Hulu states that most of their video streams at 480 Kbps or 700 Kbps, but recommend a bandwidth of 1 Mbps or higher. Some of their higher 480p videos stream at 1 Mbps and require a 1.5 Mbps downstream bandwidth for smooth playback.
YouTube lists a minimum of 500 Kbps of bandwidth as part of their system requirements, although we did not find any actual bandwidth specifications. In 2009 Whibb.com charted categories for performance, with the highest performance being in the 1 Mbps and higher range. An amazing bit of trivia we came across is the statistic of YouTube customers using as much bandwidth in 2007 as the entire Internet in 2000 itself, reflecting bandwidth requirements increase as time progresses and offerings online expand.
Netflix is a notorious “bandwidth hog” and Unplggd reports bandwidth requirements at 3.6 Mbps for movies.
1.5 to 3 Mbps seems a far way from saturating your 15 to 50 Mbps pipe in your home.
So how much speed do you really need? For the immediate future for those of us who simply browse the web and watch streaming videos, it doesn’t seem like you need more than a few Mbps download speeds. There are even tips and tricks to speed up your current connection. So our recommendation for now is to save your money. You can always upgrade down the line when streaming requirements start jumping up as technology and quality improves.
Are you happy with your internet connection or are you looking to upgrade to a faster one soon?