What’s a good upload speed? Recommended speed for live streaming

May 21, 2022 - Views: 130 - this post if you find it interesting!

Livestream refers to the broadcast of an event in real-time that is recorded by a smartphone or computer via the Internet. Most broadcasters will agree that having a strong encoder and a reliable, congested network is critical to delivering an amazing live video streaming experience. But the most frequent question asked among them is “What’s a good upload speed for live streaming?”. Although there is no specific answer for this due to many other factors, this article will break down those factors and help you improve internet performance.

What is a good upload speed for streaming?

  1. What is an upload speed?

Upload speed refers to the speed at which your internet connection allows your device to send digital data to the Internet. It is measured in megabits per second or Mbps. 

When you broadcast a live stream, that time you send data from your mobile or desktop device via the Internet to other platforms. That’s why Livestream appreciates upload speeds. 

This is different from download speed. Although download and upload speeds are measured in Mbps, download speed refers to how fast data is retrieved from the Internet to your device. In general, people pay more attention to download rate than upload rate because most online activities take up downloading data.

However, this is a common mistake. In fact, we do uploading all time more than expected. Posting a photo on Facebook, sharing a video with your friend via Zalo or sending emails, etc. All consume uploading data.

We do upload activities more than expected

  1. Encoder configuration for live streaming

Before going to find the answer to “what upload speed is good for Livestream?”, you need to understand some terms of encoder configurations for the stream. Let’s see it at the technical level.

Video bandwidth

Video bandwidth means the amount of data is transferred from a place to another during a stream. It is expressed in bits per second (Kbps, Mbps). Megabits are made up of bits. One byte is made up of eight bits. Because one megabit equals 1,024 kilobits, 1.0 Mbps is more than 1,000 times quicker than 1.0 kilobits per second.

This rate is important for streamers because it influences what sort of connection speed they need. The small or high amount of data transferred can make or break your streaming experience. 

Video bandwidth is determined by 2 main factors: video bitrate and video resolution. As a consequence, higher traffic, higher quality streams take up more bandwidth.

Video bandwidth means amount of data transferred during a Livestream

Video bitrate

Video bitrate means the amount of data is encoded over a unit of time. It is also measured in bits per second (Mbps or smaller Kbps).

Streaming is often measured in Kbps, and less frequently in Mbps. In general, the higher the bitrate, the better the video quality and the more the upload bandwidth required. 

The video and audio bitrates combine to form the overall bitrate. The bitrate relies on the video resolution and frame rate.

Live streaming often use Kbps to measure bitrate, less frequent Mbps

Video resolution

Video resolution refers to the number of pixels creating the video frame, image on the screen. Therefore, the more pixels a video includes, the better the quality of the video. Images are too.

Video resolution measures the width of a video by height in pixels. For instance, video with 1920 x 1080 means that the video aspect ratio measures 1920 pixels in the width and 1080 pixels in height. 

High-resolution streams require more bandwidth so that if you want a better streaming experience, you will need fast internet speed. If not, you can meet lag, choppy situations during a stream. 

The more pixels a video includes, the better the quality of the video

Frame Per Second (fps)

"Frame Per Second," or "fps," refers to the number of still picture frames in a second of video. 60fps, for example, indicates that it includes 60 frames of static pictures per second. The human visual system, according to the research, can process 10 to 12 static pictures per second, whereas more frames per second are seen as motion. 

When the frame rate exceeds 60 frames per second, the human visual system struggles to detect even little differences in the motion image. Nowadays, the majority of film production uses 24fps.

FPS refers to the number of still picture frames in a second of video

Understanding some technical terms above will help streamers know more about their internet speed requirement. 

ULD

LD

SD

HD

FHD

 

Name

Ultra-Low Definition

Low Definition

Standard Definition

High Definition

Full High Definition

Video Bitrate (kbps)

350

350 – 800

800 – 1200

1200 – 1900

1900 – 4500

Resolution Width (px)

426

640

854

1280

1920

Resolution Height (px)

240

360

480

720

1080

H.264 Profile

Main

Main

High

High

High

Data from https://www.dacast.com/

  1. Recommended upload speed for live streaming

When it comes to streaming live video, be prepared to consume a lot of bandwidth. Of course, the amount of bandwidth required is determined by a variety of factors such as content type, file size, video resolution and frame rate, and encoding. 

What's good upload speed for live streaming? Here is the common minimum upload speed:

  • 2-3 Mbps for 480p (minimum 600Kbps).

  • 5-6 Mps for 720p (minimum 1.75 Mbps)

  • 10-12 Mbps for 1080p (minimum 3 Mbps)

Besides, you also need to make sure your internet connection is stable because the speed sometimes fluctuates. Keep in mind that a stable connection is as important as an upload speed!

Let’s look at some of our recommendations on 3 common streaming platforms to see you need “how to make upload speed faster” or not.

Upload speed for live streaming Facebook

  • With 108-p resolution, 60 fps: you need an upload speed from 6 Mbps 

  • With 720p resolution, from 30-60 fps, the minimum upload speed is from 3-4 Mbps

 

Upload speed for streaming Twitch

  • With 720p resolution, 30 fps, bitrate is around 2500 to 4000 kbps, you will need at least 3.2 Mbps to 5 Mbps to stream well

  • With 720p resolution, 60 fps, the good upload speed should be 4.4 Mbps to 6.2 Mbps for the bitrate of 3500 - 5000 kbps.

  • With 1080p resolution, 30 fps, it is the same as for the video 720p at 60fps, from 4.4 to 6.2 Mbps

  • With 1080p resolution at 60 fps, if you choose bitrate from 4500 to 6000 kbps, the required upload speeds should be 5.6 to 7.4 Mbps.

Upload speed streaming on Youtube

  • With the 720p video at 30-60fps, you need to make upload speed faster than 2 Mbps to 7.4 Mbps

  • With the 1080p video at both 30-60 fps, the bitrate ranges from 3000 to 9000 kbps, you will need an upload from at least 3.8 to 11 Mbps.

  • With the 1440p resolution at 30-60 fps, the upload speed needs to be higher and should be from 7.4 to 21.8 Mbps.

  • If you stream 4K video at 30-60 fps, it requires lots of bitrates as well as bandwidth, so that, you need to have an upload speed of at least 15.8 Mbps.

  1. How to make your upload speed faster?

What if your network isn’t fast enough? Your streams are often buffered or choppy. Do you want to know “How to make my upload speed faster?

To have a better streaming experience and fast internet speed, you can try out some suggestions below:

  • Use upload download speed test: Firstly, you need to measure your current network speed to see whether it is enough for your Livestream or not.

  • Upgrade your internet plan: If it isn’t enough, let’s call your ISP (internet service providers) and change the higher internet package.

  • Limit WIFI interference: change Wifi router, restart or reset your router or even upgrade your router

  • If possible, you can switch to using a wired connection that is faster, stable, and more secured.

  • Turn off unnecessary apps running in the background

  • Install antivirus programs to protect your device

  • Call your ISP: After many tries, you do not see any positive change, let’s call your IPS to ask for help. 

How to make upload speed faster?

Wrapping up

What is a good upload speed? Although each streaming platform requires a different minimum speed, there are many other factors influencing it. The faster the network connection is, the better the Livestream experience is. After all, MySpeed recommends you to get a stable speed of at least 25 Mbps to be happy when connecting to the Internet.