Chrome and Firefox might dominate the web browser landscape, but that doesn’t mean they are the best for streaming Netflix.
In fact, you might be surprised to know that only a few web browsers support playing Netflix in full HD (1080p).
On Wednesday, Microsoft published data claiming that Chrome, Firefox, and Opera all top out at 720p for all web video (PC World later did a quick confirmation). That means no HD Netflix on these browsers.
If you are watching Netflix on most laptops, there won’t be much of a difference between 720p and 1080p. But if you have a big slick monitor, or have connected your laptop to your TV, you won’t be getting the crisp video you could have been.
Here is the chart from Microsoft that shows the tests:
These findings are also backed up by Netflix’s literature, which lists which browsers support which playback options. From Netflix’s website:
Resolution: Stream in HD if your Internet connection supports 5 megabits per second or more.
- Google Chrome up to 720p
- Internet Explorer up to 1080p
- Microsoft Edge up to 1080p
- Mozilla Firefox up to 720p
- Opera up to 720p
- Safari up to 1080p on Mac OS X 10.10.3 or later
So which browser should you use?
To get the most out of your Netflix experience, your best bet is using Safari if you have a Mac and Microsoft Edge if you have a PC.
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