What can you do with a 100 Mbps plan?

Camryn Smith

May 9, 2024 — 3 min read

Depending on your internet activities and size of your household, 100 Mbps could be enough speed for you.

Father watching children on their computers and tablets

One of the most challenging aspects of shopping for internet service is knowing what speed plan you need. Although most providers offer a wide range of plans that can reach as high as 2,000 Mbps, the truth is, a household with 1 – 2 very light internet users only need about 100 Mbps. 

If you look at the speed requirements for various online tasks, such as joining a Zoom call, streaming videos, checking email, or live gaming, you will notice that the speeds reach no higher than 25 Mbps. This can be misleading since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommends at least 100 Mbps for internet speed to even be considered a broadband connection.

How fast is 100 Mbps?

What we think of as “fast internet” has changed as internet technology has advanced throughout the years. In the past, the minimum broadband speed standard was just 25/3 Mbps. With this standard, we could consider 100 Mbps fast internet, or rather, enough speed to keep multiple people connected at the same time. Today that minimum broadband speed standard is 100/20 Mbps, which could be enough to keep very light internet users connected.

If you have many people in your home trying to participate in high bandwidth internet activities such as gaming, streaming, working from home, etc., all simultaneously, then 100 Mbps isn’t enough speed.

How bandwidth works

The reason you need a speed plan that is faster than what a single online task requires is that bandwidth gets divided among every connected device in a household. This means that if you have four people in your household learning and working remotely, each person will take up approximately a quarter of your plan’s bandwidth. And if each person uses more than one device at a time, such as a smartphone and a computer, each device will then take up approximately an eighth of your plan’s bandwidth. 

Therefore, when you are buying a plan, you need to consider how many devices will be online at a time and what tasks those devices will be performing. 

How to determine the internet plan you need

A helpful way to determine what speed you need is to divide the number of devices you use at a time by the speed plan you are considering buying. You will want that result to be between 25 and 40 Mbps. 

If you are a family that has multiple members working and learning from home, streaming from multiple devices in 4K or in HDR, and/or participating in heavy online gaming, you will want that number to be closer to 40 Mbps. However, if your family only performs more basic online tasks, such as streaming videos from one or two devices at a time and checking email, then you can stay closer to 25 Mbps. 

Why 100 Mbps is sufficient for some households 

A 100 Mbps plan could be sufficient if your household isn’t connecting many devices to the internet at once, at the same time.

A 100 Mbps plan is right for you if your household:

  1. Uses 3-5 devices simultaneously 
  2. Streams videos in HDR or 4K HD
  3. One person gaming at a time, with no other devices connected.
  4. Works and learns from home 

You need faster than 100 Mbps if your household frequently: 

  1. Uses more than 6 devices at a time 
  2. Shares large files 
  3. Livestreams videos 
  4. Streams and games heavily

Top providers with a 100 Mbps plan

If you want to look at speed plans slightly above and below 100 Mbps, check out our Cheap Internet page.


Is 100 Mbps a fast internet speed?

100 Mbps is far from the fastest internet speed available, but it could be enough for you depending on your internet activities. If you are a light internet user and don’t have many devices connected to the internet, it could be sufficient for your home. If you have a larger household with many people using the internet at once, opt for a faster speed.

100 Mbps is enough to stream HD and 4K content, but beware of having too many people trying to do it at once. To be safe, keep it to two people streaming at the same time to prevent slow speeds.

Like with streaming, 100 Mbps can support gaming but only if you don’t have too many people connected to the internet at once. If you’re going to be gaming, which is a bandwidth-heavy internet activity, try to keep the number of connected devices to one or two to ensure suitable speeds.

Camryn Smith

Written by:

Camryn Smith

Cammy 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 Layton

Edited by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

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