What is the minimum internet speed to watch 4K videos?

Internet speed is a very important factor for our day to day on the network. It is necessary to have good resources to be able to download files, open a website, use the cloud… But it is also necessary to view streaming content. So what internet speed do you need to watch a 4K movie? We are going to talk about it in this article and we will give some tips to make the most of the connection.

Minimum speed to watch videos in high quality

the minimum internet speed to watch 4K videos

It is not the same to see a streaming video file in low quality, such as 480p, than to see it in high quality, such as 4K. This is something you can check when watching a video on YouTube, Netflix or any platform. If the speed is not good and you are going to watch a series in high quality, continuous cuts may appear.

If we focus on watching movies in 4K, which we can say is a very good image quality and is increasingly used by users and by different platforms, you will have to have a good Internet connection. The exact speed will depend on the use you give to the network, since it is not the same to be only using a computer to watch a movie, than the fact of having more devices connected at the same time and downloading files, for example.

But if we think of optimal circumstances, in which we are only going to use a computer to watch a series or movie in 4K, the minimum speed you need is 25 Mbps . It is in fact what platforms like Netflix recommend to be able to watch content without errors appearing.

Trucos para mejorar la velocidad de Internet

Does this mean that if you have an optical fiber of 100 or more Mbps you will be able to watch movies in 4K without cuts? No, since it will depend on other factors:

  • The actual speed that reaches the device
  • Bandwidth usage by other computers
  • Applications on that same computer that may be consuming resources

Differences in speed according to quality

We have focused on how much speed is needed to watch a 4K movie over the Internet as it is quite common nowadays. We have seen that you are generally going to need at least 25 Mbps dedicated for that video. We are talking about that every hour you are going to have to download approximately 6-8 GB of data.

However, the difference is quite large if we compare between the different image qualities. If we go down a step to HD 1080p , which is also very common to find, the speed could basically be divided by 4. That is, in this case, having 5-7 Mbps is going to be more than enough to watch a movie without appearing cuts.

Even if we go even lower to 720p , you will not need more than 2-3 Mbps. It is more than enough to watch streaming movies from almost any device and connection today, since currently we usually have speeds much higher than that figure.

Therefore, you will need more or less speed depending on the quality of the video you are going to watch. If it’s 4K content, the speed should be at least 25 Mbps. But of course, if beyond just watching a movie you’re going to be using another device at the same time, then you’ll need more. It will depend on what additional use that connection has.

The problem appears on mobile connections

Having 25 Mbps to watch 4K movies at home, using your computer, is quite common. We can say that a standard speed today in Spain is to have 300 Mbps symmetric fiber optics. Even if we go for the lowest version, which could be 50 Mbps, it would be more than enough.

But of course, the problem is that today we don’t always watch movies and series at home, but instead use a mobile phone or tablet . You may use mobile data or even use some Wi-Fi network. In both cases you will be able to have problems reaching those 25 Mbps and being able to watch 4K movie content in Streaming without cuts.

If we focus on mobile data , by using technologies such as 4G or 5G we will be able to go from 100 Mbps without much difficulty. Of course, as long as the coverage is correct. It is not uncommon to find ourselves inside a building where the coverage that arrives is very limited and we hardly exceed 20 Mbps. In these cases, it will be very difficult to be able to watch movies in 4K without the dreaded cuts appearing.

Something similar can happen with the use of Wi-Fi . Perhaps the speed that reaches you is not adequate because you are too far from the access point or even the network card you use cannot support that much speed. In those cases you will also encounter problems to watch videos in the highest quality.

Mejorar velocidad al usar un Wi-Fi público

What to do if you have no speed for 4K videos

So what should you do if there is not enough speed to watch 4K movies? In that case, you would have to carry out some steps with which you could be able to watch that movie or series for which you are having problems. There are different methods and you will be able to use them on platforms such as Netflix or YouTube.

Lower the video quality

The first option that you will have available is to lower the quality of the video. We have previously explained that the difference between the speed required to watch a movie in 4K and one in, for example, 1080p is very large. However, if, for example, you are going to watch a video on your mobile or computer, you will not really notice so many differences.

Therefore, if you see that the video you are watching is cut because it does not have the minimum 25 Mbps that you will need more or less to see in 4K quality, you can always reduce the quality. If you watch that movie in 1080p, you’re just going to need 5-7 Mbps, which is much more affordable for today’s connections even if you don’t have good coverage or lots of computers using the network at the same time.

Pre-download the movie

Another option, something that is also available on many platforms to watch movies and series in Streaming, is to previously download the video. It is very useful when you are going to be away from home without a wireless connection and not have to use up your mobile data, but it will also help you to watch that video in high quality without interruptions.

Logically, the download time will depend on the connection you have. It’s a matter of you calculating when you’re going to need to watch that movie in 4K and put it to download or use connections that work better so you don’t have problems when you think you’re going to be in a place with worse bandwidth.

Switch to a higher network

You may also consider switching to a network that works better. If, for example, you want to watch a video from your mobile and you see that mobile data does not offer a speed that exceeds those 25 Mbps to watch a movie in 4K, you can always look for a Wi-Fi network when it is available and see if in this way improve quality.

If you are at home and you find that there are problems with the movie not cutting, you can try connecting via cable instead of Wi-Fi or even change the Wi-Fi band that you are using. In this case, to achieve the best speed and reduce the problems that may appear, the ideal is that you connect to the 5 GHz band.

In short, as we have explained, you will need a bandwidth of at least 25 Mbps to be able to watch a movie in 4K without cuts appearing. We have also shown some tips in case the speed is not enough and to be able to watch streaming content without the dreaded cuts appearing and having problems. It is something that you can apply in services such as Netflix, HBO and the like.