If you’re on a capped broadband plan or simply prefer to limit your internet usage, you need to be extra careful of how much data your most-used apps and websites consume. Otherwise, you’ll run out of data in no time.
But even if you have an unlimited broadband plan, knowing the average data consumption of apps and websites can be very helpful. This allows you to know which of them aren’t ideal to be accessed simultaneously as they can cause constriction to your network. This should also help you handle your internet consumption more efficiently.
To know how much data these apps and websites use, it’s essential to know them first. Although this may vary per person, here are the top websites and apps in New Zealand.
Similarweb measures different websites and apps from all over the world. They list over 100 million websites and 4.7 million mobile apps from more than 210 industries. Check out this list of the most used websites and apps in New Zealand.
*Ranking as of March 1, 2021
**Top free apps by usage as of April 30, 2021
***Top free apps by store rank as of April 30, 2021
|Rank||Websites*||Android apps**||iPhone apps***|
|1||Google.com||Slice It All!|
|2||Youtube.com||911 Emergency Dispatcher|
|7||Netflix.com||NZ COVID Tracer||YouTube|
It’s important to note that this list always changes. However, most social media apps like Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram, as well as streaming services such as YouTube, Netflix, and Spotify are always on this list. Video conferencing applications like Google Duo, Google Meet, and Zoom are also always high up in the list.
Any website or app that deals with photos or videos are data-hungry. It requires high bandwidth — or the volume of data that your broadband can deliver per second — to display photos and move objects over the internet. For streaming and loading HD and 4K content, it may even require higher bandwidth.
This makes social media platforms and streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, and Facebook the most data-hungry apps. To know how much exactly these apps and websites consume, check out these lists from Android Authority.
If you want to finish an hour-long episode from your favourite series, you need anywhere from 300MB-12GB of data. If you want to finish a two-hour-long movie, you need double the amount! Of course, this may vary depending on how long you’re watching and how much time you browse for movies.
On average, here’s how much data Netflix consumes.
|Resolution||Netflix estimate||Real-life estimate|
|Low (480p)||300MB per hour||200-300MB per hour|
|Medium (720p)||700MB per hour||650-750MB per hour|
|High (1080p)||3GB per hour||2.8-3.3GB per hour|
|UHD (1440p)||N/A||4.2GB per hour|
|4K with or without HDR||7GB per hour||6.5-11.5GB per hour|
It’s easy to fall into the loophole and dark corners of YouTube, especially at three in the morning! But you may need to be extra wary if you have capped data! An hour-long of watching dog videos can set you back almost 70MB on SD resolution!
Here’s a more comprehensive breakdown of how much YouTube consumes.
|Video quality||Resolution (Pixels)||Framerate (FPS)||Bitrate (average)||Average data consumed|
|144p||256x144||30 FPS||80-100Kbps||30-90MB per hour|
|240p||426x240||30 FPS||300-700Kbps||180-250MB per hour|
|360p||640x360||30 FPS||400-1,000Kbps||300-450MB per hour|
|480p (SD)||854x480||30 FPS||500-2,000Kbps||480-660MB per hour|
|720p (HD)||1280x720||30-60 FPS||1.5-6.0Mbps||1.2-2.7GB per hour|
|1080p (FHD)||1920x1080||30-60 FPS||3.0-9.0Mbps||2.5-4.1GB per hour|
|1440p (QHD)||2560x1440||30-60 FPS||6.0-18.0Mbps||2.7-8.1GB per hour|
|2160p (UHD/4K)||3840x2160||30-60 FPS||13.0-51.0Mbps||5.5-23.0GB per hour|
|4320p (FUHD/8K)||7680x4320||30-60 FPS||20-50Mbps (at 30 FPS)||9.0-22.5GB per hour (at 30 FPS)|
Spotify allows you to listen to your favourite tracks and podcasts even while your phone is locked, so it saves big on data. Your monthly data consumption only maxes out at about 144MB per hour even at the highest quality. So, remember this the next time you want to put your favourite songs on repeat — it won’t hurt your capped broadband plan.
For a more detailed breakdown of Spotify’s average data consumption, take a look at this list.
|Audio quality||Average data consumed||Hours until you reach 1GB|
|Low (24kbps)||10.8MB per hour||92.5 hours|
|Normal (96kbps)||43.2MB per hour||23.1 hours|
|High (160kbps)||72MB per hour||13.8 hours|
|Very high (320kbps)||144MB per hour||6.9 hours|
For social media networks like Facebook, it’s a bit tricky to give the comprehensive average data consumption. Different activities in the platform consume different amounts of data. Updating status, uploading photos, watching videos, live streaming, or scrolling through your feed varies with every person, and company, so their data consumption varies greatly too.
Here’s a general breakdown, but remember to take this list with a grain of salt.
|Activity||Average data consumed||Device|
|Browsing through News Feed||100MB per hour||Android or PC|
|Watching video on SD||160MB per hour||Android or PC|
|Video calling on Messenger||400MB-4.5GB per hour||Android or PC|
|Live streaming on 480p||230MB per hour||Android or PC|
|Uploading pictures||130MB per 10 pictures||Android or PC|
Video conferencing apps can also be data-hungry! One-on-one calls can already consume much of your data, but group calls can consume even more! Fortunately, most of these apps now have a feature that adjusts the quality of the call to match your internet speeds. Still, you have to be extra cautious of your data consumption.
Check out the average data consumption of the most popular video conferencing apps in NZ.
|App||Type of call||Average data consumed||Quality|
|Google Meet||One-on-one or group||500MB-2.25GB per hour||At least 720p|
|Zoom||One-on-one||540MB per hour||480p|
|1.08GB per hour||720p|
|1.62GB per hour||1080p|
|Group||810MB per hour||480p|
|1.35GB per hour||720p|
|2.4GB per hour||1080p|
|Microsoft Teams||Group||225MB per hour||At least 480p|
|450MB per hour||540p|
|Slack||One-on-one||240MB per hour||At least 720p|
|Group of 3||810MB per hour||At least 720p|
|Group of 5 or more||1.2GB per hour||At least 720p|
Source: Gadgets to Use
If you’re always hitting your broadband data cap, there's always some workarounds. These are simple tips and tricks that may require just a little fiddling on your web browser or apps. Here are some quick easy hacks to avoid hitting the data cap.
Different apps and browsers now have a feature called Data Saver. This forces the apps not to perform data-heavy activities whenever possible, including auto-playing or playing videos on HD by default. There may be some apps that don’t have this feature yet, but they’re likely coming to the next updates. If your most-used apps don’t have this feature yet, be extra wary of your consumption.
If you want a more extreme way of limiting your consumption, limit the app’s usage through your device. Usually called Digital Wellbeing, you can set a time restriction on how much time you can use the app and website per day. When you reach this time restriction, this locks your access to the app or website until the next day.
If you’re still hitting the data cap even if you’re extremely limiting your consumption, go unlimited. Leading broadband providers now offer affordable deals with speeds as fast as 950Mbps for as low as $48 a month! Some even offer promos such as free months of internet, half-price for the first half of your contract, and more!
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