The Best Internet for Streaming 2022

Want to smoothly stream Netflix and Spotify, and livestream on Twitch? We got you covered.

Best for Most
Xfinity
Xfinity Internet
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Starting from
$24.99
/mo
Download speeds
501200 Mbps
Data cap
1.2 TB
Connection Type
Cable/Fiber
Best Performance
Verizon Authorized Dealer
Verizon Fios Home Internet
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starting from
$49.99
/mo
Download speeds
3002048 Mbps
Data cap
Unlimited
Connection Type
Fiber
Best Fiber Alternative
ATT
AT&T Fiber
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Starting from
$55.00
/mo
Download speeds
3005000 Mbps
Data cap
Unlimited
Connection Type
Fiber
Best Budget Option
Centurylink
CenturyLink Internet
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starting from
$30.00
/mo
Download speeds
100940 Mbps
Data cap
Unlimited
Connection Type
DSL/Fiber
Best Rural Speeds
Kinetic by Windstream
Windstream Internet
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Starting from
$39.99
/mo
Download speeds
501000 Mbps
Data cap
Unlimited
Connection Type
DSL/Fiber
Chantel Buchi
Staff Writer, TV & Streaming
Read More
February 10, 2022
9 min read

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our disclosure policies to learn more.

If you’d like to smoothly stream a movie on Netflix, listen to Spotify without it pausing to load, or broadcast your livestream on Twitch without it buffering, you’ll want to make sure you have the correct download and upload speeds.

We’ve put together a quick guide for the recommended internet speeds for video streaming, music streaming, and live streaming.

But more importantly, we created a top five list of internet service providers (ISPs) for streaming anything and everything because we know how frustrating sloooooow internet speeds can be.

So, let’s find the best internet provider for you to support your binge-watching and 24/7 music-listening demands.



What are the best internet providers for streaming video?
Provider
Price
Download speeds
Data cap
Details
Xfinity Internet$24.99$80*501200 Mbps1.2 TB
Verizon Fios Home Internet$49.99$119.993002048 MbpsUnlimited
AT&T Fiber$55$1803005000 MbpsUnlimited
CenturyLink Internet$30$70^100940 MbpsUnlimited
Windstream Internet$39.99$69.99°501000 MbpsUnlimited
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.
w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip. charges.
Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area.
^ New customers only. Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply.
° For the first 12 months.
Let’s see what internet providers and plans are in your area. Just enter your ZIP code.

What to look for in an internet provider for streaming

We're here to help you find an internet provider that gives you uninterrupted streaming.  We’re talking streaming that doesn't pause in the middle of your Ted Lasso binge marathon or has high latency when you're searching for new TV shows to watch on Netflix.

We want sufficient speed.

Internet provider features that work best for streaming:

The best internet connection you could get is fiber, but it’s also the least available across the US (sigh). Fiber internet's speed performance is top-tier compared to cable and DSL, but cable is a solid second choice if fiber isn't available near you.

PS: DSL is usually better than satellite—but streaming on satellite internet is still doable if you have no other choices.

Luckily, you don’t need the most expensive plan to find the speeds you need. We recommend 25–50 Mbps per person for streaming, so 100 or 200 Mbps will likely fit you or your small family’s needs. If you have a lot of connected devices or internet users at home, then you should look into 1,000 Mbps.

If you check out the Fastest Internet Providers, you’ll see three internet providers that made our list here. But we keep cost in consideration for you, as well.

Want to read more?

If you’d like to deepen your understanding with a little research, check out these articles:

Comcast Xfinity: Best for most streaming apps

If you want a reliable, fast, and fairly-priced internet provider, you’ll find it with Xfinity.

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Reliably fast download speeds
Available almost everywhere in the US
Prices vary widely based on location
Starts at
$24.99
/mo
Data effective 08/15/2022. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Our favorite cable internet provider and the fastest internet service is also our number one pick for streaming.

One of the many reasons we chose Xfinity as our favorite internet provider for streaming is because Xfinity gives you reliable and fast download speeds.

No one wants to have the movie Don’t Look Up buffering on the closing scene when destruction is happening, or during the final two minutes of the NBA Championship.

Xfinity is available in 40 states, making this the most accessible internet provider in the US. But keep in mind that the prices will vary depending on which part of the country you live in.

No matter where you live, the plan you and your family need will depend on how many people use the internet at once.

We like Fast for families of 2–3 that might work from home before their night of Netflix streaming, or Superfast for families of 4.

Xfinity Bundle: Get a free streaming box
Deals

Xfinity's 3 for 1 Bundle gives you internet and streaming for $30/mo. with an Xfinity Mobile plan. This is a great deal for those who don't like contracts or price hikes. You'll also get a free Flex 4K streaming TV box with access to Peacock.

How much does Comcast Xfinity Internet cost?
Plan
Price
Download speeds
Data cap
Details
Connect$24.99/mo.**Up to 50 Mbps1.2 TB
Connect More$39.99/mo.**Up to 100 Mbps1.2 TB
Fast$50.00/mo.††Up to 300 Mbps1.2 TB
Superfast$60.00/mo.††Up to 600 Mbps1.2 TB
Ultrafast$70.00/mo.††Up to 900 Mbps1.2 TB
Gigabit$80.00/mo.††Up to 1200 Mbps1.2 TB
Data effective 04/18/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
** For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount.
†† For the first 24 months with No Term Agreement. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount.
Compare pricing and plans for internet providers in your area by entering your ZIP code.

Verizon Fios Home Internet: Best fiber internet

Like we said earlier, fiber is the best performing internet. (The speeds and reliability are unmatched.) And Verizon Fios takes the crown with this connection type.

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Fast fiber internet speeds
No annual contracts
Very limited availability
Starts at
$49.99
/mo
Data effective 08/15/2022. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Full disclosure—we’ve only heard good things about Verizon Fios Home Internet, including its customer service (super rare, we know).

Verizon Fios Internet uses a fiber connection that gives you fast download and upload speeds, low latency, and great pricing for your wallet. Stream Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on a Sunday morning without any lagging interruptions.

Sounds like the perfect service, right? The only thing that’s holding us back from making Verizon Internet our first option is its very limited availability in the US (we’re talking nine states).

We hope one day Verizon Fios will come around. Literally.

We recommend the Internet 300/300 plan if you have a small family or the 500/500 plan if you have a family of 4 that uses the internet constantly.

If you have a bigger family or you plan to download and upload multiple files at once, you won’t be disappointed by Verizon’s Fios Gigabit Connection.

How much does Verizon Fios Home Internet cost?
Plan
Price
Download speeds
Upload speed
Details
Internet 300/300$49.99/mo.‡‡300 Mbps300 Mbps
Internet 500/500$69.99/mo.‡‡500 Mbps500 Mbps
Internet 1 Gig$89.99/mo.‡‡Up to 940 MbpsUp to 880 Mbps
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
‡‡ Price per month with Auto Pay & without select 5G mobile plans. Fios plan prices include taxes & fees
Check if Verizon Fios Home Internet is available in your area.

AT&T Fiber: Best fiber alternative

AT&T Fiber is the next best fiber internet service, but like Verizon Fios, the fiber connection is only available in select areas of the US.

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Competitive pricing
Unlimited data
Limited fiber availability
Starts at
$55.00
/mo
Data effective 08/15/2022. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

AT& Fiber is our runner-up ISP for ultra-fast, reliable internet, but it’s also limited and mostly available in large cities.

If these AT&T Fiber plans are accessible to you, the absolute best deal is the $55/month plan for 300 Mbps download speeds. Or hey, for $10 more, you could get 500 Mbps so the whole family can stream a TV series on their smartphones at once.

AT&T is the best fiber alternative to Verizon Fios Home Internet because of its performance (Verizon’s speeds are just a little bit more reliable). But if you don’t live in one of the cities Verizon Internet is offered, at least your internet bill will be slightly less expensive with AT&T.

How much does AT&T internet cost?
Plan
Price
Download speeds
Data cap
Details
AT&T Internet 300$55.00/mo.^^300 MbpsUnlimited
AT&T Internet 500$65.00/mo.^^500 MbpsUnlimited
AT&T Internet 1000$80.00/mo.°°940 MbpsUnlimited
Data effective 05/04/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
^^ Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes & fees. Internet speed claims represent maximum network service capability speeds and based on wired connection to gateway. Actual customer speeds may vary based on a number of factors and are not guaranteed. For more information, go to www.att.com/speed101.
°° Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes & fees. Internet speed claims represent maximum network service capability speeds and based on wired connection to gateway. 1GIG speeds avail. to new customers with the latest router ("BGW320") and recommended setup. Actual customer speeds may vary based on a number of factors and are not guaranteed.
See if one of these internet services is in your area.

CenturyLink: Best for price lock

CenturyLink Internet makes it simple with two plans—DSL (which you’re most likely to see) and fiber.

4 out of 5 stars
4
Price lock with zero contracts
Unlimited data
Confusing availability for data speeds
Starts at
$30.00
/mo
Data effective 08/15/2022. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

CenturyLink’s DSL internet service may not be as flashy as other providers, but it comes with low prices and unlimited data for both of its plans. It's also one of the few, if not the only, ISP that offers a price lock, meaning your internet bill won't automatically jump in price.

The major downside to CenturyLink is that you might end up with subpar download speeds for streaming. Its DSL internet plans range in speed from 15 to 100 Mbps.

If you're able to connect at 50, 75, or 100 Mbps, you should be all right. But if CenturyLink only offers speeds in your area that crawl along, you might want to check elsewhere.

We highly recommend ordering this plan if CenturyLink's fiber internet package is available in your area. But, let us repeat: if it’s available in your area (you might now be seeing a trend with fiber).

You can probably tell by now that we really like fiber internet connections, but we just wish they were widely accessible for streamers.

How much does CenturyLink Internet cost?
Plan
Price
Download speeds
Connection type
Details
Simply Unlimited Internet 100 Mbps$50.00/mo.***Up to 100 MbpsDSL
CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit$70.00/mo.†††Up to 940 MbpsFiber
Data effective 04/18/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*** Speed may not be available in your area. Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Get the fastest internet speed available at your location (max speed is up to 100 Mbps).
††† Speed may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 940 Mbps via a wired connection. Paperless billing required. Taxes and fees apply. Offer Details Online ONLY: Free Modem Free Install
Enter your ZIP code to see your internet options.

Windstream: Best rural speeds for streaming

Windstream is one of the top internet providers for rural communities, and they offer inexpensive plans for those who want to save a buck.

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
No contracts or data caps
Available in rural areas
Starts at
$39.99
/mo
Data effective 08/15/2022. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Windstream is our fifth choice for streaming because it could be hard to find high-speed internet with this service, but this could be one of the best choices if you live in a rural location.

Windstream makes it possible for you to stream your Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max while you’re cooking, doing a project, or entertaining.

When you look at the plans, you'll notice three of the plans are the same price. This is because prices vary by location and this is the lowest price you can look forward to.

Another thing to notice–the plans that list a range will tell you the exact download speeds to expect in your area when you finish signing up for the package.

Why does Windstream have to make it so complicated?

It’s still a reliable service though! On the upside, you’ll get unlimited data with Windstream’s plans so you can stream as much of Schitt’s Creek as you want.

How much is Windstream Internet?
Plan
Price
Download speeds
Data cap
Details
Kinetic Internet by Windstream 50$39.99/mo.‡‡‡50 MbpsDSL
Kinetic Internet by Windstream 200$39.99/mo.‡‡‡Up to 200 MbpsDSL
Kinetic Internet by Windstream 400$39.99/mo.^^^Up to 400 MbpsDSL
Kinetic Internet by Windstream 1 Gig$69.99/mo.‡‡‡1000 MbpsFiber
Data effective 04/18/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
‡‡‡ Limited-time, non-transferable offer for residential customers that may not be combined with other promotions. Credit restrictions may apply. Subject to availability.
^^^ For the first 3 months. After 3 months, the promotional Kinetic Internet, standard speed upgrade, and modem rates apply. Limited-time, non-transferable offer for residential customers that may not be combined with other promotions. Credit restrictions may apply. Subject to availability.

What internet speeds do I need for streaming video?

To catch the latest Netflix Original or mind-boggling hit on HBO Max, you’ll need anywhere from 3 to 50 Mbps download speeds. (If you want to immerse yourself in 4K glory, you’ll need that top-end 25–50 Mbps speed.)

But don’t forget that’s the recommended internet speed for just one streaming service. So if you and your family are streaming HD or 4K movies on multiple devices, you’ll want more Mbps.

We recommend at least 25 Mbps for one person, but if you have more than one person streaming in your home, we bump our recommendation up to 50 Mbps at the minimum.

What’s the best internet speed for streaming video?
Streaming app
Optimal download speed
Netflix3–25 Mbps
Disney+5–25 Mbps
Hulu3–16 Mbps
Hulu + Live TV8–16 Mbps
YouTube TV3–20 Mbps
fuboTV10–25 Mbps
Sling TV3–25 Mbps
HBO Max5–50 Mbps
Peacock2.5 Mbps
DIRECTV STREAM8 Mbps

Check our FAQs section for more specific download speed suggestions for each streaming service.

What internet speeds do I need for streaming music?

You’ll only need 1–10 Mbps as a starting point for streaming The Weeknd’s latest hit. But keep in mind that you’ll want more download speed as a buffer. You know, so you can watch YouTube, play video games, and use your smart thermostat while you jam out.

We aim for at least 25 Mbps, which is enough for one person. Luckily, plans with these speeds don’t usually cost a lot. But like we said, we recommend this speed if you live by yourself (*cue the music All by Myself*).

Or you can opt for an ISP like CenturyLink, where you sacrifice a little bit of performance for an unlimited data plan. This is great for those who like to listen to music as they work.

Other ISPs such as Xfinity have a 1.2 TB data cap, which is unfortunate as you use about 1 GB of data when you’ve streamed music for your entire 8-hour work-day.

What’s the best internet speed for streaming music?
Streaming app
Optimal download speed
SpotifyLess than 1 Mbps
PandoraLess than 1 Mbps
Apple Music7–10 Mbps
Amazon Music7–10 Mbps
TIDAL2–18 Mbps
YouTube Music1–20 Mbps

Calling all live streamers. Jump down to the FAQs section for recommended download speeds for live streaming on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch.

Enter your ZIP code to compare prices and plans in your area

Recap: Best internet providers for streaming

  • Comcast Xfinity Internet: Ranging from $20–$95 per month and featuring speeds of 50–1200 Mbps, Xfinity ensures every streamer can find a plan that works with their budget and their streaming needs. It’s also the most widely available internet provider.
  • Verizon Fios Home Internet: With its fast download speeds and low latency, Verizon Fios’ fiber connection is the best performing internet connection. But it’s only available in nine states. If it’s available in your area, you could get Verizon Fios for $40–$90 per month for 200–940 Mbps download speeds.
  • AT&T Fiber: AT&T’s fiber connection is also very limited, but it’s an excellent fiber alternative if Fios isn’t in your area. You can get great-performing internet for $55–$80 per month with download speeds of 300–940 Mbps and unlimited data.
  • CenturyLink Internet: This internet provider offers DSL internet for $50/month for 100 Mbps download speeds, or you can get fiber for $65/month for 940 Mbps download speeds. We like how CenturyLink locks in the price so you don’t have to worry about your bill jumping up in price.
  • Windstream Internet: This is one of the best ISPs if you live in a rural area, and we like how you can find a plan as low as $40 for download speeds of 400 Mbps and $70 for 1000 Mbps. Don't forget that we suggest you find the exact download speeds to expect in your area at checkout.

If you’re not convinced that one of these providers is for you, check out our top 8 best internet service providers.

Methodology

When it comes to finding the best internet service for streaming, we sifted through dozens of internet providers and plans with the following in mind:

  1. Connection type (fiber, cable, DSL, satellite)
  2. Reliable and trusted company
  3. Fair pricing for speed performance
  4. Data caps

Fiber is best, cable is good, and DSL is better than satellite internet. Fiber will give you great speed and low latency when you’re streaming Yellowstone, while satellite is the best option if you don’t have access to other internet connections.

We only recommend reliable and trusted companies because we wouldn’t recommend something we don’t want.

We value fair pricing for what you get, so this will very much be in consideration when we rank our favorite providers.

FAQs

You don’t need a lot of speed for Netflix—just 3 Mbps to stream in SD and 5 Mbps to watch in HD. But if you need that 4K resolution in your life, then you’ll need at least 25 Mbps.

Hulu requires 3 Mbps to watch anything in the streaming library, at least 8 Mbps to watch Hulu + Live TV, or 16 Mbps if you want to stream Hulu’s newest Original in 4K.

You’ll need 5 Mbps to stream Disney+ in HD and sing along with all your favorite songs. And for those 4K Disney shows with all their phenomenal cosmic power, you should be as golden as Rapunzel’s hair if you have at least 25 Mbps.

You’ll need speeds of 3 Mbps or better to get your dose of major sports networks, like NFL Network and NBA TV, on YouTube TV. Make that 13 Mbps or better if you’d like to watch the 2022 Super Bowl in HD.

You’ll need at least 25 Mbps to smoothly stream your movies, TV series, and live channels in 4K.

To livestream in 720p resolution, you’ll need at least 4 Mbps. If you want better quality to livestream in 1080p, you’ll want at least 6 Mbps.

Keep in mind that this doesn't include the internet speeds you’ll need for gaming. Check out the Best Internet Providers for Gaming if you need a new provider to play Madden NFL 22.

To hop on a live stream with YouTube, you’ll need at least 8 Mbps download speeds and about 2–18 Mbps upload speeds for 720p resolution.

But if you’d like your subscribers to view you in 4K, you’ll want download speeds of 13 Mbps or more and upload speeds of 20–51 Mbps.

Chantel Buchi
Written by
Chantel Buchi
Chantel is all about finding the best tv or streaming service to watch as many football games as possible to keep her Fantasy Football team in check. Prior to being a TV and Streaming Tech Reporter for Reviews.org, she worked for NFL Network and The Alliance of American Football. Before that, she received a B.A. of Communication at the University of Utah and an M.S. in Sports Journalism at USC. Go Utes and Fight On. Contact her at chantel@reviews.org

Related Articles

Best Home Security Systems of 2022
Whether you want a simple alarm system or a full smart home ensemble, cameras and...
A dog looks out a window and a security camera sits next to it
Best Pet Cameras
Who doesn’t want to watch their furry friends while away at work, on vacation, or...
A man holding a Nest Audio next to text "Nest Audio Review"
Google Audio Review
We test the features and the power of the Google Nest Audio speaker to find...
Ring Smart Lighting Pathlight Review
The Ring Solar Pathlight might be expensive, but it connects with your Ring ecosystem for...