One of the most common questions we get is how much speed is enough?

### Quick summary:

10 Mbps: 1 HD video stream. Can watch a single Netflix or YouTube video in 1080p.

30 Mbps: 3-4 HD video streams, or 1 4K video stream.

60 Mbps: 8-10 HD video streams, or 2 4K video streams.

based on typical video streams. results may vary

## Background

Internet speed is a measurement of how much data can be transferred in a certain amount of time, typically measured in Megabits per second (Mbps1). We'll make reference to a water analogy to help with some of the concepts and give a visualisation. Speed is analogous to volume of water moved in a given time period.

Imagine a house being fed with a small water pipe. A smaller pipe means it will take longer to fill bathtubs, pools, sinks etc. If the pipe is too small, a shower may not have enough pressure to run acceptably, or there may be issues with running the shower while the washer is running.

Filling a bathtub is similar to downloading large files like operating system updates, game updates, etc. The shower is an example of streaming video from the likes of Netflix, YouTube, or Twitch. More pressure/volume means a bathtub will fill up faster, with no limit on how fast you can fill, while an increase will not affect the shower once the minimum is reached.

We can think of the showerhead as regulating the amount of pressure/volume required, and once the pipe feeding the house can supply that pressure/volume, any additional pressure is not being used. Of course, if there are two showers going simultaneously, there must be enough pressure/volume of water to serve both at the same time. This can be summarized as having enough pressure/volume to run all of the water using appliances that you could potentially use at the same time.

If there is only one person in this imaginary house, then enough pressure to run a single shower would be enough since it would be unlikely that two appliances are using water at the same time.

## Example usage

So what is the magical speed (volume/pressure) required for different applications? Keep in mind it's a good idea to have a bit of extra capacity in case someone else on the network is using the internet.

### Streaming video

Netflix recommends at least 5Mbps per HD video stream, or 25Mbps for 4K video, with YouTube having similar requirements.

### Video games

Faster speeds will help in the following cases:

10 Mbps11 hours
30 Mbps4 hours
60 Mbps2 hours

Less chance of 'lag' when playing real time online games. Lag is typically caused by others using a large part of the bandwidth, and the game traffic not being prioritized. This can be mitigated by better QoS implementations. Learn more: https://www.bufferbloat.net/projects/bloat/wiki/What_can_I_do_about_Bufferbloat/