- Best time for download speeds: Around 9 a.m., with fastest speeds between 5 and 10 a.m.
- Best time for upload speeds: Around 3 to 4 p.m., with faster speeds until around 10 p.m.
- Slower times for download speeds: 12 to 3 p.m. and after 11 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- Slower times for upload speeds: Morning from midnight to noon.
- Worst day for download and upload speeds: Sunday
- Best days for download speeds: Wednesday through Friday
Hybrid work-from-home jobs remain popular in the U.S. since COVID-19 drove everyone to stay at home for an extended period. Streaming services like Netflix saw huge gains as people also enjoyed their entertainment at home. With this societal shift, bandwidth across all internet service providers (ISPs) was stretched to its limits, and optimum speeds became a valuable commodity.
To optimize your time online, we researched the ups and downs of internet speed by the time of day and day of the week. So, if you need a productivity hack, or want to upload a big report or stream a class without buffering, we’ll show you the best times to get things done.
Wednesday is the fastest day to be online
According to our data, Wednesday through Friday have higher download speeds than the other days, at 113 Mbps. Wednesday also boasts the best upload speed, at 43 Mbps. With just 4 Mbps difference between the slowest day of the week (Sunday) and the fastest (Friday), the variation is not extreme. But if you are already dealing with slower home internet, it might be worth rearranging your schedule to take advantage of those extra 4 Mbps.
- Wednesday through Friday have the fastest download and upload speeds (113 Mbps)
- Sunday has the overall slowest speeds (109 Mbps)
How to use our charts
Hover over the dots on the charts to get the exact numerical value. Speeds represented are download speeds measured by megabits per second (Mbps) unless stated otherwise. Read more about our methodology and data collection.
Weekdays with the fastest internet speeds
|Day of the week
Get your fastest internet speeds between 5 and 9 a.m.
Regardless of the day of the week, early birds get the worm when it comes to the fastest internet download speeds. Our data indicated that the hours between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. had the fastest download speeds. This time of day is when fewer people are online, so there is more bandwidth for individual users.
When the workday begins picking up for the average 9-to-5 employee, overall download speeds slow down. We see a reduction of as much as 14 Mbps between the mid-day hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The second period we see a drop-off in speeds is after 8 p.m. These are peak hours for people to use the internet for entertainment activities, such as streaming Netflix or playing video games.
On the chart below, you’ll notice internet speeds are also slower between midnight and 3 a.m. Unlike the daytime decline in speed, this is not due to more people being online. Rather, these hours are when most ISPs perform maintenance and routine updates on their networks.
- Faster times of the day: Early mornings (5 a.m. to 9 a.m. ) and late afternoons (2 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
- Slower times of day: Mid-day (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and nighttime (9 p.m. to 11 p.m.)
Get your fastest download speeds on Wednesdays at 9 a.m.
If you want to get really particular about the best times to be online, we broke down each day by time. Scroll over each data point on the chart below to see average internet download speeds for each hour of the day, Monday through Friday.
For fastest speeds, Wednesday at 9 a.m. is the leader (113 Mbps), followed by Thursday and Friday at the same time for similar speeds.
For weekdays to avoid, watch out for Monday between 2 and 3 p.m. as that is when you are likely to see average download speeds drop off by 2-3 Mbps or more.
Internet Rush Hour can slow you down
Peak internet use hours are typically 7 to 11 p.m., when most U.S. residents are home and a houseful of people will be online for gaming, chatting, streaming or catching up with work or school. This is when you can run into network congestion, not unlike the traffic jam you just endured to get home.
With many demands on your provider’s bandwidth simultaneously, your internet service can become sluggish and unresponsive. You can ease that by upgrading your internet speed plan or the type of connection you have, with fiber internet being the fastest.
Best times to game or stream
For heavy gamers or streamers, after 10 p.m. and early morning are the best times for you to get the most speed out of your plan. You’ll miss the internet rush hour, where you can experience sluggish actions that could mean life or death to a game character.
Putting it all together and addressing discrepancies
One could assume that the days with the fastest download speeds should also have the least latency or the time it takes for data to travel from one point to another. However, these data points do not always correlate. For example:
- Sunday has the slowest overall speeds and the highest latency.
- Wednesday has the fastest speeds and the lowest latency.
What do these anomalies mean? Essentially, the predictability of internet speed is based more on the time of day than any other factor.
Methodology: Where we get our data
We gathered data from our proprietary dashboards that measure speed test data from over 30 top ISPs across all days and times. The ISPs included in this data roundup were primarily U.S.-based but also included some international ISPs.
The information used in this analysis was gathered from over half a million U.S. tests from June 2020 through March 2023. This data includes speed test data from our on-site speed test, as well as internal product catalogs that Allconnect uses to manage and analyze different internet providers and internet speeds. Our on-site speed test is powered by Speedtest.net, which “measures ping (latency), download speed and upload speed,” and then calculates average speed.
Editor’s note: Ookla’s times are in UTC/GMT time, which is a time standard that is the basis for civil time and time zones across the world. For example, 9 a.m. UTC would be 5 a.m. EST when Daylight Saving Time is observed. For ease of use, we have converted the report’s time to U.S. EST.
The bottom line
If you want to work or game at your plan’s optimal speed, mid-week is best, between dawn and noon. If those hours aren’t the best for your schedule or if you have a larger home with many internet users, consider finding a better provider or plan in your area.
For researchers and journalists
If you would like to know more about this topic, we can assist you. Our experts can help you dig deeper into the data.Email our experts
Written by:Lisa Iscrupe
Writer, Broadband & Data Content
Lisa uses years of experience in sales and customer service for internet-TV providers to inform her writing on broadband. Her work has been referenced by CNN and other national sources. In Lisa’s Words: Ever… Read more
Edited by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content
Featured30% of Americans say their internet is too slow. Here’s how to fix it Joe Supan — 4 min read
Featured2023 report: Internet users are gobbling data by the half-terabyte Robin Layton — 4 min read
FeaturedAmericans are getting over 227 Mbps in download speed, but are you? Robin Layton — 5 min read
Thursday, February 22, 2024How to control your TV with Alexa
Lisa Iscrupe — 4 min read
Wednesday, February 21, 2024Internet and TV bundles are the most popular, survey shows
Camryn Smith — 4 min read
Wednesday, February 21, 2024What would it take to become your own internet provider… and would it be cheaper?
Lisa Iscrupe — 4 min read