There is no doubt about the fact that Netflix is a streaming giant. It was one of the first-ever video-on-demand services to change people’s tastes in favor of online streaming. Today, Netflix holds more than 70 million subscribers in the US, the largest pool of users in the market. Though Netflix opens endless doors to entertainment and promises absolute convenience, it is an over-the-top TV service, using the internet instead of traditional cables to deliver exciting programming to your devices. In other words, you need to have an amazing yet cheap internet at home to access Netflix’s library on the go. Since the internet is the lifeblood of all modern activities, whether browsing, shopping, paying bills, taking classes, or running a business, and a multitude of users already take up so much of your allocated bandwidth, it is natural to wonder if Netflix will consume a lot of your in-home Wi-Fi, leaving nothing for other programs. Don’t worry. This post’s got you covered. Learn how much Wi-Fi data Netflix streaming requires and what steps you can take to control its data usage. Let’s dig in.
Netflix Data Usage and Requirements
Data usage has a direct connection with the quality of video streaming when it comes to Netflix. If you like to watch your favorite shows in Standard Definition, then you can expect the data consumption to be less than a GB per hour. On the other hand, if you can’t enjoy a movie in anything less than 4K Ultra-High Definition, then get ready to run out of your data allowance sooner than you think. Netflix shifts its data usage when you toggle the video quality. Here is a quick estimate of the internet data that Netflix consumes:
- For a low-quality video – Up to 0.3 GB per hour for one connected device.
- For a medium quality video or Standard Definition (720p) – Up to 0.7 GB per hour for one connected display.
- For a high-quality video or High Definition (1080p) – Up to 3 GB per hour for one device.
- For the best quality video or Ultra-High-Definition 4K (2160p) – Up to 7 GB per hour for one user.
How does it Compare with Other Services?
To see whether Netflix uses a lot of your Wi-Fi, you need to compare it with other streaming services and their respective data usage. This table will help you out in that regard:
|Video Quality||Data Usage|
|Low||0.3 GB per hour||0.38 GB per hour||0.6 GB per hour|
|Medium||0.7 GB per hour||1.40 GB per hour||1.2 GB per hour|
|High||3 GB per hour||6.84 GB per hour||4.2 GB per hour|
As you can see, Netflix requires only 3 GB per hour of data to stream a video in HD. In contrast, Disney+ consumes 4.2 GB and Amazon goes out of the way with its 7 GB mark for the same video quality. So, it is safe to say that Netflix will not use a lot of Wi-Fi if you subscribe to it today. You can run other web activities and programs alongside it and you won’t face buffering.
Tips to Conserve Data While Netflix Streaming
Nonetheless, you can further adjust the Netflix data usage settings to save up even more bandwidth. Here are a few things you can try.
Change Settings from a Browser
If you like to stream Netflix shows on a PC or laptop, then you can alter the settings for your profile by opening your Account page on a web browser. From there, choose your profile name from a menu of Profile & Parental Controls. After that, click on the option of Change visible in the Playback settings. Select a data usage setting that suits your taste. If you were on 4K before, dial down to HD to save up on data. Click on Save Changes and wait for them to take effect. It might take up to eight hours. This is how you can adjust the data settings from a web browser.
Choose ‘Automatic’ or ‘Save Data’
Mobile data may help you stream House of Cards while you are waiting in a line at the bank or taking a stroll in the park, but it often faces the danger of running out if you are not careful with your video quality settings. To change settings, simply head to the Video Playback menu and follow the steps mentioned above. Another way to save up on mobile data is to choose the Automatic option, which adjusts the video quality in a balanced way, making sure you conserve data while getting a good definition video. Automatic only uses one GB of data for four whole hours of streaming. Either this or you can go on an extreme-conservation mode by selecting Save Data, which gives you six hours of streaming for one GB only.
It is natural to feel a little cautious before signing up for something new. If you’re wondering whether Netflix will use a lot of Wi-Fi, then rest assured, it won’t, as proven in this post. So, go ahead and start your Netflix streaming today!