Recommended Speeds and Data Usage of Internet Services

Certain services may require higher speed connections for an optimized user experience.

Minimum Recommended Connection Speed
Streaming Application/Service SD/SQ HD/HQ 4k/Ultra HD
1 YouTube 3 Mbps 5 Mbps 35 Mbps
2 Netflix 3 Mbps 5 Mbps 25 Mbps
3 Amazon Instant Video 3 Mbps 5 Mbps 15 Mbps
4 Hulu/Hulu Plus 2 Mbps 3 Mbps
5 DISH Anywhere Video (Tablet/Smartphone) 250 kbps 500 kbps
6 Video (Computer) 800 kbps 4 Mbps
7 On Demand (IPVOD) content on DISH Receivers 5 Mbps 5 Mbps 10 Mbps
8 Pandora 128 kbps 200 kbps
9 Spotify 160 kbps 320 kbps
10 iHeartRadio 64 kbps 128 kbps
11 128 kbps
12 Skype1 300 kbps 1.5 Mbps
13 Vonage1 90 kbps

Data Usage of Common Internet Services

If you have a service with a data cap, it is important to be aware of how much data you’re using and how that data is measured. The following types of services can use data very quickly:

  • Streaming Video (on devices or connected receivers)
  • Streaming Music (on devices or connected receivers)
  • On Demand Video downloads (on connected receivers)
  • Video/Audio Communication services (on connected devices, i.e. Skype, Vonage)1
  • Online Gaming (on connected devices)1

The following are examples of commonly used services from the above categories. The grid below lists typical data usage; actual usage may vary by user and device.

Typical Bandwidth Consumed Per Hour
Streaming Application/Service SD/SQ HD/HQ 4k/Ultra HD
1 YouTube 0.9 GB 2.7 GB 8.8 GB
2 Netflix 0.7 GB 3.0 GB 7.0 GB
3 Amazon Instant Video 0.9 GB 2.1 GB 11.6 GB
4 Hulu/Hulu Plus 0.3 GB 1.1 GB
5 On Demand (IPVOD) low-action content on DISH receivers (i.e. comedy, drama) 0.6 GB
6 On Demand (IPVOD) high-action content on DISH receivers (i.e. action, adventure) 0.4 GB 1.1 GB 6.6 GB
7 Pandora 60 MB 90 MB
8 Spotify 72 MB 144 MB
9 iHeartRadio 24 MB 60 MB
10 60 MB


Internet download and upload sizes are measured in bytes. A byte is equal to 8 bits of data and is represented with an upper case “B.”

Size Abbreviation Measurement
Byte B
Kilobyte kB a thousand bytes
Megabyte MB a million bytes
Gigabyte GB a billion bytes
Terabyte TB a trillion bytes

Internet connection speeds are measured in bits per second. A bit is the smallest unit of digital information and can be expressed as either a 0 or a 1. Bits are represented with a lower case “b.”

Speed Abbreviation Measurement
Bit Per Second bps
Kilobit Per Second kbps a thousand bits per second
Megabit Per Second Mbps a million bits per second
Gigabit Per Second Gbps a billion bits per second