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How much data does YouTube actually use?

Video on sites like YouTube is one of the causes of data traffic. For those who use 4G to watch YouTube on smartphones, a lot of people care how much space this will consume.

Aside from calling and SMS texting, almost everything you do on your smartphone uses data when not connected to Wi-Fi. If you are using Wi-Fi, users can watch YouTube videos without worrying about download traffic. But if there is no Wi-Fi but use 4G, many users are interested in this problem.

Playing YouTube videos on mobile devices consumes a lot of mobile data without a Wi-Fi connection


How much data does YouTube use?

The use of data by YouTube depends on the quality of the streaming video. The mobile apps (as well as the PC website and YouTube apps for other platforms) offer multiple levels of quality, from as low as 144p to 2,160p (4K quality) if the device supports it. aid.

For example, for 480p (standard quality) video, YouTube recommends a bitrate between 500 Kbps and 2,000 Kbps. On average, this will be 1,250 Kbps. 1,250Kbps (kilobit/s) divided by 1,000 gives us 1.25 Mbps (Megabit/s). Since there are 8 bits in each byte, 1.25 Mbps divided by 8 equates to about 0.156 MB/s of video. Multiplying this value by 60 seconds means that each minute of 480p video on YouTube uses about 9,375 MB.

The figure of 9,375 MB per minute multiplied by 60 minutes in 1 hour results in approximately 562.5 MB of data consumed per hour of streaming for a 480p YouTube video.

YouTube Quality Data Usage

Applying this same calculation process to other YouTube quality options results in the following estimates of YouTube data usage per hour.

  • 144p: No bitrate provided by YouTube
  • 240p: 225 MB per hour
  • 360p: 315 MB per hour
  • 480p: 562.5 MB per hour
  • 720p at 30 FPS: 1,237.5 MB (1.24 GB) per hour
  • 720p at 60 FPS: 1,856.25 MB (1.86 GB) per hour
  • 1,080p at 30 FPS: 2.03 GB per hour
  • 1,080p at 60 FPS: 3.04 GB per hour
  • 1,440p (2K) at 30 FPS: 4.28 GB per hour
  • 1,440p (2K) at 60 FPS: 6.08 GB per hour
  • 2,160p (4K) at 30 FPS: 10.58 GB per hour
  • 2,160p (4K) at 60 FPS: 15.98 GB per hour

Note that for 720p and higher quality, YouTube also supports videos at 60 FPS (fps) instead of the standard 30 FPS. Higher FPS results in smoother video but also uses more data. YouTube also supports HDR videos, which use additional data, but because those videos aren’t as common today, they haven’t been reviewed.

Watching 360p videos on YouTube is acceptable if users really want to save data, but they may have a hard time enjoying videos with poor picture quality.

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