How much data do streaming services use?


Learn about Netflix

Streaming services such as Netflix and Stan have joined Foxtel Play and its Presto service as go-to sources of streaming content for thousands of Australians.

With a great collection of hundreds of shows and movies for a low monthly rate, users have been lining up to sign up. But, some people still have their doubts.

Their main concern seems to stem from these slick services devouring their data. This is especially true for those thinking about streaming through mobile devices.

With extra data charges that can reach astronomical heights, the affordable services can become costly quick. So, just how much data does streaming content chew through?


Data Damage

The amount of data used by a service such as Netflix changes based on the video quality you select. If you want to watch content in standard definition, Netflix will chew through about 1GB of data per hour. High definition is certainly more fun to watch, but unfortunately it’s more draining to your data.  An hour of high definition streaming uses up to 3GB of data – triple the data used from standard definition.

Stan is roughly the same in terms of data usage for standard and high definition. Presto, which does not stream in high definition, uses 1 to 1.5GB of data during a standard-length movie viewing, similar to Stan and Netflix.



Don’t worry, there are ways to watch till your heart’s content without doing too much damage to your quota. One way is to change your data usage settings. To do this on Netflix, simply access the Your Account menu and then head to the Your Profile section. There you will find the Playback Settings.

If using Stan, you can turn off high definition streaming by clicking the HD button at the bottom of the screen while a video is paused. On your mobile device, access quality settings via the gear icon near the Play button.

Taking these steps will reduce the amount of data you burn through at the expense of picture quality.


Or, just come stream away with us!

Want to know the best way to stream content without taking chunks out of your cap? iiNet Group customers can enjoy quota-free Netflix! This means you can watch Australian Netflix content without it counting towards your monthly quota – awesome right? Just head to our website to check eligibility requirements.


Still have questions about streaming services? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Darren says:

    If I am using the internet on one computer and there are other family members watching Netflix through iiNet on another computer, will this slow my internet speed?

  2. Alan says:

    OK, I rarely frequent movie sites whether streams or otherwise. But I do visit LIVE football matches 90% of the time it is English Premier League (soccer). Quality does tend to vary from time to time. But it is generally quite acceptable. So, how much data can I expect to be chewing up with this activity?

    Ball Park is OK as a guide.

    Many thanks for many years of happy internet service with IINET.

  3. garyB says:

    Fine theory!!

    if I watch during the day..but sharing with everyone else at night becomes problematic..
    My district was an ‘early adopter’ for cable, and for ADSL/ is unlikely to (ever?!) see NBN soon-ish(..or hybrid at best!)

    The ‘pipe’ is the problem.
    VUZE will remain the way as long as the download speeds vary so much

    the FreeViewplus have released a PVR today..jus the thing to overcome network congestion!!

    i just use VUZE and real time free to air..or anything other than pre-recorded cutting out the ads ‘saves ‘ nearly an hour!!

    iview which is even lower es than either STAN or netFlix ‘stalls’ regularly due to network congestion…