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Published on August 28th, 2019 | by Sunit Nandi

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Streaming Services and Home Broadband: How Much Data Do You Need?

Whether it’s movies and TV shows or the latest game titles, these days barely anyone buys physical copies of things, choosing instead to either digitally download or, even more commonly, stream their favourite media. Of course, this can all take its toll on your home broadband package, which is why it is important that you know how much data you will need each month, so that you can choose the right package for your needs.

Streaming Movies and TV Shows

Whatever your choice of provider is, from the original and still reigning king of them all, Netflix, to the increasingly popular Amazon Prime, it’s safe to say that most people use streaming services to binge their favourite movies and TV shows. So, exactly how much data will you need to avoid any lagging, buffering, or other such issues?

The minimum connectivity speed required for Netflix, for example, is 3Mbps, or 5Mbps if you prefer to watch your favourite shows in HD. If you really want to commit to quality and prefer to stream in Ultra HD, then you’ll need a broadband speed of 25Mbps for Netflix, with the same applying for Amazon Prime Video. Happy to stick to the free streaming options? Well, in that case you’ll be pleased to hear that you will only need a broadband speed of 1.5Mbps for BBC iPlayer, or 2.8Mbps for HD quality on the service

Streaming Games and Online Games

With an estimated 32.4 million gamers in the UK alone, it’s safe to say that both online gaming, and the streaming of games, has become a popular pastime indeed. As any one of those millions of gamers will know all too well, your play time can really put a strain on your internet, and massively affect the speed of your broadband connection, if you do not have the right packaged. In order to either stream games, or play online multiple ones, you will require not only a large monthly data allowance, but also an internet connection that offers the fastest upload speeds, along with the download speeds most consumers tend to look for.

So, what are your options? The most popular type of home broadband connection remains ADSL, as it is widely available, and offered by all providers on the market which keeps package priced competitive. Ideally you will want to look for an ADSL package that offers unlimited monthly data usage, so you can stream games to your heart’s content.

If you go above and beyond casual gaming, however, then you’ll want to explore the option of investing in a fibre home broadband package instead. Capable of handling much higher volumes of traffic and offering incredible speed, fibre cable internet connection is also far more stable. This means that the likelihood of lagging, or packet loss is far less likely to happen during a crucial moment.

As with online streaming services that allow you to watch your favourite shows and movies, how you choose to connect will affect the minimum download speeds required for online gaming, or streaming of different titles. In this case, the providers are the console makers themselves, so the download speed you require will largely be determined by which gaming console you already own. PC and Mac gamers will need the highest minimum download speed, requiring 3-6 Mbps. Xbox One users will need around 3 Mbps, while those who game using a PlayStation 4 console are estimate to need a download speed of around the same.

In conclusion, when it comes to streaming service and how much data you will need, it all depends on not only what you are planning on streaming, but also which service you choose to use.

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About the Author

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.



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