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Get the Right Internet Speed for Amazon Prime Video

We sift through the settings and limits so you can get the best viewing experience

The amount of internet speed you need for Prime Video depends on the devices you use and how many of them access the service simultaneously. Some devices support 4K Ultra HD playback, while others are locked to HD content. We’ll help you decipher everything so you can get the best experience in streaming Prime Video.

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Prime Video speed basics

You don’t need a lot of bandwidth to stream 4K Ultra HD content from Prime Video. We know this from watching our wired Xbox Series X game console use up to 18Mbps to stream M3GAN in 4K Ultra HD (2160p).

So, based on that number, if we have five consoles streaming the same movie simultaneously, they would only use 90Mbps. Double that number to give every streamer breathing room, and you still only use up 180Mbps.

Live streams are a different story. Amazon states you need a minimum download speed of 5MB per second for HD broadcasts, which converts to 40Mbps. That’s 200Mbps total if five people watch live content simultaneously—double that to 400Mbps for breathing room.

But let’s get real here, folks. The chances of five common household members streaming 4K content or watching live events simultaneously are slim at best. Plus, not every device supports 4K playback, which we’ll get to in a bit.

Here are your minimum speed needs for Prime Video

Amazon doesn’t list recommended minimum speeds for content playback. Instead, it provides multiple support articles listing platforms with specific resolution limits. But we also discovered they’re not quite on the mark, as Amazon says web browsers support HD content but we can clearly stream movies in Full HD.

That said, the best we can do is decipher Amazon’s video quality settings based on its stated resolution limits to get an idea of the speeds you need. The only minimum speed requirements we actually dug up are for live broadcasts.

Prime Video feedMinimum
speed*
Recommended
speed
Sign up online
2160p video (4K UHD)18Mbps36MbpsGet Prime Video
1080p video (Full HD)15Mbps30MbpsGet Prime Video
720p video (HD)13Mbps26MbpsGet Prime Video
480p video (SD)6Mbps12MbpsGet Prime Video
720p live stream40Mbps80MbpsGet Prime Video
480p live stream8Mbps16MbpsGet Prime Video

How Much Internet Speed Do I Need?

Use our internet speed calculator to get a personalized internet speed recommendation based on how you use the internet.

Question 1/6Speed need: 0 Mbps

How many people in your household use the internet/WiFi on a daily basis?

How many devices in your home connect to the internet, including tablets, gaming consoles, and smart devices?

How many people in your household work from home?

What video quality do you use for streaming TV and movies?

How intensely does your household participate in online gaming?

Does your household download large files from the cloud or via the internet?

Our minimum speed recommendation for you:

00 mbps

Our experts say: The same principles apply to all video streaming apps

Even if you have individual Wi-Fi speed needs for other platforms like Paramount+, Max, Apple TV, or YouTube TV, the same rules apply. You want ample speeds to support a variety of users and tasks, and you want to be thrifty with pricing and video resolution on slower Wi-Fi.

What do you need to stream 4K Ultra HD content on Prime Video?

First, let’s start with your internet speed. Based on our tests, a 4K video in Best mode streams at up to 18Mbps. If you have five people streaming simultaneously, that’s 90Mbps. Double that number to 180Mbps just in case.

But there’s more to the equation than choosing a fast internet plan. Web browsers don’t support Prime Video’s 4K playback. The Prime Video App for Windows, MacOS, iPhone, and several other platforms doesn’t support 4K video playback either. It’s all a little confusing honestly, even more so with Amazon’s Best/Better/Good Video Quality modes thrown into the mix.

Also, you need a Wi-Fi router that can handle multiple devices simultaneously. If it can only download chunks of video to a few devices at a time, imagine the traffic jam if you have five. Generally, local congestion and Wi-Fi range are your big streaming bottleneck, not your internet plan. We tested and listed the best Wi-Fi routers for streaming to give you some ideas.

Get fiber internet or a fast cable plan for the best 4K performance

We already suggested you should have at least 200Mbps if five people stream Prime Video in 4K simultaneously. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to go a little higher, especially if someone needs to download a 10GB file quickly.

Fiber internet is the best connection you can get, but you don’t need gigabit internet—sorry, but that’s just overkill for most homes. Honestly, as a homeowner with five streamers and gamers in the house, 500Mbps internet fits the bill just right.

Best internet plans for 4K video streaming

PlanPriceSpeedTypeOrder online
AT&T Internet 500$65.00/mo.*Up to 500MbpsFiber
Frontier Fiber 500$44.99/mo.Up to 500MbpsFiber
Optimum 500 Mbps Fiber Internet$30.00/mo.Up to 500MbpsFiberView Plan
Spectrum Internet® Ultra$49.99–$69.99/mo.§
for 24 mos.
Up to 500Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)
Cable, fiberView Plan
Verizon Internet 500/500$44.99/mo.||Up to 500MbpsFiber
Xfinity Fast$66.00/mo.#Up to 500MbpsCableView Plan

Find fast internet for smooth streaming

Need a killer connection to binge The Boys on Prime Video? Search your zip code below to see what internet providers and plans are available in your area.

What if you have slow internet? Never fear—you can still watch Prime Video

Five people streaming 4K content simultaneously use around 90Mbps. That’s not a lot, but we like to double that bandwidth just in case. You can feasibly get by with a 200Mbps plan, but you may want to factor in other things that will use your total bandwidth, like silent device downloads and so on.

Best internet plans for budget Prime Video users

PlanPriceSpeedTypeView on provider’s site
AT&T Internet 300$55.00/mo.*Up to 300MbpsFiber
Frontier Fiber 500$44.99/mo.Up to 500MbpsFiber
Optimum 300 Mbps Internet$30.00/mo.Up to 300MbpsCable, fiberView Plan
Spectrum Internet®$39.99–$49.99/mo.§
for 12 mos.
Up to 300Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)
Cable, fiberView Plan
Verizon Internet 300/300$24.99/mo.||Up to 300MbpsFiber
Xfinity Connect More$35.00/mo.#Up to 200MbpsCableView Plan

Can you stream Prime Video with satellite internet?

Yes, you can stream Prime Video over a satellite internet connection, but do so sparingly since data is limited. Prime Video automatically adjusts the resolution and quality in most cases based on your device, screen, and connection, but you can manually adjust the video quality in a web browser and on some platforms.

Pro tip—Get more streaming plan recommendations 

Take a look at our guide to the best internet for streaming for a breakdown of top Wi-Fi plans to meet your streaming needs.

Here’s how to adjust the video resolution for Prime Video

Despite what you may read elsewhere, you can’t adjust the video resolution. Switching the stream between the four quality modes doesn’t convert a Full HD video into an HD one. You’re definitely not going to squeeze out 4K streaming by selecting the Best video quality mode on a device or screen that only supports Full HD. Nope. Not happening.

For example, when we tested M3GAN playback on an iPhone (which has a weird 2,778 x 1,284 screen resolution), the movie remained in HD resolution no matter what visual quality setting we used—even when we disabled the Use Highest Quality on Wi-Fi feature. But we did notice a clear drop in the stream’s framerate and fidelity.

In other words, the Best mode produced a sharp image and fluid motions, while the Data Saver mode was less sharp and movements were less smooth. But you’ll never see a higher video resolution until Amazon updates the Prime Video App with support for Full HD video playback or better.

In most cases, you can’t manually adjust the video quality anyway (despite what other guides tell you). We noticed a few exceptions, however, in desktop web browsers and the apps for iPhone and iPad. We presume Amazon is quietly removing the video quality setting on devices that don’t use cellular data.

In a web browser:

Step 1: Start the video.

Step 2: Move the mouse cursor over the video to activate the overlay.

Step 3: Click on the Gear icon.

Step 4: Select Best, Better, or Good on the drop-down Video Quality menu.

In the Prime Video App:

Step 1: Tap on your profile icon.

Step 2: Tap on the gear icon.

Step 3: Tap on Streaming & Downloading.

Step 4: Tap on Streaming Quality.

Step 5: Select Best, Better, Good, or Data Saver*.

Choose the best Prime Video plan

You can get Prime Video two ways: for free if you subscribe to Amazon Prime, or as a standalone streaming service if you don’t.

PlanPrice# of
simultaneous
streams
# of
simultaneous
downloads
Video formatsSign up online
Amazon Prime$14.99/mo. or $139.00/yr.
  • 3 (standard)
  • 1 (mobile)
  • 2 (standard)
  • 1 (mobile)
  • 4K Ultra HDGet Amazon Prime
    Prime Video$8.99/mo.
  • 3 (standard)
  • 1 (mobile)
  • 2 (standard)
  • 1 (mobile)
  • 4K Ultra HDGet Prime Video

    The chart is based on streaming and downloading content from one account. Here are the major differences between the full Standard and Mobile plans:

    Standard EditionMobile Edition
    # of devices:
  • Multiple
  • One
  • Platforms:
  • Web browser
  • Smart TV
  • Blu-ray player
  • Set-top box
  • Fire tablet
  • Game console
  • Mobile device
  • Android
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Mobile Edition subscribers can upgrade to the full Standard Edition plan to stream and download more content. Currently, Prime Video Mobile Edition is not offered in the US.

    FAQ about Prime Video

    What's the best router for streaming Prime Video?

    We’ve tested dozens of standalone routers and mesh systems. Check out our lineup of the best routers for streaming if it’s time for an upgrade or you need better Wi-Fi speeds to support Prime Video.

    I have the best internet and equipment. Why is Prime Video so choppy?

    If you’re facing streaming issues with Prime Video, visit our troubleshooting hub and use our guides to squeeze out every ounce of speed you can get from your Wi-Fi and internet connections.

    What does the Video Quality setting do?

    The Video Quality setting changes the fidelity of the streaming content, not the actual resolution as you may read elsewhere. It’s all about adjusting the transmission rate (or bitrate) of video and audio data—the more you can transfer in one second, the sharper the image and audio. An HD movie streamed in Data Saver mode isn’t as sharp as the same one streamed in Best mode, for example.

    However, we can assume Prime Video drops the overall resolution automatically if your connection can’t handle Full HD video streaming. The Video Quality setting would apply to the new HD stream so you can make adjustments to get the best picture.

    What's the maximum resolution I can get on my device?

    We compiled a chart based on information provided by Amazon. The company doesn’t list Full HD, but we added it anyway.

    Web browsers

    Amazon provides the system requirements to stream Prime Video on computers. First, here are the maximum resolutions you can expect:

    • Windows and MacOS: Up to Full HD*
    • All other operating systems: SD only

    Now here are the compatible web browsers:

    • Google Chrome
    • Mozilla Firefox
    • Microsoft Edge
    • Safari
    • Opera

    Be sure to check out our guide on the best browsers for streaming to get the optimal viewing experience on your device.

    * Amazon lists HD, but we can stream in Full HD using Google Chrome on Windows 10.

    Prime Video App

    SD HD and Full HD Ultra HD
    • Echo devices with a screen
    • Windows 10 / 11
    • MacOS Big Sur and newer
    • iPhone
    • iPod Touch
    • iPad
    • Fire tablet
    • PlayStation 3
    • Xbox One
    • Oculus
    • Xiaomi
    • Android
    • Fire TV
    • Fire TV Stick
    • Blu-ray players
    • PlayStation 4 / Pro
    • PlayStation 5
    • Xbox Series S / X
    • Xbox One S / X
    • Smart TVs
    • Dish Network
    • Nvidia Shield
    • Roku
    • Google Chromecast*
    • Comcast X1*
    • Cox Contour*
    • TiVo*
    • Apple TV*

    How much data does Prime Video use?

    The amount of data Prime Video uses depends on the connection, platform, and Video Quality setting. We found a lot of different numbers during our research, but here are two examples we pulled from our devices:

    Prime Video Mobile App

    Platform: iPhone

    Screen resolution:  2,778 x 1,284

    Max video resolution: HD (720p)

      Gigabytes per hour Megabits per hour Megabits per second
    Best 5.8 46,600 13
    Better 2.9 23,200 6
    Good 1.8 14,400 4
    Data Saver 0.6 4,800 1.3

     

    Prime Video Web App

    Platform: Google Chrome for Windows and MacOS

    Screen resolution: Quad HD (1440p)

    Max resolution: Full HD (1080p)

      Gigabytes per hour Megabits per hour Megabits per second
    Best 6.84 54,720 15
    Better 1.40 11,200 3
    Good 0.38 3,040 0.84

    What free channels do you get with Prime Video?

    Here are the channels you get for free:

    • CBS News
    • CBS Sports
    • Mixible

    All channels made available through Freevee

    What premium channels can you add to Prime Video?

    Here are the premium channels you can add to your Prime Video subscription:

    • AMC+
    • Cinemax
    • MGM+
    • Max
    • NBA League Pass
    • NBA TV
    • Paramount+
    • PixL
    • ScreenPix
    • STARZ
    • Vix Gratis

    Disclaimers

    Author -

    Kevin Parrish has more than a decade of experience working as a writer, editor, and product tester. He began writing about computer hardware and soon branched out to other devices and services such as networking equipment, phones and tablets, game consoles, and other internet-connected devices. His work has appeared in Tom’s Hardware, Tom's Guide, Maximum PC, Digital Trends, Android Authority, How-To Geek, Lifewire, and others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on network equipment testing and review.

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