6 Mbps internet speed fast enough for Netflix

Online video streaming services place the power in your hands to decide what you want to watch from wherever on any internet-enabled device. This is a great way to spend your free time without having to wait for a DVD to be shipped to your address.

Netflix is a popular online video streaming service without contracts containing a wide range of videos. No one streaming a video online would fancy a video buffering. This, however, isn’t Netflix’s fault but your internet speeds. You need a fast internet connection to see you through the entire streaming session. With a variety of internet speeds provided by ISPs, is 6 Mbps fast enough for Netflix streaming?

A 6 Mbps internet speed is fast enough for Netflix depending on the video quality that you wish to stream. It’s fast enough for playing video qualities of up to High-Definition (HD).

The minimum required speed for streaming on Netflix is 500 Kbps while the recommended streaming speed is 1.5 Megabits per second. If you wish to stream Standard Definition videos (SD), then you should have an internet speed of at least 3 Megabits per second. For High Definition (HD) video quality, 5 Megabits per second will do the job. To stream Ultra High Definition quality videos on Netflix, you require internet speeds of at least 25 Megabits per second.

Video
Internet speeds
Minimum internet speed
500 Kbps/s
Recommended speeds
1.5 Mbps/s
Standard Definition (SD)
3 Mbps/s
High-Definition (HD) streaming
5 Mbps/s
Ultra High-Definition (HD) streaming
25 Mbps/s

To stream Netflix in high definition, make sure that your subscription plan covers HD. You can set your streaming video quality setting to either ‘Auto’ or ‘High’. As long as your internet speeds are at least 5 Mbps/s or higher, your titles will always play in HD.

Check your internet speeds

If you don’t know what internet speeds you’ve signed up for, then it’s good to check your connection speeds. Also, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will throttle your bandwidth when you exceed your monthly data cap if your plan has one. You can check this speed right from the Netflix app by navigating to Settings on your home screen. If you don’t see a gear icon, then unfortunately your device doesn’t support the feature. Next, select ‘Check your network’ and then Netflix will check if you can access the internet and able to reach Netflix servers, and also check your internet speeds. Once the test is complete, you should be able to see your internet speeds. Check it against the recommended Netflix speeds above. If you notice your speeds are slower than expected, and then reach out to your ISP customer care for assistance.

Alternatively, you can check your internet speeds by visiting Fast.com on your browser and running the test then compare the results with the required speeds.

How do I manage Netflix data consumption?

Videos with higher quality consume more bandwidth compared to lower quality videos on not only Netflix but also on other streaming sites. For example, if your data plan has a data cap or your bandwidth has been throttled, then managing your bandwidth usage will save you. Netflix offers 4 data usage settings including Low, medium, high, and Auto. Low consumes 300 MB per hour, SD 700 MB per hour; High uses 3 GB per hour for HD videos and 7 GB for Ultra HD videos. With Auto, it adjusts automatically giving you the best possible quality.

Web

On the Netflix home screen, go to the Account page and select a profile name from ‘Profile & Parental Controls’. Click on ‘Change for Playback settings’ and select your preferred data usage setting. Save the changes and then wait for at 8 hours for the change to take effect.

Mobile

On Mobile, Netflix offers 4 settings too to choose from – Automatic, Wi-Fi only, Save Data, and Maximum Data. Automatic uses about a GB of data for 4 hours of watching, Save Data consumes about a GB of data for 6 hours of watching, and Maximum Data may consume as much as 1 GB per 20 minutes of watching. To adjust these settings, launch the Netflix app on your phone and tap on Profile or menu then select ‘App Settings’. Navigate to ‘Video Playback’ and under it, select ‘Cellular Data Usage’ and finally select your preferred settings.

FAQs

Is 2 Mbps fast enough for Netflix?

Yes, 2 Mbps is fast enough for Netflix. Netflix recommends speeds of 1.5 Mbps.

What happens to my mobile app if I already have set my Netflix data usage?

If you have already set your Netflix data usage, then when streaming Netflix on a mobile device won’t exceed this setting.

Why is my ‘preferred data setting’ grayed out?

The setting is grayed out if you have any pending downloads. To activate it, call all the pending downloads first or wait for them to finish before proceeding.

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