coyier

In this latest poll, I asked people to test their own internet connection speed then vote in the poll based on their result. The speed choices ranged from (what I would consider) blazingly fast, to mediocre, to nearly unusably slow. I would have guessed a bell curve, with most people having mediocre speeds and just a few on the edges of extreme fast/slow. We didn't get that at all.

The results show a pretty even distribution across all the choices.

Interesting, no? If we take anything from this, it should be that we can't assume anything about what peoples internet connection speed is. There is a pretty darn sizeable group of folks with very slow internet. Optimizing our sites to load fast makes a very big difference to those folks. Whether they actively think about it or not, they'll be much more likely to visit and stay on your fast loading site than a competitor's slower loading one.

Full, real time results for this poll and all post polls are in the polls archive.


  1. Permalink to comment#

    I must admit, I find these figures pretty surprising – I’d love to see a geographical break down.

  2. It is really surprisingly amazing results, that almost above 35% people are preferring to use internet speed faster than 20Mbps.

    In compare to that I feel myself like a tortoise, using just 2Mbps which I used to (wrongly) consider fast enough.

  3. Perhaps the statistic is somewhat misleading. I can imagine that a large part of the css tricks readers are web developers who depend on a fast internet connection. The predominant part of internet users is expected in the range up. 2-4 Mbit / sec.

    I’am with Gray. A geographical differentiation would be interesting.

  4. Maybe it’s because of your user base but these results should be probably gathered automatically and compared to these results to get real accuracy.

  5. Permalink to comment#

    Surprised that >50% is slower than 12 mbps. Makes you wonder about using big image backgrounds.

  6. I would love to see a geographic distribution of the speeds~!

    • LastLifeLost
      Permalink to comment#


      Also, I’m shocked at the 31% of css-tricks viewers that have less than an a 4meg connection, and 45% with less than 8! I expected to see much higher numbers because of (what I assume is) the demographic for this site.

  7. I think another fact to remember, when thinking about users on tablets and mobiles, internet speed is not a constant. At one moment, you may have access faster speeds through 4G or Wifi, while at the next moment, you may not.

  8. Permalink to comment#

    How many readers reported their enterprise speed vs home speed?

  9. In more bandwidth news, Akamai released their State of the Internet Q3 2011 report yesterday which has a handy visualisation of various metrics, including average connection speed by country.

    • Permalink to comment#

      Wow! I think I will move to South Korea! Not that far from Beijing anyway and average speeds are more than 10 times faster!

  10. Permalink to comment#

    Very interesting results, Chris!

    I’m with the others that geographical stats would have been nice, after all you specifically asked for that in your post…

  11. Joao Carlos
    Permalink to comment#

    I would like to share that my internet connection is 300mb at home, I live in Portugal and such connection speeds are not unusual, there are some ISPs whose minimum connection speed contract is 100mb, all this download speed of course.

    In terms of how much it costs the ISP by the amount of speed, the difference from having over 24mb to 300mb is not that great, and in fact, the end user plans tend to be within not far price ranges. Anything above 24mb is probably already maintained by a fiber optics connection at street level, so, pumping extra bandwidth to each client is in fact considered profitable since the bandwidth usage of the typical client is very slim compared. Also, when you have a 300mb connection, it is very rare you can actually achieve those speeds with anything other than bit torrents, and even those, it is very rare. I think the fastest I got was the download of a 6GB game update for Company of Heroes Online that averaged at 26mb/s.

    • Joao Carlos
      Permalink to comment#

      And the length of time you actually use those high speeds is very slim too, because the download is so fast, you will free up the bandwidth very fast.

      I understand that Portugal is a special place, since we are late in the development of large bandwidth connections, we dont have to rely on old investments on old technologies and can move straight to fiber optics at home.

  12. Permalink to comment#

    Why oh why is the UK so far behind the rest of the world? At work I get 6mb download, at home about 8mb download and at my parents house less than 1mb… Shocking.

  13. deti
    Permalink to comment#

    Why Avast is detecting a threat when i enter your website, it hasn’t done it before?

  14. Mk
    Permalink to comment#

    Strange, im stil using 512 kbps speed & im kinda happy with it.

  15. Permalink to comment#

    I feel like I am like most people in the united states in this regard, I choose to not live in a city so I have to compromise my internet speed. I live about 10 minutes away from roadrunner service and about 20 minutes away from Cornell university in ithaca, Ny. Your site actually loads very fast chris, however your videos seem to lag a bit on my connection more than anything else, if you were really looking to improve somewhere then I would start there but your site runs very fast otherwise and I only have a 1.5m/s down speed, its supposed to be 3mb/s but ive never had a test run that high.Cheers:)

    • Chris Clark
      Permalink to comment#

      I’m in the same situation, on the other side of the country (Washington state). My parents live ten minutes away from me and have 50m/s service; the best I can get is 1.5m/s. Which rarely tests above 1.0. Very, very frustrating.

  16. Everyone i know has fiber connection (In Stockholm, Sweden). I have 100/100 mbit at home, but waiting for and upgrade to 1 gbit.

    • Also, as i said before. It would be great to know what people are paying for their connections. The Fiber Connection (100/100 mbit) i have at home is about 30 US Dollars (190 SEK) /month.

    • I don’t think so you can use such a speed in your home or work to compare country bandwith. For instance, your ISP has 100 Gbit/sec backbone connection, it just for 100 people can use this speed, isn’t it? Another sample, in Turkey total connection speed 1.2 Tbps (if we compare with your speed 1 Gbps / 1200 customer ).

  17. However. On my iPhone i only get about 2 mbps surfing on Turbo 3G.

  18. Permalink to comment#

    How does that compare with your Google Analytics data? That is, assuming that’s available in GA, which I believe it is. It’d be interesting to see how that compares. If I were on a <1 MB connection I would think much longer about participating in anything that involved reloading a page…

  19. These stats are pretty interesting. But I feel like a tortoise in front of everyone. Sadly Internet in India is hell costly as compared to any other country. I am using 512 Kbps connection for which I pay around 15$ (750 Rs.) / month. Hoping one day Internet would be cheaper and better in India.

  20. pakpenyo
    Permalink to comment#

    Waw….. In my country, Indonesia, internet access is only for “city people”. 1mbps per month is 65$. I’m using “up to” 2 mbps and its 100$/month.

    30mbps in my country is “impossible”. Indonesian goverment is very sick and suck!!

  21. I’m with Virgin Media in the UK my package gives me 10 down and 1 up and I’m pretty constant on 9.97mb/s on speed tests. I can’t wait though because very soon I’m getting upgraded to 20 down and 1 up yes please lol. The problem with the UK is that BT (British Telecom) own all the old copper network and untill recently didn’t want to invest into fiber optic so the non-virgin media customers are forced to drag their knuckles along with a slow connection. Can I ask people out of interest who is on copper connection, who is fiber optic and who uses some other form of connection?

  22. The figures are a bit vague, I live in the UK and I’m supposed to be getting up to 20 Megabytes of internet speed however I never have the maximum I get a download speed of 2 megabytes so I’m assuming that the speed is capped depending on the regional area, I cant really complain as its fast enough for everyday usage. However I do find it annoying at the false advertising that company presents across.

  23. I live in London and I am supposed to get 20mb, I only get around 2mb which is frustrating.

    It can make uploading a website via FTP a bit tedious haha.

  24. I pay around $150USD/month and my speed is only 5Mbps.

  25. These results are way optimistic… What about real connection speed?

  26. Jack
    Permalink to comment#

    Interesting results. A lot of people have crazy fast connections.

    In India I pay about $100 monthly for 2mbps on a business account and I thought I was getting a great deal : )

  27. suryakant

    how this work ???

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