In the world of personal entertainment, nary does nothing come close to Netflix. The joy of on-demand content is a familiar feeling many of us are accustomed to. Watching your favorite type of content, whenever you want, and as fast or slow as you want is almost too good to be true. Powering all of this is an internet connection that provides you with the bandwidth needed. However, it is worth noting that streaming services like Netflix eat through lots of mobile data. This article will expound on how much data Netflix uses.
Netflix Data Usage – What You Need to Know
While watching Netflix is a lot of fun, it also goes through a lot of internet bandwidth at any given moment. Just as Netflix has different account tiers, there are also content quality variations. Netflix has 4 different resolutions:
- Low quality (480p)
- Medium (720p)
- High (1080p)
As the resolution goes up, more data is used. Netflix has provided estimates for how much data is used by each resolution.
|Content Resolution||Data Usage Estimates (per hour)|
|High – Standard||1 GB|
|High – HD||3 GB|
|High – 4K||7 GB|
This table should give users an idea of how much bandwidth is used each time they go on a binge-watching session. Naturally, we want to watch it at the highest possible quality possible. Netflix allows its users to toggle between different qualities in case they want to preserve data.
Saving Data When Watching Netflix
If you want to enjoy Netflix while also saving your data, we’ve got you covered. Netflix is available on your mobile, computer, or TV – each of which has different ways to adjust quality.
Netflix on mobile
- Go to your Netflix application.
- Go to application settings
- Click on playback settings and you’ll be presented with four different options:
- Wi-Fi only
- Save Data
- Maximum data
- Depending on how much data you want to use, pick an option that works for you.
Netflix on PC
- Open Netflix on your web browser of choice
- Go to your account page
- Go to playback settings
- Select from one of four resolutions to watch your Netflix on:
Netflix on TV
- By default, Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, and Roku have capped resolution at 1080p. Users aren’t able to go beyond this, preventing excessive data consumption.
Netflix Optimizing Data Delivery
It is important to understand how Netflix makes all of this happen. While there is a lot going on behind the scenes, here is how it’s done:
The term adaptive streaming is a content delivery method where Netflix will constantly adjust the bit rate at which your video is shown. The bit rate is the amount of data that is transferred each second.
Dynamic Bit-Rate Adjustments
Using bit-rate adjustments, Netflix will monitor your internet connection and adjust the quality. On a slower connection, the quality will go down but audio and video won’t stop. When bandwidth supply improves, the quality will go up. Opting for a fiber-optic internet connection guarantees that you get all the bandwidth you need. We’ve made it easier to find fiber internet near you so get right to it!
How It Responds to Changing Internet Conditions
Netflix uses adaptive streaming using different methods. These are:
- Using different video codecs such as AV1 and H.264. This lets Netflix show content at varying bitrates. This is a key part of adaptive streaming.
- Netflix uses a variety of content servers to deliver its content. With servers in different parts of the globe. They will ensure that the user gets content from a server that is closest and with as little delay as possible.
Content Delivery Networks
A content delivery network or CDN is a network of different servers in different parts of the globe. Each server has different copies of the Netflix library. These CDNs are tasked with delivering the content to users, on-demand.
Whenever a request comes into Netflix, it is routed to the closest CDN. The CDN will then send this content to the user, eliminating the need for it to travel across the world wide web and delay the process.
Distributed Servers and Their Role in Data Optimization
By using different servers for different tasks, Netflix is able to make its system more efficient. The load can be spread by using servers to store content, transcode it, load web pages, and also process user requests. By dedicating servers to each task, the efficiency skyrockets and the customer gets a smooth experience.
Netflix has cemented itself into our cultural fabric. With thousands of titles, there is something for everyone to entertain themselves and spend time. As a user, it is important for you to know how much data is used to power your favorite on-demand platform. If you want to maximize the value you get out of your Netflix subscription, it is time to get internet that can get the most out of it. To make that easier, you can also go through the different internet service providers near you to find the best fit.