What Internet Speed Do I Need for Zoom?

Catherine McNally
Editorial Lead, Internet & Gaming
Read More
January 21, 2022
3 min read

To keep your Zoom calls as close to crystal clear as possible, you'll need somewhere between 150 Kbps and 1.1 Mbps dedicated to this videoconferencing app.

But you won't need the same speed for a group call compared to a one-on-one call with grandma. And even though that doesn't seem like a lot of internet speed, you'll still need an internet plan with at least 25 to 50 Mbps download speeds.

Let's dig into the numbers and see if we can zoom in on the perfect internet speed for your video calls.

Need a refresher on Mbps?
Light Bulb

No worries! Check out our guide to Mbps that explains what it means and how all those Mbps add up to your internet speed.

Zoom internet speed requirements

According to Zoom’s website, these are the internet bandwidth requirements for different kinds of Zoom calls.

For 1:1 video calling:

  • 600kbps (up/down) for high quality video
  • 1.2 Mbps (up/down) for 720p HD video
  • Receiving 1080p HD video requires 1.8 Mbps (up/down)
  • Sending 1080p HD video requires 1.8 Mbps (up/down)

For group video calling:

  • 800kbps/1.0Mbps (up/down) for high quality video
  • For gallery view and/or 720p HD video: 1.5Mbps/1.5Mbps (up/down)
  • Receiving 1080p HD video requires 2.5mbps (up/down)
  • Sending 1080p HD video requires 3.0 Mbps (up/down)

For screen sharing only (no video thumbnail): 50–75kbps

  • For screen sharing with video thumbnail: 50–150kbps
  • For audio VoiP: 60–80kbps

For Zoom Phone: 60–100kbps

Just for reference, here’s how data measurements break down:

  • 1 megabit (MB) = 1000 kilobytes (Kb)
  • 1 megabyte (MB) = 8 megabits (Mb)
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) = 1,000 megabytes (MB)

We’ll spare you the maths and give you an idea of how much data Zoom uses per hour and per minute, rather than a per-second basis. I don’t know about you, but my Zoom conversations rarely last only a few seconds (though it would be nice if they did sometimes).

Zoom data usage for a 1:1 meeting
Quality
Download
Upload
Total

High

270 MB/hr.

270 MB/hr.

540 MB/hr.

720p

540 MB/hr.

540 MB/hr.

1.08 GB/hr.

1080p

810 MB/hr.

810 MB/hr.

1.62 GB/hr.

On a 1:1 Zoom meeting, expect to use between 540 MB and 1.62 GB per hour, or somewhere between 9 MB and 27 MB per minute. To put those numbers in internet-speed terms, you’d want an internet speed between 150 kbps to 450 kbps to smoothly run a Zoom 1:1 call.

Wait, that’s not much internet speed at all.
Light Bulb
It’s true that a 1:1 Zoom call on its own doesn’t need a ton of internet speed to run well, but keep in mind that your internet speed doesn’t just dedicate itself to Zoom calls. Your internet bandwidth has to allocate internet to all of your devices at once. If you're still in the dark, here's an easy guide on how much internet speed you need for different household sizes and activities.
Zoom data usage for a group call
Quality
Download
Upload
Total

High

450 MB/hr.

360 MB/hr.

810 MB/hr.

720p

675 MB/hr.

675 MB/hr.

1.35 GB/hr.

1080p

1.2 GB/hr.

1.2 GB/hr.

2.4 GB/hr.

The bigger the Zoom meeting, the more data it uses. For every hour of a Zoom group call, you use between 810 MB and 2.4 GB, or somewhere between 13.5 MB and 40 MB per minute. You’ll need an internet connection of at least between 225 kbps and 670 kbps dedicated to the Zoom call.

Keeping in mind that your internet bandwidth goes to all of your internet devices at the same time, here are some examples of other common data usages that probably are happening at your home.

Data usage for common activities
Activity
Amount of data used

4K video streaming

5.85 GB/hr.

HD video streaming

2.5 GB/hr.

SD video streaming

0.7 GB/hr.

Audio streaming

72 MB/hr.

Uploading one image to social media

5 MB/photo

Sending emails (without attachment)

20 KB/email

Sending emails (with standard attachment)

300 KB/email

Online gaming

12 MB/hr.

Viewing a web page

1 MB/pg.

Based on AT&T data calculator estimates. Amounts may vary.

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Not enough internet for Zoom calls?

A laggy Zoom call sort of feels like a bad first date. You can’t really connect with each other, it feels awkward, and everyone just wants it to end. If your internet connection struggles maintaining a smooth Zoom call, it might be time to consider upgrading your internet.

We recommend looking for internet plans with at least 25 to 50 Mbps download speeds. And if you need an internet service provider (ISP) recommendation, Xfinity and Verizon Fios Home Internet consistently show up in our reviews as some of the best internet providers out there.

Xfinity Internet
Xfinity Internet
Best Internet Provider
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Download speeds
501200 Mbps
Upload speeds
535 Mbps
Starting from
$19.99
/mo
Data effective 02/17/2022. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Data effective 12/1/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.

Best Fiber Internet Provider

Data effective 12/1/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*w/Auto Pay + taxes. Equipment charges may apply.

But if Xfinity and Verizon Fios Home Internet aren't available in your area, you can use our easy internet search tool to compare internet plans near you.

Worried about data caps?

What if you don't want to worry about a monthly data cap? Check out our guide to learn about which internet providers have unlimited data options.

Find better internet service in your area.
Now that you know what internet speeds you need for Zoom, here are your next steps:

Potentially use less data with a different video conferencing platform.

How does Zoom rank among the best video conferencing platforms?

Additional contributors

Catherine McNally
Written by
Catherine McNally
Catherine has a degree in journalism and an MBA, and has spent the last 10+ years writing everything from Okinawa travel guides to stories on Medium. She’s been online since AOL CDs were a thing and is an unapologetic PC gamer. She believes the internet is a necessity, not a luxury, and writes reviews and guides to help everyone stay connected. You can also find her on Twitter: @CMReviewsIt.

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