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How much data does Netflix and Stan use?

Streaming services have become a part of life around the world, largely replacing the need for live TV for many families. In Australia, Netflix and Stan seemingly lead the pack, although Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BINGE and Apple TV+ are also very popular. But if you’re a frequent binge-watcher, you should keep in mind just how much data these apps use, whether it be when streaming in the home or on the go with a mobile phone.

How much data does streaming use?

Streaming uses between 300MB and 7GB per hour, depending on the application and the selected video quality. If you want to save data when streaming, consider streaming in Standard Definition (which uses between 300MB and 700MB per hour).

If you like high video quality, streaming in high quality or 4K can use between 3GB and 7GB per hour. If you don’t want to sacrifice quality to save on data, consider getting an unlimited internet or phone plan, or downloading content on an unlimited internet connection before you watch it on a mobile device. We’ve written a full guide on data usage if you are curious about how much data you actually need.

NBN Plans to consider for streaming

The following table shows a selection of sponsored unlimited data Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50), and Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans on Canstar Blue’s database with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost (excluding discounts), from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) Plans

The table below shows a selection of published unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

How much data does Netflix use?

Netflix uses between 300MB and 7GB per hour, depending on the quality you have the app set to. Netflix data usage on your computer or television varies based on the quality of stream you select:

  • Low: 300MB per hour
  • Medium (Standard Definition): 700MB per hour
  • High (HD): Up to 3GB per hour
  • Ultra: Ultra HD or ‘4K’ up to 7GB per hour

Video quality can be adjusted in your account settings. Most accounts are set to ‘Auto’, which adjusts the resolution based on your internet quality.

How much data does Netflix use on a phone?

Watching Netflix on your mobile phone generally uses much less data than watching on a computer or television. Between iOS and Android users, data usage is the same as it comes from the Netflix app, not your phone:

  • Low: 250MB per hour
  • Medium: 500MB per hour
  • High: 1GB per hour
  • Unlimited: This is recommended only if you have a plan with lots of mobile data as it uses up to 3GB per hour or more

You can of course adjust these settings, and if you’re really concerned about your data usage, you can set Netflix to run only on Wi-Fi.

How much data does Stan use?

Stan uses virtually the same amount of data as Netflix per hour: between 570MB and 7GB, depending on the quality you have the application set to. The app breaks its stream quality down into four categories, which are:

  • Low (SD): 570MB per hour
  • Medium (SD): 1.13GB per hour
  • High (HD): 2.89GB per hour
  • Ultra (UHD): 7GB per hour

This is much the same as with Netflix, and the stream with Stan can also be auto-configured to suit your internet speed at the time.

Where Stan tends to differ from Netflix, however, is that its mobile data usage seems to be the same as all other usage. This is despite the smaller screen and the difference between Wi-Fi and 4G data. For users concerned about their streaming data usage while on the go, downloading a show over home WiFi before heading out might make more sense.

NBN plans for video streaming

Video streaming uses a lot of data, but luckily most NBN providers have a solution – unlimited NBN plans. Most NBN plans on the market offer unlimited data, letting you stream to your heart’s content. Consider shopping around for one if you enjoy streaming shows from Netflix and Stan – you might find one with better value! You can find NBN plans in the table below.

Unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

How to Watch Netflix and Stan Offline

If you’ve got a lengthy commute or a flight coming up, it makes sense to download all the Netflix or Stan shows possible to see you through that time glued to your seat. As established above, Netflix and Stan can use a lot of data on mobile devices and can eat up your mobile plan rather quickly. See below for a rundown of how to download shows ahead of time, so you’re not caught out when it matters most.

 How to download movies and TV from Netflix

In the Netflix app, click on the content that you want to watch offline and look for an icon that says download. Click the download icon and wait for the content to be saved to your device – this could take a while, depending on your internet speed and the selected quality. Once it’s downloaded, you’ll be able to access the content offline for a short period of time.

To download something, Netflix states that most modern mobile devices are capable: Apple devices running iOS 9 or later will work, while Android devices running 4.4.2 or later will work. Windows 10 devices with version 1607 or later will also be compatible.

Just keep these things in mind:

  • Not all titles are available for download. Those available will display a download icon on the description page. TV episodes will display the icon beside each episode description.
  • You can select the download quality, keeping in mind that the higher the quality, the longer it will take to download (and the more data you will consume if you’re away from WiFi).
  • Once a download is complete, it’s then available to watch through the My Downloads section of the Netflix app.
  • Alternatively, Android users can select their download to be stored on their SD card.

How to download movies and TV from Stan

In the Stan app, find the icon on the content you want to watch that indicates downloading – and then click it. It will then be download to your device, and will take a short time, with the time period varying depending on your internet speed and the quality you have selected. After this is done, you’ll be able to watch your selected TV show or movie offline!

Stan says the majority of its catalogue is available to download and is as simple as Netflix’s method to download, though keep a few things in mind:

  • If your selected title is available for download, there will be an icon above the title’s synopsis. Default quality of the download can be selected prior in the App Settings.
  • Individual TV episodes will have a download icon next to each title.
  • Once the download is complete, each title will be available in the My Downloads folder.

The process with Stan seems to be as fuss-free as Netflix, but a wider variety of titles are available for download.

Phone plans for video streaming

If you love streaming Netflix and Stan on the go, you’ll need a phone plan with lots of data. There are tonnes of phone plans that offer large amounts of data, and if you look around for the right plan, you might find the perfect plan for your needs. For example, Optus offers 10GB of streaming data for Netflix, Stan and ABC Kids on its Epic Data prepaid plans, but you might find cheaper data deals elsewhere Check out the table below to find the perfect phone plan for you.

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use Canstar Blue’s phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans on offer from mobile providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Unlimited data phone plans

If you’re concerned about chewing through your monthly data allowance, you might want to pick up an unlimited data phone plan. Having an unlimited data phone plan means you don’t need to worry about running out of data, and although it might be slower once you reach the end of your monthly allowance, you can just keep going. You can find unlimited data phone plans in the table below.

The following table shows selected published Optus SIM-only postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows selected published Telstra SIM-only postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows selected published Vodafone SIM-only postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

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