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How much Internet speed to stream Youtube/Netflix without online game lag?

Last response: in Video Games
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May 6, 2013 9:30:20 PM

Hey all,

Just came back home for the summer, where the Internet speed is not what I want. At college I could watch Youtube while my roommate streamed Netflix and Spotify, and I could play League of Legends without a hitch.

Here at home, one person streaming a Youtube video (not even in HD) skyrockets my ping to about 400 and online games become unplayable.

I'm looking into bumping up my Internet speed here at home for the summer. We use CenturyLink DSL, and the speed options are:

1.5 Mbps (our current speed)
3.0 Mbps
10.0 Mbps

Would upgrading to 3.0 Mbps allow streaming of Youtube/Spotify/Hulu (not all at the same time) while simultaneously gaming online without lag/high ping?
May 6, 2013 9:46:53 PM

3.0 is really slow by today standards and I feel for those who can't go above it.

3.0 Mbps is like 384kbps download speed, so no, it's not fast enough. You should go with the 10Mbps, check alternative providers for what they are offering too.
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May 6, 2013 10:09:10 PM

you need 5-7 for full HD without lag while surfing the net. I have 20 down / 2 up and have 2 PC's gaming and stream Netflix on my Wii all at the same time without lag. Keep this in mind though the Wii does not support HD though.
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May 6, 2013 10:12:56 PM

Keep in mind that when you buy a certain speed that is "peak" you never see peak. here's some of my results this evening (1 am).... low congestion time .... you get lower speeds during peak usage times.

source download speed Mbps / upload speed Mbps

testmyspeed.com 15.53 / 5.21
speedtest.net 50.66 / 8.36
bandwidthplace 34.44 7.78
speakeasy 44.91 / 8.06

12 PC's on network, cupla phones, netflix on console, 5 TVs
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May 6, 2013 10:23:38 PM

edogawa said:
3.0 is really slow by today standards and I feel for those who can't go above it.

3.0 Mbps is like 384kbps download speed, so no, it's not fast enough. You should go with the 10Mbps, check alternative providers for what they are offering too.


Your completely offbase, his bandwidth is more than adequate for most gaming. Bandwith is how much data can transfer at anyone moment. LAG or Latency is how long it takes to get from point A to point B. If you had google fiber, it won't do miracles if you were in the middle of Kansas and was connecting to a server in Cape Town South Africa.

In fact, I just ran a speed test on my lousy connection.
Speedtest to a server several hundred miles away in Florida
40ms, 8.76mbps down, 3.95 upload
Speedtest to a server in Cape Town South Africa
288ms, 2.40Mbps down, 1.91 Upload

Playing WoW, the traffic barely registers on my PC. Running around a populated city would run about .02MBps and would spike on a teleport to another zone to 1MBps. He doesn't need more bandwith if his game doesn't make out his bandwidth. What he needs is QOS of some sort to prioritize game traffic and handling over video streaming.

I use a KillerNIC and there are other options out there. But I dictate to my card my games have absolute priority on traffic and can allocate 100% of my maximum bandwidth if needed. Google Chrome on the other hand is restricted to 90% of my maximum bandwith and is 2nd tier priority. I'm streaming a 1080p video on youtube without increasing my in game latency by 1ms. Turn off my application control and my latency almost triples to 140.

If his game requires less bandwith than his maximum, then he just has to prioritize traffic for the game with everything else having the leftovers.
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May 6, 2013 10:40:06 PM

valkain said:
edogawa said:
3.0 is really slow by today standards and I feel for those who can't go above it.

3.0 Mbps is like 384kbps download speed, so no, it's not fast enough. You should go with the 10Mbps, check alternative providers for what they are offering too.


Your completely offbase, his bandwidth is more than adequate for most gaming. Bandwith is how much data can transfer at anyone moment. LAG or Latency is how long it takes to get from point A to point B. If you had google fiber, it won't do miracles if you were in the middle of Kansas and was connecting to a server in Cape Town South Africa.

In fact, I just ran a speed test on my lousy connection.
Speedtest to a server several hundred miles away in Florida
40ms, 8.76mbps down, 3.95 upload
Speedtest to a server in Cape Town South Africa
288ms, 2.40Mbps down, 1.91 Upload

Playing WoW, the traffic barely registers on my PC. Running around a populated city would run about .02MBps and would spike on a teleport to another zone to 1MBps. He doesn't need more bandwith if his game doesn't make out his bandwidth. What he needs is QOS of some sort to prioritize game traffic and handling over video streaming.

I use a KillerNIC and there are other options out there. But I dictate to my card my games have absolute priority on traffic and can allocate 100% of my maximum bandwidth if needed. Google Chrome on the other hand is restricted to 90% of my maximum bandwith and is 2nd tier priority. I'm streaming a 1080p video on youtube without increasing my in game latency by 1ms. Turn off my application control and my latency almost triples to 140.

If his game requires less bandwith than his maximum, then he just has to prioritize traffic for the game with everything else having the leftovers.


Actually, bandwidth can make a (small) difference to lag. Stuff will get stuck in the queue behind the video, and have to wait a while extra. Shouldn't be much though, but I suppose I could try testing it.

Also, while it may be enough bandwidth for gaming, it's useless for video streaming. QoS on the local machine won't help unless the person watching videos is being fed internet through your computer. It would need to be in the router, and you would then piss everyone else off.

EDIT: Also, many routers have QoS that prioritises video streaming traffic in them.
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May 6, 2013 11:43:25 PM

Valkain, did you even read what he asked?

He wants to be able to game while someones watching HD content on another PC. A download speed of 3.0mbps which is 384kbps is hardly adequate. I used to have a slow internet connection like that 4 years ago and gaming while someone else used the internet(video) alone caused latency issues. Today with so many high-bandwidth services becoming more and more available 3.0 is hardly adequate.

People use those killerNIC gimmicks?
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May 7, 2013 12:23:47 AM

I wouldn't call either 1.5 or 3 Mb/s adequate for streaming anyway...

Agree on the gimmick comment.
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May 7, 2013 12:34:26 AM

Someone Somewhere said:
I wouldn't call either 1.5 or 3 Mb/s adequate for streaming anyway...

Agree on the gimmick comment.


Definitely true that neither are adequate. XD

The change from dial up to 1.5 was huge for me back then, then the move to 30mbps was awesome several years ago.
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May 7, 2013 12:43:16 AM

Yeah, I'm currently on standard Chorus-provided ADSL2+ through Snap (I'm in NZ), and get about 10Mb/s. Damn old copper loop - I'm only about 700m from the exchange. Then again, FTTN was supposed to bring 10Mb/s+ speeds to >80% of people, and I'm just a little too close to the exchange to be put on a cabinet.

Waiting for fibre here - should be a year or two.

Back on topic, even 10Mb/s is pushing it for streaming at times.
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