Every month, Netflix tests the broadband performance of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the UK and around the world, to see which companies supply the best performance for Netflix streaming – and the results for February are in.
The measurements are done during each provider’s “prime time” hours (for Netflix viewing), and the tests are only done on home broadband – so mobile phone cellular streaming isn’t included in these results.
In February 2023, according to Netflix’s tests, Virgin Media (see offers) remained at the top of Netflix’s ISP Speed Index, with a speed rating of 3.8 Mbps.
In the second place, there’s a tie between several broadband providers that use Openreach’s network – BT, EE, Sky Fiber and more (see the full results below).
Internationally, these results put the UK’s Netflix Speed Index rating in second place, along with countries such as Australia, Japan and the United States.
Hong Kong, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain and Switzerland occupy the top of the leaderboard, with a speed index of 3.8 (As opposed to the UK’s 3.6).
Netflix ISP Index – What Is It?
The Netflix ISP Speed Index is a measure of prime-time Netflix performance on each particular ISP. The data isn’t sampled – ALL prime-time sessions, each day, are taken into account for the calculations.
Netflix uses a rather complicated calculation to measure each ISP’s performance (you can see the full explanation here), and the measurements are done each day on that ISP’s top 3 hours of Netflix viewing.
“Every time a customer chooses to play a title, that streamed session has a known maximum achievable bitrate”, Netflix explains. “That maximum bitrate is set by the combination of the streaming device, encode recipe and the resolution requested” (so all three video resolutions provided, SD, Full HD and 4K – are taken into consideration).
In general, faster Netflix performance generally means better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions (and less buffering) – which is what you would get if you use the leading ISPs in Netflix’s speed index.
Keep in mind that Netflix doesn’t test broadband performance in general, or any other websites or streaming services – it only measures traffic that is directly used to stream content from Netflix.
Furthermore, cellular traffic is excluded (but if you stream on your phone via WiFi at home, that WILL be part of Netflix’s measurements).
Best UK ISPs For Netflix – February 2023
After a surprising tie in January, Virgin Media is back to leading the pack in February, with a Netflix speed rating of 3.8 Mbps (it was down to 3.6 in January).
BT and EE have kept their 3.6 Mbps speed rating from last month – which ranks them Number 2 in the UK for February – with both their fibre and regular (DSL) services taken into account.
Plusnet (Fibre / DSL), Sky Fibre, TalkTalk Fibre and Vodafone are also in the same tie for Number 2, with 3.6Mbps – which is an improvement over January, where all four had a speed rating of 3.4.
Sky and TalkTalk’s non-fibre offers are ranked third for February, with a rating of 3.6 Mbps.
As for smaller companies who are absent from this ranking – netflix includes broadband ISPs that consistently have >1% of Netflix’s total view hours in the UK – therefore only the bigger/popular ISPs are measured.
- Check Virgin Media Broadband Deals
- Check BT Broadband Deals
- Check Plusnet Broadband Deals
- Check Sky Broadband Deals
What Broadband Speed Do I Need For Netflix?
While these rankings measure overall broadband performance, it’s always important to have high-enough broadband speed for streaming – especially if you intend to watch Netflix on several devices simultaneously, and in Ultra HD (4K).
Netflix’s official streaming speed recommendations are:
High Definition (72op) Streaming: Broadband speed of at least 3 Mbps.
Full High Definition (1080p) Streaming: Broadband speed of at least 5 Mbps.
UltraHD (4K) Streaming: Broadband speed of at least 15 Mbps.
Remember that these numbers are typically correct for one stream. If you intend to stream 4K video on two devices at the same time, in the same household, you would usually need an even faster connection (though not double, necessarily – as the streams don’t typically download at exactly the same time).
Netflix offers a speed-testing site where you can test your own broadband’s speed, from your home to Netflix’s servers – you can use it by going to Fast.com.