US cities with the fastest and slowest internet speeds

The nationwide average internet speed is 50.2 Mbps, but one city is reaching up to 100.8 Mbps.

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Since it was initially called "Bay Side" back in 1798, Bayside, Queens has been notable for a variety of things, including (but not limited to): Being clambake central in the late 1800s; the murder of editor William Annis at his yacht club in 1908; where famous movie stars resided in the 1920s and 1930s; where a Lucchese crime family member was murdered in 1989 in a bagel shop, and where a Gambino crime family associate was shot at a restaurant in 2002. 

And now, Bayside has gained a new distinction. Thanks to a new report from HighSpeedInternet, Bayside, New York, was noted as the US city with the fastest internet speed.  

That speed, 100.8 Mbps, is even more remarkable, when compared with the nationwide average internet speed of 50.2 Mbps. HighSpeedInternet compiled its report after having passed two million speed tests and ranked 2,359 cities across the US by taking the average speed in every city.  

SEE: Special report: How 5G will transform business (free PDF) (TechRepublic Premium)

Some US households, with access to gigabit internet, can stream movies on 20 devices at the same time. Other households (probably our own, we might say with cynicism), have barely enough bandwidth to stream a single YouTube video.  

It's my provider's fault 

A convenient scapegoat when the internet displeases us are our providers. That said, the report revealed popular provider speed test results: 


AT&T 40.39 Mbps 
Xfinity 67.78 Mbps 
Century Link 20.04 Mbps 
Spectrum 51.62 Mbps 
Frontier 38.52 Mbps 

Cities with the fastest average internet speeds 

  1. Bayside, New York (100.8 Mbps)
  2. Longmont, Colorado (100.5 Mbps)
  3. Somerset, New Jersey (97.6 Mbps)
  4. Sterling, Virginia (96.9 Mbps)
  5. Elmhurst, New York (95.9 Mbps)

Cities with the slowest average internet speeds 

  1. Sylva, North Carolina (6.5 Mbps)
  2. Stowe, Vermont (6.7 Mbps)
  3. Española, New Mexico (7.7 Mbps)
  4. Oneonta, Alabama (7.7 Mbps)
  5. Ville Platte, Louisiana (8 Mbps)

How fast is fast enough? 

Here are some general guidelines about download speeds and associated activities as they relate to your own household internet speed. 

What you can do with 5 Mbps

  • Browsing
  • Streaming music
  • Ideal for single user

What you can do with 10 Mbps

  • Streaming HD videos
  • Casual gaming
  • Ideal for 1-2 people

What you can do with 20 Mbps

  • Ultra HD streaming
  • Frequent gaming
  • Ideal for 2-4 people

What you can do with 40+ Mbps

  • Streaming multiple shows in HD
  • Simultaneous gaming
  • Ideal for 4+ people

Pro tips 

  • For best results, connect your device directly to your modem with an Ethernet cable and shut down all other programs aside from the test. If your modem is also your router, you'll need to turn off its Wi-Fi because it might cause interference.
  • Internet speeds fluctuate, so you should run the test three or four times to get an accurate average.

Test your internet speed 

Take a speed test to see if your service is underperforming, and that test can troubleshoot your network's issues. If your internet speed tests are far lower than what you pay for it, call your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to see if they can resolve the problem. If they can't, it might be time to switch ISPs. 

A speed test can also ID internet traffic patterns in your neighborhood. Try it different times of the day and throughout the week to get an idea of when the slowing occurs. You can use the patterns you uncover to plan your internet use during high-traffic time periods. 

Money saver 

Paying too much for internet speed every month can cost hundreds of dollars per year. If your speed test results are much higher than you need, you can save money and switch to a less-expensive package with lower speed. By the same token, if you are paying for internet that's too slow, that's not good for business either. Regular speed tests help you strike the right balance between speed and price.  


If you have security software that detects the dummy files that are released during a speed test, it might block them with a firewall or other security measures, and you'll get an unreliable result. You can turn off your security software when you run the test (don't forget to turn it back on, though). 

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