How Many Mbps Do I Need for Streaming?

Netflix recommends at least a 5 Mbps download speed for standard HD video, and a 25 Mbps download speed for 4K content.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that these numbers refer to what the service on its own needs — not the total speed of your Internet plan.

For instance, say you have a 20 Mbps down connection speed. If the total capacity of your Internet  scissorconnection is a pie, you can imagine that every user on the network (and all of their various devices) each get a “slice” of that pie. Essentially, your total potential speed is split across all of the devices connected to the network, so that 20 Mbps may only be providing 10-15 Mbps to Netflix itself, preventing you from streaming 4K content smoothly.

Also, using WiFi will always be slower than a hardwired connection. Trying to stream over WiFi can produce less-than-stellar results.

Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you’re maximizing your chances of a trouble-free streaming experience:

  1. Connect your streaming devices to the router with an ethernet cable whenever possible.  Call HCS to help 618-654-1519
  2. When streaming over WiFi, position the streaming device as close to the router as possible, with no physical barriers like walls or furniture between them. This will help you achieve a more stable connection.

Use this bandwidth calculator to get an estimate of the speed you actually need to stream on multiple devices at home.