Question from Heather E.: Hi Rick. I hope you can help me out with the answer to a question that’s been bugging me for a while.
The download speed for my Internet connection is supposed to be 30 Mbps. When I check it with Speedtest.net like you suggested in one of your previous posts, it almost always says it’s running around 28 Mbps. I can live with that.
But when my boyfriend is watching a movie on Netflix (he does it every night), Speedtest.net says I’m only getting around 6 Mbps. Is this normal? I know that Netflix uses a lot of bandwidth, but that seems excessive to me.
Rick’s answer: Heather, that does sound like a lot of bandwidth usage, but since I had never really given this much thought I decided to do a test.
While signed out of Netflix, I checked the download speed on my PC three times with Speedtest.net. The number it gave me every time was in the neighborhood of 28.5 Mbps.
Next, I began streaming a movie through an Xbox 360. With Netflix in use, the download speed on my PC dropped to less than 8 Mbps.
Those results are pretty close to yours, and since I also have a 30 Mbps plan (through Xfinity) it’s a pretty safe bet that we’re comparing apples to apples.
Bottom line: Netflix indeed hogs a huge chunk of our allotted Internet download bandwidth.
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