One of the most important parts of cord-cutting is, of course, your internet speed. Video requires data, and the faster the better. First, broadband is key. Dial-up internet (which still exists more than anyone would like to admit) is a nonstarter. You need proper high-speed internet for a real cord-cutting experience.
But maybe you don't have too many options where you live. Maybe it's been a while since you've looked at your internet plan and you need to upgrade.
Each service has different requirements and recommendations for what's needed to make moving pictures, well, move. Data speed is listed in megabits per second. (Not megabytes per second. They're different.)
Here's what Netflix says it needs to get things done:
- 0.5 Mbps: This is the required broadband connection speed. It's the bare minimum.
- 1.5 Mbps: This is the recommended broadband connection speed. It's still not considered "fast" or anything, but it'll put things on your screen.
- 3.0 Mbps: This is the speed Netflix says you'll need to get standard-definition quality video. That is, 480p video.
- 5.0 Mbps: This is what you'll need for high-definition — 720p and up — video.
- 25 Mbps: If you want UHD (that is, 4K) quality, this is the sustained speed you'll need to see.
Netflix actually has its own service for measuring your broadband speed. Just hit up Fast.com (or use the Android or iOS app and let it do its thing. And if you want to see how Netflix speeds in your country compare to the rest of the world (because why wouldn't you want to do that, right?) hit up ISPSpeedIndex.netflix.com.
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