Reducing high data use

Reducing high data use

We are using too much data. What can we do to reduce our data use?

First you need to get some idea of what is causing your high data use.

There are many possible causes for this including but not limited to...

  • Streaming services (eg: Netflix, YouTube, TVNZ on demand, Internet Radio, Spotify, etc)
  • Cloud services (eg: iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc)
  • Game systems (eg: Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, etc)
  • Viruses, Malware Bitcoin-Miners, etc
  • Kids

Here are some handy tips for reducing data use.

Netflix - How much data does Netflix use?

What you can do to reduce your Netflix data:

Adjust your Netflix data usage settings from 1080p to 720p to help reduce data usage.

Watching movies or TV shows on Netflix uses about 1 GB of data per hour for each stream of standard definition video, and up to 3 GB per hour for each stream of HD video.

This can create headaches for Netflix members who have a monthly bandwidth or data cap on their Internet service.

Below, you'll find a few ways to reduce the amount of data Netflix uses, without having to resort to drastic measures (like actually watching less Netflix).

Adjust your Netflix data usage settings

  1. Sign in to
  2. Select the profile you'd like to change your data usage settings for.
    • Note: Data usage settings cannot be adjusted from a Kids profile.
  3. Select Account.
  4. Under My Profile, select Playback Settings.
  5. Select your desired data usage setting (please note that each estimate below is per stream, and that restricting data usage may affect video quality):
    • Low (0.3 GB per hour)
    • Medium (SD: 0.7 GB per hour)
    • High (Best video quality, up to 3 GB per hour for HD and 7 GB per hour for Ultra HD)
    • Auto (Adjusts automatically to deliver the highest possible quality, based on your current internet connection speed)
  6. Select Save.
  7. Note: It may take up to 8 hours for these changes to take effect.

Data usage settings only apply to the Netflix profile you set them from, meaning you can have different data usage settings for each profile on your account. If you are concerned about the total amount of data that Netflix uses, make sure to change this setting for each profile.

For more info click here.


How to turn off auto-play videos in the YouTube app

  1. Open YouTube.
  2. Tap on your profile photo in the top right.
  3. Choose settings.
  4. Select autoplay.
  5. Tap on autoplay on home and then toggle off.

For more info click here.

Adjusting YouTube quality settings on a computer/mobile device

  1. In the video player, select more.
  2. Click/tap quality.
  3. Select your preferred video quality.

For more info click here.


How to stop Facebook's auto-play video feature

  1. Open the Facebook app on your device.
  2. Scroll down until you see App Settings. Tap this to open App Settings.
  3. Tap on the cog next to "Videos in News Feed Start With Sound."
    • Tip: If you want to turn off AutoPlay completely, tap on Autoplay, and choose Never Autoplay Videos.

For more info click here.


To stream a 22 minute show (30 minute episode) through TVNZ on Demand will use approximately 161 MB

To stream a 44 minute show (1 hour episode) approximately 322MB of data is used.

For more info click here.

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