The best broadband for streamingon September 22, 2022 at 13:46 Tech Advisor

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Are you a regular binger of Netflix? Do you want the best quality pictures from your 4K device? Do you want to avoid any nasty buffering issues? If the answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes, then you’ll need the right broadband to match. 

We’ve sifted through the leading UK providers to find the best internet for streaming to get the best speeds, pictures and quality. If you’d like a more holistic view, we have a buying guide to choosing the right broadband for you, which takes into account other things such as costs and the different types of internet. 

What internet speeds are needed for streaming?

Whilst most basic plans from streaming companies don’t require the fastest internet, Full HD content and simultaneous streaming is another story. If you’ve got numerous people in your household who’ll be streaming in 4K every evening, fast broadband will be a necessity to ensure that there are no loading issues.  

In terms of what each of the streaming providers needs – Netflix recommends a minimum speed of 25Mbps for 4K content, as does Amazon Prime Video. The most demanding recommended downloading speeds comes from YouTube and some live sports broadcasts on BBC iPlayer – both of which require at least 40Mbps to stream for select things in 4K.

We’ve taken a look at all the leading UK providers speeds and compared the best deals below. You can also find all the average download speeds of leading UK broadband providers in Broadband Genie’s survey

What’s the fastest broadband for streaming?

The provider which offers the best speeds in the UK is Virgin – and better yet, you can get a really good deal during the Black Friday season. Take a look at our picks below:

Virgin: 108Mbps | unlimited | £26 per month

Average download speed: 108Mbps

If you share your home with a small family who tends to use the internet at once – and you’re looking to stream in 4K on several devices simultaneously – you might want to consider opting for 100Mbps. You can also get even faster speeds all the way up to Gig1, but this is probably overkill. 

Virgin: 213Mbps | unlimited | £32 per month

Average download speed: 54Mbps

If you have a bigger household, or need faster speeds for things such as gaming or livestreaming, then the next package up from Virgin should be enough – and its six pounds more expensive than the 108Mbps for nearly double the speed.

Best alternatives to Virgin

If Virgin’s packages are just not right for you, there are other decent fibre options that you can consider. 

Vodafone: 68Mbps | unlimited | £22 per month

Vodafone’s package is a good price if you’re happy to look at a 24-month contract. 68Mbps is more than enough to cover the major streaming service requirements for all devices in the household, plus you can get wired speeds of up to 900Mbs. However, this price is only available for a limited time.

EE: 73Mbps | unlimited | £34 per month 

EE has some big savings for broadband, and even more savings for existing EE mobile customers if they switch to their broadband service. This mid-range fibre option would cover all your streaming needs, and there are cheaper packages should you not need the higher speeds. 

Streaming service bundles

Whilst speeds are important, you may be searching for an internet bundle that also saves you money on a streaming subscription. Here’s some good options that are on the market right now. 

BT: TV classic add-on | £8 per month

Existing BT customers can apply for the TV classic bundle, which includes Netflix and Now for 24 months, along with the BT TV channels. This plan starts from £8 per month, but this is on top of an existing BT internet contract, so it’s not the cheapest option around.

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