How Much Internet Speed is Needed to Stream Your Favorite Apps?

Sometimes it's hard to know what internet speed you need. We get it. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know to feel confident you have the right speed. Each household has different needs based on how many people are on the internet, what they're using it for, and what devices they’re on. We'll go over:


What is Bandwidth and Mbps?

Before getting into how much speed you need, let's talk about a few terms you'll hear and how they relate. Bandwidth is the amount of information that can travel through your internet connection during a set period of time. Speed and bandwidth are generally used interchangeably and measured in bits per second (bps). Bits are tiny data units; Most commonly, we refer to Megabits (millions) per second (Mbps), or Gigabits (billions) per second (Gbps).

Recommended Speeds for Some of the Most Common TV Apps (per device)

Let’s review the recommended speeds for some of the most common TV apps. 

Type of Video Resolution Netflix Disney+ Prime Video
Standard Definition 1 Mbps* None provided 1 Mbps
High Definition 3-5 Mbps 5 Mbps 5 Mbps
4K or Ultra High Definition (UHD) 15 Mbps 25 Mbps None provided

*Netflix recommends a faster connection for improved video quality.

Hulu recommends 3 Mbps for Hulu's Streaming Library, 8 Mbps for live streams, and 16 Mbps for 4K content. Peacock recommends a minimum of 3 Mbps to enjoy their content and a speed of at least 8 Mbps for certain high-quality live events and ultra-HD premium content.

Keep in mind that streaming services adjust the video quality to give you the best possible stream based on your internet speed and device.

How Many Mbps Do I need?

As you review the recommendations streaming services provide, remember to consider how many devices you'll be using. You’ll also want to consider other online activities that use your internet connection. The FCC's Broadband Speed Guide estimates how many Mbps different online activities require. You can then add up your Mbps estimates to determine the total Mbps needed for your home.

What is Data Usage?

Something else you should consider when selecting your internet plan would be your data usage. Data usage is the amount of information transferred to and from your devices through your internet connection. Different online activities require different usage amounts. For example, downloading a movie will use more data than sending an email. You can use Sparklight's Data calculator to estimate your usage and calculate how much data you'll be using overall.

How Fast is My Internet?

Now that you have a rough estimate of how much speed you'll need, you can confirm what speed you're currently getting by running a Speed Test. Follow the step-by-step instructions for the most accurate results.

Updating My Speed

If your findings discover you’re running low on speed, it might be time to upgrade your speed. Sparklight customers can visit to upgrade today. To find out if Sparklight services are available in your area, visit With our variety of high-speed internet plans, you’ll be sure to find a plan that meets your needs.

Now that you have estimated how much speed you need to enjoy your favorite apps and have found the right internet plan, nothing can hold you back from enjoying all your favorite content. You can binge-watch your favorite show while the spouse watches their newly released comedy, and the kiddos watch their best-loved cartoons.