What Internet Speed Do I Need for Netflix?

The minimum required speed for streaming Netflix is 3 Mbps for SD (standard definition) quality. Netflix recommends at least 5 Mbps for HD quality and 25 Mbps for Ultra HD or 4K quality.1

And while 25 Mbps might be enough for watching Netflix, remember that that’s enough internet speed for only watching Netflix. So you’ll need more 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?
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.
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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 qualityNetflix recommends
SD (480p)3 Mbps
HD (720p)5 Mbps
Ultra HD/4K (2160p)25 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 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 your kiddo’s Paw Patrol viewing session to buffer, right?

Is your internet provider not cutting it? Find better internet for Netflix near you.

We recommend an internet plan with at least 50 Mbps download speeds if you enjoy streaming Netflix. 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, we’d say go with 100 Mbps download speeds or more.

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 Performance Select plan. Just note that Xfinity plan names and prices change depending on where you live.

Performance Select
Xfinity Internet - West
Download speed:
100 Mbps
Data cap:
1.2 TB
$44.99 a month

Data effective 12/7/2020. 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./sup>

Verizon Fios Home Internet

Its fiber network and up to 940 Mbps download speeds make Verizon Fios Home Internet a shoo-in. But what really makes this ISP great is its reputation for amazing customer service.

Internet 200/200
Verizon Internet - Fios Gig
Download speed:
200 Mbps
$39.99 a month

Data effective 12/7/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*w/Auto Pay + taxes. Equipment charges may apply.

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.

CenturyLink Fiber Internet
CenturyLink Internet
Download speed:
940 Mbps
Data cap:
Unlimited
$65 a month

Data effective 7/1/2021. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*Rate requires paperless billing. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Speeds may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 940 Mbps via a wired connection.

Now that you know how much speed you need for Netflix, check these out next.

Look for faster internet plans available near you.

See which ISPs we recommend for streaming Netflix, Disney+, and more.

BEST INTERNET PROVIDERS FOR STREAMING

Sources

  1. Netflix, “Internet Connection Speed Recommendations,” 2020. Accessed December 7, 2020.