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Best Internet for Netflix Speed Requirements

Streaming Netflix during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, more folks are sheltering in place and using the internet a lot more than usual.

In Italy and Spain, where the new coronavirus is rapidly spreading, Netflix is reducing traffic by 25% to make sure internet networks aren’t overwhelmed. This means that, if Netflix eventually decides to reduce traffic in the US, your video resolution might be affected.

For those of you looking for internet that can handle Netflix during unemployment or illness, check out our guide to free and low-income internet plans for coronavirus-related internet deals.

What’s the best internet for Netflix?

The best internet for Netflix depends on two things: where you live and how many folks (or devices) use the internet at the same time in your home.

We recommend an internet plan with download speeds of at least 25 Mbps to meet basic Netflix (and chill) needs. But check internet availability in your area to see what speeds you can get.

If you’re currently working at home full-time because of the new coronavirus pandemic, typically game online a lot, or frequently upload large files (vloggers, graphic designers, etc.), you’ll want higher download and upload speeds.

For most folks working from home, a cable internet plan with at least 100 Mbps download speeds will be good enough to get work done and stream Netflix at the same time (we won’t judge you).

If you’re obsessed with uploading content to the interwebs and still wanna stream Netflix, go for a fiber internet plan (1,000 Mbps)—you won’t be disappointed.

Top internet plans for Netflix

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Recommended internet speeds for Netflix

Because they don’t take into account doing more than one activity on the internet at a time, the official Netflix speed recommendations don’t really add up.

Good luck not having buffering issues when your home internet is running at 3 Mbps—Netflix’s recommendation for streaming shows and movies in standard definition (SD)—especially if you’re checking email or posting on social media at the same time.

Fortunately, we’re here to give you the goods.

Best internet speeds for streaming Netflix

  • 5 Mbps—Minimum speed for 1 SD stream
  • 25 Mbps—Good speed for 1 SD stream + basic browsing
  • 100 Mbps—Good speed for multiple SD/HD streams + basic browsing
  • 300–500 Mbps—Good speeds for multiple HD/UHD/4K streams + basic browsing
  • 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)—Excellent speed for multiple UHD/4K streams and uploading large files + basic browsing

How can I watch Netflix in HD?

To watch Netflix in high definition (HD), you have to have an HD plan. Once you’ve signed up for one of those, you’ll need to set your video quality to Auto or High.

Like we keep saying (preach!), you’ll want around 100 Mbps of download speed to stream Netflix in HD so that the rest of your household can be online at the same time and not suffer the buffer.

How much internet speed do you need? We recommend using HighSpeedInternet.com’s quick, handy tool to find out.

Can I use Netflix with satellite internet?

Generally speaking, we would not recommend streaming any video, let alone Netflix, with satellite internet. Why you might ask? Two reasons: cost and data caps.

Satellite internet plans can cost anywhere from $30 to $200 per month for subpar download speeds of up to 12 Mbps100 Mbps. Let’s just say you don’t get a lot of bang for your buck. And did we mention they also have low data caps (10 GB150 GB per month)?

Once you reach your satellite provider’s data cap for the month (sometimes as low as 10 GB—less than some cell phone plans), the satellite internet provider will slow your speeds even more. Bye bye Netflix.

Streaming Netflix is a data hog, so for folks with satellite internet, we recommend getting a cheap satellite TV package instead. You won’t have as many on-demand shows and movies, but you also won’t pay an arm and a leg to watch Netflix sit and buffer, either.

Top satellite TV packages

*for 12 mos. plus taxes. Autopay & Paperless bill req’d. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $9.99/mo. is extra & applies.

Final take: 3 Mbps5 Mbps is fast enough for Netflix if you don’t mind buffering

If you want a better Netflix viewing experience, get an internet plan with download speeds of at least 25 Mbps and a generous (2 TB) or unlimited data cap. You’ll avoid buffering for the most part and be able to surf the internet at the same time.

But if you can afford it and it’s available in your area, go “premium” by signing up for a fiber internet plan. That way lil’ Johnny can stream tons of Netflix in 4K (sounds fun, right?) while you’re uploading your latest work file from home (boooring).

Get more from your Netflix binge-watching. Enter your ZIP code to see internet providers in your area.

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More Netflix internet speed FAQ

Does Netflix use internet?

Yes, you need an internet connection for Netflix.

But what about those DVDs that Netflix used to send you in the mail? Well, Netflix still has those, but you’ll need internet access to order them.

What is a good internet speed for Netflix?

A good internet speed for Netflix depends on how much you use the internet. We recommend internet plans with download speeds of at least 25 Mbps for Netflix; otherwise, binge-watching Ozark might feel just as harrowing as laundering money for a cartel.

That said, if you have a large household or upload a lot of stuff to the internet while watching Netflix, you’ll need an internet plan with download speeds upwards of 100 Mbps.

Is 3 Mbps fast enough for Netflix?

No, 3 Mbps is not fast enough for Netflix (unless you want to endure endless buffering and other inconveniences).

You’ll want download speeds of at least 25 Mbps to stream Netflix and post about your binge-worthy adventures on Facebook at the same time.

How can I manage my Netflix bandwidth?

You can manage your Netflix bandwidth by adjusting your video quality to Low or Medium. You’ll especially wanna do this if you have DSL or satellite internet—we call this a “manage bandage.”

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