What Is a Good Upload Speed for Live Streaming?
A good Internet connection is crucial when you're live streaming on platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, Facebook etc. Even if you have the best content to share out there, if your audience starts seeing low quality, stuttering video, it's least likely they will follow / subscribe to your streams. And there's also the worse matter of buffering from your side... or even dropping out from the live stream. Would you follow somebody who would constantly have these issues while broadcasting live?
So you need the best internet for live streaming you can get. But what upload speed do you need to live stream?
If you're broadcasting video from home or from a studio and you have a good broadband connection, you should be fine. But there are very few who are so lucky. Find out what upload speed you need to live stream in any situation by reading this article.
Is 10 Mbps Upload Good for Streaming?
What upload speed do you need to live stream? Let's break this into smaller pieces in order to better understand.
Internet speed is measured by the download / upload pair of parameters. When service providers advertise their plans, they most likely share the download speed. That is important in general for activities such as:
- web browsing
- watching videos online, including streaming videos on platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC, etc.
- file transfers.
When you're into live streaming, the most important indicator for you is the upload speed the ISP can provide. Here are the recommended Internet upload speeds for live streaming on major platforms:
|HD 720p 30fps||3 Mbps||1.5 – 4 Mbps||0.4 – 1 Mbps|
|HD 720p 60fps||4.5 Mbps||2.25 – 6 Mbps||2.25 – 6 Mbps|
|FHD 1080p 30fps||4.5 Mbps||3 – 6 Mbps||3 – 6 Mbps|
|FHD 1080p 60fps||6 Mbps||4.5 – 9 Mbps||4.5 – 9 Mbps|
|QHD 1440p 30fps||6 – 13 Mbps|
|QHD 1440p 60fps||9 – 18 Mbps|
|4k 2160p 30fps||13 – 34 Mbps|
|4k 2160p 60fps||20 – 51 Mbps|
Just remember that these speeds are for live streaming only. As you will be using the same Internet connection for other stuff as well during your live streams - e.g. browsing, chatting, streaming videos - as a general rule, you should add at least 50% to the recommended upload speed above, just to be sure.
What Kind of Internet Connection Do You Need in Order to Stream?
The answer to this question depends on where you want to live stream from and what services you have available to you. Below is a brief general guide on connection types and their upload speeds / latency performance. You can get an idea of what to shoot for when you're asking yourself what upload speed you need to live stream. Please confirm with the Internet service providers in your area the available upload speed and typical latencies.
|Connection type||Typical upload speed||Typical latency||Recommended resolution for live streaming|
|Fiber Optic||250 - 1,000 Mbps||Lowest||Up to 4k @ 60 fps|
|Cable||5 - 50 Mbps||Low||Up to 4k @ 30 fps|
|DSL||1 - 10 Mbps||Low||Up to 1080p @ 30 fps|
|Cellular (4G / LTE)||Variable, up to 20 Mbps||Low||Up to 1440p @ 30 fps|
|Satellite||Variable, up to 38 Mbps||Highest||Up to 1440p @ 60 fps|
7 Steps to Get the Best Upload Speed for Live Streaming
Here are some tips you should follow to get the upload speed you need to live stream:
- Test your connection speed. Look at the upload speed. Is it enough for the video quality you want to stream at?
What to do: if the upload speed is lower than specified in the contract (read the fine print as well!) - contact your ISP. If it's not enough, then upgrade to a superior plan.
- Make sure your ISP doesn't throttle your upload traffic / streaming traffic.
- Check for data caps in the contract. As you're live streaming, you're using a lot of traffic. When you hit those caps, the download / upload speeds could significantly drop.
- If possible, always use wired connections when live streaming. This eliminates wireless interference and packet loss.
- Make sure no other devices on your network use the Internet upload bandwidth. This includes computers or mobile devices running backups or video calls at the same time when you're live streaming.
- Use up-to-date network equipment (routers, cellular adapters, etc.) and drivers, if you're live streaming from your computer. An older, not updated router may be the cause for low upload speeds and high latencies.
- Use all available Internet connections at once. Apart from your home / studio connection: tether a phone, use mobile hotspots, get a second connection installed - these are all options you can take into account. You'll also need a channel bonding app like the Speedify multipath VPN.
Speedify Helps You Get the Upload Speed You Need to Live Stream
Speedify is the only app that can combine multiple internet sources into one bonded super-connection for more stable and secure live streaming, video calling, and web browsing. It uses channel bonding technology and advanced encryption to provide fast, stable and secure Internet.
Here's how Speedify helps streamers everywhere get the best connectivity:
- evaluates your Internet connection and recommends a supported video quality for your live stream.
- prioritizes live streaming over other types of traffic.
- aggregates the upload speeds of the combined connections - it allows for live streaming at higher quality and higher framerates.
- delivers the lowest latency out of the combined connections.
- minimizes packet loss by automatically resending lost network packets - useful when using wireless connections such as Wi-Fi and cellular.
Speedify is cost-aware, prioritizing wired and Wi-Fi connections over cellular and other metered ones. And if one of your connections happens to drop, Speedify will seamlessly move the live streaming traffic to the other working connection(s), so you won't notice any quality issues.