How Much Data Does Netflix Use?

By: Stephen Kota

From award-winning Netflix Originals to your favorite ‘80s classics, there are decades of interesting video content to explore on Netflix. If you’re watching Netflix on a limited mobile broadband connection, however, your monthly data cap might not be up for the task.

Let’s take a closer look at how much mobile data you use streaming or downloading video content on Netflix. When you know how much data the streaming service uses, you can make informed decisions about when and how you watch video on mobile broadband.

Video Quality and Format Options on Netflix

Data use depends on video quality. A sharper, richer audio-visual experience uses more data than a standard audio-visual experience. There are several video quality and format options (some more standard and others more immersive) available on Netflix:

  1. Low-definition video has a display resolution of less than 480p and low sound quality.
  2. Medium (SD) video has the exact 480p display resolution as a DVD. It uses MPEG digital stereo sound, which is like CD quality.
  3. High (HD) video has a display resolution of 720p or 1080p, like Blu-ray quality. It uses 5.1 multi-channel audio for an enhanced sound experience.
  4. Ultra-High Definition (UHD or 4K) video has a display resolution approximately four times greater than HD. UHD is 3840p x 2160p and 4K is 4096p x 2160p. Learn more about streaming in UHD or 4K on Netflix.

Netflix Data Use Per Hour – Streaming Netflix

It’s easy to binge-watch an entire season of a show on Netflix, but binge-watching shows and running movie marathons can quickly drain your monthly data limit. Here’s how much data you use streaming video on Netflix, based on the playback quality of the video:

Data Usage to Stream on Netflix Per Hour

Low Medium (SD) High (HD) Ultra HD
Data Usage 0.3 GB per hour 0.7 GB per hour 3 GB 7 GB

Learn more about how Netflix data use relates to playback quality.

Netflix Data Use Per Video Download

When you download video content instead of streaming Netflix, you can watch that content offline at any time, regardless of whether you have a service. Also, if you have a slow connection, watching the video offline eliminates any lags you might experience while streaming the video. This will help you save data.

According to Netflix, downloading and streaming use similar amounts of data. If you’re planning to watch content more than once, however, downloading the content once will use less data than streaming the same content more than once.

Learn more about downloading TV shows and movies on Netflix.

To Reduce Data Use, Change Your Playback Settings

If you’re short on data, Netflix gives you a choice. Select lower playback or download quality to use less data:

  • To change the default playback quality on Netflix, navigate to “Your Account” > “My Profile” > “Playback settings.”
  • To change the download quality on Netflix, navigate from the Netflix app to “Settings” > “Downloads” > “Video Quality” on a computer.
  • Navigate to “App Settings” > “Downloads” > “Video Quality” on a phone or tablet.

Learn more about managing your data use on Netflix.

4G LTE Plans for Netflix

With an installed mobile broadband connection, your household can watch Netflix on multiple screens, including phones, tablets, laptops, and televisions, all on the same connection. Any device within range of your wireless router can connect to your installed mobile broadband network using Wi-Fi, even those devices that can’t connect directly to 4G LTE.

To decide which data plan is right for you, estimate your household’s time watching Netflix on all your screens during an average month. Then, choose the installed mobile broadband plan that supports that amount of streaming or downloading. Here’s how much Netflix you can get out of each of our 4G LTE data plans:

Maximum time on Netflix per month per data plan

Low definition Standard Definition High Definition Ultra HD
4G LTE, 75+ GB 250 hours/month 110 hours/month 25 hours/month 11 hours/month
4G LTE, 100+ GB 333 hours/month 140 hours/month 33 hours/month 14 hours/month
Unlimited 4G LTE Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited

For more information about our data plans, check out our website or give us a call at 866-439-6630