Top 5: Countries with the fastest internet speeds in the world

Top 5: Countries with the fastest internet speeds in the world

Whether you’re a serious location independent entrepreneur, running a local business, or just a casual surfer, slow internet is a pain.

Heck, it’s bad for business.

As a perpetual traveler, I occasionally get stuck in a hotel with poor internet speeds, which causes me great frustration. However, internet around the world is typically much better than you think – and even emerging countries have some of the fastest internet speeds. Studies have determined which countries have the fastest internet speeds.

While Americans often make fun of other countries for their allegedly lesser service offerings, the United States does not rank on this list of countries with the fastest internet speeds. In fact, Asia and eastern Europe dominate the list. To learn how the US ranks, read on…

Top 5 Countries with the fastest internet speeds in the world

Latvia online speeds are among the fastest on earth

Latvia some has of the world’s fastest internet speeds

5. Latvia
Mark down another reason to prefer smaller countries: faster internet. Latvia is more than just a great place to live or start a business. Due to its relatively small size, Latvia had an easy time piping fast internet out to most of the country. While some eurozone countries are barely meeting the global average, Latvia defies its image as a developing country (albeit an advanced one) by providing some of the fastest internet speeds in Europe. In fact, no country in wealthier western Europe beat them. Neighboring Lithuania also performs relatively well.

South Korea has some of the world's fastest internet speeds

Despite dropping a few spots, South Korea still has some of the world’s fastest internet speeds

4. South Korea
South Korea has dropped a few spots from its previous number-two ranking. However, the country still boasts some of the world’s fastest internet, including speeds 65% faster than the United States. South Korea is also one of the most aggressive countries in targeting gigabit speeds for its internet users. Freedom House suggests that despite these high speeds, internet users are not completely free when surfing in South Korea, suggesting bloggers have been arrested as internet freedom in general declines worldwide.

Romania has the fastest internet speeds in Europe

Romania has the fastest internet speeds in Europe

3. Romania
Don’t judge this country by its less advanced neighbors such as Moldova. Romania is Europe’s emerging internet hosting destination, with plenty of companies setting up their web host in this eastern European jurisdiction to benefit from super-fast speed and affordable labor costs. Romania has some of the world’s fastest download speeds, with an average of 47.9 megabits per second; in fact, it recorded the worlds single fastest download earlier in 2013.

Serious internet users can access speeds up to 200 megabits per second in Romania. While every household in the EU can get internet access, Romanians have an 85% penetration rate for in-home internet access.

Fastest internet speeds in Japan

Japan leads the way with some of the world’s fastest internet speeds and innovation that could increase speeds 100-fold

2. Japan
Would you expect any less from tech-savvy Japan? High-speed fiber optics run throughout the country, enabling some of the world’s fastest internet speeds. Peak speeds in Japan are nearly triple the global average for internet users. But the country known for its human-like robots and other cutting-edge technology isn’t content with its current speeds – not by a long shot.

Japan is one of the countries working on 100Gbps internet using advanced “optical packet switching technology”. For now, one Japanese internet provider is offering 2Gbps speeds – twice the pace of Google Fiber – for about $50 a month. That makes it the world’s fastest commercially available internet service.

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Hong Kong has the world's fastest internet speeds

Hong Kong is home to the world’s fastest internet speeds, more than triple the global average

1. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is no slouch when it comes to providing top-notch services to its tech-savvy residents. That’s why it’s no surprise that the hyper-dense Special Administrative Region of China dominates the list of countries with fastest internet speeds. In fact, it was the first country to break the 60Mbps speed barrier. Hong Kong’s average speed of 64 megabits per second is more than triple the global average.

I can speak to this myself. Earlier this year, I downloaded an entire hourlong TV episode from iTunes in just 86 seconds (yeah, I timed it).

Internet speeds in Hong Kong increased as much as 29% over the previous year, as well. It’s all thanks to Hong Kong’s commitment to “Fiber To The Home” service and companies’ use of aggressive high-speed internet pricing.

How do internet speeds in the United States compare? In case you’re still wondering, the United States ranked eleventh on the overall list of countries with fastest internet speeds. That’s an improvement from fourteenth in a previous year, with the 36 megabit-per-second speed clocking at almost double the global average.

However, experts say US internet service is “overpriced and slow” among tech-savvy nations. At least US internet speeds aren’t as slow as those in the Congo, which suffers from the world’s slowest download speeds, at just 13Kbps. Somebody go back to 1996 and get those guys a 56K modem. (They are, however, making progress.)

Have you had a positive (or negative) experience with internet speeds while traveling or living abroad? Share it in the comments below.

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Andrew Henderson

Andrew Henderson

Andrew's mission is simple: travel the world to find "boots on the ground" opportunities to share with you. His perpetual travels provide offshore strategies you can apply in your own life to create more wealth, protect what you have, and live more freely. Get his free Strategy Session by clicking here.
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  • Agnes

    I’m from HK and I didn’t realize this luxury til I traveled abroad! We take too many things for granted here.

    • Andrew Henderson

      Yes, Hong Kong is a fantastic place to be based. Thanks for the comment.

    • Nomad Capitalist

      We are big fans of Hong Kong here.

  • Jack

    I’m curious about the other countries with similar speeds as compared to the US. I am becoming more and more despondent with the area that I am in and have considered moving into the middle of nowhere, however my gaming family would never survive without the internet. My next thought would be to move to a new country. Although the countries listed I am sure are all wonderful, I was looking for something a little more “islandish” like Costa Rica, Ecuador, New Zealand, etc. Any suggestions for other countries that can compare with the speeds of the USA?

    • Andrew Henderson

      Frankly, internet speeds in many parts of the world are pretty fast. New Zealand would rival the US. Even developed parts of countries like Nicaragua, Belize, etc. would have usuable internet speeds; I’ve downloaded multiple TV shows per day even in hotels in Nicaragua, Cambodia, etc. These countries just have the fastest speeds.

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  • Grigore Gratian

    i live in Romania and my 200Mbs connection costs 12 US$… everybody i know has this subscription… try to beat that in USA…

    • Guest

      Romania must be heaven! *_*
      I live in Nepal and I pay $17 per month of my connection. The speed? 384 kbps~0.45 Mbps. ;_;

      • Grigore Gratian

        on this aspect, it is :)

    • Reincarnated Assassin

      Romania must be heaven! *_*
      I pay ~$18 per month for my connection. ;_;

  • Vytas

    OMG, this is why the world is doomed, stupid American hicks that think they are the best at everything when they clearly fail in a lot of things

    • Povilas

      And Lithuanians have the fastest internet. Not by average. You can see one part of three “connection to wifi” markers and can easily download or load anything. Fact.

  • Matt

    There is absolutely no way you can say that our 100 Mbps is better than another country’s 1Gb. We pay more for our speed than they do for theirs. Numbers don’t lie, I don’t care how many devices you can stream Netflix on. You cannot look someone in the face (screen) and tell them 100>1000. When it comes down to it, they will still download a movie faster than you will, and your wallet will still be fucked.

  • Eric

    noob, US is falling from the top…just wake up already :)

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