Live streaming can take most of your Internet bandwidth. As a live streamer on Twitch or YouTube, maybe you wonder how fast your internet speed should be? Does it really need to be fast?
The truth is you don’t need fast internet speed to stream on Twitch and YouTube.
- How fast is Internet speed needed to live stream on Twitch?
- How to Check your Internet upload speed for Twitch Streaming
- Why upload speed matters when you live stream on Twitch
- What is a good Upload Speed for YouTube live Streaming?
- Recommended Internet speed to watch a stream on Twitch
- Why you should use Fiber-Optic Internet for Twitch Streaming
- Can you use Starlink to live stream on Twitch?
- Should You Live Streaming on Twitch with a WI-FI Connection?
- How to get higher upload speed for streaming on Twitch
How fast is Internet speed needed to live stream on Twitch?
According to Twitch, to live stream on at the recommended setting of 720p 60 fps, the streamer needs to have an upload speed of more than 5mbps. If you want to stream with the best stream quality at 1080p 60fps, streamers need to have at least 8Mbps of upload Internet speed. I recommend having an upload speed above 8Mbps to live stream optimally on Twitch
Most people in the USA and EU have passed this minimum requirement even on the mobile Internet connection.
According to Fair Internet Report data:
- The average USA Internet speed is 35Mbps in 2020.
- The average EU Internet speed is around 28Mbps
- The fastest Internet speed in the EU belong to Denmark and Switzerland, with an average speed of 120 Mbps
- The Slowest Internet speed in the EU belong to Italy, with an average upload rate of 12Mbps
From the above data, we can see that most people in the USA and EU can easily pass the internet speed requirement to stream on Twitch
Even Italy, with the slowest average internet speed, can still let you stream on 720p 60fps.
Although more factors can still influence your connection, the most crucial factor is what connection type is used for the internet. The type of internet connection can influence your download and upload internet speed, causing the reduction of potential bandwidth of your Internet. Cable and fiber optic typically offers more stable internet and faster upload speed than connection using WIFI, DSL and satellite
The other problem is the unequal distribution between the download speed and upload speed. ISPs (Internet Service Providers) usually only focus on the download speed on their internet packages. It’s rate to get ISP that provide 1:1 distribution of download and upload speed on your internet
Not only that, the availability of bandwidth is essential. In a nutshell, if your bandwidth is reduced, then your typical internet speed will be reduced.
Most people shared their Internet with the family so that the Internet bandwidth will be divided between various connected devices. Make sure that your Internet upload speed is at least doubled from the requirement to make sure you can stream without any bandwidth problem
There will be frequent dropped frames on your stream if you don’t have enough bandwidth (basically, too many people use the same Internet you used). Your viewer will leave your channel if your stream frequently skips frames and lose connection.
What is the minimum upload speed to Livestream on Twitch?
The minimum upload speed for live streaming on Twitch is 3 Mbps with stream setting at 720p 30fps. This is the lowest Mbps needed to stream on Twitch. Even though technically you can lower the resolution, most Twitch users won’t watch less than HD stream quality. So streamers need to have at least 3 Mbps upload internet speed to ensure they can live stream on Twitch
As long you choose to lower your stream resolution and framerate, you can still stream with low-speed Internet
The stream’s quality is determined by what encoding you choose, stream resolution, framerate, video quality, and bitrate.
If you choose the wrong stream quality and resolution, your viewers can’t see and hear you on your stream. So your time spent on streaming will be wasted if you don’t have fast enough internet speed.
Can you stream on Twitch with an Internet speed of 10 Mbps
You can stream with a 10 Mbps internet connection on Twitch as long the upload speed is above 3mbps. Some ISP offers reduced upload speed on their budget 10 Mbps plan, so it won’t be possible to stream on Twitch with their internet plan.
Is 3G,4G and 5G connection enough to live stream on Twitch?
4G & 5G mobile plans are enough if you want to live stream on Twitch using your smartphone’s internet data plan. You can still use 3G to live stream on Twitch because some providers offer an upgraded 3G plan with an upload speed above 20 Mbps. 2G is unusable on Twitch
Live streaming on Twitch will absorb most of your data plan because the stream is uploaded to the Twitch server in every second. Unlike Fiber Optic and Cable connections, cellular connections are more suspective to packet loss and internet speed variance over time.
If you use a budget smartphone, their CPU usually can’t handle streaming at a longer period of time, which can result in frame drops, stuttering and forced closing of your Twitch app
If you use 3G, check your Internet speed first because not all 3G plans offer high upload internet speed
Now that you know the requirement for Internet speed to stream on Twitch, the next step is to check whether your Internet speed is fast enough to stream on Twitch.
How to Check your Internet upload speed for Twitch Streaming
To check your internet upload speed, you can use services like Speed Test and Google Speed Test. It can scan both your Internet download and upload speed.
Just type “Internet Speed Test” on the google search, and the first two results will show you a link from Google Internet Speed Test Tool and SpeedTest.net
I suggest testing your internet speed using both services because each of them has their own advantage
How to check Internet speed at SpeedTest.net
- Open Speed Test at: Speedtest.net
- Click Go at the center of the screen
Speedtest.net will automatically choose the region the closest city or country you currently are to have more accurate results.
You can use other similar services on Fast.com and speed.io
How to Check Speed at Google Speed Test
From the top of the Google search result, click “Run Speed Test”, and wait for a while. It will show you the result of the test of your download and upload speed.
Why upload speed matters when you live stream on Twitch
When you stream, you send the video of what happened on your PC screen to the Twitch server. The recording of your PC is done by the streaming software you used (for example: OBS)
Upload speed matters more for Twitch streamers because the upload speed defines how fast you can send your stream data to the Twitch server. Then Twitch will send the data of your stream to your stream viewers.
If you have higher internet upload speed, then you can send more data to Twitch, which means streaming at higher quality is possible
So what about Download speed? Does it matter to Twitch streamers?
Yes, it still matters. As a streamer, Twitch will send you the data of stream consist of:
- The viewer that chats in your chat room
- Emotes data in the chat room
- Bits, Donation and Subscription notification
So, Download speed still matters, but not as crucial as upload speed to Twitch streamers.
What is a good Upload Speed for YouTube live Streaming?
Because YouTube offers higher stream resolution on their platform, you need to have a faster upload speed than Twitch recommendation. Live streaming at 720p 30fps required an upload speed of at least 5Mbps. If you want to live stream at 1080p 60fps, streamers need to have at least 10Mbps of upload Internet speed. So you need to aim for at least 10Mbps upload speed to live stream on Youtube
Because it’s possible to stream at 1440p and 4k on YouTube, what is the number we should aim for?
- 1440p 60fps: 15 Mbps
- 4k 30fps: 30-40 Mbps
- 4k 60fps: 50-75 Mbps
Keep in mind your recorded stream quality can influence the size of your stream. If you stream Cyberpunk at 1440p 60fps with Ultra Graphic setting, then the size of your stream will be larger than streaming a digital art drawing at 4k.
Recommended Internet speed to watch a stream on Twitch
To watch a stream on Twitch, you need to have at least 5 Mbps download speed on your Internet. Most people with 3G, 4G and household WI-FI connections can easily pass the requirement
To make it easier, if you can watch YouTube and Netflix at HD resolution (720p), then your Internet speed is enough to watch the stream on Twitch
Why you should use Fiber-Optic Internet for Twitch Streaming
Internet from Fiber-Optic connect is the best internet setup for Twitch streamers and YouTubers.
Because Fiber-Optic connection offers the fast internet upload speed with the highest bandwidth available compared to using WI-FI, broadband and satellite connection
I recommend using Fiber Optic if it possible because it let you stream at higher resolution with minimal shutter and frame skip from pocket loss
Can you use Starlink to live stream on Twitch?
Starlink has been hyped by Elon Musk because this lets people in any area, including remote places to get Internet access from the Starlink satellite
If you live in a remote area without any access of internet cable, fiber optic and 4G coverage, then Starlink will be the only choice for you
According to CNBC, Starlink offers an upload speed of more than 20 Mbps, so it should be easy to stream on Twitch using Starlink, right?
Sadly, Starlink have a problem on maintaining stability on their Internet connection. Because it’s satellite internet connection, packet loss will occur frequently.
The disadvantage of using Starlink for live streaming on Twitch is:
- It’s expensive
- Unstable stream because of the high occurrence of packet loss
- Still a test product
But the only problem with Starlink is the connection are not stable.
Should You Live Streaming on Twitch with a WI-FI Connection?
There would be no problem if you decided to live stream on Twitch using a WI-FI Connection. Most gamers and Streamers use WI-FI for their internet. But WI-FI connection will lead to higher packet loss and lower maximum download and upload speed compared to a wired connection. It’s better to set up a wired connection than using WI-FI for streaming
Most people use a combination of internet cable and WI-FI to connect to the Internet in their home. Because the Internet is shared, some of you may in a position where having wired connection are not possible
While using wired internet, especially fiber-optic, is the best option for Twitch streamers, you can still use wireless connection or WI-FI for live streaming on Twitch.
Indeed, there is higher packet loss because of the stress of using wireless connections continuously on your WI-FI device. We can counter this by buying a flagship router for your streaming setup
How to get higher upload speed for streaming on Twitch
1. Get a Wired Connection
Even though many Twitch streamers use a Wi-Fi connection to stream their content, but a wired connection is always the best choice if you want a shutter free live streaming experience on Twitch.
More stability and faster internet speed can bring you a better stream quality without doing any extra work
2. Contact your ISP to check any problem on your internet device
Sometimes, the modem and router that came from ISP experience trouble after being used for years. It’s not a bad idea to contact your ISP to check if the issue on the internet is caused by a malfunction from the modem and router or not.
3. Reduce the device connected to the same network to reduce Bandwidth leak
If too many devices are connected to the same network at the same time, then the bandwidth will be divided unequally across all devices
If you don’t use your wireless printer, no need to connect the printer with your router. Just disconnect it to reduce bandwidth leak on your network
4. Do Malware and Virus scan on your PC
In some cases, malware and virus can stealthily cause trouble on your internet device or computer. It’s better to periodically scan your computer with anti-virus software to make sure that everything is alright on your PC
5. Upgrade your Internet plan (If possible)
The upload speed you get depends on what ISP’s packages you choose on your internet plan. It’s common for ISP to cap the upload speed on the lower tier plan
If you need to improve the upload speed at all costs, the only choice is to upgrade your internet plan. By upgrading your internet plan, you can get a faster upload speed, a more stable internet connection, and a better overall live streaming experience on Twitch.
Of course, this will increase your internet bills, and you should only do this if you have extra money to spend on. If you want to upgrade your internet plan, you can contact your ISP’s customer service team first to find out what’s the best option for you