How much data does Netflix use? The company’s move to disallow account sharing is the talk of the town. Today we want to bring to all of you who have decided to keep your accounts, some tricks to avoid wasting and spend less megabytes.
How much data Netflix uses
On average, Netflix uses approximately 1 GB of data every four hours. It does this when Netflix is in its default data usage mode, intended to balance data usage with video quality. So if you do the maths (or if we do the maths), that means you can watch approximately 16 hour-long episodes of your favourite series with 4GB of data. But that’s if watching Netflix is the only thing you do with your data. Streaming music, surfing the Internet, Google Maps and social networking also require data.
It is also worth noting that this is an approximation and that all streaming services are different. Netflix data usage can also vary widely depending on your device, network strength, video quality and usage settings. You can see how much data Netflix uses on your device by going to the Settings menu and following a few simple steps:
- In Settings, select Mobile
- Scroll down to Netflix and select it.
The “Current period” is not automatically reset every month, so scroll to the bottom of the “Mobile” menu and select “Reset statistics” to update it.
- In Settings, select “Apps”.
- Select “Netflix”.
Under “Usage” you will see how much mobile data Netflix is using on your phone.
- These steps may vary slightly from phone to phone, so check your user manual to locate this information.
How to reduce Netflix data usage?
There are essentially two ways to use less data when streaming Netflix on your phone: use Wi-Fi to download movies on Netflix or modify Netflix’s data usage settings. Let’s start with Wi-Fi.
1. How to download movies on Netflix (and series)
The easiest way to use less data is to do most data-intensive things while connected to a Wi-Fi network. When you use the Internet over Wi-Fi, you are not consuming your mobile data allowance. Of course, this only makes a difference if you’re watching Netflix exclusively in places that have Wi-Fi, like your home or office, right? Well, no.
If you have an iPhone running iOS 9.0 or later, or an Android phone running Android 4.4.2 or later, you can download movies and series from Netflix to watch later, which is a big change. If you know you’re going to be in a waiting room or on a plane for a while and want to re-watch an entire season of your favourite sitcom, download it in advance while connected to a Wi-Fi network. This is also useful if you know you will be travelling and may be left without coverage. Fully downloaded content means there is no buffering and you can use Netflix offline.
2. Change data usage mode in Netflix settings
Of course, you cannot always predict in advance what you will want to see. Maybe you downloaded all that true-crime docuseries, but forgot to download a palate-cleansing comedy as well. It has happened to all of us. Luckily, Netflix lets you tweak its settings to consume less data when streaming the old-fashioned way.
Open the Netflix app on your phone and tap your profile icon (in the top right corner).
In this menu, select “Application settings” and you will see a section called “Video playback”.
Select “Cellular data usage”. You will be given three options: Wi-Fi only, Save Data and Max Data.
Select “Save data” and Netflix will go from using approximately 1 GB every four hours (in automatic mode) to using 1 GB every six hours.
Maximum data, if you’re curious, uses about 1GB every 20 minutes to provide the best possible image quality… so use this mode at your own risk.
3. Switch to an operator that helps you use less data.
Finally, since you are concerned about your data, reading our blog, we could also explain why you should consider Axarfusion for your premium wireless needs. We believe in total transparency, which is why we tell everyone that, contrary to popular belief, an unlimited data plan is not your only option.
So as well as giving you tips on how to use less data, we can also recommend switching to a lower priced phone plan based on your usage habits. You read that right, we’ll tell you to pay us less if you’re not using all your high-speed data. So go to our mobile services website and choose the one you are most interested in.