San Diego, CA ranks first overall for internet connectivity among large cities and first for average download speed with 151 Mbps.
Portland, OR ranks second overall for internet connectivity but close to last in gigabit speed availability among large cities.
Colorado Springs, CO is the top smaller city/town for internet connectivity and has a faster average download speed than the top large cities with 189 Mbps.
Myrtle Beach, SC ranks third overall for average upload speed out of 40 cities and towns.
Friday Harbor, WA ranks first overall for average upload speed in smaller cities and towns with 118 Mbps.
A worldwide pandemic showed us that working from home was successful for more businesses than we thought possible. While this presents its own challenges, one of the benefits is extended trips that would have been impossible while tethered to an office.
According to a Lonely Planet survey, U.S. respondents agreed that domestic destinations are the best place for traveling workers, and it’s estimated that 22% of the workforce will be working remotely by 2025. Internet connectivity is key to being productive while working on the road.
Unfortunately, internet access and speeds vary widely across the country. One report shows that some 157.3 million people in the U.S. do not use the internet at broadband speeds — defined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as 25 Mbps, and a bare minimum needed to work remotely.
We’ve written before about the best options for internet while traveling, but if you’re one of the growing numbers of digital nomads, telecommuting from wherever you’ve landed, and are willing to set up camp for a while in one city, you can find much stronger connections and the price is typically included in your rental.
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For this report, the Allconnect team analyzed internal data from 152,187 speed tests in the United States collected between September 2022 to March 2023. Data on the availability of 250/25 Mbps, 1000/100 Mbps and 5G mobile speeds was gathered from the FCC. We also used Census data to determine the percentage of computer and internet use in each city on our list. Scores were weighted as follows:
Percentage of residents with a computer/broadband subscription: 30% (small cities/towns); 25% (large cities)
Average download speed in the city: 15%
Average upload speed in the city: 0% (small cities/towns); 10% (large cities)
Wi-Fi hotspots per 100k people: 20%
Connection types available: 5%
Overall, the best places to work remotely tend to be smaller towns situated around larger cities. These usually have the best combination of vacation rentals, internet speed and extensive coverage.
Top large U.S. cities for internet connectivity
San Diego, CA|
San Francisco, CA|
New York, NY|
Los Angeles, CA|
Las Vegas, NV|
1. San Diego, CA
San Diego is the overall top-ranked large vacation city (population over 200K) for internet connectivity. It also takes the top spot for average download speed with 151 Mbps and ranks fifth for average upload speed with 54 Mbps. San Diego ranks in the middle of the pack at seventh for gigabit speed accessibility.
While its internet connectivity makes it an ideal travel spot for digital nomads, San Diego has no shortage of qualities and attractions that make it one of the most desirable places to visit. Its warm and sunny climate combined with its renowned beaches make it the perfect spot for a beach vacation.
2. Portland, OR
Portland ranks second overall in our list of top large vacation cities for internet connectivity. With an average download speed of 141 Mbps and an average upload speed of 51 Mbps, Portland is another great option for a getaway if you’re still looking to stay connected. Though Portland ranks second overall for internet connectivity, it falls behind when it comes to gigabit speed accessibility for its residents with its ranking falling close to last.
Portland is a great place to travel if you love the outdoors. The Pacific Northwest has no shortage of beautiful hikes, waterfalls and natural beauty that any outdoor enthusiast would be happy to visit.
3. San Francisco, CA
Coming in at third overall on our large vacation city list for internet connectivity is San Francisco. Its average download speed is 142 Mbps and its average upload speed is about 56 Mbps. While these speeds are faster than Portland’s, its ranks lower than Portland in categories like Wi-Fi hotspot availability, those with access to at least 250/25 download and upload speeds and 5G availability.
If you’re looking to visit San Francisco, you’ll be kept busy with historical attractions, diverse cuisines and other bustling city activities. With mild winters and warm summers, San Francisco is a great travel destination.
Top cities and towns for internet connectivity
Colorado Springs, CO|
Myrtle Beach, SC|
Friday Harbor, WA|
San Antonio, TX|
Virginia Beach, VA|
South Lake Tahoe, CA|
Ocean City, MD|
Hilton Head Island, SC|
Jackson Hole, WY|
Key West, FL|
Little Rock, AR|
Cannon Beach, OR|
Lake Geneva, WI|
Santa Fe, NM|
Bar Harbor, ME|
Mackinac Island, MI|
New Orleans, LA|
Gulf Shores, AL|
Kill Devil Hills, NC|
1. Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs, CO ranks first overall for our city/town internet connectivity list. With 189 Mbps average download speed and 47 Mbps average upload speed, it has faster speeds than some of our top ranked large cities. It also ranks second overall in the download speed category and first overall in the percentage of residents with a broadband subscription category.
Colorado Springs is the perfect place to travel if you’re an outdoor enthusiast. With endless hikes, bike trails, camping and beautiful scenery, Colorado Springs is already a great choice for travelers, but its internet connectivity makes it a no brainer for digital nomads.
2. Myrtle Beach, SC
If you’re the type of person that loves a beach vacation while you work remotely, then Myrtle Beach, SC will not disappoint. It takes the second spot overall for internet connectivity and has an average download speed of 166 Mbps and an average upload speed of 65 Mbps. Myrtle Beach’s average upload speed places it at third overall out of our list of 40 vacation cities and towns and its download speed places it at seventh.
Known for its 60-mile string of beaches and celebrity designed golf courses, Myrtle Beach has been a popular resort destination for years. It has endless attractions and family-focused activities on its boardwalks, so you’ll be able to find something to do no matter what you’re looking for.
3. Nashville, TN
Nashville, TN is third overall on our list for internet connectivity. Nashville has an average download speed of about 142 Mbps and an average upload speed about 57 Mbps – nothing special compared to the other cities we’ve mentioned. It does, however, rank in the top ten for gigabit speed availability as well as average upload speed.
Nashville is the perfect spot for a fun weekend getaway filled with live music and delicious cuisine. Broadway is Nashville’s hub for live country music, bars and restaurants, so if you’re a live music fan, you’ll have a blast popping into the various restaurants and bars to catch some live entertainment along this street.
4. Bozeman, MT
Bozeman, MT is another spot that attracts outdoor enthusiasts from all over the country and it comes in fourth overall on our internet connectivity list for cities and towns. Its average download speed is 123 Mbps and its average download speed is about 32 Mbps, but it ranks first in residents that have at least 250 Mbps of internet speed and second in the percentage of residents with a broadband subscription category.
Located in Southern Montana in the Rocky Mountains, Bozeman is renowned for its hiking, skiing, mountain biking, impressive wildlife and of course, Yellowstone National Park. If you love the outdoors, Bozeman is an ideal travel destination for you.
5. Friday Harbor, WA
Coming in at fifth overall is Friday Harbor, a small town in San Juan Island, WA. While a smaller town than the others on our list, Friday Harbor has 141 Mbps of average download speed and ranks first overall with its 118 Mbps of average upload speed.
If you decide to visit Friday Harbor, you’ll find a small, seaport town charm within its cafes, restaurants and museums. Friday Harbor also has many waterfront activities like kayaking and boating.
As working remotely becomes more of a mainstream option, keeping internet connectivity in mind while you travel is a necessity. If you’re looking for large cities with the best connectivity, San Diego, Portland and San Francisco are your best bet, according to our data. If you want a smaller town, Colorado Springs, Myrtle Beach, Nashville, Bozeman and Friday Harbor are the best connected.
Regardless of where you travel while you work remotely, keep in mind the city’s average download and upload speeds and the availability of certain speed tiers before you travel to ensure a reliable digital working environment.
For more broadband data reports, visit our Research Hub.
Camryn SmithCammy is a writer with Allconnect, growing her broadband industry knowledge for over a year on the internet marketplace. Her expertise lies in home internet and broadband service with a focus on providers, plans… Read more
Robin LaytonEditor, Broadband Content
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