The Sony PlayStation 5 (PS5) is truly a next generation console offering enhanced performance over previous generations. Thanks to SSD storage games load in a fraction of the time and download speeds have increased significantly. Although the PS5 has built in WiFi 6. if you want to truly get the fastest download speed you will need to use a wired connection. What factors affect download speed on your PS5?
The PS5 has a gigabit ethernet port which means that 945 Mbps is the theoretical max speed that is possible on PS5. However most people will never see downloads at 945 Mbps on their PS5 for a number of reasons. There are a number of factors that can affect your download speed on PS5.
- Your internet connection speed
- Wired ethernet vs Wi-Fi
- How busy the PlayStation Network (PSN) servers are
- Other internet traffic on your network
Your Internet Connection Speed
Let’s get this one out of the way first. This is the elephant in the room. If you want fast downloads you need a fast internet connection. Your internet connection speed is very likely the reason that downloads on your PS5 are so slow. The best way to find out what your internet speeds are is to run an internet speed test from your computer or smartphone. Check out which speed test is best for 2022 and get an accurate result.
Once you have tested your internet speed you will know what the max speed you will be able to potentially get on your PS5 is. If this speed is significantly lower than what your internet subscription is for, reach out to your internet service provider (ISP).
If the speed you get when you run the speed test is what you are paying for and it is still too slow you have a few options. First is to call your ISP and ask if you can upgrade your service. Often times this is highly affordable and requires no visit from a service tech.
Another option is to find a different internet service provider. If there are non in your area you may want to consider Starlink Internet Service.
Finally you may need to adjust your expectations a little bit. If you are getting speeds of 100 Mbps or higher your likely do not need to upgrade your internet service.
Keep in mind that file sizes are measured in bytes and internet connection speeds are measured in bits. There are 8 bits in a byte. That means that if you download a 1 gigabyte file with a 100 megabit per second internet connection it will take about 80 seconds. If you were unaware of the difference between bits and bytes you might have though something was wrong with your internet connection.
Wired ethernet vs Wi-Fi
If you have an internet subscription of 100 Mbps or higher (especially one 300 Mbps or higher) the Wi-Fi connection between your PS5 and your router may be limiting your speed. The PS5 has Wi-Fi 6, however Wi-Fi performance on PS5 is surprisingly poor.
The Wi-Fi chip used on the PS5 struggles to connect at speeds greater than 300 Mbps even in close range of your router. If you are further from your router, your speeds will be even lower. If you are connecting on the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band you are further lowering your speeds to 50 Mbps or less. Use the 5GHz band if at all possible.
For the fastest speeds you will need to use an ethernet cable to connect your PS5 to your router. If you do not use an ethernet cable to connect your PS5 you are not getting the fastest speeds possible. Also be sure that the cable you are using is in good condition and not physically damaged.
If running an ethernet cable is impractical for your setup, look into other options such as MoCA or powerline networking. Both can offer performance that is better than Wi-Fi and require running no cables.
Using ethernet will also improve the stability in games and reduce your latency by several milliseconds.
PlayStation Network (PSN) Server Speed
Download speed is also limited by the server you are downloading from. Generally the Sony PSN servers offer relatively fast downloads. However, this can vary greatly depending on how many people are connected at the same time. The PSN has only so much bandwidth that must be distributed to everyone who is connected to it.
During peak hours or when a new popular game is released it is normal to see slower speeds. Keep in mind that apart from choosing to download at a different time. there is nothing you can do about this.
If you have a fast internet connection this is more likely to be the case for you. Generally downloads from the PSN servers max out at about 600 Mbps. This means that you are downloading 75 megabytes of data per second. Keep in mind that file sizes are measured in bytes and internet connection speeds are measured in bits. There are 8 bits in a byte.
If your internet connection is less than 200 Mbps the servers you are downloading from are unlikely to be slowing down your downloads any further.
Other Internet Traffic On Your Network
If you have other downloads running at the same time or other people using your internet connection at the same time this can also affect your downloads speeds. For example a 4K Netflix stream can easily consumer 25 Mbps of bandwidth alone.
If you are streaming, downloading other files, or using doing other things with your internet connection it could be affection the speed of your downloads on PS5. This is especially going to be noticeable if your internet connection speed is less than 50 – 100 Mbps.
How to Speed Up PS5 Downloads
- Upgrade Your Internet Service
- Switch to a Wired Ethernet Connection
- Upgrade Your Router
Upgrade Your Internet Service
Let’s get this one out of the way first. This is the elephant in the room. If you want fast downloads you need a fast internet connection. All other tricks and tips make no difference if your internet service plan is slow as molasses.
The first thing you need to do is set a reasonable expectation. If you are paying for 25 Mbps of download speed you will not get blazing fast downloads on an Sony PS5 console. It is just not possible. At 25 Mbps a 50 gigabyte download will take 4 hours 30 minutes under perfect ideal conditions with no other internet usage. Throw in a Netflix stream and some Windows updates downloading in the background and this can quickly jump up to 10+ hours.
If you want fast downloads, 200 Mbps is the lowest you will want to go. 300 Mbps is an ideal target for most people. If you have multiple people using the connection, you may want to go even higher. If you have multiple providers available in your region you will generally want either a cable or fiber internet service. DSL speeds are simply not competitive these days.
If you have DSL I would strongly recommend looking into other options. It may not be possible in all cases as some locations do not have access to these kind of speeds. In some locations you will have to stick with DSL.
If that is the case unfortunately you will need to adjust your expectations. There are some other things you can do to optimize your download speed but ultimately you can’t go any faster than the speed you get from your internet service provider.
Fortunately Space X has launched Starlink satellite internet service which provides a great alternative to DSL for many. As of June 2022 Starlink is out of beta and publicly available.
Upgrading your internet service is generally the single best thing you can do to increase your download speed and often the only solution. If you already have an internet connection of 500 Mbps or higher, move on to the next tip.
Switch to a Wired Ethernet Connection
If you have the ability to connect your PS5 via ethernet and are currently connected wirelessly, stop right now and make the switch. This is the second most important step to increasing your download speed in most cases and the most important in some.
If the router is in the same room as your console it is really easy. It is also straightforward if your home is already prewired for ethernet. If you fit into either of these scenarios, using ethernet is a no brainer at all. You have the golden ticket and just need to make use of it.
If you have an existing ethernet connection near your console but another device is plugged into it, the best thing to do would be to purchase a small 5 port ethernet switch and then connect both devices. This is extremely simple and requires absolutely no configuration at all. For less than $30 you will be able to connect your PS5 to ethernet without disconnecting your other device.
Upgrade Your Router
If your router is on the older side or does not support the 5 Ghz band you may want to consider replacing it. This can make a large difference in many cases. Avoid routers with gaming in the name. They are not necessary and generally cost substantially more for little to no benefit. There are 3 levels of setups regarding routers.
Level 1 is your average consumer grade routers from brands such as Netgear, Linksys, TP-Link, and Belkin. They will work well enough for a lot of people particularly in a smaller home with modest coverage needs. Generally this is the least expensive option and the simplest to configure. It also generally offers the lowest performance and will not work optimally in a larger home.
Level 2 is a consumer grade mesh WiFi system. Mesh has been a growing trend in the networking industry and has found its way into the consumer market. If you want a simple to set up solution that can cover a larger home, a mesh solution is likely a good fit for you. Generally performance is better than with a basic router and the coverage is much larger. If you have a room that struggles with coverage switching to a mesh WiFi system will likely solve it. Generally the cost is a bit higher than a basic router. However, if you have a larger home and need the coverage, this extra cost will be well worth it to most people, especially if they are gamers. Popular mesh WiFi systems include the Google Nest WiFI, Netgear Orbi, and Amplifi Alien.
Level 3 is a commercial grade router and accompanying access point(s). This is the optimal setup for anyone who wants the absolute best performance. Surprisingly the cost can be quite comparable to a quality mesh solution.
This setup will give you the absolute fastest speeds and the most stable ping. It also allows for expanding the reach of the network by installing additional wireless access points. This is really the key with this setup. You are separating out the routing and wireless into separate devices.
This means that you can put your router where it needs to be and put the wireless access point(s) closer to where you are going to use the WiFi. The biggest downside to this setup is also an upside. This is the complexity and customizability of the setup.
You can configure things how you want them and the options are nearly limitless. That comes at the expense of a steeper learning curve. However, I would not let that get in the way. There are many articles and tutorial videos that show step by step how to set up a network from beginning to end. It is also a great opportunity to educate yourself a little deeper into the workings of the technology we use in our daily lives.
There are many brands that are available in this category. Some popular choices that represent a great value for the money include MikroTik, Ubiquiti, and pfSense.
Ubiquiti in particular offer a great line of products for someone looking to get their feet wet into business grade networking products at an affordable price. Their Unifi line is relatively user friendly and there are many tutorials online showing how to configure them on a home network.
The cost is actually similar to a mesh WiFi system and offers much greater flexibility and expandability.
Download speeds on PS5 are determined by a number of factors. You can’t go any faster than the slowest link in the chain. This slowest link could be your internet connection, Wi-Fi signal, PSN servers, or several other factors.