Which NBN speed is best for streaming Netflix? The numbers are in

couple using NBN to watch Netflix on laptop

With winter on the horizon, it’s time to start unpacking those comfy blankets and fluffy slippers and schedule in some serious screen time.

But no matter what type of TV watcher you are, you'll first want to make sure you have the best type of NBN connection to support your streaming. (There’s nothing worse than bad internet right?).

So, with this in mind, we’ve broken down some recent stats from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) Measuring Broadband Australia Report that show which NBN speeds are best for different streamers using Netflix. 

To get these figures, the ACCC compared the number of Netflix videos that could be simultaneously watched on a single NBN connection at one given time. Notably, the report compared both High Definition (HD) and Ultra High Definition (UHD) (4K) videos.* 

Here’s a breakdown of what was found … 

  • NBN12 can support up to five screens of HD Netflix streaming
NBN 12 Netflix support
  • NBN25 can support up to five screens of HD Netflix streaming as well as up to two screens of UHD Netflix streaming
NBN 25 Netflix support
  • NBN50 can support up to five screens of HD Netflix streaming, or up to four screen of UHD Netflix streaming
NBN 50 Netflix support
  • NBN100 can support up to five screens of HD Netflix streaming, or up to five screens of UHD Netflix streaming
NBN 100 Netflix support

What else impacts the speed of video streaming? 

It’s important to remember there are also other factors that may impact on how well you can stream Netflix on the NBN. 

Take NBN connection types, for example: the ACCC’s report showed that for customers with a Fibre to the Curb connection (FTTC), streaming two or three UHD screens on Netflix at once is 100% supported during busy hours. Meanwhile for four UHD screens it’s 97.3% supported. However, a Fibre to the Node (FTTN) connection with two UHD screens is 100% supported, while for three or four screens its 98.5% and 97.0%, respectively. 

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) connections showed worse results with 98.8% for two UHD screens, 98.2% for three screens and 95.8% for four screens. And Hybrid-Fibre Coaxial (HFC) was the worst of the bunch, with 92.9% for two screens and 90.8% for both three and four screens.

Similarly, your retail service provider (RSP) can also impact the strength of your Netflix streaming. For example, on an NBN50 plan during busy hours, Telstra, Vodafone and Dodo & iPrimus 100% support customers streaming three UHD videos on Netflix. However, if those same customers decided to watch four screens simultaneously, it’s a different story. Telstra has 89.7% support on an NBN50 plan but Vodafone drops to 48.1%, while Dodo & iPrimus plummets to 0%. 

In this case, you’d be looking to either upgrade to an NBN100 plan or make the switch to a different RSP. 

Looking for more NBN news? Head to our NBN hub for the latest as well as a bunch of handy guides!  

*Note: These ACCC numbers were collected over the month of December 2020, after Netflix had made improvements to the platform to allow users to stream videos at a lower bitrate than before.

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Last updated 22 July 2024

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