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How Much Internet Speed is Mandatory for Streaming?

internet speed for streaming

At the time of purchasing an Internet plan, almost every buyer wants a speed that makes streaming super-fast. This raises the question “what Internet speed do I need?” The answer to this question is not simple. Internet connectivity is a moving target. Some days the speed is super-fast and even you are surprised and on others, you wonder why the Internet isn’t working.

There is nothing worse than getting to the best part of the show or movie and having your Internet bail on you. This is where you ask yourself, “how much speed do I need to get the job done?”. This blog gives you all the answers.

Internet Speed for Streaming

Regardless of the streaming service in use (Netflix, Hulu, or any other), you will need 3 Mbps for Standard Definition, 8 Mbps for High Definition, and 25 Mbps for 4K UHD streaming. These are speed recommendations for one device only.

Moving forward, here are the speed recommendations for different streaming services:

Netflix

Netflix has 3 different plans each with its own speed streaming requirements. Let’s have a look:

  • Basic Plan

Starting at the price of $8.99 per month, the basic plan recommends 3 Mbps download speed.

  • Standard Plan

The standard plan costs $12.99 per month and its speed recommendation is 5 Mbps.

  • Premium plan

This plan is for 4K streaming starting at the price of $15.99 per month. You will need 25 Mbps to stream 4K in peace.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video has three options for video streaming:

  • SD Streaming

For SD streaming, you only need 1 Mbps.

  • HD Streaming

For HD streaming, 3.5 Mbps or slightly higher bandwidth is required.

  • 4K Ultra HD streaming

To watch Amazon Prime Videos in 4K, you will need 15 Mbps. If you plan on doing 4K streaming, it’s recommended to factor in some extra speed.

Disney Plus

Disney Plus is among the favorite of youngsters. Its speed requirements are similar to other streaming apps. The only difference is it doesn’t offer SD streaming. For HD streaming, Disney Plus recommends 5 Mbps. For 4K movies and TV shows, you will need 25 Mbps. If your Internet speed is below 5 Mbps, you will have to deal with buffering issues.

HBO Now and HBO Go

The speed requirements for HBO Now and HBO Go are modest as compared to Disney Plus and Netflix. Both streaming services don’t currently have a 4K video streaming option. There is no option to stream in SD either. You will have one choice only and that’s HD. To watch HBO Now and HBO Go, at least 5 Mbps of download speed is recommended.

Hulu

All Hulu plans have Standard Definition, HD, and 4K Ultra HD streaming options. For SD streaming, Hulu recommends 1.5 Mbps. For HD streaming it recommends 3 to 6 Mbps whereas, for 4K Ultra HD streaming, it recommends 16 Mbps.

Read also: Does Spectrum offer 4k Service?

Internet Speed for Live Streaming

Internet speed for streaming live videos is different. Since you are broadcasting your own videos, more upload speed is required. YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch are the most popular platforms for live streaming. Check out the upload and download speed requirements for each:

Platform

Upload Speed

Download Speed

YouTube

1 to 51 Mbps

1 to 51 Mbps

Facebook

4 Mbps

5 Mbps

Twitch

3 to 6 Mbps

4 to 6 Mbps

Factors Affecting Internet Speed

The speed you receive and the speed you paid for don’t always remain the same. So it doesn’t matter if you have the Spectrum Internet Only plan with top speed or moderate speed, certain factors will affect the speed at a given time. Let’s have a look at these:

Type of Connection

The type of Internet connection available in your zip code impacts the speed. If you have DSL or satellite connections, the speed is slow as compared to fiber and cable. This is the speed you can expect from each type of connection:

  • DSL

100s Kbps to millions of Mbps

  • Satellite

500Kbps to 25 Mbps

  • Cable

1.5 Mbps to 2k Mbps

  • Fiber Optic

Tens to hundreds of Mbps

Number of Users

If your connection offers 100 Mbps speed and up to 5 people are streaming at a time, you will struggle to stream. There is only so much bandwidth for all users to share. The more users are connected at one time, the more lag you are to experience.

Streaming Activities

Not all activities demand the same type of bandwidth. Some activities require more than usual. For instance, live streaming on Twitch takes more bandwidth than streaming music on iTunes.

Web Traffic

When there is an Internet rush, you are likely to experience slow bandwidth. This is common during peak traffic hours. Spectrum Internet speeds also vary when more users are connected to the Internet doing heavy streaming.

Internet throttling

Sometimes, the ISPs limit the bandwidth and slow down the connection. This is practice is called throttling and it’s common in the industry. This also happens when your data usage exceeds the monthly limit. Therefore, you will experience a slow connection while playing online games, downloading large files, and streaming.

Don’t miss: Things to Consider When Choosing an ISP

How Much Speed Do I Have?

To enjoy streaming and have a great experience, it’s best to find out what speed you are getting. Plenty of tools are available to test the speed. You can compare the speed you are getting what the speed you signed up for. Keep in mind, it’s not going to be the same all the time. Therefore, keep testing the speed time and again to track what you are getting. Call your ISP in case of discrepancies.

Now that you know all about Internet speed for streaming, pick a speed tier that best suits your lifestyle, and enjoy the experience.

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