Best ISP for Streaming

Since the beginning of 2020, the need for South Africans to stay connected has grown. From Zoom meetings and online schooling to shopping for groceries, the internet has become an important household commodity. Even when it comes to entertainment, the internet is more than a fallback option. In fact, many are opting to subscribe to online streaming networks instead of paying for satellite TV. The question is, how do you guarantee a seamless online TV streaming experience?

In This Guide:

What Is Online Streaming?

TV streaming or online streaming refers to the action of viewing audio and video content online. There’s no need to download the content, instead, it’s watched in real-time as information travels. A continuous stream of data is what makes this type of technology possible.

Online streaming also gives you the ability to pause, rewind, or fast-forward content - and paid services offer ad-free viewing (which is always a bonus).

Is online streaming the same as “video on demand”?

Video on-demand services such as Showmax and Netflix use adaptive streaming. This means that you can access content stored on their servers and the video quality will self-adjust depending on how fast your internet connection is. For example, the slower your connection is, the lower the video resolution will be.   

What Internet Speed Do I Need for Streaming?

To stream content online without experiencing the frustration of buffered viewing, you’ll need an internet connection that will be fast enough to handle the constant flow of data. For a seamless stream, your internet speed should not be slower than 10Mbps. With this being said, your preferred quality of streaming will also determine a suitable internet speed.

For example:

  • For DVD quality (standard definition or SD viewing) you will need an 8 – 10Mbps internet line
  • For HD quality, a suitable line speed is 10 Mbps – 20Mbps
  • For High Definition (HD) streaming, it’s best to invest in a line that’s more than 20Mbps

If you have a large household where many users will be online at the same time, then you may want to consider a 50 Mbps – 200 Mbps Fibre line. This especially applies if more than 3 users will be streaming videos or games simultaneously.

How Much Data Does Streaming Use?

If you purchase your data ad hoc or if you’re connected to a capped line, then this poses an important question: how much data does streaming use?

To give you an idea, you can use the following as average references:

  • Low-quality streaming will use about 0.3GB (300MB) per hour
  • Standard quality video (SD) uses about 0.7GB (700MB) per hour
  • High Definition quality video (HD) uses about 1.5GB (1080p) - 3GB (2K) per hour
  • If you plan to stream in 4K, then expect to use about 7.2GB per hour

The good news is that most online streaming apps will automatically adjust to your connection type, and if they don’t, there should be manual settings available. This way, you can choose to stream in low definition or SD if your data is limited.

Which Is Better for Movie Streaming Sites – ADSL or Fibre?

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to stream if you’re still using dial-up. But a fast ADSL or Fibre connection will give you the speed and stability you need for seamless streaming.

Determining which of the two is better – ADSL or Fibre – comes down to your personal requirements and ease of access.

While fibre broadband does provide faster download speeds and is thus a better option for streaming, the service is not yet readily available to all parts of South Africa.

Luckily, ADSL is available across the country and this connection-type still provides enough speed for adequate streaming (you’ll even find plans with speeds that can accommodate 4K streaming).

Who Is the Best ISP for Streaming?

In South Africa, you’re not limited by choice and there are both corporate and private internet service providers to choose from. This means that the market is open to competition and affordable internet isn’t hard to come by.

According to Briefly, the best 2020 internet service providers in South Africa for streaming are:

  • Axxess
  • Vox
  • MTN
  • Supersonic
  • Web Africa
  • Cell C
  • Afrihost
  • MWEB
  • Telkom Internet
  • Cybersmart
  • Home-connect

* The names on this list have been added in no particular order.

The ISPs on this list have been researched and have made the cut for providing efficient services that are flexible and fairly priced. Of course, there may be new internet service providers who have yet to build a solid reputation – so, it may be worth your while to scrutinise these service providers too.

No matter what, always shop around before settling on the first internet deal that sounds cheap and promising.  

How to Find a Cheap Internet Deal?

Whether you’re considering switching internet service providers or looking for a broadband deal for the first time, you’re in the right place. Here’s where you’ll be able to compare internet deals so that you can find the perfect connection for your online streaming activities.

All you need to do is enter your details into our free online quote comparison tool, and our system will do the tedious part of shopping for you. You’ll be provided with a list of quality ISPs in your area who will be able to connect you to your favourite shows in no time.

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