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Game streaming has evolved to become an integral part of the Internet. Back in 2014 Google and Amazon had anticipated the elvated status of game streaming, the reason why both reckoned to shell out big bucks in an attempt to take over the leading game streaming platform Twitch. In the end, the deal went to Amazon, which splurged $970 million for the acquisition. That outlay may seem odd to those not conversant with the service, but Twitch's traffic is enormous—to say the least.
Over the years, Twitch has gradually evolved to include content creators of all genres, building a diverse community where everyone has complete freedom to do just about anything. And it is a prodigious platform—with over 2.6 million concurrent viewers recorded so far in August 2021—making it your safest bet to attract attention to your exceptional skills in gaming, cosplays, drawing, cooking and more.
Ready to join the wild world of live streaming and broadcasting but have no idea if your internet speed will cooperate? No worries! We’ve got you covered with this detailed guide about the best internet speed for streaming Twitch!
First things first, if you are interested in exploring the world of live streaming—even if you are not a gaming streamer—here’s what you will need to get started with Twitch:
Gaming consoles such as Xbox One or PlayStation 4 are feasible options—as are smartphones. These devices grant you a smooth entry into the world of streaming, because you don’t have to put too much time thinking about software and additional hardware. All you need is the app right for your device.
Having said that, desktop computers are the preferred choice for streaming because of the vast variety of hardware you can use with them. Not to mention the cool features like overlays that come as an added benefit of broadcasting software. For hosting streams, Twitch recommends the following minimums:
The best Twitch features are only available to registered users. If you want to interact with content or join the ranks of content creators, you will need to create a Twitch account.
Setting up your personal Twitch account is pretty straightforward and requires a minimum of three steps—review the community guidelines, create an account, and enable two-factor authentication. To exhilarate you further, Twitch accounts are completely free.
If you plan to stream via Twitch, you will need an internet plan with a minimum speed ranging from 3 to 6 Mbps. While 3 Mbps may pass muster with streamers, note that around 6 Mbps is recommended if you want to watch Twitch streams without stuttering, buffering, or pixilation. Of course, you can get away with less, but if you settle for anything below 4 Mbps, you may experience lags or delays. This limit exists because several streamers choose to stream at 4000-6000 bitrate, which is a prerequisite to produce high-quality 720p 60 fps content.
3G & 4G connections will also do the job, provided you have a reliable signal. However, you cannot buffer live content like with a Netflix video, so it often gets difficult to watch live content on a sluggish mobile network.
If you are only interested in watching Twitch streams, the information above should suffice. But if you wish to broadcast your gaming or any other content, things take a new turn.
Broadcasting twitch streams is more challenging than simply watching and for obvious reasons. The process requires a top-notch internet plan that is capable of meeting Twitch bandwidth requirements, ensure swift and seamless gameplay with no jitter or lag, and deliver adequate upload speed to broadcast streams in real-time. It is also recommended to have dedicated download and upload speed for a smooth streaming experience on Twitch.
Streaming on Twitch requires you to pay heed to not just download speed but also upload speed. Where download speed refers to the rate at which your device pulls data from the server, upload speed refers to the rate at which data travels from your device to the relevant server.
These speeds significantly matter because high-quality download speeds expedite games-downloading process and polish up in-game play while first-rate upload speeds are ideal for streaming, hosting tournaments, in-game communication, and sending large files with multiple studios or locations in the picture.
Broadcasting at a higher bitrate—ranging from 6,000 bps to 8,000 bps—guarantees higher video quality and flawless gameplay, providing viewers the streaming experience they expect from a professional gamer. This, of course, demands a much faster internet connection.
Largely speaking, an internet speed of up to 25 Mbps or above will be great to handle simultaneous streaming and gaming. Note that a higher bitrate ultimately means more bandwidth consumption.
To safeguard your bitrate capacity, try to decrease your overall bandwidth usage in other areas. One of the best ways is to close any apps, downloads, or games that maybe running in the background when you are streaming.
While most professionals recommend a minimum of 3 Mbps, gamers who rely on viewership in their streams should opt for plans that offer at least 6-8 Mbps for 720p broadcasts.
Similarly, broadcasts of 1080p 60 fps require at least 12 Mbps upload speed to support the higher bitrates Twitch offers. To ensure smooth broadcasting, a good practice is to budget bandwidth overhead of 30% to 40% to accommodate any possible spikes in your usage. Needless to say, if you’re running other apps in the background or uploading content online, you will need an even higher upload speed for a seamless broadcasting experience.
Here’s a breakdown of average minimum upload speeds you will need to livestream on Twitch:
|Resolution||Bitrates||Average Minimum Upload Speeds|
|720p (30 fps)||2,500 Kbps – 4,000 Kbps||3.5 Mbps – 5 Mbps|
|720p (60 fps)||3,500 Kbps – 5,000 Kbps||4.5 Mbps – 6.5 Mbps|
|Social Media||2 hours per day||4 hours per day|
|1080p (30 fps)||3,500 Kbps – 5,000 Kbps||4.5 Mbps – 6.5 Mbps|
|1080p (60 fps)||4,500 Kbps – 6,000 Kbps||6 Mbps – 7.5 Mbps|
By this time, you must be wondering if your current internet plan delivers adequate speed for streaming Twitch or is it time for an upgrade. And this is exactly why the internet speed testing tool exists. You can run a speed test anytime you wish to find out the speeds you are getting from your existing provider.
Most home internet providers easily meet Twitch’s minimum internet speed criteria. Largely speaking, fiber internet is the best option for symmetrical download and upload speeds followed by cable internet. DSL and satellite internet are not preferable choices due to the likelihood of inconsistent speeds.
Of course, if you share your internet connection with your roommates or family members, there will be other devices competing for relevant bandwidth at the same time. In such a scenario, you will probably want to upgrade your internet plan. Or else, you might easily get frustrated struggling for bandwidth once you become involved in Twitch live video streams.
If you wish to have full confidence in your Twitch streaming capacity and gaming potential simultaneously, we recommend you go for crème de la crème internet plans available from providers with the best repute nationwide. These plans can put at your disposal up to 940 Mbps fast symmetrical speeds, depending on where you live.
In competitive gaming, every millisecond counts. And if you play regularly, anything near 940 Mbps is golden. At this speed, the entertainment needs of your entire household can be easily fulfilled all at once.
Streaming generally loads audio and video content in advance to prevent buffering. Having said that, sluggish internet speed is the key reason why you might be experiencing buffering while streaming Twitch. To help you in this regard, here is the minimum internet speed you need for a smooth streaming experience:
|Activity||Number of Devices||Minimum Speed|
|SD TV streaming||1||5 Mbps|
|Single HD TV streaming||1 to 2||25 Mbps|
|Multiple HD TV streaming and gaming||1 to 4||100 Mbps|
|Multiple HD/4K TV streaming||4+||300 Mbps to 500 Mbps|
|Multiple HD/4K TV streaming and file uploading||4+||1,000 Mbps|
Besides broadband type and speeds affecting your streaming experience, data cap also plays a fundamental role in determining how frequently you can stream. If unlimited data plans fall within your budget, go for them without second thoughts. But, if you cannot afford such plans, then you should know how much data you will need to stream Twitch at the most optimal quality. Don’t worry, we will give you a basic idea.
However, this may vary from one device to another. The accumulated data requirement will also vary as each household has different needs. The best practice is to keep a track of data usage for every device in your house for at least a month before finally reaching a consensus about a capped plan or one that gives unlimited data.
For a hitch-free Twitch streaming experience, Xfinity, Spectrum, and AT&T are our top picks. These providers definitely beat the rest in this competitive race and here’s why:
Xfinity from Comcast has long led the way in delivering the fastest internet speeds that go beyond 1,000 Mbps with its Gigabit Pro plan, which offers up to 2,000 Mbps upload and download speeds. The only downside of this plan is its limited availability. Much more widely available is the Xfinity Gigabit plan which advertises fiber powered download speed up to 1,200 Mbps. Albeit, Xfinity does not like to talk about the relevant upload speeds for this plan or the others, it is believed the Gigabit plan gets you up to 35 Mbps upload speed.
Xfinity predominantly offers hybrid Fiber-Coaxial internet plans, but its Gigabit Pro plan delivers over a pure Fiber connection. While it doesn’t take much to stream standard quality videos, for streamers who prefer videos in highest possible quality, internet speed will matter a lot. This is mostly the case for a large family with several individuals simultaneously streaming across multiple devices.
From ensuring the availability of its network to all Americans, to bringing the fastest speed available at the best rate, AT&T has consistently worked to improve and expand its networks. AT&T offers DSL, fixed wireless and fiber internet services to residential and business customers. Regardless of the type of connection and plan you go for, AT&T promises to bring you the fastest available speed with 99% reliability at the best price. Their AT&T Fiber 1000 plan offers symmetric speed up to 940 Mbps at rates lower than nearly all fastest residential ISPs.
With the exception of plans lower than 75 Mbps, AT&T Internet comes without any data limit, making it ideal for Twitch streamers and gamers to play long sessions without experiencing any hindrance.
Spectrum is a top-tier internet service that uses a hybrid fiber-coaxial network to deliver the fastest speeds. Its download speeds may rival that of fiber broadband, which goes up to 940 Mbps, but its upload speeds remain significantly low—compared to AT&T Fiber—due to the dual nature of the network that also makes it a more affordable option.
Having said that, Spectrum is where you can go wild with Twitch streaming and gaming because of unlimited data offer. In addition to that, even the lowest upload speeds you get with Spectrum are up to 10 Mbps with the highest speed-tier offering up to 35 Mbps. Spectrum Gig internet plan promises up to 940 Mbps download speeds, and is an ideal choice for households that love to stream Twitch.
One simply cannot talk about live streaming without mentioning Twitch—an integral part of the live streaming ecosystem. Just like every other streaming platform, your experience with Twitch can only be as good as your internet speed. But keep in mind that high-speed internet is only as good as the provider that delivers it.
So, if you are into Twitch streaming and gaming, you deserve a professional-grade internet service providing speeds that you can totally rely on. Call 1-855-349-9328 to learn about the best internet providers and plans available in your neighborhood. Take our word, you won’t feel disappointed.
Twitch recommends upload speed in the range of 3 Mbps to 6 Mbps for broadcasting a stream.
An internet speed of 100 Mbps is sufficient for basic streaming, as most streaming services like Twitch don’t require more than 3 Mbps to 6 Mbps. However, if you want to stream 4K content, you will need a minimum of 25 Mbps speeds.
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