Streaming TV is easily one of the most common and relaxing forms of home entertainment. To get started on your streaming journey you’ll need to pick a streaming service or two and a quality streaming device to watch from.
However, while cutting the cord and switching to streaming, consumers tend to totally neglect their internet connection!
You’ll need a reliable high-speed internet connection too, to get started watching your favorite TV shows and movies in high definition or 4K resolution while avoiding buffering, pausing, and picture pixelation.
Top 5 National Internet Providers For Streaming TV
- Verizon Fios
- Google Fiber
- Charter Spectrum
- Comcast Xfinity
Our Recommended Internet Speeds For The Best Streaming Experience
Streaming services like Netflix, Go Latino TV, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video recommend a minimum of 5 Mbps internet speeds or higher to use their services. As you can see, streaming TV alone doesn’t require super-fast internet speeds.
It’s when you factor in all the other devices in your home and online activities they participate in that you’ll need to look for faster speeds.
To avoid major disappointment and typical streaming technical difficulties, we recommend subscribing to an internet plan with a minimum of 25 Mbps speeds.
Anything less isn’t even considered high-speed broadband internet by the Federal Communications Commission and won’t really be fast enough to sustain your household’s most basic internet needs.
Important Internet Plan Details To Lookout For
Not all internet plans are created the same. To get the most bang for your buck, here are some important internet plan details to look out for.
- No data caps: No data caps provide your household peace of mind. It’s no secret that streaming uses a ton of data. Subscribing to an internet plan with no data caps ensures you won’t get surprise charges on your monthly bill or worse, your internet shut off mid-billing cycle.
- No contracts: No contracts provide your household the freedom to switch to any internet provider you want when you want. Contracts lock you into subpar service that comes with hefty early termination fees if you switch before the end of your agreement.
- Price guarantees: most monthly rates are for a limited time only. Opt for an internet provider that will guarantee your price for a certain amount of time to avoid unknown price hikes.
Fiber Internet Is The Best For Streaming
There’s no debate that fiber internet is the best internet technology there is, therefore making it the best for streaming if you can get your hands on it.
Unfortunately, fiber internet is only accessible in urban and suburban areas, but if your local fiber internet provider will service your address, order it! We promise you won’t be disappointed.
Fiber internet regularly reaches speeds up to a gigabit, making it able to handle anything your family wants to do online outside of streaming TV.
Best Fiber Internet Providers
|Fiber Internet Provider||Estimated Monthly Price||Expected Download Speeds|
|Verizon Fios||$49.99/month to $89.99/month||300 Mbps to 940 Mbps|
|Google Fiber||$70/month to $100/month||1 Gbps to 2 Gbps|
|CenturyLink||$50/month to $70/month||100 Mbps to 940 Mbps|
|Metronet||$49.99/month to $89.99/month||100 Mbps to 1 Gbps|
|Optimum||$40/month to $180/month||300 Mbps to 5 Gbps|
|AT&T Fiber||$55/month to $80/month||300 Mbps to 1 Gbps|
|Windstream||$39.99/month to $169.99/month||500 Mbps to 5 Gbps|
|EarthLink Fiber||$59.95/month to $189.95/month||100 Mbps to 5 Gbps|
|Greenlight Networks||$50/month to $200/month||500 Mbps to 2 Gbps|
|Ziply Fiber||$20/month to $300/month||50 Mbps to 5 Gbps|
Cable Internet Is A Great Option For Streaming
If you can’t get fiber internet where you live, cable internet is still a great option for all of your streaming needs. Their download speeds are still impressive and luckily service is more widely accessible than fiber internet.
Although cable internet service was created in the 90s from existing coaxial cable TV lines not meant to transmit data in such a way the internet needs to, vast improvements have been made since.
Modem technology has evolved and cable providers like Charter Spectrum and Comcast Xfinity have beefed up their infrastructure in many areas nationwide to better accommodate today’s needs.
Best Cable Internet Providers
|Cable Internet Provider||Estimated Monthly Price||Expected Download Speeds|
|Charter Spectrum||$49.99/month to $89.99/month||300 Mbps to 1 Gbps|
|Comcast Xfinity||$19.99/month to $299.95/month||50 Mbps to 3 Gbps|
|WOW!||$9.99/month to $94.99/month||50 Mbps to 1.2 Gbps|
|Optimum||$40/month to $180/month||300 Mbps to 5 Gbps|
|Cox Communications||$49.99/month to $99.99/month||100 Mbps to 1 Gbps|
|Astound Broadband||$14.99/month to $59.99/month||50 Mbps to 1.2 Gbps|
|Sparklight||$50/month to $110/month||200 Mbps to 1 Gbps|
|Mediacom||$19.99/month to $59.99/month||100 Mbps to 1 Gbps|
|Atlantic Broadband||$39.99/month to $79.99/month||50 Mbps to 1 Gbps|
|Buckeye Broadband||$39.99/month to $79.99/month||200 Mbps to 600 Mbps|
Avoid DSL & Satellite Internet
While shopping for internet service specifically for streaming your favorite shows, just skip a step and avoid getting DSL or satellite internet if you can help it.
DSL internet will be far too slow for your needs. Even though many streaming services recommend internet speeds around 7 Mbps, they aren’t considering that the typical US household has 10+ connected devices.
They’re not lying though, you can stream on 7 Mbps internet speeds if you only had one device connected to your Wi-Fi, which is simply not realistic in the majority of homes today
Satellite internet is also a poor choice for serious streamers. However, it’s not because of insufficient speeds.
Satellite internet has made some huge improvements to the speeds they’re able to deliver. It’s a poor choice because you can blow through your data plan for the month in a matter of days.
While some satellite internet providers like HughesNet have no hard data caps, once you go over your data allotment, they won’t turn your internet off. They’ll throttle your speeds lower than what you can continue to stream until the next billing cycle.