Best Internet Speed For Streaming 2020
Whether your favorite TV stream is skipping, you’re experiencing lag in your online games, or you’re having issues while streaming to your followers, slow internet speeds are frustrating. Speeds can drop for a variety of reasons, and they may not always have to do with your internet provider. An outdated modem, faulty wireless router, or just having too many devices connected to your network at once can affect the reliability of your upload and download speeds. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, United States customers have been dissatisfied with their internet service providers (ISPs) for years, and the dissatisfaction is growing.
Optimum high speed internet options are available for customers, but it can be hard to know how much speed you really need. Is a 200 Mbps internet connection really going to provide you with many benefits over a 100 Mbps connection? Can you go with the cheapest 15 Mbps option and get by okay? The answer is that it depends on what you’re planning to use your internet connection for.
Movies and TV
Whether you’re using a smart TV, Roku, or sitting in bed with your laptop, most people are using their home network to stream movies and TV shows. For most major streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ you won’t need high speeds to get them to work. Just 3-5 Mbps should do the job for standard definition. If you’re planning to stream in higher resolution, though, you’ll need to invest in a faster internet service.
If you’re planning to stream in 4K, you’ll need to increase your speeds to at least 25 Mbps if you want to avoid buffering. This will probably be fine for personal use or if you limit streaming to one device at a time. If you’re on a family network, or you want to be able to stream on multiple devices at once, you’ll likely need to increase your speeds even more.
If your livelihood depends on your ability to live stream, you’ll obviously want the optimum internet package to ensure everything runs smoothly. Unlike streaming movies, music, and TV, which largely rely on your download speeds, live streaming will be more affected by your upload speed. It’s possible to have high download speeds but relatively low upload speeds, so you’ll need to pay attention to your plan.
You’ll need a minimum of 13 Mbps upload speed to live stream at higher resolutions. You’ll need to increase your speed even more if you plan to stream higher resolutions than 1080p. You’ll naturally need higher speeds if you plan to upload videos to YouTube or other sites. Having plenty of online video storage won’t do you much good if you’re too slow getting your content where it needs to go.
If you’re a business customer looking beyond personal use, you’ll probably need higher download speeds than a home network to keep up with multiple connected users and frequent video conferencing. Approximately 150 Mbps should be enough for a business plan to run cloud services, cloud storage, and host seamless streams.
Minimum speed requirements for online gaming with modern PCs and consoles are as low as 3 Mbps, but you’ll want to be within the 15-20 range to ensure you don’t experience lag. As the popularity of cloud services for gaming, such as Playstation Now, become more popular, you may want to invest in slightly higher speeds for a smooth experience. The more recently released Google Stadia recommends speeds of at least 35 Mbps to stream games in 4K, and you’ll likely want to pair it with an unlimited data plan.
Your speeds aren’t the only thing to worry about when it comes to streaming. You’ll also need to ensure your internet plan has the bandwidth to support your needs and let you use multiple mobile devices.