One of the major requirements for a successful live stream is : a stable network connection with a good upload speed. Also, a good internet connection is key to a successful live stream. Nobody wants to waste their money getting lights and cameras just right, only for your internet connection to reduce your stream to a choppy pixelated mess. Now the question is: what is the best upload speed for streaming?
According to experienced streamers, the ideal speed for live stream uploads is 672 Kbps to 61.5 Mbps. This range is huge and doesn’t define anything. There are other major factors like the video quality of your stream i.e. 720p streams, 1080p streams etc. and the platform which you use for streaming which affects your upload speed. But no worries, we are here to walk you through everything you need to find out about uploading better and faster.
Understanding download/upload speed
People look for content online to watch, read, learn and hear. For this, they require a device which can accept data in the form of bits. Your internet connection’s download rate is the bits of data your device can take in from the internet using the connection.
When you create content and want to share it online. It’s your device’s upload rate which matters, it is similar to the download rate but works vice versa. It is all about the bits of data which your device can send to the internet. It is seen that upload rates are slower than download rates.
What is a good upload speed for streaming?
Streaming live videos requires a lot of bandwidth. This depends upon a lot of factors such as the platform you choose, the type of content you choose, frame rate etc.
For example : You want to stream a video of yourself interviewing someone and you are deciding whether to stream on YouTube, twitch or Facebook. All the platforms support 720p streams and 1080p streams, we will be considering bitrate recommendations :
- Facebook live recommends 6000-9000 kbps for video and 128 kbps for audio
- YouTube live recommends a bitrate of 1500 to 4000 kbps for video and 128 kbps for audio
- Twitch recommends 3000 kbps for video and 160 kbps for audio
If you are planning a 720p stream at 30 frames per second, you will upload up to 4160 kilobits or 4.160 Mbps per second. So, an upload bandwidth of 4 Mbps should cover you, right?
Not really, you will be uploading 4160 kbps data constantly, because uploads can fluctuate; you need a 35-40% buffer. So, the ideal rate would be 5.7 Mbps. But if your internet connection is stable enough you do not need any buffer.
The many variables affecting upload speed requirements
The 5.7 Mbps upload speed of 720p streams on 30 frames is the upper limit. You can also select a lower limit. If the whole video is a single shot of you talking, 4000 kbps is quite high. It will be fine if it is reduced to half.
If on the other hand, you want to stream a gaming video of yours with tons of visuals, 4000 kbps is a must. The higher pace of visuals, the higher the bitrate. The type of content you stream affects the ideal upload speed a lot.
Tiling about video games. If you are streaming games with fast-paced actions, you would want your viewers to see everything clearly. This might need the number of frames to be increased from 30 per second. For twitch, it is 6.2 Mbps and for YouTube, it is 7.5 Mbps to upload with 60 frames. Higher frames lead to a higher bitrate.
A good upload speed for streaming will vary from one platform to another :
- Facebook allows 720 streams, so you don’t need more than 5mbps speed to upload
- Twitch allows 1080p streams at 60 frames per second. You need an upload speed of 7.4 Mbps to support that.
- YouTube supports 4k live streaming at 60 frames per second. You need an upload speed of 68.8 to pull it off.
Lastly, competition around you will push you to upload better. YouTube and twitch are more crowded platforms. A lot of streamers use these platforms to generate income. If you are streaming here, you cannot fall behind in terms of video quality. In this way, your competition will encourage you to improve your upload speed.
What uploads should I be aiming for?
The next question is : Which bitrates do these platforms suggest? We will segment by platform, frames per second and video resolution :
- Recommended bitrate range for video 6000-9000 kbps for video
- Recommended bitrate range for audio 128 kbps
- Maximum resolution is 1080 p with 60 frames. Use an upload speed of 6 to 7 Mbps for that
- For 720 streams at 30 to 60 frames per second aim for an upload speed of 3 to 4 Mbps
- For 720 streams at 30 frames per second, the range is 1,500 to 4,000 Kbps. That’s an upload speed between roughly 2 Mbps and 5 Mbps
- For 720p video at 60 frames per second, the range is 2,250 to 6,000 Kbps. Required upload speeds are between 2.9 Mbps and 7.4 Mbps
- For 1080p video at 30 frames per second, the bitrate range is 3,000 to 6,000 Kbps. Required upload speeds are between 3.8 Mbps and 7.4 Mbps
- For 1080p video at 60 frames per second, the bitrate range is 4,500 to 9,000 Kbps. In upload speeds, that means between 5.6 Mbps and 11 Mbps
- If you want to upload 4k videos at 30 frames per second, you require an upload speed of 15.8 Mbps to 41 Mbps. If you want to stream at 60 frames per second, you require 24.2 Mbps to 61.5 Mbps
YouTube offers the highest quality options, while Facebook is the most accessible and twitch is a heaven for gamers.
- For 720p video at 30 frames, the upload speed required is 5 Mbps
- For 720 streams at 60 frames, the upload speed required is 6.2 Mbps
- For 1080p streams at 30 frames, the upload speed required is 6.2 Mbps
How to get a good upload speed for streaming?
Calculating the best upload speed is one thing and accessing it is another. The upload speed you can achieve depends upon the package which your ISP offers. For residential users, download speed will be higher than upload speed. So, you should switch to a business service provider, it will guarantee higher upload speed anywhere and everywhere.
So, the first step to obtaining a high upload speed is to switch to a better ISP. Be prepared to pay more for better speed.
Now if you are stuck with a suboptimal speed provider, you can do a couple of things :
- Get a wired connection : Your Wi-Fi connection is suitable for downloading videos. In case of uploading them, you need a stable ethernet cable connection for high-speed uploading.
- Remove excess devices : You do not want other devices to interrupt your live video uploads. Disconnect them to avoid interruption or disrupt their Wi-Fi capabilities while uploading.
- Close excess programs and apps on your computer : The only thing you should be doing while uploading your live video should be “uploading your live video”. Close every other app or program in the background to ensure smooth uploading.
- Remove malware and use ad blockers : Malware, ad blockers or online tracking can consume some of the upload bandwidth. Block all these speeds affecting programs before uploading.
How to stream with a low upload speed?
Using Flutin you can encounter the inconvenience of upload speed, but how?
Our features allow you to schedule streams, upload pre-recorded videos or set timers for uploads. With this method upload speed doesn’t matter. Once you have uploaded the video using Flutin, you do not have to be online, Flutin will broadcast it automatically at the scheduled time.
Recommended upload steams for streamers based on the use case
One big factor in deciding the best upload speed is the type of content you are uploading. Here is a content-based recommendation of upload speeds for different streamers:
- Gaming : Live streaming gameplay requires more Mbps than any other content. Gameplays have higher visual graphics. The ideal upload speed for this type of content is 6 and 8 Mbps.
- Sports : If you are broadcasting a live sporting event, you need to ensure the video quality is top-notch. People are used to watching sports on traditional TV so they want the same experience. Upload speed of 5.6 Mbps but closer to 11 Mbps would be ideal for this situation.
- Education : The required upload speed for an online class depends upon the type of class going on. If it is an academic lecture, you can work with 1 Mbps. If it is a fitness class, where high-quality visuals are needed you require 4 to 5 Mbps upload speed.
- Concerts : People expect to watch concerts and music festivals with high-quality visuals especially if they are paying. So, if you are uploading a music live stream with 1080p at 60fps, 5.6 is the ideal Mbps.
As a live streamer, views are most important. The more views, the more encouragement and success. For views, you must have good quality live streams. Upload speed affects the quality of live stream videos the most. So, it is very important to have a good and most suited upload speed for your live show, so that people can hear, see and relate with you the most.
Remember, always select the best upload speed for your live streaming and not the highest upload speed. A good streamer knows which upload speed is best suited for his stream.
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