On the eve of 2020, video streaming at 4K is normal, shrink-wrapped software is gone and the internet is faster than ever — see how far we’ve come in a decade
- Internet speeds a decade ago in the US averaged around 5 Mbps.
- Today in the US, average speeds are closer to 100 Mbps.
- Internet speeds from 2009 are actually fine for general web browsing and even streaming video at decent quality in 2019.
- But for heavy internet users who like 4K video streaming and who download all their apps and software, life with 2009 internet speeds would crawl.
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You probably wouldn’t notice much of a difference if you were casually browsing the internet in 2019 with the internet speeds we had back in 2009.
Internet speeds in the US in 2009 averaged about 5 megabits per second (Mbps), according to the FCC and various other reports. That’s totally fine for a Google search, poking around on Amazon, or streaming a YouTube video at decent quality.
Even watching Netflix on your smart TV would be possible at 2009 speeds. Netflix recommends a 3 Mbps connection for “standard” quality video — easily-achievable in 2009 — and 5 Mpbs for “HD” quality video. Sure, you’d be pushing your home internet connection to the limit, but you could probably stream Netflix and have another family member browse the web at the same time using 2009-era bandwidth.
But, come on, it’s the year two thousand nineteen. For many, the internet is the primary source of productivity and entertainment. Things need to be fast and seamless. Websites need to load instantaneously. 4K video is the standard now. That’s where 2009’s internet speeds start to feel dated.
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