The rise of streaming services: Can your internet keep up?

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The last few years have seen a shift in the way we consume entertainment. With online streaming services like Netflix and Lightbox now a staple in Kiwi homes, an internet connection that can keep up is more important than ever before.

What you’ll need to get started

Streaming services these days often appear as apps that are able to work with most TVs, mobile phones, gaming consoles and computers. So, you won’t need any special hardware to begin watching your favourite shows or listen to music online.

You do, however, need a relatively fast Internet connection speed. The higher the speed, the better videos look, as video quality improves with a faster and smoother Internet connection.

Network requirements

For video streaming services, the minimum download speed required is 5 Mbps, which will give your video a high definition quality, suitable for most TVs today.

Multiple users

While 3-5 Mbps is sufficient to watch TV shows and films online and at a decent quality, having multiple users utilising multiple devices at home, on the same connection, will affect your Internet speeds (or bandwidth).

To ensure there are no interruptions to your viewing experience, you should consider download speeds of at least 25 Mbps, which will not only provide you with better video quality, but also go around the issue of buffering and lag when there are other Internet users in the home.

Attempting to stream during peak traffic time (similar to prime TV viewing hours) could also affect your video quality, as would the connectivity of your modem’s Wi-Fi network.

Is your internet ready for these new streaming services? Compare providers with Canstar Blue

What broadband plan do I need?

While streaming is possible across ADSL, VDSL and Fibre plans, you’ll want to be on VDSL or Fibre in order to ensure a smooth viewing experience.

VDSL is the fastest broadband connection that can be provided through copper wiring. Your internet download speed can be between 15-70 Mbps, which is perfect for streaming video content. This will provide you with a smooth viewing experience that should not be affected by peak traffic times or multiple users.

Fibre, on the other hand, is an even faster broadband connection that utilises fibre optic cables. With Fibre connections, your download speed can go up to 1000 Mbps. This means that you no longer have to wait for your video to load to be able to begin watching.

Check your Internet speed here and consider whether you require VDSL or Fibre broadband connections.

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