Here’s the Best Internet Speed for Paramount+
Get 25Mbps speeds so TV night isn’t a bummer of buffering
To get paramount performance out of Paramount+, you need decent internet speeds.
Aim to get download speeds of at least 25Mbps per person in your household to ensure smooth streaming when you cue up your favorite movie or TV series on Paramount network’s streaming platform. So if you have four people in your household, an internet speed of 100Mbps is right on the money.
Internet speed is crucial to a good viewing experience, because streams with video resolution of 1080p and 4K take up a lot of bandwidth. Still, everyone’s speed needs are different. Take a look at our guide below to get the full look at the best internet for Paramount+, including the best internet providers to pick from.
Is your Wi-Fi fast enough?
Take our speed test to see if your internet is fast enough to support your Paramount+ needs.
Paramount+ speed basics
Although you’re technically capable of watching Paramount+ with speeds as low as 4Mbps, you want to factor in the totality of your internet usage when deciding the speeds you need to enjoy all the content on the Paramount network.
Many people tend to surf online with their phones or tablets while watching stuff on their smart TVs, and many households are home to multiple users who may all log into the same streaming service on separate devices. (Think: You’re enjoying The Lost City while your kids have PAW Patrol on in the next room.)
To get the best performance out of Paramount+, you should aim to set aside a chunk of bandwidth per every user in your household. If you have 100Mbps for a family of four, that gives you 25Mbps each—that’s adequate speed to cover all your streaming (and gaming and studying and Zooming) needs. Consider bulking up these speeds to 50Mbps per person or more if you also regularly do bandwidth-guzzling things like hosting Twitch livestreams or uploading influencer content to YouTube.
Three golden rules for Paramount+ streaming:
- The more users and devices you have, the more internet speed you need.
- For 4K streaming, reduce buffering with a fiber-optic or cable internet plan.
- For slow connections and hotspots, save money and reduce buffering with the Ad-Free or With Ads plan.
Here are your minimum speed needs for Paramount+
According to Paramount+, you need at least 4Mbps speeds to stream content on its platform. That’s enough to support a shoddy 480p stream on one device at a time, but the reality is you need significantly faster speeds if you want to stream on multiple devices at once or do other things online while streaming. You also need faster speeds to support 1080p or 4K video quality.
|Paramount+ plan||Video formats||Minimum required speed*||Minimum recommended speed for optimal streaming||Sign up online|
|Paramount+ Essential (with ads)||1080p, 4K||4Mbps||100Mbps||Sign Up|
|Paramount+ with SHOWTIME (no ads)||1080p, 4K, Dolby Vision, HDR10||4Mbps||100Mbps||Sign Up|
Recommendations from Paramount+’s speed requirements page. Cancel at any time. Free trials are for new subscribers only.
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 Netflix, Max (formerly HBO 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 speed do you need to stream movies in 4K, Dolby Vision, or HDR10?
You need much faster speeds than normal to stream video in 4K, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 video formats. In most cases, Paramount’s purported minimum of 4Mbps simply doesn’t cut it. Instead we recommend at least 50Mbps per person, if not more.
Paramount+ offers select TV shows and movies in these three premium video formats. They give you much better video resolution, greater depth, striking contrast, and a carnival of color—vastly improving your viewing experience for the high-flying fighter jet scenes in Top Gun: Maverick and the fast-paced excitement of Paramount’s live sports broadcasts.
But you’re going to need premium internet to match premium video quality—and to do that we recommend getting a fiber or fast cable internet plan.
Get fiber internet or a fast cable plan for the best 4K performance
Fiber internet gives you incredibly fast speeds over a reliable connection. Not only is it ideal for streaming, but it’s also excellent for gaming and working from home.
Even a basic fiber plan gives you ample bandwidth to cover a range of activities—including streaming on multiple devices at once. Best of all, fiber plans often cost as much as (or even cheaper than) cable and DSL plans with slower speeds. That means you’ll have more money to set aside for streaming subscriptions and an upper-tier Paramount+ plan.
If you can’t get fiber internet, cable internet comes in second place as an ideal pick. Cable providers have come a long way in improving their network speeds, and a cable internet plan gives you excellent download power for all the streaming you like.
Best internet plans for 4K video streaming
|AT&T Internet 300||$55.00/mo.*||300Mbps|
|Verizon Fios Internet 500/500||$69.99/mo.†||500Mbps|
|Xfinity Gigabit||$60.00–$70.00/mo.§||1,000Mbps||View Plan|
What if you have slow internet? Never fear—you can still watch Paramount+
Paramount+ still works even if you have slow internet—you just don’t get the same video quality as you would on a top-speed Wi-Fi plan.
When you’re watching content on Paramount+, the platform automatically adjusts the video resolution based on the capabilities of your home internet. A cheaper plan means lower speeds; to compensate, your app adjusts to a lower video resolution, either HD (720p) or even SD (480p). The video still can look good that way, but you’re not as likely to enjoy full 4K or Dolby Vision capabilities, which may put a damper on visually-striking movies.
Best internet plans for budget Paramount+ users
|Astound Broadband 300Mbps Internet||$20.00–$35.00/mo.*||300Mbps|
|Xfinity Connect More||$25.00/mo.†||200Mbps||View Plans|
|T-Mobile 5G Home Internet||$50.00/mo.‡ ($30.00/mo. w/ Go5G Plus or Magenta MAX)||72–245Mbps||View Plans|
|Verizon 5G Home Internet||$50.00/mo.§ ($25.00/mo. w/ Verizon Unlimited Plus)||Up to 300Mbps|
Can you stream Paramount+ with satellite internet?
You can definitely stream Paramount+ when you have a satellite internet plan, but you won’t get the same video quality as usual. You also need to be mindful of how much data you use. Satellite internet comes with strict data limits, and you can easily burn through a month’s supply of data in a couple days if you’re not careful.
Check with your satellite internet provider to see how much data you get and use the Armstrong data calculator to budget out how much you can watch on Paramount+ every day before burning through your data limit.
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 on Paramount+ app downloads
There is no way to manually adjust Paramount+ video quality on a browser or TV app, but you can manually switch between different resolutions for video downloads on Paramount’s cell phone app. Here’s how.
Step 1: Open the Paramount+ app.
Step 2: On the Paramount+ homepage, tap the More menu button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
Step 3: Tap Settings and scroll to Download Video Quality.
Step 4: Choose between High Definition or Standard Definition.
Choose the best Paramount+ plan
Parmount+ has two plans to choose from: Essential and with SHOWTIME. The Essential plan costs only about $6 a month, but it comes with ads. The version with SHOWTIME costs $12 a month, doesn’t have ads, and, of course, includes a ton of extra content from SHOWTIME.
The Paramount+ with SHOWTIME plan is the best deal overall, since it comes with an extra service while costing a bit less than the premium plans of a lot of other streamers. But stick with Essential if you want to save some money—a few ads while watching movies is a small price to pay for great value.
Best internet plans for 4K streaming (return to table)
Data effective 7/7/23. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes & fees. Monthly State Cost Recovery Charge in TX, OH, NV applies. One time install chrg may apply. Ltd. avail/areas.
†Price per month with Auto Pay & without select 5G mobile plans. Fios plan prices include taxes & fees
‡Plus taxes and fees. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.
§For 24 months. No term contract. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount. Taxes and equipment not included.
Best internet plans for budget users (return to table)
Data effective 7/7/23. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*24 Month Internet Pricing. No contract required. Equipment priced separately. Includes $5 discount for 12 months w/ ebill & autopay. Experienced speeds may vary. New residential customers only.
†For 24 months. No term contract. Taxes not included. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount.
‡w/ Auto Pay. Regulatory fees included in monthly price for qualified accounts. See full terms.
§w/ Auto Pay. Available in select areas.
Author - Peter Holslin
Peter Holslin has more than a decade of experience working as a writer and freelance journalist. He graduated with a BA in liberal arts and journalism from New York City’s The New School University in 2008 and went on to contribute to publications like Rolling Stone, VICE, BuzzFeed, and countless others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on covering 5G, nerding out about frequency bands and virtual RAN, and producing reviews on emerging services like 5G home internet. He also writes about internet providers and packages, hotspots, VPNs, and Wi-Fi troubleshooting.