What Internet Speed do You Need for Video Streaming

Living in an age where the Internet is everything, facing troubles with speed is a norm for many. However, the problem arises when people are not familiar with their Internet speed needs. And so they end up subscribing to a package that offers less of it than what they need. Therefore, you must do thorough research, have an estimate of speed that would suffice, and then choose a plan. If you buy through, then the reps will guide you through as well.

But you should do some of the homework as well. Here are the speeds that one needs for various online streaming activities.

Speed and Number of Devices

Before you jump to having a look at how much speed do streaming services need, you also need to have a look at the number of devices that you have. So, here is a summary for you:

  • 1-2 devices – If your household has 1-2 devices that connect to the Internet. And both the devices use it for web surfing, emailing, moderate video watching, and social networking, then you would need to subscribe to a speed up to 25 Mbps.
  • 3-5 devices – In case you know that 3-5 devices will connect to the Internet. And all the devices or majority of them will use the Internet for gaming or 4K streaming, then you should opt for anything from 50-100 Mbps.
  • More than 5 devices – In case, the number of devices exceeds 5 and all of them use the Internet for every task mentioned above. And apart from that, you also use the devices to share heavy files or stream videos, then speed ranging from 150-200 Mbps will suffice.

This is one way of looking at what Internet speed you would need to opt for. And this also makes sense. However, there is another way to go about it as well and it will be discussed in the following section.  But note that you can only resort to this way of calculating your speed needs if you are a single person who is going to use the Internet.

Speed and Streaming Services

If only one device will use the Internet, and you know that you will spend most of your time watching shows or movies. Then, you might want to consider the following:


Perhaps the most popular streaming service is Netflix. However, if you are a fan of this platform, then you will also know that it comes in various qualities. So, if you wish to watch a movie or show in standard definition, then 0.5 Mbps will suffice. However, Netflix suggests having access to at least 1.5 Mbps. Moving on, you would need a speed of 3 Mbps if you wish to mirror an SD quality video on TV. HD picture quality requires 4 Mbps. Whereas a 1080p picture would need 5 Mbps. However, `if you wish to enjoy watching your favorite shows and movies in 4K quality, then you would need 15 Mbps.

Remember that if you do not have the required speed, Netflix will automatically adjust the video quality to the one available. So, slow Internet means that you won’t be able to watch in HD.


Streaming videos is just as essential as binge-watching shows. And if you use VUDU for that purpose, then the minimum speed that you would need is 1 Mbps for SD quality. However, for an HD resolution, you would need to have access to 4.5 Mbps. And if you wish to have access to 4K streaming, then nothing less than 11 Mbps will suffice.


A minimum of 3 Mbps will do if you choose and watch something from the HULU library. However, live streaming needs 8 Mbps. And 4K videos run the best on 16 Mbps.

Amazon Video

SD quality on Amazon Video needs 3 Mbps. However, if you wish to stream the content in HD, you will need access to 5 Mbps. And if you wish to watch in 4K, then 25 Mbps would be a perfect speed.

YouTube TV

Like many other streaming services, you would need a minimum of 3 Mbps if you wish to stream videos in SD on YouTube TV. However, HD videos will only run if you have access to 7 Mbps speed.

What Speeds are Available?

Now you need to know that the speed that you wish to have access to might not always be the speed that your connection type offers. So, another important factor comes into play here. Your Internet connection type. While cable and broadband Internet remain the most popular choices among people, many households get access to about 100 Mbps speed with a DSL connection as well.

The speeds that each connection type is offering will largely depend on the service provider that you choose. Therefore, there are no right and wrong speeds in this case. But what you can do is carry out an online speed test and check what is your current internet speed. Do not forget to see if the service provider is promising to provide the same.

How Much Would High-Speed Connection Cost?

Before you opt for a fast speed Internet connection, you should know that it is not inexpensive. High speed comes at a high price tag too. However, what you can avoid is paying more for speeds that you do not even need. Therefore, you must be well aware of your Internet usage and speed needs. Only then you can save the extra bucks that you would otherwise pay to get access to speed that you don’t even need.

If you look at the stats, then an average household in the States spends around $61 on Internet services. However, your cost will differ depending on the ISP and the package that you subscribe to. This was just to give you an estimate so that you prepare yourself mentally.

But the good part is that some ISPs even provide low-cost packages to people who qualify for them. You might as well want to explore that option too.