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Internet Speed: How Does Your Country Rank?

Web pages that take forever to load, twenty minutes to download a song, internet connection that disconnects when the phone rings - sounds like the 90s? Well there are some countries like that even in 2015. None of that here though. According to Akamai, an IT consulting firm, here are the countries with the fastest Internet speeds in 2014.

10. Finland
Finland cabin covered in snow
Other than having the most heavy metal bands per capita and drinking a lot of coffee, Finland has some seriously fast internet speeds. In the first quarter of 2013, broadband Internet connection speed reached 7.7 Mbps.

9. Sweden

Sweden aerial shot
Source: Ciee
Not to be outdone by their Nordic neighbors, Sweden registered connection speeds of 8.3 Mbps in the first quarter of 2013.

8. USA

Golden gate bridge
Source: viator

Despite Al Gore "discovering" the Internet (lol), the USA only comes in at number 8 on the list, with a speed of 8.6 Mbps in first quarter 2013. Not too shabby considering 2011 speeds were only 7.4 Mbps - a 28% improvement in two years.

7. Hong Kong

Hong Kong Skyline
Source: The Telegraph

The first entrant from Asia, Hong Kong has definitely reaped the benefits of its old colonial past. 2013 Internet speeds on the island were 9.3 Mbps versus a measly 1.7 Mbps in the rest of China.

6. Czech Republic

Czech Republic
Source: Olieserve

An Eastern European country with faster speeds than the USA? Oh the shame... At 9.6 Mbps in first quarter 2013, that's one full megabyte per second faster than the U.S.

5. Netherlands

Holland Tulip Fields
Source: StudyGroup

It's not just tulips and windmills in Netherlands. They have a mean Internet speed - at 9.6 Mbps, they're tied with the Czech republic in 7th / 6th spot.

4. Latvia
Latvia Europe Map
Source: howstuffworks

Ok, now its getting embarrassing for the USA. Even Latvia, with a population of approximately 2 million people is registering faster Internet speeds. 9.8 Mbps in 2013. Not too shabby, Latvia!

3. Switzerland

Switzerland river

Watches, chocolates, currency shocks and Internet speeds that exceed the 10 Mbps barrier - that's what you'll find in Switzerland. In first quarter 2013, broadband Internet connection speed registered at 10.06 Mbps

2. Japan

Japan at night
Source: BBC

Japan is synonymous with Hi-tech so it is no surprise that Internet speeds are going to be fast here. And you wouldn't be disappointed with 11.6 Mbps, the second fastest in the world.

1. Korea

Seoul night skyline
Source: photozok

With Internet speeds of 14.2 Mbps in 2013, Korea leaves second placed Japan in the dust. Is it any wonder then that the best gamers in the world come from Korea?

So by now, you must be thinking, while this list is good and all, how do I improve my own, personal Internet speed? Well, as we mentioned in our article on things to consider when shopping around for your cable modem, your ISP connection is probably the biggest factor affecting your Internet speeds. You could have a DOCSIS 3.0 16x4 modem like the ARRIS SB6183 that allows for speeds of up to 686 Mbps, but if you're only subscribing to a 10Mbps plan, then unfortunately, not even the best modem can save you there. Your speeds will be close to the 10Mbps.

That said, if you're paying for a top-notch or even a 100Mbps plan, do yourself a favor and don't limit yourself by using a crappy, rented modem from your ISP. You can get a really good one like the SB6141 for $70. This modem will help you take advantage of the speeds your plan is capable of and buying it will help you save $240-$480 over the life of the modem.

Well, that's the list from 2014 and we're looking forward to the 2015 list already. Looking at the broad trends, North Asia, Scandinavia and the more prosperous Eastern European countries are investing heavily on their Internet speeds because they know that good infrastructure will spur even more innovation. Surprisingly, India, despite all the technology workers that they produce is nowhere near to being on the list. In fact, it has one of the slowest Internet connections. Maybe that'll be the subject of our next list - slowest Internet speeds in the world :)


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