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Streaming shows and movies is how millions of entertainment lovers like to relax and enjoy their leisure time. According to 2021 Nielson data TV watchers in the U.S. spend about 26% of the TV time streaming content via a live or video-on-demand service. And quite obviously when it comes to streaming video Internet is the power that runs the show. And it is of extreme importance that your connection is able to support a seamless viewing experience, as otherwise it can be a mere source of frustration.

Our today’s article discusses not only the top deals which give you the best internet for streaming, but what you should be looking for in any internet connection for streaming video. Keep reading to find the right high-speed internet option for yourself!

The Best Internet for Streaming - What to Look For?

A good internet connection for streaming must be high-speed, consistent, and get you a generous data allowance if not unlimited. So when you are out to shop for an internet service that supports your love for streaming video, keep the following aspects in mind:

1. Download Speed

The download speed is what you must pay attention to as a top priority. It is one of the first things anyone looking for a new connection takes into consideration anyways. But more often than not people think it is wiser to get the highest available speed tier, whereas that is not a great move and you can easily end up overspending.

So to start off, you must know what is the optimal speed needed for streaming video. Also, remember when you decide on a new service for your home, it should not only be able to support your video streaming but other usage.

Here are some broad-base statistics for recommended download speeds that are required for video streaming:

Video Quality Minimum Recommended Download Speed

Standard Definition (SD)

3 Mbps

High-definition (HD)

5 Mbps

4K/UHD

25 Mbps

With that said, you can get a more precise idea of exactly how much download speed you may need to stream video, based on the statistics cited for popular video streaming services.

Streaming Service Minimum Recommended Download Speed

Netflix

SD - 1 Mbps

HD (720p) - 3 Mbps

HD (1080P) - 5 Mbps

4K/UHD - 15 Mbps

Hulu

Hulu Streaming Library - 3 Mbps

Live Stream - 8 Mbps

4K Video - 16 Mbps

YouTube TV

SD - 3 Mbps

HD - 7 Mbps

4K - 25 Mbps

Sling TV

For portable devices such as tabs & smartphones - 3 Mbps

Personal computers - 5 Mbps

For households with multiple devices - 25 Mbps

Disney+

HD - 5 Mbps

4K/UHD - 25 Mbps

HBO MAX

HD - 5 Mbps

4K - 50 Mbps

fuboTV

SD (480p) - 3 Mbps

HD (720p) - 7 Mbps

HD (1080P) - 10 Mbps

4K - 25 Mbps

Peacock

2.5 Mbps

DIRECTV STREAM

8 Mbps

Apple TV+

HD (1080p) - 5 Mbps

4K - 25 Mbps

Prime Video

SD - 1 Mbps

HD - 5 Mbps

Important: The statistics cited here give you the minimum recommended download speed for one device only unless indicated otherwise. If you have more devices that connect to the same network, you should base your calculations on the total number of devices, users, and internet usage pattern in your household.

2. Reliability, Consistency & Connection Type

Reliability of an internet connection and speed consistency are 2 major factors that contribute to the quality of your video streaming experience. And this is one big reason why a wired internet service is always a preferred choice.

Compared to satellite or fixed wireless internet, high-speed DSL, Cable and Fiber are not nearly as susceptible to external factors such as extreme weather conditions. Satellite and fixed wireless ISPs are sure able to deliver the recommended download speed for video streaming. But reliability of the connection and consistency of speed is a whole different story. So, if streaming video is your primary objective, you must focus on the best wired internet options in your vicinity.

High-speed DSL Internet for Streaming

This is a decent option since use of advanced technologies in hybrid networks has helped boost DSL speeds up to 100 Mbps in recent times. Internet service providers like AT&T, CenturyLink and Windstream use such network models to deliver their high-speed internet service. EarthLink also delivers high-speed DSL with speeds up to 75 Mbps, albeit it uses the network infrastructure of its partners in the industry.

Cable Internet for Streaming

This is the next best bet you’ll find in the market. Like DSL based networks, cable broadband infrastructures have also been upgraded with new technologies. As a result, cable internet speeds now soar up to 1000 Mbps when delivered over a hybrid Fiber-Coaxial network. Fiber to the Loop means, you get more bandwidth, better reliability, and more consistent speeds. Internet providers like Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox Communications, WOW!, Optimum, and Suddenlink are some big industry names that deliver this type of cable broadband.

Fiber Internet for Streaming

This is undoubtedly the best option out there for streaming video. Data travels the fastest via fiber optic cables, there is plenty of bandwidth, and you get consistent speeds even at peak times. The maximum speed you can enjoy with Fiber is now up to 5 Gbps. AT&T, CenturyLink, and EarthLink are the major ISPs that deliver a pure Fiber connection for residential consumption.

3. Data Allowance

No one likes data caps. Especially people who routinely engage in bandwidth-extensive online activities. But unfortunately, not all ISPs in the U.S. offer plans free of data caps. And this is why it becomes necessary that you make sure the data allowance offered with a service plan will cover your streaming needs as well as other household usage.

On average an American home utilizes 400-450 GB data every month. But if streaming is how your family watches TV, you’ll need more. Luckily most ISPs give you 1 TB data allowance with their service plans, which means in spite of a cap you’re unlikely to commit a breach. But if you still think an unlimited data plan is what you must go for, there are quite a few options out there.

The Best Internet for Streaming - Which Plans to Go For?

Provider-Plan Max. Download Speed Data Allowance Price

AT&T Internet 100

100 Mbps

Unlimited

$55/mo.
for 12 months plus taxes w/autopay & paperless billing

CenturyLink Simply Unlimited Internet

100 Mbps

Unlimited

$50/mo.

EarthLink Internet 75

75 Mbps

Unlimited

$69.95/mo.
for 12 months

Windstream Kinetic Internet 100

100 Mbps

Unlimited

Call for price in your area

Stream with Affordable Cable Internet

Provider-Plan Max. Download Speed Data Allowance Price

Xfinity Internet Fast*

300 Mbps

1.2 TB

$50/mo.
for 12 months with 1-year contract. Paperless billing and automatic payments required.

Xfinity Performance Pro*

300 Mbps

Unlimited

$39.99/mo.
for the first 12 months with No Term Agreement. Includes $10 automatic payments and paperless billing discount for 24 months.

Xfinity Internet Fast*

300 Mbps

1.2 TB

$49.99/mo.
for the first 12 mos. with 1-Year Agreement. Includes $10/mo. automatic payments and paperless billing discount.

Spectrum

200 Mbps

Unlimited

$49.99/mo.
for 12 mos.

Cox Communications

250 Mbps

1.25 TB

$59.99/mo.
for 12 months with 1-year service agmt.

Optimum by Altice

300 Mbps

Unlimited

$39.99/mo.
for 12 mos. plus taxes w/autopay & paperless bill

Suddenlink by Altice

300 Mbps

Unlimited

$39.99/mo.
for 12 mos. plus taxes w/autopay & paperless bill

WOW!

200 Mbps

Unlimited or 1.5 TB
(varies with location)

$39.99/mo.
For 12 months in select markets. w/autopay & paperless bill

*Xfinity service plan offers vary with the service region.

Fiber-Fast Internet for Streaming

Provider-Plan Max. Download Speed Data Allowance Price

AT&T Internet 300

300 Mbps

Unlimited

$55/mo.
plus taxes w/autopay & paperless billing

CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit

940 Mbps

Unlimited

$65/mo.

EarthLink Internet 200

200 Mbps

Unlimited

$89.95/mo.
for 12 months

Fast, Reliable & Affordable Internet for Streaming - Our Top 5 Picks!

1. AT&T Fiber 300

This is one of the cheapest starting plans for pure Fiber in the market. And undoubtedly ticks off all the check boxes for the vast majority of consumers who love to stream video.

  • Equal uploads & downloads
  • 9% reliability guaranteed
  • High-end AT&T Wireless Gateway at no added cost
  • FREE access to millions of AT&T WiFi hotspots nationwide
  • FREE Internet security
  • No annual contracts or price hike after 12 months
  • Top-rated customer satisfaction

And here is the best part - you can stream HD videos on 10 devices at the same time*
*Number of devices depends on the screen size and resolution

2. CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit

CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit beats the competition when it comes to value for money. At $65/mo. it gives you symmetrical speeds up to 940 Mbps, which means you only pay about 7 cents per Mbps. And the best part is there is no price hike to surprise you after 12 months!

  • Equal uploads & downloads
  • Unlimited data
  • Add-on CenturyLink Wireless Gateway with embedded security
  • No annual contracts
  • Month-to-Month payment plan with no early cancellation fees
  • No bundling required to get the best price offer

3. Spectrum Internet 200

One of the most ubiquitous service plans offered by Spectrum - the Internet 200 starter plan is priced affordably, and gives you one an economical speed to cost ratio at 25 cents per Mbps. Plus you can enjoy quite a few perks with the service.

  • Unlimited data
  • Internet Modem at no added cost
  • FREE antivirus software & parental controls
  • FREE access to millions of out-of-home Spectrum WiFi hotspots
  • No annual contacts
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

4. Cox Internet Preferred

The Cox Internet Preferred plan delivers 250 Mbps downloads, and is perfect for small to mid-sized families that are passionate about streaming. Nielson data has ranked Cox Internet as one of the top services for video streaming. Here is what you can expect to enjoy with the Cox Internet service:

  • Internet security suite powered by McAfee
  • FREE access to millions of Cox WiFi hotspots nationwide
  • Add-on Advanced Panoramic WiFi Gateway
  • Cox Elite Gamer (Free when you lease the Panoramic WiFi Gateway)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

5. Xfinity Internet

Xfinity from Comcast delivers one of the most reliable and fast services over the largest Gig speed network in the U.S. The Xfinity Internet plan (Fast or Performance Pro) is an affordable option for small to mid-sized households. Plus the Xfinity Internet service is one of most value-packed, with many perks to enjoy.

  • FREE Xfinity Flex 4K streaming TV box with the award-winning Xfinity Voice Remote
  • FREE subscription to Peacock Premium
  • Add-on the innovative xFi Gateway with advanced built-in security
  • FREE access to over 20 million WiFi hotspots nationwide

Concluding Words

We hope this mini-guide to finding the best internet for streaming comes in handy when you are out to shop. As we always say, when shopping for home internet, it is necessary to know what you are looking for, and what you would not want to deal with.

Once the preliminary leg work is done, speak to the experts at 1-855-349-9328, and determine which service plans are offered in your vicinity. Only then you can compare, and choose the one that is the closest fit for your streaming needs!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which internet provider is the best for live streaming?

AT&T and CenturyLink Fiber services are among the best for live streaming. You can also rely on Xfinity and Spectrum for Fiber-backed cable internet with downloads up to 1 Gig. To check which of the best internet streaming options are available at your address, call us at 1-855-349-9328.

Which internet speed is the best for streaming?

In general, you’ll need 3 Mbps for streaming SD video on one device, 5 Mbps for HD video, and 25 Mbps for 4K/UHD. Keep in mind these estimates are for a single stream, and are liable to change depending on the screen size. Plus the various popular streaming services do vary in terms of download speeds required for streaming on their platform.

Is 50 Mbps good enough for streaming?

Largely speaking, 50 Mbps download speed is enough for video streaming on 2-3 devices. But a number of factors can alter this, for example the choice of streaming platform, screen size, video quality, etc.

Is Xfinity good for streaming?

Xfinity from Comcast delivers one of the most reliable and fast services over the largest Gig speed network in the U.S. Speeds up to 1,200 Mbps are widely available in locations across its 36 service states. Xfinity Gigabit Pro offers up to 3,000 Mbps, but its availability is select.

Is 10 Mbps enough for one person streaming?

Yes. If you don’t want to view in 4K or UHD, 10 Mbps download speed is adequate for one person to stream video. Albeit, if you are used to keeping other devices connected at the same time, you may need to subscribe to a higher speed tier.