What Internet Speed Do I Need for Netflix?

Catherine McNally
Editorial Lead, Internet & Gaming
Read More
Published on December 12, 2021
2 min read

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.

What are Mbps?
Pin

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 quality
Netflix 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 or multiple devices, 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.

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Download speeds
501200 Mbps
Upload speeds
535 Mbps
Data cap
1.2 TB
Starting from
$19.99
/mo
Data effective 10/29/2021. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

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.

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Download speeds
200940 Mbps
Upload speeds
200880 Mbps
Data cap
Not Available
Starting from
$39.99
/mo
Data effective 11/10/2021. 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.

4 out of 5 stars
4
Download speeds
100940 Mbps
Upload speeds
30940 Mbps
Data cap
Unlimited
Starting from
$50
/mo
Data effective 11/10/2021. 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.
Look for faster internet plans available near you.

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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