Fewer and fewer people are watching traditional television. Streaming video through services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and others is the new norm. This means that households are using more internet bandwidth on average, and internet service providers must offer service plans that cater to modern internet usage habits. For customers, many questions still remain though. Just how much speed do you need for streaming video? What about for online gaming or Zoom calls? We have the answers to these common questions to help you have the best experience streaming on wireless internet service!
Internet Streaming Guide
Wireless Internet Streaming Quick Tips
- Make sure video settings are adjusted to ensure the best viewing experience
- Understand how network load, download speed, and upload speed impact streaming
- Know when to connect directly to the router via ethernet cable versus WiFi
Which internet Plan Do You Need for Video Streaming?
Choosing an internet service plan can be confusing. All Webformix wireless internet service tiers support streaming video in at least Standard Definition (480p). Webformix Premium Streaming or higher tiers all support streaming in HD (1080p)! Higher wireless internet service plan tiers allow for higher quality video and more videos streamed concurrently.
If your household is streaming video at all hours of the day on multiple devices, you may be interested in a plan that offers more Mbps download speed in order to accommodate the high bandwidth needs of mass streaming.
Due to the extremely high amount of bandwidth needed for even a single Ultra-High Definition (4K) video stream, you will need a service plan that offers at least 25 Mbps download speed. If you’re interested in the very highest quality available, it’s well worth the cost!
Common Streaming Services
Do Smart TVs Work on Wireless Internet Service?
Yes, definitely! Wireless internet service is as capable as landline or DSL service in all aspects, including streaming video and smart TV usage. The available streaming apps or services will vary depending on your TV manufacturer and model, but all should work with our wireless internet service.
Downloading vs Streaming on Wireless Internet
Most downloads are fairly small such as PDFs and text files or a couple of pictures. These don’t encounter many issues. You might encounter difficulties with your internet connection speed when you are downloading a very large amount of photos or very large files for video games. The best approach to these large downloads is to plan them for times when you will have the most speed possible available. That would be later at night after everyone is done working and done streaming video for the day!
Download speed is the speed it takes you to retrieve something from the internet. It is usually described in terms of Megabits per second (Mbps). When it comes to streaming, the different video qualities have different requirements for download speed.
Download Speed Recommendations for Streaming Video
- Standard Definition (SD) requires about 5 Mbps per screen in use
- High Definition (HD) requires about 5 Mbps per screen in use
- Ultra-High Definition or 4K requires at least 25 Mbps per screen in use
How to Adjust Video Settings
Whether you are in a Zoom call or bingeing some Netflix, there are options in the platform’s settings that allow you to pick your video quality. If you are experiencing a poor connection with long buffering times or trouble loading, try adjusting the video quality to make sure it matches the wireless internet service plan you have.
For example, if you have the Webformix Value Streaming plan which supports one Standard Definition stream, you may need to change the settings on a video stream that automatically loads is high definition. By changing that setting to Standard Definition, the video stream should play normally. If left in High Definition, it may lag or struggle to play.
Internet Service for Working From Home
If you are working from home it is important to have a reliable and high quality internet connection. One very common problem people have is using video conferencing applications like Zoom. Internet speed is most often thought of in terms of download speeds, but upload speeds are equally important when it comes to video conferencing. Having sufficient upload speed means your actions online will be closer to occurring in real time. At Webformix, we understand that you might need some extra upload speed added on to your wireless internet service plan. We can adjust your upload speed and offer add-on upload speed increases if needed.
Internet Service for Online Gaming
Similar to working from home, online gaming can also require additional upload speeds. When you are playing installed games you will not use much download speed. Again, you want your actions online to be taking place as close to real time as possible so upload speed and ensuring you have a good connection to your router are essential!
Using Smart Home Devices and Security Cameras on Wireless Internet
Security cameras and remotely accessible smart home devices pose a unique challenge when it comes to network accessibility and bandwidth needs. Depending on your installed devices, you may wish to make use of some Webformix add-on internet services to enable these devices to work as best as possible.
First, when it comes to accessing your devices when away from home, some devices may require a static/public IP address. This allows a more direct connection to the wider internet for devices inside your home. It also allows you to use settings like port forwarding to enable access to your devices. Some newer smart home and security devices may not need this direct path to the internet. However, if you find that your devices are inaccessible from elsewhere or are indicating they can’t reliably connect to your app or cloud services, this is likely the solution.
If you believe you need a static/public IP address, please reach out to Webformix Support. Setup of this service is usually completed within one business day, and does require making some changes in your own home router’s configuration. A static/public IP address is an add-on service with an additional fee, as IP address space is a finite resource.
Second, smart home devices and security cameras or systems may need more upload speed than is offered in our lower plans. We do offer add-on internet services to directly increase the upload speed available on your connection. Alternatively, our Power User or Super Power User tiers have this increased upload speed already included.
What Internet Speed Do Security Systems Need?
If your security system or cameras utilize recording to a cloud service or are accessible from outside of your home, higher upload speed is going to be necessary to allow these devices to work properly without disconnecting or continual buffering on video feeds.
If your security system instead only records to a device on-site such as a Network Video Recorder (NVR) and is not accessible from outside the home, then you likely will not need upload speed beyond what our basic wireless internet service tiers provide. As these systems are self-contained and don’t communicate over the internet, there is no risk of bogging down your network.
Wireless Internet Streaming Recommendations
If you are struggling to get what you need from your Webformix internet service plan, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can walk you through troubleshooting and help you determine the right fix. Maybe you need a higher service tier, or maybe just a little extra upload speed, or maybe hardware upgrades or network maintenance is the more appropriate solution. In any case, our expert support staff is here to help!