Asia is both top and bottom of the world Internet speed league

asia internet speeds

It should come as no surprise that the world’s fastest Internet connection speeds can be found in Asia, with Hong Kong offering an impressive 54.1 Mbps, the fastest in the world. But would you believe us if we said that the world’s slowest connection speeds can also be found in Asia? How is that possible, you ask? Read on for all the numbers.

A few Asian countries lead the way in Internet speed

Based on the latest data on Internet speeds around the world, we made a list of the top 5 countries. The top three countries out of the five on the list can be found in Asia.

fastest-countries internet speeds

A few things worth noting:

  • In the latest quarter, Hong Kong (54.1 Mbps) has increased its lead over South Korea (48.8 Mbps).
  • Of the current top five countries, it’s only Japan that has been able to pass Hong Kong and South Korea in the chart since 2007.
  • Hong Kong and South Korea have been rather lonely at the top, widening the gap to the other countries since the third quarter 2011.
  • The United States has dropped down to 14th place in the latest quarter, and added here just for reference.
  • None of the big European countries, like France, Germany and United Kingdom, made the top five list. United Kingdom, currently in 16th place with an average peak connection speed of 28.1 Mbps, has the highest ranking of the three.

But Europe is the fastest continent

This made us wonder what would happen if we were to concentrate on the Internet speed of whole continents and not just the top countries. Would Asia then be the continent with the fastest Internet?

Maybe it’s just us, but we were taken by surprise by the results.

regions internet speeds

Asia is not even the second fastest continent, but the third.

Except a short period in 2011 and 2012, Europe has been the continent with the highest average peak connection speed since the beginning of 2009. In fact, Europe seems to have increased the average peak connection speed more than the other continents during the most recent quarter.

Asia has both the fastest and the slowest Internet speeds

Since three Asian countries have the fastest Internet in the world, but Asia as a continent only manages third place, we wanted to try to find an explanation to this.

We plotted the distribution of the average peak Internet connection speeds for each continent, including the average and median. This revealed some interesting things, especially for Asia, as you can see in the chart below.

world-distribution internet speeds

You can download a larger version of this picture.

Here are a few interesting aspects to note:

  • Asia clearly has the largest distribution of Internet speeds of any continent.
  • Looking only at the median speed, Asia has the lowest number of all continents except Africa.
  • The slowest average peak connection speed in Asia is that of Iran at 2.9 Mbps.
  • Malaysia, with an average peak connection speed at 18.2 Mps, represents the average country in the continent very well.
  • The country closest to the median would be Lebanon at 12.6 Mbps in average peak connection speed.
  • Africa, Europe, South America, and the Pacific (which includes Australia and New Zealand) all have a rather even distribution; consequently they have a median and an average that are both located near the middle.

Asia – continent of extremes

What is clear from this is that not every person across Asia enjoys the same superfast Internet as Hong Kong and South Korea. In fact, many people have some of the slowest Internet speeds anywhere on the planet.

But what is also clear is that the potential for growth in Asia is astonishing. For example, China has 565 million Internet users, which represents only 42.1% of the population. Based on our findings, it would seem like Internet speeds in many parts of the continent would have to increase considerably, so that the typical person in Asia (the median) would enjoy a better Internet experience.

The question is, when will that happen?

About the data: The data we have based this study on comes from the quarterly State of the Internet report by Akamai. We have added some of our own calculations for averages and medians, and we have followed this model for dividing the world into continents. The increase in Internet speeds around Q1/Q2 2009 is an anomaly in the data, which we cannot account for.

Top picture: PKOM /


  1. Whatever the outcome I’m still jealous of all those countries, such as South Korea and Japan, that have strong national fibre optic broadband networks. Here in the UK most of us are still hobbled by the age old copper ADSL network and can but dream of connecting at peak speeds above 15-20Mbps.
    On the other hand a huge amount of money is now going into building new networks around Europe and the United Kingdom so perhaps, just perhaps, the future will bring me a 4K TV service over an IPTV solution and into my home. For now I’ll just keep on hoping :).

      1. @Pingdom  @ispreview here in india i am having only 1/2 mbps internet can barely play 360p youtube videos, i have to wait for some time to buffer those videos and then play those.

  2. That sounds amazing Grzegorz. In the data we used for this article, Poland has an average peak Internet connection speed of 25.1 Mbps.

  3. LOL here in South Africa it is about 1Mb 🙂 slow that is why i make websites load super fast Super Blogs

  4. You can get (and reach) 150 Mbit/s as a private customer in Denmark. What does the yellow line represent? The interval of all connection speeds in the survey or whatever it is?

  5. Steen, each yellow line is the range of average peak connection speeds in the respective continent, so from the slowest to the fastest.

  6. Always Asia has been under estimated by American and European countries . But the factuality is that , the Asian Continent is todays most advanced region ..

  7. @ispreview  mate I am from asia, India to be specific and net speeds in here sucks. I would gladly switch over to a ADSL network, it has to be better than what is available in places like mine. If you are not living in a metro then the very fact that you can use Internet is a miracle for us.
    You guys dream for a IPTV while i dearly wish i will be able to surf net a bit faster, watch youtube videos at 360p without buffering.

  8. Interesting take indeed from the results, It is funny yet true that Asia is the fastest as well as the slowest in the internet service continents fastest being in speed and slowest in being the usage. Yet as @rick001  mentioned the net speeds in India sucks, specially in the basement areas where it is quite difficult to get even connection for the Internet.

  9. i dint knew…it was dis large in here….bt d low 1 i can assure u….i get 230-240 max….nd blv me wen people aftr knowin this speed…longed if their’s cud b dis high??
    nw make me laogh by understandin know dat it was in kbps ;/

  10. I’m from Iran and the average speed for home users is about 256 Kb/s which means 64 KB/s. how you say it’s about 2.9 Mb/s? its like a dream for us!

  11. Philippines has the slowest internet connection. I took a video performing a speedtest and I’m sure nothing can beat this, when you talk about slowest internet connection.

    I have been complaining this to the ISP since November 2012 and no action has been taken.


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