What Internet Speed Do I Need for Netflix?

Catherine McNally
May 11, 2023
Icon Time To Read2 min read

The minimum required speed for streaming Netflix is 3 Mbps for SD (standard definition) video quality. Netflix recommends at least 5 Mbps for HD quality and 15 Mbps for Ultra HD or 4K quality.1

And while 15 Mbps might be enough for watching Netflix, remember that that's enough internet speed for only watching Netflix. So you'll need faster speed to cover any other connected devices or internet users in your home.

We recommend grabbing at least 50 Mbps download speeds if it's just you and maybe one other person using the internet. As for families, we think 100 Mbps or more download speed is better.

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What are Mbps?
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Your internet service’s download speed is measured in megabits per second. Anything above 25 Mbps is considered high-speed internet. Many broadband internet providers still sell packages with speeds lower than that, but unless you’re just browsing the web and checking email, we’d steer you toward faster speeds.

Netflix internet speed requirements

The baseline internet speed requirements for Netflix aren't ginormous—unless you want to stream in 4K.

Netflix internet speed requirements1
Video quality
Netflix recommends

SD (480p)

3 Mbps

HD (720p)

5 Mbps

Ultra HD/4K (2160p)

15 Mbps

But like we said, we recommend faster download speeds than what Netflix recommends.

That's because you'll likely have other devices (like cell phones and home security systems) using the internet connection at the same time you're streaming Netflix. Not to mention other people too. The last thing you want is for your home security camera to lag out or for your kiddo's Netflix app playing Paw Patrol to buffer, right?

We recommend an internet plan with at least 50 Mbps download speeds if you enjoy streaming Netflix. And maybe even higher if you want HD streaming. Typically, the best internet speed for streaming video is around that speed, because this ensures that your connected devices and one other person can get online and not flip a table over maddeningly slow internet speeds while you watch Schitt's Creek.

If you've got a larger family or multiple devices, we'd say go with a minimum speed of 100 Mbps download speeds or more for good internet speed.

And as for recommendations, well, we have a few for the best internet providers for streaming:

Xfinity internet

Xfinity is available almost nationwide, and its prices are competitive. You'll easily find a well-priced 100 Mbps plan, like the Connect More plan. Just note that Xfinity plan names and prices change depending on where you live.

Xfinity
Xfinity Internet
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Download Speeds
75-2000 Mbps
Upload Speeds
10-35 Mbps
Data Cap
1200 Mbps
Starting from
$19.99
/mo
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Verizon Fios Home Internet

Its fiber network and up to 2300 Mbps download speeds make Verizon Fios Home Internet a shoo-in. Not to mention its symmetrical upload speed and download speed. But what really makes this ISP great is its reputation for amazing customer service.

Verizon
Verizon Fios Home Internet
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Download Speeds
300-2300 Mbps
Upload Speeds
10-2300 Mbps
Data Cap
Unlimited
Starting from
$49.99
/mo
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

CenturyLink internet

CenturyLink offers unlimited data on all of its internet plans, which earns it bonus points when it comes to budget friendliness due to the lack of monthly overage fees. Its Fiber Internet plan is one of the cheapest gig-speed plans out there, perfect for streaming Netflix with your extended family or multiple roommates. Plus, your upload speed and download speed can reach up to 940 Mbps, which is pretty high compared to most internet service providers.

Centurylink
CenturyLink Internet
4 out of 5 stars
4
Download Speeds
100-940 Mbps
Upload Speeds
10-940 Mbps
Data Cap
Unlimited
Starting from
$50
/mo
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Now that you know how much speed you need for Netflix, check these out next.
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Look for faster internet plans available near you.
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See which ISPs we recommend for streaming Netflix, Disney+, and more.

Sources

  1. Netflix, “Internet Connection Speed Recommendations,” 2020. Accessed December 7, 2020.
Catherine McNally
Written by
Catherine McNally
Catherine has a degree in journalism and an MBA, and has spent the last 10+ years writing everything from Okinawa travel guides to stories on Medium. She’s been online since AOL CDs were a thing and is an unapologetic PC gamer. She believes the internet is a necessity, not a luxury, and writes reviews and guides to help everyone stay connected. You can also find her on Twitter: @CMReviewsIt.

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