Internet speed and bandwidth

Testing your speed

Knowing your internet speed and how it compares to recommendations from internet-based services, such as Zoom, can help you get the most out of your connection. Because speed is so vital to making your internet-dependent activities work well, you should test your internet speed regularly. There are many websites that can test your internet connection speed.

You can also download the free Speedtest mobile app by Ookla for Android and iOS to test your connection on your mobile device.

Recommended bandwidth for Zoom meetings

Zoom provides bandwidth requirements for meetings at the URL below:

While Zoom only requires 1.5Mbps to use, our experience suggests that speeds below 5Mbps are not adequate for two-way interaction.  For a better Zoom experience, AT recommends speeds above 20Mbps.

If you need to send a file or video to a student, you’ll want good upload speed. That’s especially important if you have multiple people doing this same thing at the same time since everyone on the same home network shares internet bandwidth. Also, if you make HD videos or any other type of large file and need to upload them to Blackboard, Panopto or Google Drive, your upload speed will come into play.

For quality video chat Zoom session, your internet service speeds should be in 10 to 25 Mbps download speed range and at least 3 Mbps upload speed for best results. 

If your internet service does not meet these recommendations, you can still use Zoom without the video and just use the audio portion since audio requires far less download and upload bandwidth.  It is often a good idea to run speed test from multiple devices to get more accurate results.

Upload speed vs. download speed

After you finish the speed test, you’ll see two numbers in the results: one is your upload speed and the other is your download speed.

Download speed is the speed at which information travels from the internet to your internet-connected device. For example, if you open a Blackboard course on your computer, your download speed would determine how long it takes to load the page.

It is important to note, your Download speeds may be slower and not be accurate if there are multiple users in the home streaming video or downloading large files. 

Upload speed is the opposite of download. It is the speed at which information travels from your internet-connected device to the internet. If you post to a video to Blackboard, your upload speed would determine how long it takes your video post to get to the Blackboard service for all your students to see.

With most internet plans, download speeds are much faster than upload speeds. Streaming videos or music, reading email, are all activities that don’t really need upload bandwidth once they’re initiated.

Upload speeds become much more important for interactive applications such as Zoom or when adding content or video to a course being delivered remotely.