video apps

How much data do video apps use?

If you’re not connected to Wi-Fi but need to watch a video or join a video call, you’ll have to use your mobile data. The problem is, videos use up a lot of data, and you could soon hit your monthly limit if you're not careful. Before you next hit play, learn how much data each video app consumes so you can plan ahead.

What is mobile data?

Mobile data allows you to access the internet and other applications while not connected to Wi-Fi. 

Your phone will usually use either 3G or 4G, the most common data speeds right now, but 5G is on the rise. No matter the speed, mobile data is incredibly helpful in keeping us connected to the online world while away from home. 

How much data do video streaming apps use?

It's a difficult balance. You want to watch a Netflix episode or a video on YouTube, but you're concerned about hitting your data cap.

To help you weigh things up, here’s how much data video streaming apps uses up on your phone:

Video streaming app

Data consumed per hour 

Netflix

1GB (standard definition)

3GB (HD)

YouTube

1.56GB (1080p)

2.7GB (4K)

Amazon Prime

900MB (SD)

5GB (HD)

7GB (UHD) 

Disney+

600MB (SD)

2GB (HD)

BBC iPlayer

225MB

Apple TV

2GB

Now TV

2.2GB


As you can see, streaming videos eats up your mobile data. The higher the video quality, the more data will be consumed to keep up with the demand. 

Popular content streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ all use huge chunks of data per hour. This is made even worse when played in their highest definition (4K or equivalent). Out of all of them, Amazon Prime needs the largest amount of data, with 7GB per hour in Ultra High Definition! 

How to save data when watching videos

To save your mobile data, you can watch video content in lower definitions. 

Alternatively, you can download episodes, movies, and videos before disconnecting from Wi-Fi. Once downloaded, you can happily watch these videos without using any data. 

How much data do video communication apps use?

Sometimes a phone call or text won’t cut it, and you need to make a video call. If you’re out and about, you don’t need to be as concerned about your data as you would with streaming. 

Many video communication apps use much less than a GB per hour, as you can see in the table below: 

Video communication app

Data consumed per hour 

Zoom

540MB - 1.62GB (SD - HD)

FaceTime

180MB

Skype

270MB

Google Meet

2.25GB (HD)

Google Hangouts

1.4GB (five people)

1.8GB (10+ people)

Slack

540MB (one-to-one)

810MB (three people)

1.2GB (five+)

Microsoft Teams

225MB (SD)

450MB (HD)

Facebook Messenger

260MB

WhatsApp Messenger

300MB

Discord

330MB


It’s not a surprise that the higher the quality of video, the more data you’ll use.  You’ll also find that the more people on the video call, the more your data will get eaten up. 

To make your data last longer, configure your communication apps to use the lowest quality of video possible. Better yet, drop the video and stick to audio instead! 

If you still want to video call but are concerned about hitting your data cap, FaceTime (if you’re using an iPhone) and Microsoft Teams are your best bet. 

Get the best data bundle for you

Now you know how much data each video app on your phone consumes, you may need to reevaluate your current data plan. 

Do you need more or less data? If you’re unsure, feel free to read our guides on the different data bundles you could go for:

Take a look at our monthly bundles to see if any are right for you. Better yet, drop the data cap and grab an unlimited data plan from £20 a month. 

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