200 Mbps is a common, accessible internet speed tier offered by internet providers. But is 200 Mbps fast?
We’ll examine this question in depth and also compare the performance of this internet plan against other rival speeds.
Generally, an internet plan of 200 Mbps is considered fast. It will provide strong performance for the majority of urban and suburban households.
It will provide fast performance for 2 to 4 regular users, including activities such as web surfing, Netflix or YouTube streaming, video conferencing, and gaming.
As it is considered an entry-level speed for many providers, it is typically priced fairly, so households do not need to break the bank to access the plan.
Is 200 Mbps good for gaming? The answer is yes, it performs well for gamers who want to reduce lag and increase game download speeds.
If more than two or three gamers are using different devices, the speed will start to reduce, but 200 Mbps performs well for most gamers within a household.
Read on to learn more about the 200 Mbps internet plan and how it compares to other plans.
How Is Internet Speed Measured?
Internet speed is typically measured in Megabits per second (Mbps). For residential internet connections, the standard range of Mbps on offer is from 1 to 1,000 Mbps.
For ultra slow connections that are below 1 Mbps, they are measured in Kilobits (Kbps), which are 1/1000 of a Megabit.
Internet speeds that are faster than 1000 Mbps are measured in gigabits per second (Gbps). Residential internet speeds that are faster than 1000 Mbps are very rare in 2023 but may become more common in the future. Often, you will see ‘gigabit’ advertised on routers that offer up to 1000 Mbps.
200 Mbps is the most common speed offered by cable internet providers. Fiber optic providers often start higher at 300 Mbps for cheaper internet plans.
Circumstances When You May Need Internet That Is Faster Than 200 Mbps
For most households, 200 Mbps internet speed will adequately suit their needs. However, the following circumstances may require a faster internet plan to have a strong and reliable internet connection.
- More than four persons are regularly using the internet at the same time.
- Multiple home offices.
- Cloud-based home security system installed.
- HD streaming to multiple smart TVs simultaneously.
For those working from home and regularly using video conferencing, you should look for internet plans that provide fast upload speeds in addition to download speeds, as video conferencing requires two-directional streaming.
YouTube or Netflix streaming only uses download bandwidth.
Internet Speed Definitions
Typically internet speed is communicated as a single number such as “200 Mbps” or “25 Mbps”.
However, this number does not tell the full story and can be slightly difficult to interpret when comparing different routers and internet plans.
Incorporated into this figure are download speed, upload speed, and ping/latency. These concepts are defined below:
- Download speed – the speed at which your internet connection can download internet data. For example, streaming a YouTube video or a Netflix movie.
- Upload speed – the speed at which your internet can upload data to the internet. For example, emailing a file to a work colleague.
- Ping/latency – this relates to the time in milliseconds that it takes for your device to send and receive data on a website. Ping is a form of latency measurement. An example of this would be the time between clicking on a Netflix movie (sending data) and the movie playing (receiving data).
Is 200 Mbps Fast?
200 Mbps is considered a fast internet speed, capable of implementing large data activities such as file downloads and video uploads. Around 8 to 10 devices can be connected and operate well on a 200 Mbps internet plan.
In the table below, we outline all the activities that can be performed well on a 200 Mbps internet connection.
|Activity||Download Speed Required||Upload Speed Required|
|Social media browsing||500 to 2000 Kbps||200 to 300 Kbps|
|Email and instant messaging||100 Kbps||12.5 Kbps|
|Internet surfing||100 to 1000 Kbps||12.5 to 125 Kbps|
|WhatsApp Voice Call||100 Kbps||12.5 Kbps|
|WhatsApp Video Call||2 to 3 Mbps||250 to 300 Kbps|
|HD Skype Call||1 to 3 Mbps||125 to 300 Kbps|
|HD Skype Group Call||4 to 5 Mbps||500 to 600 Kbps|
|HD Zoom Call||3.5 to 4 Mbps||400 to 500 Kbps|
|HD Zoom Group Call||4 to 5 Mbps||500 to 600 Kbps|
|[480p] YouTube Video Streaming||500 to 100 Kbps||200 Kbps|
|[1080p] YouTube Video Streaming||2 to 3 Mbps||250 to 300 Kbps|
|[720p] Netflix Streaming||1.5 to 2 Mbps||250 Kbps|
|[1080p] Netflix Streaming||5 to 7 Mbps||600 to 800 Kbps|
|Online Live Gaming||3 to 4 Mbps||300 to 400 Kbps|
|Spotify Music Streaming||400 Kbps||50 Kbps|
These figures are based on individual users and devices, so they add up greatly when more than 10 devices are using the internet connection simultaneously.
However, 200 Mbps will perform these activities well, allowing for fast download and upload speeds.
Is 200 Mbps Good for Gaming?
Most online games require a download speed of up to 5 Mbps and 1.5 to 5 Mbps upload speed to run well. A 200 Mbps internet plan can in theory operate with up to 30 devices gaming simultaneously.
However, as the upload speed will range from 20 to 100 Mbps on a 200 Mbps plan, up to 4 high usage games can be played simultaneously which is a good offer for most households.
If you have a gaming household, you should purchase a modem and router that are gaming-friendly. These devices need low ping and high throughput.
In terms of downloading games, 200 Mbps internet speed will take time to update and download data-heavy games.
For example, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on a PC is 231 GB to download. Using 200 Mbps will take around 3 hours to download.
Is 200 Mbps Suitable for Streaming?
The data needed to stream videos and movies online depends on the video quality. For high-quality 4k streaming, for example, an internet speed of 25 to 50 Mbps is needed.
A 200 Mbps plan should accommodate between 8 to 16 4k streams at the same time.
If you’re a regular Netflix watcher, 200 Mbps will serve you well. Netflix HD movies require bandwidth between 5 to 7 Mbps.
This relatively low bandwidth means, in theory, 28 to 40 devices can watch Netflix at the same time on a 200 Mbps internet plan. This makes the plan ideal for larger households and small workplaces.
YouTube videos require an even smaller bandwidth, of 0.5 to 1 Mbps to stream a video. Totalling this up, you can stream up to 300 videos at the same time. HD videos use more data, so the number of simultaneous streams reduces to around 100.
If you want to stream audio from Spotify or Apple Music, the activity only requires 0.4 to 0.6 Mbps to run. This means you can theoretically stream more than 300 songs at the same time.
Is 200 Mbps Ideal For Home Working?
Working from home typically entails web browsing on a few devices, watching training videos, or participating in one-to-one or group calls on Zoom and Skype.
Zoom calls need an upload speed of 3.8 Mbps and a download speed of 3 Mbps. With a 200 Mbps plan, up to 60 zoom calls can in theory be made at the same time.
However, the typical upload speed on a 200 Mbps plan will vary from 20 to 100 Mbps, so the reality may be that only 5 to 20 HD Zoom calls can be made simultaneously.
Skype calls require less bandwidth. They only need 1 to 3 Mbps per call to operate. This means around 40 to 50 Skype calls can take place at the same time. In terms of WhatsApp, a 200 Mbps plan can accommodate 100 to 150 voice calls and 7 to 25 video calls.
200 Mbps Internet Cost
Now you’ve understood a bit about functionality, what about the cost of 200 Mbps internet? In truth, the plan cost is very dependent on your location and subscription plan.
Typically, prices will range from $30 to $60 per month, making 200 Mbps a mid-range costed plan.
Examples of some internet providers that offer 200 Mbps internet plans are found below.
|Provider||Internet Plan||Maximum Download Speed||Maximum Upload Speed||Cost|
|WOWWAY!||Internet 200||200 Mbps||10 Mbps||$30 per month|
|Mediacom||Internet 200||200 Mbps||10 Mbps||$40 per month|
|Breezeline||200 Mbps||200 Mbps||10 Mbps||$40 per month|
|Windstream||Kinetic 200||200 Mbps||10 Mbps||$37 per month|
How Well Does 200 Mbps Download Speed Perform?
The download speed within a 200 Mbps internet plan is more than capable of performing standard download tasks. The download duration per task is shown below.
- Movies (HD up to 3 GB): 2 minutes
- 1080p YouTube Videos (up to 1.5 GB): 1 minute
- Music Album (HD up to 500 MB): 20 seconds
- Online games and apps: 25 to 30 minutes
- Attachments on emails or WhatsApp messages (up to 25 MB): 1 second
Online games which use vast amounts of data will take time to download on 200 Mbps. All other standard downloads operate fast on this internet plan.
What Are The Common Internet Speeds Offered?
Now that you’re familiar with the operating capacity of 200 Mbps internet speed, it is useful to understand where this internet plan sits in the spectrum of residential internet plans that are typically offered.
Below, we break down all other potential residential internet plans and explain their expected performance capability.
5 Mbps: Slow but ideal for those on a limited budget
Back in the day, 5 Mbps would have been considered very fast internet. However, technology has moved on at pace, leaving 5 Mbps internet plans trailing behind.
On a 5 Mbps plan, even single households using very few devices will likely encounter issues. For example, streams will likely buffer regularly.
High-consumption online gaming is near impossible on a 5 Mbps plan, so expect plenty of lag or even assign a full day to download a game from an online store.
Standard definition videos will also be slow to load and often buffer on 5 Mbps plans. If there are multiple users, the user experience will get worse.
However, for single users, 5 Mbps will work perfectly fine for email access and basic internet surfing.
25 Mbps: Lower end, adequate for basic use in apartments
25 Mbps will serve a household of 1 to 2 users well if there are no high consumption activities such as cloud security system or 4k streaming.
Most of the time, HD video streaming will work well with limited buffering every so often.
Most online gaming should operate well. However, large files will take time to download.
One of the downsides of 25 Mbps is the lower upload speed, which is generally around 3 Mbps. If you want to share large files or upload videos to YouTube, be prepared for it takes an annoying amount of time.
Households of 4 to 5 can all have good internet access if they are all using it for email or web surfing. However, if it’s household with 4 streamers who all want to watch Netflix on different devices at the same time, be prepared for some major buffering.
While 25 Mbps is certainly suitable for a one-person household, and possibly a couple. It is not recommended for larger households.
50 Mbps: Mid-range and suitable for basic family use
At 50 Mbps we are starting to hit the territory of faster internet plans that will meet the expectations of modern single or coupled households.
With a 50 Mbps internet plan, simultaneous video streaming is very possible, while game downloads will occur ten times quicker than at 5 Mbps. While this download speed is still slow compared to premium plan speeds, it offers decent performance.
50 Mbps plans offer better upload speeds which will improve cloud-based working and video uploads to YouTube for example. While these activities won’t be super fast, the speed won’t ruin your day.
While 50 Mbps may be ideal for single or coupled households, larger households may find the speed as the minimum or entry point speed. The internet will allow for simultaneous streams, but if up to 4 people are performing high-consumption activities, the plan becomes limiting.
Larger households may agree to work within the limitations if budgets are tight, but generally, higher-speed plans work better in larger households.
100–200 Mbps: Strong performance for the majority of homes
We recommend that every household should have an internet plan of somewhere between 100 to 200 Mbps.
These plans are generally available at accessible prices and will provide modern households with fast speeds to perform everyday internet activities such as video conferencing, streaming, and gaming.
On a 100 to 200 Mbps plan, households can have 4 to 5 HD streams simultaneously.
Playing and downloading online games also is fast.
Users needing to upload to cloud systems or upload videos will also be very satisfied with this internet plan due to the increased upload bandwidth.
Depending on your location, the price of a 100 to 200 Mbps internet plan will vary. The offers can also be limited, so do shop around and keep an eye on deals to get the best value plan.
300–500 Mbps: Super fast and can accommodate advanced users
We are now entering internet speeds that some point would have a large business.
An internet plan in the range of 300 to 500 Mbps will allow large families to have the bandwidth they need to perform high-consumption activities at the same time.
Gamers, for example, will be able to download large data games within minutes rather than hours.
Professionals using this connection will be happy with the upload performance too, enabling smooth transfer and upload of files. Do note though that cable plans may differ from fiber optic plans in terms of upload speeds.
A bandwidth of 300 to 500 Mbps will sufficiently protect you against data volume changes in the next few years. For example, we can expect super, super HD streaming to develop after 8K video streaming, which will have increased data needs.
1,000 Mbps: Fastest residential internet plan available
An internet plan of 1,000 Mbps is the fastest you can get as a residential consumer. The speed is not available in all locations but is widely available across the US.
It would take insane levels of internet usage to exceed the connection speed. Breaking the speed down, a 1000 Mbps internet plan can download 1 GB every 8 seconds. It will only take 800 seconds to download Call of Duty, which is pretty incredible.
HD streaming across many devices is easily achieved too. Likewise, uploaders will have elite-level performance.
1000 Mbps internet plans are completely set up for future internet needs too, as the data demands inevitably increase.
Hopefully, you’re now clear on the performance level of a 200 Mbps internet plan and how it performs against other internet plans.
A 200 Mbps internet is generally considered fast and will provide strong performing download and upload speeds to most households. 200 Mbps plans are accessible in terms of price and are available across the US.
If you have certain internet needs, such as gamers or streamers, you should maximize the 200 Mbps plan by purchasing a router that is best suited to your needs. This will you get the most out of your monthly internet plan subscription.