Netflix for Australian travellers: What speeds can you expect?

Alex Kidman 8 January 2016 NEWS

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Netflix is now available to Australians travelling overseas, with only a few exclusions. But will you find quality broadband to stream when you get there?

Netflix has announced that it's launching across the globe (excluding China, Crimea, Syria and North Korea), which means that the streaming service is now available in a whole host of countries that you might be planning to travel to in the near future.

The existing streaming rights that Netflix has means that the availability of content will vary by region, whether you’re in Hong Kong, India, Russia or Iran, for example. But Netflix itself won't discriminate against you if you have an active subscription and your country location changes.

This means that if you log into Netflix abroad without using a VPN, you'll be provided with whatever the local Netflix catalogue offers instead of the current Australian library of titles. Depending on where you are, that may be a larger or smaller library, but you should at the very least get a basic level of access.

Content is one issue, and the other is probably going to be connection speed, because Netflix dynamically adjusts the visual quality offered based on your current connection speeds. Netflix provides advised connection speeds for each level of quality offered, so it's not too hard to discern what you need to have in order to be able to access a specific quality level.

It's worth noting that not every title available on Netflix is streamed in HD or 4K quality. For example, most Netflix Originals are available in 4K, but other titles might only be available in standard definition (SD).
Here is Netflix’s advice on required broadband speeds for each type of connection, bearing in mind that the entry level speeds of 0.5Mbps and 1.5Mbps would require significant buffering:

  • 0.5 Megabits per second - Required broadband connection speed
  • 1.5 Megabits per second - Recommended broadband connection speed
  • 3.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for SD quality
  • 5.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for HD quality
  • 25 Megabits per second - Recommended for Ultra HD quality

With Netflix increasing its footprint across the globe, it’s also increasing its audience, as long as those countries can meet the required speeds.

Using the global speed metrics provided by Akamai’s State Of The Internet data for Q3 2015, here is how each country compares and what type of connection a user in those countries can expect. Any location marked as N/A did not have available average download data for comparison purposes.

Keep in mind that these are only averages, and you may well hit a better connection than these numbers suggest, which would improve your Netflix experience. It’s interesting to note that there’s still no country on Earth that automatically passes the 4K quality barrier outright.

Likewise, for the countries where Akamai presents download speed data, there are none that outright fail the lowest bar for Netflix streaming, although you’re likely to encounter significant buffering connecting at anything under the recommended 1.5Mbps rate.

Country Average Net Speed Equivalent Netflix Quality
South Korea 20.543 HD
Sweden 17.445 HD
Norway 16.433 HD
Switzerland 16.204 HD
Hong Kong 15.8 HD
Netherlands 15.621 HD
Japan 15.027 HD
Finland 14.824 HD
Latvia 14.54 HD
Czech Republic 14.526 HD
Denmark 13.955 HD
Romania 13.082 HD
Iceland 13.046 HD
United Kingdom 12.974 HD
Belgium 12.775 HD
United States 12.572 HD
Singapore 12.5 HD
Ireland 12.431 HD
Lithuania 12.228 HD
Bulgaria 12.117 HD
Canada 11.896 HD
Andorra 11.78 HD
Germany 11.527 HD
Austria 11.391 HD
Israel 11.197 HD
Slovakia 11.189 HD
Hungary 10.659 HD
Portugal 10.583 HD
Poland 10.567 HD
Liechtenstein 10.476 HD
Spain 10.352 HD
Russia 10.225 HD
Ukraine 10.154 HD
Taiwan 10.07 HD
Slovenia 9.748 HD
Moldova 9.738 HD
Malta 9.695 HD
Estonia 9.374 HD
Rwanda 9.292 HD
Luxembourg 9.129 HD
Puerto Rico 8.795 HD
New Zealand 8.652 HD
Thailand 8.236 HD
France 8.154 HD
Australia 7.827 HD
Bahamas 7.599 HD
Mongolia 7.542 HD
Faroe Islands 7.479 HD
Georgia 7.071 HD
Trinidad and Tobago 6.799 HD
United Arab Emirates 6.793 HD
Italy 6.526 HD
Greece 6.322 HD
Turkey 6.225 HD
Macedonia 6.135 HD
Belarus 6.037 HD
San Marino 6.034 HD
Qatar 6.004 HD
Uruguay 5.92 HD
Kazakhstan 5.893 HD
Barbados 5.792 HD
Bosnia and Herzegovina 5.76 HD
Jamaica 5.684 HD
Papua New Guinea 5.683 HD
Chile 5.674 HD
U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas) 5.665 HD
Croatia 5.563 HD
Mexico 5.546 HD
Cyprus 5.509 HD
Kuwait 5.301 HD
Grenada 5.142 HD
Sri Lanka (Ceylon) 5.13 HD
Albania 5.042 HD
Malaysia 4.883 SD (Recommended)
Montenegro 4.685 SD (Recommended)
Fijian Islands 4.637 SD (Recommended)
Zimbabwe 4.452 SD (Recommended)
Peru 4.43 SD (Recommended)
Saint Kitts And Nevis 4.396 SD (Recommended)
Colombia 4.242 SD (Recommended)
Argentina 4.171 SD (Recommended)
Ecuador 4.091 SD (Recommended)
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines 4.058 SD (Recommended)
Bahrain 3.957 SD (Recommended)
Dominica 3.957 SD (Recommended)
Cambodia (Kampuchea) 3.916 SD (Recommended)
Armenia 3.892 SD (Recommended)
Uzbekistan 3.778 SD (Recommended)
Iraq 3.7 SD (Recommended)
Brunei Darussalam 3.697 SD (Recommended)
South Africa 3.669 SD (Recommended)
Brazil 3.645 SD (Recommended)
Jordan 3.608 SD (Recommended)
Greenland 3.563 SD (Recommended)
Panama 3.485 SD (Recommended)
Azerbaijan 3.421 SD (Recommended)
Lesotho 3.416 SD (Recommended)
Vietnam 3.389 SD (Recommended)
Liberia 3.386 SD (Recommended)
Myanmar (Burma) 3.295 SD (Recommended)
Costa Rica 3.203 SD (Recommended)
Saint Lucia 3.201 SD (Recommended)
Morocco 3.163 SD (Recommended)
Western Sahara 3.163 SD (Recommended)
Saudi Arabia 3.152 SD (Recommended)
Oman 3.052 SD (Recommended)
Tajikistan 3.048 SD (Recommended)
Indonesia 2.969 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Mauritius 2.908 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Guatemala 2.907 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Tunisia 2.901 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
British Guyana 2.833 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Philippines 2.816 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
El Salvador 2.763 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Lao People's Democratic Republic 2.677 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Kyrgyzstan 2.669 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Bangladesh 2.608 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Madagascar 2.564 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Nicaragua 2.553 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Nigeria 2.527 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Kenya 2.526 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
India 2.522 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Honduras 2.445 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Sao Tome and Principe 2.427 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Algeria 2.422 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Dominican Republic 2.303 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Suriname 2.232 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Haiti 2.145 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Bhutan 2.111 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Burundi 2.111 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire) 2.076 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Pakistan 2.064 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
South Sudan 2.044 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Republic of the Congo 2.002 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Iran 1.997 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Belize 1.99 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Turkmenistan 1.975 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Mozambique 1.924 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Sierra Leone 1.886 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Gabon 1.877 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Tanzania 1.844 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Gambia 1.842 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Ethiopia 1.825 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Nepal 1.825 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Angola 1.8 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Namibia 1.781 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Bolivia 1.779 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Malawi 1.763 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Egypt 1.738 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Djibouti Republic 1.734 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Sint Maarten 1.703 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Anguilla 1.7 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Antigua and Barbuda 1.7 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Ghana 1.691 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Somalia 1.673 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Cameroon 1.657 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Uganda 1.633 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Lebanon 1.626 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Cuba 1.621 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Paraguay 1.506 SD (Recommended, buffering likely)
Venezuela 1.453 SD (Minimum Requirement)
East Timor (Timor-Leste) 1.437 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Zambia 1.397 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Swaziland 1.37 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Guinea 1.322 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Senegal 1.296 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Sudan 1.294 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Botswana 1.232 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Mauritania 1.229 SD (Minimum Requirement)
American Samoa 1.188 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Equatorial Guinea 1.164 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Democratic Republic of Congo 1.138 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Eritrea 1.134 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Benin (Dahomey) 1.126 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Chad 1.043 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Afghanistan 0.976 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Yemen 0.89 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Comoros 0.807 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Togo 0.777 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Guinea-Bissau 0.644 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Niger 0.622 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Central African Republic 0.616 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Libya 0.587 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Burkina Faso (Upper Volta) 0.578 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Mali 0.521 SD (Minimum Requirement)
Aruba N/A
Australian Antarctica N/A
Bermuda N/A
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba N/A
British Indian Ocean Territory N/A
British Virgin Islands N/A
Cape Verde Islands (Cabo Verde) N/A
Cayman Islands N/A
Christmas Island N/A
Cocos (Keeling) Islands N/A
Cook Islands N/A
Curaçao N/A
Falkland Islands N/A
Federated States of Micronesia N/A
French Guiana N/A
French Polynesia N/A
Gibraltar N/A
Guadeloupe N/A
Guam N/A
Guernsey N/A
Heard Island and McDonald Islands N/A
Isle Of Man N/A
Jersey N/A
Kiribati N/A
Macao N/A
Maldives N/A
Marshall Islands N/A
Martinique N/A
Mayotte N/A
Micronesia N/A
Monaco N/A
Montserrat N/A
Nauru N/A
Netherlands Antilles N/A
New Caledonia N/A
Niue N/A
Norfolk Island N/A
Northern Mariana Islands N/A
Palau N/A
Palestine N/A
Pitcairn Islands N/A
Réunion N/A
Saint Barthélemy N/A
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha N/A
Saint Martin N/A
Saint Pierre and Miquelon N/A
Samoa N/A
Seychelles N/A
Solomon Islands N/A
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands N/A
Tokelau Islands N/A
Tonga N/A
Turks And Caicos Islands N/A
Tuvalu N/A
United States Minor Outlying Islands (Baker Island, Midway Atoll, Wake Island) N/A
Vanuatu (New Hebrides) N/A
Vatican City N/A
Wallis and Futuna N/A

Image: Shutterstock

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