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How Much Internet Speed Do I Need to Work From Home?


Internet requirements can be quite confusing, especially when it’s listed on the job requirements for working remotely. What if you just want to know how much speed you need for video conferencing? Here we’ll help you determine:

  • How much speed you need to work from home
  • If business internet is right for you
  • The best internet plans for working remotely

How many Mbps do I need to work from home?

When you’re working from home, you want your home internet to be just as reliable as business internet. Most internet service providers (ISPs) will advertise a fast download speed, but remote workers should also be concerned about the upload speed. 

Upload speed for residential internet is usually lower than the advertised download speed. For example, if you see “50/10 Mbps” the “50” represents the download speed and the “10” represents the upload speed. If an ISP only shows one speed, it’s usually the download speed, and you might need to read the fine print in order to find the upload speed. Remote workers that constantly send large files and have conference calls with many participants may want to consider fiber internet. Fiber internet is more reliable and commonly has symmetrical upload and download speeds, such as Frontier’s 50/50 Mbps fiber internet plan.

The amount of speed you’ll need will depend on your specific business activities. Here are some common work activities and how much speed is recommended:


Recommended Download Speed/Upload speed

Basic emails

1/1 Mbps

Instant messaging

1/1 Mbps

Video conferencing in HD

2/2 Mbps, add 1 Mbps per additional participant

Standard quality video streaming

3 Mbps

Sharing photos

5/5 Mbps

Large file sharing

25/25 Mbps

Constant cloud-based computing

200/200 Mbps

Server hosting

250/250 Mbps

Multiple-server hosting

500/500 Mbps

Heavy online backups

500/500 Mbps

What is a good internet speed for VPNs?

A virtual private network (VPN) helps workers safely access company sensitive documents from any WiFi connection.

The speed of your VPN will always be limited by the speed of your home internet connection. That means you won’t get 100 Mbps speeds on your VPN if your home internet only has speeds of up to 50 Mbps. On top of that, your VPN speeds can be affected by other factors.

A crowded VPN server can really slow down your connection. If 100 employees are sharing a 1000 Mbps server, workers will only get an average speed of 10 Mbps each.

The location of the server can also affect your VPN speeds. Your speeds will be slower if the VPN company is located in China and you’re working from your home office in Arizona.

Can I get business internet at home?

Yes, you can get business internet at home. You might consider business internet for multiple reasons such as faster upload speeds, a service level agreement (SLA) and a static IP address.

Residential internet customers usually have data caps ranging up to 1 TB, which is more than enough for residential needs but might not be enough data if you’re frequently uploading or downloading files, using VoIP phone services, hosting a website or running an e-commerce site. If data is your only concern, you might want to consider paying a little extra for unlimited data instead of paying a premium for business internet.

Most business-grade internet plans are backed by a SLA. SLAs protect the business by detailing what happens if the ISP fails to meet performance standards. The ISP will usually owe the customer service credits which are discounts on the current or future internet bill. For example, the SLA might guarantee 99.99% uptime. Uptime is the percentage of time in one month that a customer is going to be connected to the internet. In this case, the customer’s internet can only have up to 4 minutes of downtime before they need to be compensated by the ISP.

If you’re running a web server or using a VPN, you might need a static IP address. All residential customers have a dynamic IP address that can change each time you access the internet. A business internet customer will have the option of adding a static IP address.

Business internet has many advantages over residential internet. Below is a quick comparison of the pros and cons of business vs residential internet:

Residential Internet

Business Internet


  • Generally more affordable


  • Service level agreement (SLA)
  • Static IPs and advanced business features
  • Faster speeds, especially upload
  • Priority customer support
  • Usually no data caps


  • Data caps and speed throttling common
  • Static IP addresses usually not available
  • Generally slow upload speeds


  • Generally more expensive
  • Long-term contracts required

Can I host my own web server on my home internet connection?

Running a web server might be a vital part of your business, but ISPs may not allow you to do it on a residential internet plan. It should explicitly state in the terms of service whether you’re allowed to use your home network to run a web server.

You might have to upgrade to a business internet plan in order to have the freedom to host a web server if your ISP doesn’t offer hosting on their residential plans.

Best internet plans for working from home

As mentioned before, we recommend choosing a fiber internet provider if it’s available. DSL and cable internet customers may experience slower speeds during network congestion. As a remote employee or entrepreneur, you’ll need a fast and reliable internet connection to help you get your work done quickly. Fiber internet is the most reliable internet connection as it offers consistent speeds and usually faster upload speeds that you’ll need to work from home. Use our search by address tool to find out which of these providers offers internet in your area.


Frontier offers fiber internet plans with symmetrical download and upload speeds. Remote workers can choose between 50/50 Mbps, 500/500 Mbps or a 1 Gbps internet plan. All Frontier internet plans include unlimited data so data caps are one less worry. Their plans are also perfect for those that do contract work for a few months because Frontier doesn’t require you to sign a contract.


AT&T is one fiber internet provider perfect for those that work out of their home office. You can choose a fiber internet plan with speeds up to 100, 300 or 1000 Mbps. AT&T’s fiber 100 Mbps and 300 Mbps plans cost an extra $30/month if you want unlimited data, but that cost is waived if you bundle in TV. Those that heavily use the internet for work and need the 1000 Mbps plan will get unlimited data included.


Verizon Fios also offers reliable fiber plans with choices of up to 100, 300 or 940 Mbps with symmetrical upload speeds and unlimited data. Verizon Fios is great for those that know they will be working remotely long-term because many of their plans include a price guarantee for up to three years.

Frontier, AT&T and Verizon Fios also offer business internet plans for customers who have specific needs that can’t be met with residential internet plans.

Quick recap: We recommend having speeds of at least 50/50 Mbps to work from home. Fiber internet is the best connection type for remote workers. Cable and DSL internet are acceptable, but you may experience slow internet speeds due to network congestion. You can get business internet if residential internet can’t satisfy your job requirements. Keep in mind, business internet costs more than residential internet.