Where in the World Is the Fastest Internet?

The U.S. might be technologically advanced in some respects, but they’re not doing too well when it comes to broadband Internet speeds. According to The Register, the U.S. is ranked ninth in the world. That’s a pretty good improvement over the last time speeds were checked, with a 27 percent increase overall. However, it still lags behind for a so-called tech giant. If you want the fastest speeds for work or play, or to download an entire 10 season series in less than an hour, here are the countries for you.

South Korea

South Korea leads the pack in broadband and average Internet speeds. According to GigaOM, South Korea has 86 percent broadband penetration, with a peak speed of 49.3 Mbps and an average speed of 14 Mbps. While Hong Kong has a higher peak speed at 57.5 Mbps, it falls behind on its average speed and market penetration. The quality and speed of the Internet connection in South Korea makes it easier for tech companies to do research, send out media, and helped the advance of eSports.

Japan

Telecom Cables

Image by Danny Choo via Flickr.

Japan is currently working on a project that will boost it into the top dog position for Internet speeds. The Sony Nuro Fiber service uses fiber optic connections to provide a 2 Gbps connection in the service area, the International Business Times reports. Google Fiber’s 1 Gbps connection sounded rather impressive, but Sony Nuro Fiber is doing it cheaper and better. Of course, building the infrastructure for this service takes some time, so it’s starting out in Tokyo. Japan strongly pushes for a full-fiber infrastructure, with 25 percent of homes currently equipped with fiber optic cable line.

Romania

Asia certainly has its fingers in the high-speed Internet pie, but what about the rest of the world? When you turn your eyes to Europe, Romania is the first country to stand out. Bloomberg reports Romania’s average speed fell slightly this year, but not enough to move it out of the fifth overall spot. Its average speed is 37.4 Mbps, making it an excellent choice for European flavor and downloading every cute cat video you can find on the Internet.

Fastest Areas in the U.S.

If traveling abroad to satiate your Internet addiction is not in the cards for you, turn your eyes homeward. The Google Fiber initiative is the latest development in high-speed Internet access in the U.S., with speeds of up to 1 Gbps. However, it’s currently only available in Kansas City, Mo. It’s rolling out in Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah, as well. The tech industries and other companies are taking advantage of this strong connection, leading to positive job growth in those sectors.

When you look at the available speeds from your local ISPs, it’s important to know how fast they are in reality, not theory. Internet connection speeds are affected by the type of router you use, whether or not you’re using wireless Internet, the usage of other people in your area, and your computer’s networking card. If possible, test the connection with the ISP before you purchase a contract. Sites such as Speedtest.net give you a comparison and speed rating.