What Is the Best Internet Speed for Video Streaming?

When it comes to video streaming services such as those provided by Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Vudu, you should know that each site has its minimum recommended Internet Speed for you to stream their shows or movies properly.

Generally, to stream a standard video, you will need an Internet speed of more than 2 Mbps. High definition videos, 3D, and 4K will need more than that to stream the video correctly. But as mentioned earlier, the exact speed required would depend on each website.

Here, we give a list of the recommended Internet connection speeds for each streaming service.

Netflix

  • Standard definition - Netflix requires a minimum Internet speed of 0.5 Mbps to play standard-definition movies on your computer or laptop. At this speed, videos can be played, but they will be a bit grainy - just like a VHS movie. For better quality and smoother viewing, Netflix recommends an Internet speed of at least 1.5 Mbps. If you want to view a standard-definition video from Netflix on your television set, you will need a minimum speed requirement of 3 Mbps.
  • High definition video - Netflix requires a minimum Internet speed of 4 Mbps for high-definition videos (1080p, 720p). If you want to get the best out of a 1080p video, you should have a minimum speed of at least 5 Mbps.
  • 4k Ultra HD - For 4K, Netflix recommends a minimum Internet speed of 15 Mbps. However, if you want the best quality, Netflix recommends an Internet speed of 25 Mbps and that you watch the video on a 4K Ultra TV that comes with an HEVC decoder.

You should take note that Netflix will automatically adjust its video quality depending on your Internet speed. If it detects that your Internet speed is slow, it will not stream the movie or TV show in high definition - even if the show says it is high definition.

This automatic adjustment helps in limiting interruptions and making sure that you do not have to wait for the video to buff. Still, it will sacrifice the quality of the picture.

Hulu internet speed requirements.

Hulu

  • Standard definition - Hulu requires an Internet speed of 1.5 Mbps for you to stream standard definition videos properly.
  • High definition - For 720p high definition videos, a minimum Internet speed of 3 Mbps is recommended. For 1080p high definition videos, a minimum speed of 6 Mbps is more ideal.
  • 4K Ultra HD - Hulu requires a minimum Internet speed of 13 Mbps for 4K Ultra HD videos.

Amazon

  • Standard definition - Amazon requires a minimum Internet speed of 1 Mbps for standard definition videos to stream smoothly.
  • High definition - For 720p and 1080p high definition videos, a minimum Internet speed of 3.5 Mbps is recommended.
  • 4K Ultra - Amazon requires a minimum speed of 15 Mbps for you to watch 4K Ultra HD videos.

Vudu

  • Standard definition - Vudu recommends an Internet speed of 1.0 to 2.3 Mbps to play a standard definition video.
  • High definition - Vudu requires an Internet speed of 2.3 to 4.5 Mbps to play a 720p high definition video. For a 1080p high definition video and audio, you will need a minimum rate of 4.5 to 9 Mbps.
  • 3-D high definition - You need a minimum speed of 9 Mbps to play 3D high definition movies and shows in Vudu.
  • 4K Ultra HD - For Vudu's 4k streaming and Dolby Vision HDR shows, you need to have a minimum speed of 11 Mbps.

Vudu tests your Internet speed first to see if a high-quality definition video can be streamed. If video buffers or halts repeatedly, they will send a message asking if you would want to consider streaming a lower quality version of the video.

iTunes Video

  • Standard definition¬†- To stream music videos and movies in the standard definition version in iTunes, you need to have a minimum Internet speed of 2.5 Mbps.
  • High definition - For 720p high definition videos, the Internet speed of 6 Mbps is ideal. For 1080p high definition videos, a speed of 8 Mbps is recommended.
  • 4K Ultra - To stream 4K Ultra videos, you need to have a minimum Internet speed of 25 Mbps.

YouTube

  • High definition¬†- YouTube requires a minimum Internet speed of 2.5 Mbps for 720p videos and 4 Mbps for 1080 videos.
  • 4K Ultra¬†- You need to have an Internet speed of 15 Mbps to stream 4K Ultra high definition videos smoothly.

What Internet Speeds Can You Get?

A lot of rural areas can reach an Internet speed of 2 Mbps. For urban areas, suburbs, and large cities, they can get higher rates. In most cases, you can get an Internet speed of 100 Mbps from DSL connections in these areas.

There are Internet service providers who can offer a higher speed because they use fiber optics. Google Fiber, in particular, can operate on 1 Gbps. With an ultra-fast speed connection like that, you definitely will have no problem streaming any kind of video.

How Do I Test My Internet Speed?

To check your Internet speed, all you have to do is go to an Internet speed test website. Netflix uses Fast.com to test the speed of your network. So, if you are planning to subscribe to Netflix soon, this is the best Internet speed test to take. It also tells you how fast you can download content. Take note, though, that some Internet speed tests may not be accurate since other factors cause a slow Internet connection.

What Affects My Internet Speed

Your Internet service provider may be doing their part in delivering the speed that you are paying for. Still, other factors can slow down that speed.
Old devices

If you are using an outdated modem, router, laptop, PC, or smartphone, you will not be able to utilize the bandwidth that you are getting from your Internet service provider properly. You should update your devices to be able to benefit fully.

Weak signals

Sometimes your signal is just weak, or you are getting a lot of interference by other wireless signals in your area. You can boost the strength of your Wi-Fi signal by using a signal amplifier, using a Wi-Fi extender, or upgrading your router. If the problem is caused by interference, you can change the Wi-Fi frequency and channel number or make a physical Ethernet connection.

Overloaded network

Sometimes there are just too many people using the Wi-Fi. If your bandwidth is divided between multiple devices, your Internet speed decreases to accommodate everything. Sometimes, the dividend rate is simply not enough to stream videos smoothly.

Now that you know what Internet speed is needed to stream smoothly on your favorite streaming sites, you can now choose the best Internet plan for your needs.

Emil S.

Emil is a Data & Design Specialist with a degree in BS Information System, specializes in Admin Support & Creative Design.

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