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Almost half of the world population is stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. All big sports events are on hold, while schools, malls, restaurants, theaters are shuttered down and so are public places like museums and amusement parks. The silver lining on this dark cloud however, is that while you practice social distancing and abide by the notion of self-isolation, you have a fair amount of time on hands to do what you love doing online.

No surprise then, that a vast majority of those stuck at home are seeking out entertainment in some form or the other. And, a massive number of people is quite naturally spending more time online to distract themselves from the prevalent chaos and uncertainty. Their desperation for quality entertainment is therefore nothing less than understandable.

Fortunately, there’s an abundance of worthwhile televisual entertainment you can stream online. One of the most ideal options for a huge cross section of the mass public, is to rely on popular streaming platforms like Netflix to get their daily dose of entertainment during these unprecedented times.

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The Pre-Requisite to Streaming Netflix

With more and more people turning to Netflix, there is an increase in demand for internet service providers that offer a fast internet connection. People who have ever tried streaming Netflix video will be aware of the fact the experience you get is hugely dependent on the stability and speed of your internet connection. In order to watch Netflix TV shows and movies without frustration or issues with low video & audio quality, you must have a high-speed internet connection in place.

As you are home for what appears to be a rather prolonged period, your consumption of high-speed internet is, without a doubt, bound to increase in a bid to quench your heightened need for streaming entertaining content.

So which internet service provider or type of connection offers the best streaming performance? In this post, we will walk you through everything you need to know, including Netflixs speed requirements. So, let’s get on with it!

Judge How Fast Your Internet Must be for Netflix

If you want uninterrupted high-quality streaming, it is crucial to invest in an internet connection that comes with plenty of data allowance and super-fast speeds.

The two most important factors in determining the best internet connection for Netflix, is the place where you live, and the number of devices that connect to your in-home network at the same time. Your place of dwelling will help narrow down the best ISP option available in the neighborhood, while the size of your household will assist with getting a more accurate idea of the level of speed and data allowance required to look after everyone’s needs.  

In order to stream Netflix videos successfully in HD, you will need a speed of at least 5.0 Megabits per second or faster, according to Netflix. Keep in mind any speed less than 5 Mbps will result in downgraded quality of streaming i.e. buffering, and reduced video quality.

Of course, you would need faster speeds when more than one device is connected to your internet connection. Let’s say, you have opted for internet with 5 Mbps speed that is shared between a good number of devices. Quite clearly, distributed bandwidth available to each device would be less likely to meet the minimum requirements for streaming Netflix. That’s not it. You may also have a hard time doing other activities online with as many devices sharing the connection.

There is also a good chance you are currently working from home, due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Telecommuting usually involves frequent uploading and downloading of heavy files and other bandwidth consuming activities, and when combined with frequent spells of streaming or gaming for that matter, an internet connection that is able to support all such activities on multiple devices only becomes a dire need.

Given the myriad of considerations we have touched upon, an internet plan with a minimum of 100 Mbps speed may just be perfect for your household. In case, it does not feel adequate and you would rather have faster and more seamless connectivity to carry on with varied online activities, we recommend choosing a fiber broadband plan with maximum speeds up to 1 Gbps.

The Problem with Internet Speed Recommendations by Netflix

One of the most common problems with Netflix recommendations for streaming is that it does not really take into account the fact your connection will be utilized to conduct multiple online activities and connect more than one device simultaneously.

For instance, Netflix recommends 3 Mbps internet for streaming your favorite content in standard definition (SD). But, when your home internet is running at this speed, and other connected users are also consuming the available bandwidth, whether posting videos on social media or surfing the World Wide Web at the same time, you are likely to face buffering loops.

But you can leave your concerns behind, and take a look at the below-mentioned list which includes realistic speed recommendations for an internet connection that is to be employed to do more than just stream Netflix TV shows and movies.

Ideal Internet Speeds to Stream Netflix

  • The ideal speed for one SD stream is 5 Mbps
  • The ideal speed for one SD stream plus browsing is 25 Mbps
  • The ideal speed for multiple SD/HD streams and browsing is 100 Mbps
  • The ideal speed for multiple UHD/HD/4K streams along with browsing is 300–500 Mbps
  • The outstanding speed for multiple 4K/UHD streams alongside browsing, uploading heavy files, and more is 1,000 Mbps

Is 3 Mbps-5 Mbps Really Fast Enough for Streaming Netflix?

Well, as we said earlier, the speed you need is greatly dependent on the pattern of internet consumption in a household. If you happen to be the solitary user of a broadband service that confers a 3 Mbps or 5 Mbps connection, according to Netflix you can enjoy an uninterrupted stream in SD or HD respectively – quite without having to compromise on audio and video quality.

If however, you are not the only one hooked to the in-home network, an internet plan with download speeds of 25 Mbps, coupled with unlimited data, would be perfect for your small-medium sized household. Speeds of this order are able to furnish an enhanced Netflix experience. You will get rid of the buffering icon, while other users will be able to browse the web or scroll the social media swiftly at the same time.

In case, budget is not your concern and you have a large-ish household to cater to, it would be smart to opt for a fiber internet plan. That is a surefire way to stream Netflix in 4K, while also utilizing the connection for bandwidth consuming activities by multiple users.  

Streaming Netflix in High Definition (HD)

If you want to stream Netflix videos in high definition (HD), make sure you have opted for an HD Netflix plan – that is in addition to an internet connection with the right speed. When you subscribe to the HD plan, you will have to set the quality of your video to Auto or High.

As we have mentioned earlier, ideally speaking you must have access to 100 Mbps internet in order to stream Netflix in high definition (HD). Because, this way, you will not only have a buffer-free streaming experience, but the rest of your family will also be able to indulge in other online activities at the same time.

Can I Stream Netflix with Satellite Internet?

That is the one question which keeps popping up ever so often – “Can I stream Netflix with satellite internet?” In fact we come across this question so frequently that we have decided to address it here.

Yes, with a satellite internet service you can easily stream Netflix! But it would be advisable not to. Now you might be wondering why? Well, because usually a satellite internet service is not only overpriced but tends to come with data caps.

When you opt for satellite internet plans, you will have to pay anywhere from $30 to $200 per month for download speeds ranging between 12 Mbps and 100 Mbps. What you need to bear in mind is once you reach your data limit for the month (which could be as low as 10 GB at times) the satellite internet provider will end up slowing you down. Meaning, you would no longer be able to access Netflix videos.

In case, you live in an area where you have no choice other than opting for satellite internet, make your decision wisely. The quality of your internet would be largely dependent on the speed of the connection and the plan you choose for yourself. Remember, streaming video content from Netflix will consume a lot of your data too. It’s therefore important to carefully take a look at the speed you are getting, and other features of the satellite internet package, before you make up your mind, or set your hopes high on the quality of streaming it may be able to support.

The Best Internet Plans for Netflix

Stay Home and Stream!

With the need for social distancing, people are seeking new ways to stream content online. Millions are relying on the video streaming giant Netflix to satisfy their entertainment needs. But at times, video streaming does get awfully interrupted by lag and buffering. In order to watch your favorite shows and movies without any disturbances, it is important to have a reliable and fast internet connection.

Now that you know everything about real-time Netflix speed requirements, you will find it a whole lot easier to pick the best internet service for yourself. Once you get the right package with super-fast internet speeds, satisfying your household’s entertainment cravings will become streamlined!


Why does my Netflix take so long to load?

This is most likely due to a slow internet connection. In order to stream Netflix in the best video and audio quality, you need to have a high-speed internet connection in place.

What to look for in an internet plan if I want my Netflix to stream seamlessly?

Your internet plan has to have a good amount of data allowance and a super-fast speed.

What is the ideal internet speed for multiple SD/HD streaming and browsing?

The ideal speed in this case should be 100 Mbps.

Does AT&T provide an internet plan for streaming Netflix?

You can subscribe to AT&T’s Fiber 300 plans, which give you 300 Mbps internet speed for only $35 per month.