Netflix is more a cultural phenomenon that mere media streaming service. Most people use it either at home or on the move and it has changed how we consume content forever. But, if you have limited data either mobile or broadband, how much data are you using when consuming Netflix?
Also see our article The 50 Best Shows on Netflix Right Now
Believe it or not, there are still ISPs that inflict data caps on users. These unfortunates as well as cellphone users will particularly benefit from knowing how much data Netflix uses. Anything that saves those exoribitant data fees if you go over your allowance has to be worth it right?
How much data does Netflix use?
If you have usage caps of any kind, it is essential to keep tabs on usage across the board. As streaming can have quite an impact on your data, it’s vital to know just how much Netflix uses.
According to Netflix:
- A standard definition TV show or movie uses up to 1 GB of data per hour.
- A high definition TV show or movie uses up to 3 GB of data per hour.
- A 4K TV show or movie uses up to 7 GB of data per hour.
Data use is approximate but is a good guide to how much you’re consuming per show or movie.
How can I minimize that data use?
Netflix is aware that many users will watch on the move so have tried to minimize data consumption as much as possible. They also allow you to control a few variables to keep data use down as much as possible.
- Select the three lines top left of the Netflix app and select App Settings.
- Toggle Cellular Data Usage off Set Automatically and select one of the following options.
- Low sets a steam cap of .3GB per hour.
- Medium is up to .7GB per hour.
- High is HD at 3GB per hour.
- Auto adjusts according to internet speed. It does not take into account data caps which is why I don’t suggest using it.
- There is also the option to select Off which will only stream media when connected to Wi-Fi and unlimited for those without data caps.
- Adjust these settings accordingly to balance viewing quality and data usage.
You can also control all playback settings on the Your Account page of Netflix.
How to check how much data you have used
On an iPhone:
- Open Settings and tap Cellular.
- Scroll down the list until you see Netflix.
- The number below the name is your usage.
- Open Settings and Data usage.
- Check the graph for total data usage.
- Scroll down to find Netflix and see how much it alone has used.
On both operating systems, the toggle next to Netflix turns data on or off. Useful if you’re getting close to your usage cap!