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What Is a Good Upload Internet Speed for Streaming on Twitch - A Simple Guide

Are you aware that Twitch has nearly more than two million live viewers at an instance? This shows that the streaming platform has surged in popularity among gamers and creatives throughout the years. So, it’s only a matter of time before the figure hits the three million mark.

Keeping that in mind, are you itching to get in on the fun but wondering how or where to begin? Well, understandably so, because streaming your game son Twitch is not only a slice of heaven but an excellent opportunity to earn some extra bucks. And, the exact setup process is based on the device you’re streaming such as a Play Station 4, Xbox, or PC. Luckily, in this guide, we’ll walk you through the requirements to start streaming Twitch, a good upload internet speed, and more.

What Is Upload Speed?

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In today’s digital era, it’s no secret that you consume content online. You’re on the quest for it, identify it, then watch, read, or listen to it. This stems from your devices ingesting data in the form of bits. Your internet connection’s download rate paints a clear and accurate picture of the number of bits your device can take in from the Internet using the given connection. Typically, it’s computed in megabits (millions of bits) per second.

Nonetheless, it’s your connection’s upload rate that’s most important. Upon creating content and are ready to share with an online audience, it’s your connection’s upload rate that’s the make or break. It’s strikingly similar to the download rate but works the other way around. Therefore, it depicts the number of bits of data you can share every second. It’s also computed in megabits per second (Mbps). Statistics show that upload rates are lower than download rates.

What Is A Good Upload Speed For Streaming?

Live video streaming can occupy a significant amount of bandwidth. And, the bandwidth quantity is based on an array of factors. For instance, the type of content you’d like to stream and all things encoding. Just like your stream’s frame rate, resolution, and platforms play a key role.

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But, let’s start by discussing the numbers. Assume you’d like to stream a video of you conducting an interview. You’re stuck between YouTube, Facebook Live, and Twitch. Given that all three platforms support 720p live video streaming, let’s break it down into the bitrate (internet speed) recommendations from each option.

  • Facebook Live: It demands 4000kbps as the highest bit rate and 128kbps as the greatest audio bit.
  • YouTube Live: 1500kbps to 4000kbps is required for video coupled with 128kbps for audio.
  • Twitch Live: A range of 2500kbps to a maximum of 4000kbps (kilobits of data per second) is suitable for video along with 160kbps for audio.

Therefore, for live video streaming at a resolution of 720p, at 30 FPS (frames per second), you’ll upload as much as 4160 kbps. Therefore, after doing the math (4160 divided by 1000), it only makes sense that approximately 4Mbps should suffice, right? Well, not exactly.

You’ll require uploading constantly uploading 4160kbps of data without fail. However, this is not practical because these speeds are always changing. So, having a 35% to 40% buffer is a great idea. Doing so increases the upload speed to approximately 5700 kbps, which is equivalent to 5.7Mbps.

Nonetheless, that’s not an indication of the bandwidth provided by your ISP. For different reasons, the possible upload speed and the declared upload bandwidth of your connection can vary. For this reason, it’s advisable to test your upload speed to get a clearer perspective. The number you get from these tests shoots up to 5.7Mbps if you’re looking to stream 720p footage.

What Variables Impact Upload Rate Requirements?

The 5.7Mps upload rate for 720p footage at 30 FPS is the greater limit. Therefore, you can still stream live 720p videos at a lower speed. If the entire video is a single shot of you discussing a given subject, then 4000kbps may be on the higher side, and you can consider cutting it by half.

On the other hand, if you wish to stream video games that have an abundance of visuals, the 4000kbps comes in handy. Remember, the quicker the pace of the visuals, the greater the Internet speed for streaming Twitch. That’s how the kind of content dictates the appropriate upload speed for you. On the realm of video gaming, if you’re streaming titles with blazing-fast action, then ensure you’re audience can see what’s unfolding as clearly as possible. You may want to stream at over 30FPS.

Increased FPS translates to greater Internet speed. For Twitch, it pushes the range of 720p video from 3500kbps to 5000kbps, whereas YouTube Live suggests 2250kbps to 6000kbps. That translates to upload speeds of 6.2Mbps and 7.4Mbps for Twitch and YouTube, respectively, if you’d like to stream 720p videos at 60FPS.

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Lastly, your rivals may impact the requirements of your upload speed. Platforms like Twitch are littered with people using them in an attempt to rake in some extra bucks. So, if that’s your goal, then slackening when it comes to video quality isn’t an option. Enhanced quality demands superior upload speeds. This means your rivals will eventually compel you to elevate your upload rate.

The Upload Speeds to Aim For

Keeping the above variables in mind, one thing is clear; you should veer off from asking what a great Internet speed is for streaming Twitch, among other platforms. Instead, what should pique your interest is the speed you should aim for in your circumstances.

Keeping that in mind, let’s explore the different upload speeds you should aim for with Twitch.

  • 480p videos: 400 kbps to 1200kbps is advisable. With 160kbps of audio, and 20FPS to 25FPS, users should aim for a bit that exceeds 1.6Mbps and an upload speed of 672 kbps.
  • Use a bitrate that ranges from 1500kbps to 3000 kbps for 480p footage at 60FPS. This translates to an upload speed of 2Mbps to 3.8Mbps.
  • A bitrate of 2500 - 4000 kbps for 720p videos at 30FPS should suffice. It’s equivalent to an upload rate of 3.2 – 5 Mbps.
  • When streaming 720p footage at 60FPS, the bitrate should fall between 3500 and 5000 kbps. This means from 4.4Mbps to 6.2Mbps.
  • A bitrate of 3500 – 5000 kbps for 1080p videos at 30FPS is sufficient, which means an upload rate that starts from 4.4Mbps and stretches up to 6.2Mbps.

Tips To Boost Your Internet Speed for Streaming Twitch

  • Invest in a wired instead of a wireless connection
  • Close excess apps and programs that are running in the background
  • Disconnect unnecessary devices from your PC
  • Use the hardware and software that’s up to date
  • Use ad-blockers and privacy tools
  • Remove malware (if any) from your computer
  • Use cloud-based multi-streaming that allows content creators to stream their captured footage to various video platforms

Closing Remarks

As a live video streamer, your content quality revolves around your broadcast. That’s a no-brainer because you can have a great skill set in renowned video games or an unmatched sense of humor.

However, if your audience can’t hear or see you as clearly as they should, then you’re just a person sitting in front of a camera. That’s why it’s crucial to use a connection that has sufficient upload speed for the type of content you wish to broadcast. And remember, an excellent upload rate is one that tallies with your goals.