How Much Upload Speed do I Need to Stream

When people think about streaming on Twitch, the first thing that comes to mind is how much upload speed do I need to stream. You can stream with pretty much any upload speed, but today I will show you about how much you need to get various different stream qualities and framerates.

Upload Speed Quick Explanation 

Upload speed is the rate of  data you can send from your network into the internet. Upload speed is absolutely crucial for streaming video onto to the internet or streaming onto twitch. Many internet providers in the US have a lower upload speed than download speed, and that is because most people don't use their upload speed too often. Your internet upload speed should also be stable, meaning that the rate of your upload speed does not fluctuate, so you can stream at a stable framerate. If your upload speed is on the slower side then it is highly recommend you do not use a wifi connection, and instead use an ethernet connection. Another thing to take into account when thinking about your upload speed is the speed that you actually get on your computer. Many internet providers say they offer one upload speed, but when you actually test it you can see that the upload speed is a little lower than stated. Upload speed can be affected by a modem or router, so please make sure they are of high quality. This internet measurement is by far te most important for video streaming. 

  

Here is a quick guide on How much upload speed you need to stream at certain video resolutions. 

  • Upload Speed for 1080p: 3.00 - 3.50 Mbps 

  • Upload Speed for 720p: 1.80 - 2.50 Mbps 

  • Upload Speed for 480p: 0.90 - 1.20 Mbps 

  • Upload Speed for 360p: 0.60 - 0.80 Mbps 

  • Upload Speed for 240p: 0.50 Mbps 

There are few a things new streamers need to understand, so let’s begin as quickly as possible. 

Encoding 

I don't want to get too technical, but let’s just say if your upload speed for streaming is on the lower end than you need to do more encoding on your computer. Think of encoding as a quick processing of the video for upload to a streaming site like Twitch. If you have a fast upload speed than you don't need to do as much encoding, because you can already transfer more video quality over the internet, but if your upload speed is low than you can't send too much data on the internet, so you need to do as much quality work on your CPU. If you have a pretty slow upload speed that you need to have a decent CPU, I would recommend at least a quad core CPU for streaming and encoding.  

Resolution 

Resolution in streaming or gaming means the amount of detail you will have in your stream, If your upload speed is high then you will have a lot detail in your stream, and with the higher detail you will be able to have a higher resolution. If your upload speed is slower then you will have less detail In your stream, and with a lower detail you will have to use a lower resolution. I would say resolution is the most important thing when you’re streaming, because if your stream doesn't look good no one would want to watch it. Another important thing about resolution is to only stream at a resolution the game supports AND the resolution your monitor supports. The lowest resolution you should stream at is 360p, because anything below that is next to impossible to watch.  

Framerates 

The framerate in streaming is basically how smooth the stream will look to viewers. The highest framerate recommended for streaming is 60fps. A massive majority of streamers with various upload speeds use 30fps as their framerate for streaming, I find 30fps to be the most reasonable and least demanding framerate for all upload speeds.