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What broadband speed do I need to stream Netflix in 4K?

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Last updated: 16 February 2022

Watching video content online has become the nation’s favourite way to unwind, and streaming giants have complied with a dizzying array of series and films in ever-improving resolution. 

With a Premium subscription to Netflix, which currently costs £13.99 per month, you can watch the platform's content in 4K. But you’ll need an internet connection fast enough to handle that amount of data. 

Netflix suggests a minimum download speed of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) to view content in 4K or Ultra HD. In contrast, you only need a minimum speed of 5Mbps to watch in high definition (HD) and can get by with 3Mbps if you’re viewing in standard definition (SD).

That means you’ll need superfast fibre-optic broadband to watch your favourite Netflix shows in crystal-clear 4K. A slower ADSL connection, with average download speeds of 10-11Mbps, won’t cut it.

But note that broadband speed refers to the amount of data your connection can receive in a second, and that bandwidth will be divvied up among all devices using your internet. That means if your household wants to watch Netflix in 4K on two different screens - Premium subscriptions allow up to four devices simultaneously - you’ll need a minimum speed of 50Mbps. 

With a speed that’s just 25Mbps, you’ll struggle to seamlessly stream in 4K if anyone else is using the internet, especially if they’re doing data-intensive tasks like gaming or streaming.

So, for a two-person household, 50Mbps should be the minimum download speed you aim for to watch Netflix in 4K. Large households may want over 100Mbps.


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Lauren Smith

Author: Lauren Smith

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