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Countries with the best and worst internet in the world

A stable and reliable internet connection is an indispensable part of modern society. However, just how unwavering it is heavily depends on your location. Some can enjoy uninterrupted, carefree, and fast-moving digital life in certain countries. Sadly, others are bound to receive more sluggish or nearly unusable internet. Let’s discuss why average speeds vary and just how different they are worldwide.

Countries with the best and worst internet in the world

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Why do internet speeds vary between regions?

Although simple on the surface, internet speed is a complex notion linked to many variables.

Users judge it based on the elapsed time from start to finish of a specific task. For instance, higher speed allows websites to open faster or media content to load quickly and in superior quality. However, it is about more than the plan you choose from a particular ISP (Internet Service Provider). Even if you pay for the most expensive package, your connection can still be quite slow.

Here are some of the reasons why internet quality and performance is a multiplex issue. Unfortunately, many conditions are out of regular users’ control. It might relate to government decisions or even the physical environment.

Location of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)

Data travels in paths. And, sadly, sometimes the available route is not exactly the shortest. IXPs are physical infrastructures via which ISPs and content delivery networks (CDNs) exchange internet traffic among networks and peers.

Thus, in some instances, data from one country needs to travel through entirely different regions or even continents. Only then can it reach the intended destinations. As a result, countries with more IXPs will be better equipped to deal with local traffic and avoid sending it abroad.

Size of IXPs

The larger Internet Exchange Points are, the more bandwidth they can deliver. Then, ISPs take it and forward it to their customers at a set price.

If the IXP is large and closer to the recipient, the internet performance will likely be of better quality. You can find a map of all IXPs here.

Smaller countries might have the upper hand

In large regions, it is fairly expensive to run the necessary cables. Hence, the implementation of internet infrastructure might be somewhat inadequate due to the high costs of running fiber optics.

In countries with smaller population densities, fewer cables can be sufficient enough to serve all citizens.

Why? More bandwidth will be available per fiber strand. Thus, smaller and less dense locations have the potential to have fast internet cost-effectively.

Lack of competition among ISPs

A healthy rivalry between companies is a must in any industry. It drives innovation and pushes providers to offer products superior to their competitors.

However, in many countries, ISPs avoid rivalry between companies. As noted by The Verge, ISPs in the US divide territories to avoid stepping on each other’s toes. It leaves many citizens with limited options of choosing an internet company. In specific locations, only one provider might offer their services.

Thus, the lack of competition might stop internet providers from upgrading gear or increasing bandwidth.

Internet speed by country

According to different resources, exact rankings might differ slightly. However, the general statistics represent which regions receive the most satisfying speeds in the world (or the opposite).

15 countries with the best mobile internet speeds

All rankings are from March 2024, as revealed in a SpeedTest report.

Before listing the countries with the best internet connectivity, please remember several facts. The global average download speed is approximately 53 Mbps. However, the average upload speed is 11.48 Mbps.

Generally, the download speed is much higher than the upload. For instance, some airports choose to provide lower upload speeds to do more with less bandwidth.

CountryDownload speedUpload speed
Qatar313.30 Mbps27.53 Mbps
United Arab Emirates296.00 Mbps26.25 Mbps
Kuwait228.64 Mbps23.73 Mbps
Iceland158.32 Mbps20.22 Mbps
South Korea156.23 Mbps17.68 Mbps
Denmark145.75 Mbps19.27 Mbps
China143.73 Mbps27.51 Mbps
Netherlands135.52 Mbps19.80 Mbps
United States129.26 Mbps10.24 Mbps
Macau (SAR)127.39 Mbps31.53 Mbps
Saudi Arabia124.93 Mbps14.81 Mbps
Bahrain122.20 Mbps18.00 Mbps
Norway121.20 Mbps17.92 Mbps
Lithuania118.49 Mbps16.75 Mbps
Bulgaria111.91 Mbps19.85 Mbps

15 countries with the best fixed broadband speeds

The global average download speed here is 93.28 Mbps. For the upload speed, the average is 45.46 Mbps.

CountryDownload speedUpload speed
Singapore284.13 Mbps229.80 Mbps
United Arab Emirates276.02 Mbps134.85 Mbps
Hong Kong (SAR)274.26 Mbps193.14 Mbps
Chile265.12 Mbps168.13 Mbps
United States254.01 Mbps31.37 Mbps
Iceland242.94 Mbps225.88 Mbps
France242.45 Mbps172.10 Mbps
China241.69 Mbps38.27 Mbps
Monaco238.07 Mbps158.62 Mbps
Thailand231.25 Mbps199.93 Mbps
Denmark224.14 Mbps130.63 Mbps
Spain217.30 Mbps158.31 Mbps
Romania214.13 Mbps140.57 Mbps
Switzerland205.06 Mbps92.51 Mbps
Israel199.20 Mbps76.26 Mbps

15 countries with the worst mobile internet speeds

CountryDownload speedUpload speed
Cuba4.01 Mbps3.50 Mbps
East Timor5.16 Mbps3.32 Mbps
Yemen5.32 Mbps7.08 Mbps
Afghanistan5.80 Mbps2.33 Mbps
Tajikistan8.51 Mbps5.84 Mbps
Haiti8.87 Mbps7.53 Mbps
Bolivia9.76 Mbps9.00 Mbps
Sudan10.21 Mbps6.45 Mbps
Venezuela10.88 Mbps6.15 Mbps
Belize11.50 Mbps8.20 Mbps
Belarus11.59 Mbps6.64 Mbps
Syria13.24 Mbps3.02 Mbps
Nepal13.97 Mbps9.29 Mbps
Mongolia14.14 Mbps7.01 Mbps
Madagascar15.59 Mbps6.77 Mbps

15 countries with the worst fixed broadband speeds

CountryDownload speedUpload speed
Cuba2.92 Mbps1.03 Mbps
Afghanistan3.40 Mbps2.33 Mbps
Syria4.05 Mbps9.88 Mbps
The Gambia5.66 Mbps4.59 Mbps
Burundi6.04 Mbps6.12 Mbps
East Timor6.34 Mbps8.60 Mbps
Turkmenistan7.21 Mbps7.21 Mbps
Niger7.24 Mbps5.78 Mbps
Yemen7.39 Mbps2.22 Mbps
Botswana8.84 Mbps7.63 Mbps
Ethiopia8.88 Mbps7.70 Mbps
Cameroon9.12 Mbps3.25 Mbps
Tunisia9.29 Mbps2.39 Mbps
Liberia9.32 Mbps7.74 Mbps
Guinea9.66 Mbps4.91 Mbps

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