How to save data watching YouTube videos

Internet consumption for watching YouTube for an hour

Do you know how much Internet you consume by watching a YouTube video? It’s important to have this information because you could deplete your mobile data if you don’t control yourself. The Internet consumption depends on several factors and the user can configure it to save mobile data. In this article we give you some hints to take into account when using streaming platforms from the phone.

The main aspect to consider when watching YouTube is the image quality. The duration of the video is also relevant. It’s not the same consumption for a 4K or a 480p video. You can also save more data if you watch 5 minutes instead of 3 hours of YouTube videos.

Setting video quality in YouTube videos

How much Internet does watching YouTube consume?

It’s important to note that WiFi or mobile data consumption is the same for any video. Wired or wireless connection, the amount of data transmitted is always the same. However, you need to control mobile data consumption if your mobile data plan is limited. If you deplete the data available you won’t be able to watch videos, send messages or even send e-mails or navigate the web.

In the YouTube Help page we can find the recommended bitrate in relation to the video quality. These numbers let you calculate the amount of data you require to watch a video without problems. For example, to play in 720p quality you should have between 1500 and 4000 Kbps. However, you can choose a 480p quality video with 500 to 2000 Kbps or a 4K quality one if you have 13.000 to 34.000 Kbps.

Watching YouTube videos in 720p quality gives us an average consumption of 2750 Kbps. This is the equivalent to 2.75 Mbps or 0.3437 megabytes per second. In a minute you consume 20.62 MB and 1.237 MB in an hour. That is to say that we consume slightly above 1 GB of data for one hour of YouTube at 720p. When using a higher quality like 4K the consumption can rise up to 10 GB of data per hour.

Video quality is essential to control Internet consumption

The key to save data in your mobile plan is to set the playback quality of YouTube and other streaming services. This is not a problem if you connect from your home WiFi using a good coverage. But watching YouTube outside can become troublesome if you keep consuming 4K videos. It’s also important to use 5G and 4G connections when outside your house. They help you get faster playback in streaming. However if you have a limited plan the data may deplete quickly.

Nowadays most of the mobile data plans have 100GB or unlimited data because they are bound to fiber optic alternatives. But if you have a subscription with limited data make sure to check the quality of YouTube videos when outside. Try to set the videos to 480p or 720p to save mobile connection.

If you want to connect to an open WiFi network to save up mobile data, remember to set up a VPN to avoid hackers and security problems. By following these recommendations you can keep watching your favorite videos when outside your house or office, but always protecting your phone.

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