Internet speed guide

Each household can require different download speeds based on the number of devices in use at any given time and the activities performed on each device. Below is a general break down on the download speed needed from your Internet Service Provider to be able to accommodate simultaneous activities or devices: 

The speed required for internet-related activities
Speed Internet-related activity requirement examples
12 Mbps Video meetings, small file downloads, streaming music, YouTube, Netflix, etc.
13-40 Mbps Video meetings, multiple small file downloads, 2-3 devices streaming music, YouTube, or Netflix. 
40-100 Mbps  Video meetings, large file downloads, 3-5 devices streaming music, YouTube, or Netflix.
100-500+ Mbps  Video meetings, fast file downloads, 5-10 devices streaming music, YouTube, or Netflix.


Internet Speed Test

Test your own networking speed to compare to the speeds in the above chart:

Troubleshooting your internet connectivity

If you are experiencing slow internet or connectivity issues, the following things may help:

  • If you have multiple people using your home network and they are streaming video, video conferencing, or downloading large files, you may need to limit those types of activity to speed up your connection. 
  • If you are experiencing slowness during a video conferencing session, avoid using animated backgrounds. It may also help to turn off your camera feed and only use audio for the session.  
  • Try connecting directly to your internet router from your computer with an Ethernet cable. Some older Wi-Fi routers have a slower wireless connection speed versus being directly wired to the router. 
  • If you cannot connect directly to your router using a wired connection, you may need to replace your Wi-Fi router with a newer model to get a faster connection speed. 
  • If there are some areas in your residence where you experience slowness, sometimes moving closer to your router improves your speed. If you have a dead zone in your space, some people have had luck by purchasing a mesh wireless router.
  • You may need to contact your Internet Service Provider to have your internet connection speed increased if possible. 
  • Sometimes restarting your home cable modem or router addresses connectivity issues. 
  • Did you know you can use your mobile phone as a wireless hotspot? Data charges may apply.
  • Your department's IT Support Consultant should also be able to provide troubleshooting guidance. 

Outdoor/drive-up WiFi and internet options

If you don't have internet at home or if it is too slow to work effectively, the following options are available:

  • Outdoor and drive-up access is available to students, faculty, and staff from various campus locations. Review the outdoor and drive-up WiFi locations page for additional on-campus sites, maps, and instructions for connecting.
    • No parking permit is required for WiFi use.
    • Please stay in or near your vehicle.
    • If parked at a meter or in a cashiered facility, parking charges will apply.
  • Here is a list of local internet service providers in the Iowa City area.