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For this reason, it pays to know just how much data Netflix can consume, allowing you to make better use of your monthly data quota.
Depending on your preferred and available video quality, you can choose between four different data usage options with Netflix. Data usage between these options differs dramatically, so it pays to be informed.
If video quality doesn’t bother you, you can save a lot on data usage by setting your Netflix data usage settings to low or medium. Otherwise, choosing HD over Ultra HD could help save on your data usage.
But it comes down to your needs. If you’re someone who wants to watch everything in the highest definition possible, go for it! Just know that you’re going to chew through your data at a faster rate.
Whether you’re an iPhone or Android user, Netflix offers four mobile-specific data usage settings to choose from. They include:
If your WiFi cuts out while you’re watching a video, it may switch to your mobile data instead, often without you noticing. If you want to save your mobile data for other things and avoid any surprises, the WiFi Only setting could be a great option for you.
Whether you choose to download or stream your favourite shows or movies, it makes little difference to your Netflix data usage. They use more or less the same amount of data, so it really depends on your viewing preferences.
Now that you know just how much data usage can vary with Netflix, you can actively choose a setting that best suits your needs. To change your current settings, visit your Netflix account page from a web browser.*
*Please note that any setting changes may not take effect immediately.
Keep in mind that you need to set the data usage settings for each profile (except kids profiles).
For mobile phone settings, if you have more than one device, you’ll need to set this for each device and for each profile. But if you’ve already set your Netflix data settings online, your mobile phone will automatically use this setting.
YouTube is another popular viewing platform that is convenient and offers variety. But figuring out data usage for YouTube is not as straightforward as Netflix, mainly because there are more variations and options to choose from.
Videos can be viewed in a wide range of video quality settings, from 360p to 2160p. Bitrate, frame rate and bandwidth can also affect data usage, as do videos made in 3D or 360-degree.
In general, you can expect to use the following when watching standard YouTube videos:
Knowing how much of your data can be chewed up by your favourite Netflix series or movies keeps you in control of your data. You can actively choose the right setting for you, and leave behind the days of suddenly finding you’ve used all your data early in the month!
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Last updated: 4/02/2020