Countries with the best and worst internet in the world

Anton P. | December 21, 2022

A stable and reliable internet connection is an indispensable component of modern society. However, just how unwavering it is heavily depends on users’ locations.  Citizens can enjoy uninterrupted, carefree, and fast-moving digital life in certain countries.

Sadly, others are bound to receive more sluggish or nearly unusable internet. Thus, let’s discuss why average speeds vary and just how different they are worldwide.

Countries with the best and worst internet in the world

TL;DR – You can find some of the best internet speeds in Monaco, Singapore, and Hong Kong (SAR). The slowest speeds are in Turkmenistan, Yemen, and Cuba. To maintain and improve speeds, pick VPN servers closest to your location.

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 different from the leading internet in the world. Additionally, it might also be time to update your equipment, like picking one of the best fiber optic modems.

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.

Internet speed can be slower than advertised 

Users might find getting the fastest broadband speeds difficult since they won’t get the performance they purchase. Thus, despite buying an internet package for 150 Mbps, you rarely enjoy such broadband speeds. 

According to Atlas VPN research on internet packages, plans offering up to 125 Mbps are most likely to deliver the advertised speeds. However, if users purchase packages for 400 Mbps, their fastest average speeds will be slower. 

Main reasons for slowest or fastest internet speeds

Worst internet speeds can relate to your location. However, the differing speeds in the world root in particular issues. 

For instance, the struggle to use ICT (Information and Communications Technology) has deeply affected the internet speeds in the Middle East. 

However, infrastructural problems can limit internet accessibility anywhere. A village in Germany, two hours from Berlin, reported being unable to use the internet. 

Besides the slowest internet speeds, the residents were even unable to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Internet issues in Germany relate to the fact it uses copper wires, which are less powerful than fiber optic cables. 

Location of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)

Data travels in paths. And, sadly, sometimes the route available 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 TheVerge, 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.

Privacy is a BIG DEAL!


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).

Top 15 countries with the best mobile internet speeds

All rankings are from June 2021, as revealed in a recent report.

Before listing the countries with best internet connectivity, please remember several facts. The global average download speed is approximately 55 Mbps. However, the average upload speed is 12 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
United Arab Emirates (UAE)193.51 Mbps28.05 Mbps
South Korea180.48 Mbps23.83 Mbps
Qatar171.76 Mbps24.46 Mbps
Norway167.60 Mbps23.65 Mbps
Cyprus161.80 Mbps25.45 Mbps
China159.47 Mbps29.97 Mbps
Saudi Arabia153.18 Mbps22.99 Mbps
Kuwait137.51 Mbps24.38 Mbps
Australia127.14 Mbps16.73 Mbps
Luxembourg112.64 Mbps20.15 Mbps
Bulgaria110.40 Mbps19.48 Mbps
Switzerland109.51 Mbps25.26 Mbps
The Netherlands102.51 Mbps23.12 Mbps
Denmark96.85 Mbps21.96 Mbps
Oman94.41 Mbps20.00 Mbps

Top 15 countries with the best fixed broadband speeds

The global average download speed here is 106.61 Mbps. For the upload speed, the average is 57.67 Mbps.

CountryDownload speedUpload speed
1.Monaco260.74 Mbps150.09 Mbps
2.Singapore252.68 Mbps230.06 Mbps
3.Hong Kong (SAR)248.94 Mbps209.38 Mbps
4.Romania220.67 Mbps177.05 Mbps
5.Denmark217.18 Mbps148.23 Mbps
6.Switzerland215.57 Mbps140.19 Mbps
7.Thailand214.47 Mbps167.35 Mbps
8.South Korea212.12 Mbps188.75 Mbps
9.France208.15 Mbps146.69 Mbps
10.Chile203.61 Mbps136.99 Mbps
11.Liechtenstein198.52 Mbps157.02 Mbps
12.The United States195.45 Mbps68.70 Mbps
13.Spain194.92 Mbps169.07 Mbps
14.Hungary194.92 Mbps91.69 Mbps
15.Andorra189.38 Mbps192.82 Mbps

15 countries with the worst mobile internet speeds

CountryDownload speedUpload speed
1.Afghanistan7.37 Mbps3.14 Mbps
2.Venezuela8.05 Mbps4.61 Mbps
3.Bangladesh12.48 Mbps7.98 Mbps
4.Zimbabwe12.69 Mbps6.85 Mbps
5.Sudan12.85 Mbps7.60 Mbps
6.Ghana13.23 Mbps9.24 Mbps
7.Somalia13.31 Mbps11.74 Mbps
8.Tanzania14.14 Mbps7.83 Mbps
9.Sri Lanka14.38 Mbps6.59 Mbps
10.Zambia15.44 Mbps8.35 Mbps
11.Uganda16.65 Mbps6.26 Mbps
12.Tajikistan16.78 Mbps6.45 Mbps
13.Samoa17.54 Mbps25.44 Mbps
14.Algeria17.73 Mbps10.21 Mbps
15.Belarus17.83 Mbps7.99 Mbps

15 countries with the worst fixed broadband speeds

CountryDownload speedUpload speed
1.Turkmenistan4.49 Mbps8.07 Mbps
2.Yemen6.14 Mbps1.60 Mbps
3.Cuba6.80 Mbps7.04 Mbps
4.Sudan8.24 Mbps8.89 Mbps
5.Algeria8.45 Mbps1.61 Mbps
6.Malawi9.08 Mbps7.77 Mbps
7.Guinea9.24 Mbps10.95 Mbps
8.Niger10.20 Mbps13.81 Mbps
9.Syria10.37 Mbps12.21 Mbps
10.The Gambia10.69 Mbps6.27 Mbps
11.Afghanistan10.76 Mbps13.15 Mbps
12.Botswana10.85 Mbps10.44 Mbps
13.Tunisia10.86 Mbps4.45 Mbps
14.Burundi10.94 Mbps10.08 Mbps
15.DR Congo10.98 Mbps6.15 Mbps

List of countries offering the best speeds for digital nomads 

Digital nomads recognize the struggle of working remotely from a different part of the world. A study has observed the most suitable countries for digital nomads. So, let’s see their rankings and which country has the fastest internet.

No.CountryAvg. Fixed Broadband speedAvg. Fixed Mobile speed
1. Singapore229.42 Mbps64.06 Mbps
2.Canada149.35 Mbps84.54 Mbps
3.Romania188.55 Mbps41.48 Mbps
4.Denmark179.81 Mbps66.68 Mbps
5.France177.93 Mbps50.45 Mbps
6.Switzerland186.4 Mbps73.85 Mbps
7.Spain160.41 Mbps41.98 Mbps
8.Sweden158.73 Mbps56.64 Mbps
9.Hungary169.52 Mbps43.6 Mbps
10.Norway146.53 Mbps87.37 Mbps
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Anton P.

Anton P.

Former chef and the head of Atlas VPN blog team. He's an experienced cybersecurity expert with a background of technical content writing.



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