Netflix lists the best and worst ISPs for streaming movies

It’s no secret that tension is brewing between streaming services like Netflix and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). A couple months back, Comcast even began charging a partner of Netflix called Level 3 to use its bandwidth. Streaming services use a lot of bandwidth and ISPs don’t like it. Unfortunately, the times, they are changing, and customers are demanding more and more streaming video.

In a blog post yesterday, Netflix called them out, claiming that no major ISP in the United States or Canada is capable of sustaining a 4,800 kilobits per second stream for the duration of a film–4,800 Kb/s is Netflix’s highest HD offering. More stunning: the company actually created a chart of 15 major ISPs and showed us exactly who is the fastest and best, effectively calling out underperforming ISPs by name. The graphs are below.

netflix lists the best and worst isps for streaming movies performing isp chart jan 2011

In the U.S. the best ISP for streaming is Charter. The company averaged 2,667 Kb/s. Looking at the graph, Comcast appears to come in second, followed by Cox, Time Warner, Suddenlink, Cablevision, and Cable One, which all logged more than 2,200-2,600 Kb/s. In the 1,800-2,200 Kb/s range, Verizon takes the lead, followed by AT&T, Bellsouth, Windstream, Embarq, and Qwest. Finally, on the bottom of the totem poll, at 1,400-1,600, are CenturyTel, Frontier, and Clearwire.


There are only four Canadian ISPs, but they rank as follows: Rogers gets the top spot with a 3,020 Kb/s average streaming speed, followed by Shaw, Bell Canada, and Telus. All Canadian carriers rank on the high end of U.S. bandwidth averages.

The above graphs were calculated from Oct. 1, 2010 to Jan. 15, 2011. Netflix director of content delivery, Ken Florance, claims that the company will update the charts once a month.

You may be wondering: how does Netflix know these numbers? Well, the company attempts to deliver the highest quality video it can over a network at any given time, but if a subscriber’s available bandwidth drops below a certain threshold, Netflix automatically bumps down the video quality so that it can continue to stream at lower Internet speeds.


Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.

Faster new PCIe 5.0 standard leapfrogs the best feature of AMD’s Ryzen 3

PCIe 5.0 will bring even faster data transfers, but it may only be found on HPCs and servers initially. The standard is four times faster than your current PC at transferring data, and new devices could appear later this year.

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for January 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.

Watch out for these top-10 mistakes people make when buying a laptop

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.

Don't spend a fortune on a PC. These are the best laptops under $300

Buying a laptop needn't mean spending a fortune. If you're just looking to browse the internet, answer emails, and watch Netflix, you can pick up a great laptop at a great price. These are the best laptops under $300.

Dell XPS 13 vs. Asus Zenbook 13: In battle of champions, who will be the victor?

The ZenBook 13 UX333 continues Asus's tradition of offering great budget-oriented 13-inch laptop offerings. Does this affordable machine offer enough value to compete with the excellent Dell XPS 13?

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?