What internet speed do you need for streaming Twitch?

Gamer in front of computer streaming on twitch with high speed internet

If you’re into gaming, you’ve undoubtedly already heard of Twitch. The live streaming service was launched in 2011 and now caters to gamers worldwide, broadcasting everything from music broadcasts to esports competitions.

Although the type of content found on Twitch is increasingly diverse, the streaming platform remains best known as a hub for gamers. Video gaming professionals stream themselves live on the platform, while passionate fans log on to view videos for entertainment purposes, pick up tips from experts in action and feel part of a community.

Minimum recommended internet speed for Twitch streaming

If you plan to stream via Twitch, you’ll want a minimum internet speed of 3 to 6 megabits per second (Mbps). Twitch provides guidelines for bitrate speed recommendations in relation to other factors, like your computer hardware, on this page. Note that Twitch guidelines are in kilobits per second (Kbps). For reference, 1,000 Kbps is equal to 1 Mbps.

The platform further explains some of the ways that bitrate impacts your gameplay by influencing factors like:

  • Buffering time
  • Connectivity consistency
  • High-definition video quality resolution (A high-resolution stream, such as 1080p, 60 frames per second, fps or frame rate, will require a higher bitrate.)

Most standard home internet connections should meet the bare minimum requirement of 3 Mbps. You can double-check your connectivity speed at home using an online internet speed test site. It will review a few key elements impacting your internet connectivity and reliability, including download speed, upload speed, and ping rate.

Ping rate refers to the rate at which your device receives a response from your internet connection after the device has sent a request. Ping rate can impact latency, the delay that occurs from the point when you take an action in a video game to the point that the action is conveyed on the screen. A lower ping rate means faster and more responsive play.

0–10 Mbps
  • Good for:
  •  Checking email
  •  Browsing websites
  •  Browsing social media
10–50 Mbps
  • Good for:
  •  Connecting multiple devices
  •  Streaming videos
  •  Online gaming for one player
50+ Mbps
  • Good for:
  •  Streaming videos in HD
  •  Online gaming for multiple users
  •  Video chatting with friends

While 3 Mbps should suffice for viewing, note that a higher bitrate is preferable if you’re planning to actively stream live. If you’re streaming, you’ll need to consider not only your download speed but also your upload speed. Upload speed refers to the rate at which your device transmits data to the relevant server, while download speed refers to the rate at which your device pulls data from the server.

Upload speed is especially critical if you’re playing a fast-paced online game with multiple players. You may find this minimal requirement puts you at a disadvantage in multi-player games due to increased lag time. In this case, you’ll likely want an optimal internet speed — for example, via fiber-optic cable. Read on to find out more about internet for gaming and this internet connection type.

Optimal internet speed for Twitch streaming

What does it take to ensure a smooth stream? In general, an internet speed of about 25 Mbps or above will be better to handle simultaneous gaming and streaming.

Note that the higher the bitrate you use, the more of your internet bandwidth you will use up. You can help safeguard bitrate capacity by decreasing overall bandwidth usage in other areas. For example, make sure that you don’t have any downloads, apps or games running in the background when you’re streaming.

Of course, if you share an internet connection with other people in your home, there will be other devices vying for valuable bandwidth at the same time. In this case, you’ll likely want to upgrade your internet package. Otherwise, you’ll quickly get frustrated competing for bandwidth once you get active on Twitch live video streams.

To ensure unimpeded connectivity for multiple devices under one roof, opt for fiber-optic internet. Find out why this is the best internet for gaming below.

Frontier ranked #1 in Best Internet Service Providers for Gaming of 2021

By US News & world report

The best internet for Twitch gaming and streaming

If you want to be fully confident in your Twitch streaming capacity and accommodate simultaneous streaming and gaming, there are even more powerful internet plans you can turn to. Frontier’s Fiber Internet service is one option. You’ll enjoy impressive internet speed capable range of up to 940 Mbps. Max speeds are wired speeds. WiFi speeds may vary. See performance details.

This rate is great for serious online gamers. If you play regularly, you know that every millisecond counts when it comes to competitive gaming. At this rate, your entire household’s entertainment needs should be met: You can have one person watching Netflix or Amazon Prime while another person is streaming videos on Twitch.

Why fiber-optic internet for Twitch

What makes Frontier’s Fiber Internet service so great? It’s all about the fiber-optic connection. Older internet technology, like DSL and cable, use copper wires to transfer data. In contrast, fiber-optic cables are made of glass filaments. They use light signals and lasers to transfer data and send signals, allowing for a much faster data exchange. Fiber-optic wires can also carry more data and aren’t susceptible to electromagnetic interference.

Given the distinct advantages, the fiber-optic market is anticipated to grow in the years to come. Forbes reports that research suggests that one fiber strand can carry upwards of 44 Tbps (terabits per second). That’s approximately 1 million times more efficient than the average American’s internet speed right now. While further development into fiber optics is needed, if you have the option to take advantage of this technology now, you can already reap the rewards.

Discover Frontier high-speed and Fiber Internet service availability in your area

With Frontier as your internet service provider, you can enjoy high-speed internet, allowing for unencumbered streaming with minimum interruption and lag time. You may already be able to benefit from Fiber Internet service in your area, giving you even faster internet connection speeds. Check your local availability using our online tool. It only takes a minute to see if super-fast fiber-optic connections are already accessible for you.