The way that we watch sports has changed a lot in the last few years, and you’re not limited to the games that are shown on TV anymore. Streaming services, like Amazon Prime and Youtube, have the rights to a lot of matches, and you can stream a range of different sports from around the world as long as you have a good broadband connection.
It’s great that you have more ways than ever to watch sports and the range of sports that you can watch is bigger, but it does mean that you are reliant on good broadband speeds if you want a clear connection without any interruption. Whether you’re looking to watch the latest Premier League games or you follow the NFL, you may be wondering which broadband you should be using. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the best broadband for streaming sports.
What Speeds Do You Need For Streaming Sports?
If you’ve already done some research into broadband speeds for streaming, you may have seen a recommendation of 5-7mbps mentioned, but that’s not quite accurate. It’s true that if you have a single device streaming, that speed will be adequate. However, most people have more than one device connected at a time and many of them are streaming at the same time. You might be watching sports downstairs while somebody is playing online games or watching a movie upstairs. In that case, 5-7mbps may not be fast enough and you should consider more speed.
It’s important that you consider how many people are in the house and how likely they are to be streaming at the same time you are watching sports. In most cases, you will need 25mbps at the very least if you want a clear connection without interruptions. The last thing that you want is for the stream to cut out at a crucial moment.
What Kind Of Internet Connection Is Best For Streaming Sports?
Choosing the right speed is important if you want to stream sports, but you also need to consider the different types of internet connections that are available.
Fiber Optic Broadband
Fiber optic internet is the latest in broadband technology and it delivers incredible speeds. It transmits the internet using light that travels through thin glass strands, which is far quicker than traditional cables. With fiber-optic broadband, you can reach download speeds of up to 1,000mbps, so it will have no problem at all streaming a football game in high definition or even in 4K, regardless of how many other people are streaming at the same time.
However, fiber optic is relatively new and it is only available in around 35% of homes in the US, so you will have to check whether you can get it in your area or not. If you can get it, you should because it’s the best option for streaming sports.
There are a number of providers that offer fiber optic, and it usually starts at around $40 per month if you go with somebody like Verizon. The price ranges quite a bit and Google Fiber comes in at the higher end of the price scale at around $70 per month. But even the cheapest fiber optic packages will be more than capable of streaming sports.
If you cannot get fiber optic in your area or you are looking for a cheaper alternative, cable broadband is the next best thing. It was first introduced in the 90s and it uses existing cable TV lines to deliver internet. It’s widely available and you should be able to get it pretty much anywhere, unless you live in the middle of nowhere.
Although the speeds are not as quick as the fastest fiber optic broadband, you can still get 500mbps in a lot of places. This is plenty quick enough to stream sports with great quality and no issues with the connection cutting out. However, cable broadband speeds can slow down if all of the neighbors are using it at the same time, which means that you could potentially have issues if there is a big Premier League or NFL game on and lots of people are streaming at the same time. You should still be able to stream the whole game without interruption, but the quality may suffer a little.
The cost of cable broadband is lower than fiber optic and most providers will charge somewhere between $30 and $40 a month for a great service.
DSL (digital subscriber line) internet is the internet that runs through phone lines. Even though many people have moved on from this option, it is still the most widely available because phone lines cover the entire country. If you live in a very rural area, this may be your only option. Unfortunately, that’s bad news if you want to stream sporting events because speeds are no higher than 50mbps in most cases. If you live in a particularly remote area, speeds can get as low as 5mbps, and that’s no good for streaming sports.
DSL internet is not as cheap as you might think either, and many packages come in at around $50 a month, so you should only go for it if you have no other option.
If you are in an area where you can’t even get DSL, the satellite is your only option. Just like TV, the signal is broadcast from a satellite in space, but unlike TV, you won’t get a crystal clear picture. It’s expensive and the download speeds are very poor, so it’s not good for streaming sports. It’s an upgrade from dial up internet but it’s considerably worse than any other option. If you can only get access to satellite internet, you may have to give up on the idea of streaming sports online and just watch the football on TV instead.
Overall, fiber optics and cable are the best for streaming sports. You can still get a half-decent picture on DSL, but it’s unreliable, so always go for fiber optic or cable where possible.