Fastest Wireless Speeds 2021

Who’s got time to wait on a slow wireless connection?
  • Best Upload/Download Speeds
    Avg. Download:
    32.73 Mbps
    Avg. Upload:
    12.9 Mbps
  • #2
    Avg. Download:
    32.2 Mbps
    Avg. Upload:
    10.0 Mbps
  • #3
    Avg. Download:
    28.9 Mbps
    Avg. Upload:
    9.4 Mbps

Data speeds are like gasoline for your car—the more data speed you have, the faster you can go. Okay, that’s not how gasoline in cars work, but you get what I’m trying to say. The more data speed you have, the more quickly you can pull up YouTube videos, refresh Twitter, and upload your Instagram stories.

Now let’s take a look at the fastest data speeds from the big three major wireless carriers.

Data speed averages across the country

We sampled over a hundred thousand cell phone users around the United States during 2020, and these were the average upload and download speeds we got from the major carriers.

An infographic ranking wireless networks by speed: #1 T-Mobile, #2 Verizon, #3 AT&T, Sprint unranked because it was acquired by T-Mobile in 2020

In summary, here’s the average download and upload speeds among the major three wireless networks.

  • T-Mobile
    • Average download speed: 32.7 Mbps
    • Average upload speed: 12.9 Mbps
  • Verizon
    • Average download speed: 32.2 Mbps
    • Average upload speed: 10.1 Mbps
  • AT&T
    • Average download speed: 28.9 Mbps
    • Average upload speed: 9.4 Mbps

T-Mobile currently owns the award for fastest average download and upload speeds. The scary part is that T-Mobile recently acquired Sprint, which used to own the fastest average download speeds (33.8 Mbps), so it feels safe to assume that T-Mobile has no plans of relinquishing its data speeds championship belt anytime soon.

T-Mobile wins in side-by-side video comparisons

It’s a close finish between T-Mobile and Verizon (with AT&T looking longingly in the background) for the title of fastest average wireless download speeds. In the end, T-Mobile pulls ahead with a 0.05 Mbps faster download speed average.

In our hands-on experience, however, T-Mobile absolutely destroyed Verizon when it comes to download speeds. Check out the difference between the two providers when I tried to open a YouTube video from my desk at work.

T-Mobile at-home speed test

Verizon at-home speed test

To be fair, the above speed tests took place in my apartment in Utah, so it’s possible you’ll have a completely different experience with your coverage. But based on all the data we’ve compiled and our own hands-on experience, T-Mobile beats out Verizon for fastest wireless download speeds.

T-Mobile plans

If you’re thinking about hopping on the T-Mobile bandwagon, these are the cell phone plans you can choose from.

Take a look at our best cell phone plans page to get a better idea of how T-Mobile compares with other data plans.

Recap: T-Mobile reigns supreme

The year 2020 will be remembered for many things, and one of those things might be T-Mobile owning the championship for both download and upload speeds. If data speeds make all the difference to you, T-Mobile offers the most bang for your buck. Here’s how T-Mobile looks on the pedestal.

  • T-Mobile
    • Average download speed: 32.7 Mbps
    • Average upload speed: 12.9 Mbps

Now all eyes are on AT&T and T-Mobile to swing back and take control of the fastest speeds title. We’ll report back when we collect enough data.

Increase your data speeds with a reliable Wi-Fi connection

Regardless of your wireless provider, you can always get faster speeds on your phone with a reliable Wi-Fi connection. These days we’re all spending more time at home, so a faster internet connection will probably make the whole household happier.

5 Best home internet options
ProviderMonthly priceDownload speedsData capLearn more
Xfinity Internet$34.99$94.99*501200 Mbps11.2 TBView Plans
Verizon Fios Home Internet$39.99$89.99200940 MbpsNot AvailableView Plans
AT&T Fiber$35$60300940 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
CenturyLink Internet$50$65100940 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
Viasat Internet$30$150^12100 Mbps12300 GBView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. 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.
For the first 12 months plus taxes and equip. fee.
New customers only. Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply.
^ For the first 3 months.