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How much data does streaming use?

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Last updated: 11 March 2022

Streaming has become the new normal way for us to watch and listen to the things we like. One of the great advantages of this is you can access content while on the move, assuming you have a suitable internet connection
However, if you’re not hooked up to WiFi, this will eat into your data. But how much data does it actually use? 

How much data you’ll get through depends on two things. Firstly, whether you’re streaming audio or video content, and secondly, the quality of the content you’re streaming:

How much data does streaming video use?

By far the more data-intensive of the two formats, streaming TV or movies will set you back around 700MB an hour at 480p, which is often the lowest quality available.

Should you want to upgrade and go for HD or even 4K options, you will get through around 3GB and 7.2GB an hour respectively. This means that if you’re someone who just has to watch 4K movies while on the move, you’re going to need a pretty sizable data package.

How much data does streaming audio use?

For music, podcasts and radio, you’ll get much more out of your allowance. Standard quality levels of 160kpbs only get through around 42MB of data per hour.

Even if you want to step it up a notch, you’ll still find audio streaming pretty light in terms of consumption, with higher quality 320kpbs audio streaming only costing you around 115MB per hour.


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Michael Quinn

Author: Michael Quinn

Michael is a dedicated author helping usave to write guides, blogs and news for the last four years. When not writing articles, you can usually find him at wine tasting events or having a political debate on the night tube.

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