Breaking Bad, The Act of Killing, Sherlock, Skyfall, and every other amazing movie, TV show, and documentary on Netflix means nothing if your Netflix streaming bandwidth is poor.


If you are streaming with a Chromecast, PS3, Apple TV, or your trusty laptop, subpar bandwidth will quickly ruin your movie night. So before you get hooked up, test your Internet speed and learn the bandwidth requirements for Netflix streaming.

What Is an Internet Speed Test?

An Internet speed test allows you to check your bandwidth on any device. It incorporates HTML5 technology, so you don’t have to update your browser, download a separate mobile app, or install Flash. Also, because the speed test uses the latest in responsive design, it will fit any monitor, tablet, or mobile screen out there.

What Is the Most Optimal Netflix Streaming Bandwidth?

According to Netflix, the Internet speed you’ll need for downloads is as follows:

  • For any streaming at all, you’ll need a minimum of 0.5 megabits per second (Mbps), but Netflix recommends 1.5 Mbps.
  • For DVD quality, you will need 3.0 Mbps.
  • For HD quality, you will need 5.0 Mbps.
  • For Super HD and 3D (really!) quality, you’ll need around 7.0-12.0 Mbps.

You should probably look into getting at least 10 Mbps download speeds or higher at your home if you want to video stream. Even better is 20 Mbps or higher, but then you’re adding more cost to your monthly bill. Getting in between 10 Mbps and 20 Mbps is probably ideal.

So What Do I Do?

Now that you know what the required speeds are, check your Internet speed and compare. Remember, you can check your bandwidth with your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

1. Go to

2. Click “START” on the speed dial.

3. Your results will be displayed. This includes your download speed, upload speed, ping, IP address, and your internet service provider (ISP).

Happy streaming!

Photo credit: Twin Design /

Paul Williams
Paul Williams

Paul Williams brings a wide range of experiences to his writing. He worked extensively in technology, as a software engineer, technical writer, and now a technology writer. Known as the leader of one of the top American Spacerock bands, his forward-looking music continues to be heard all over the world.