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How Many GB Do I Need for Home Internet? A Data Usage Guide

How Many GB Do I Need for Home Internet? A Data Usage Guide

If you’re on the hunt for a new internet service provider, one of the most essential questions you will need to answer for yourself is how many gigabytes (GB) of data are right for your needs. However, it’s hard to put a number on it if you don’t understand how much data you use for everyday activities. Here’s a quick breakdown to help you determine how many GB you need for your internet use.

How Many GB Do I Need for Different Uses?

YouTube Videos

With YouTube videos, you’ll have a wide range of options for the quality you can use. The higher the quality you want the video to be, the more data you’ll be consuming. You can expect to be using:

  • 225 MB per hour at 240p
  • 315 MB per hour at 360p
  • 560 MB per hour at 480p
  • 1.24 GB per hour at 720p and 30 frames per second (FPS) or 1.86 GB per hour at 60 FPS
  • 2 GB per hour at 1080p and 30 FPS or 3 GB per hour at 60FPS
  • 4.28 GB per hour at 1440p (2k) and 30 FPS or 6.08 GB per hour at 60 FPS
  • 10.58 GB per hour at 2160 (4k) and 30 FPS or about 16 GB per hour at 60 FPS

Note that there are 1000 megabytes (MB) in every gigabyte.

Streaming Movies and TV

Streaming movies and TV shows through a service like Netflix or Hulu is one of the ways you will heavily consume internet. For every hour of video you stream in HD, you’ll be using about 3 GB of data. If, on the other hand, you choose to stream video in SD, you can decrease your usage to only about 1 GB each hour.

Online Games

The amount of data you’ll need for online gaming largely depends on the type of games you’re playing. You should expect most popular online games to take anywhere from 30 MB all the way to 300 MB per hour. Here’s how much data you are probably using based on your game of choice:

  • Hearthstone—about 3 MB per hour
  • Final Fantasy XIV—about 20 MB per hour
  • Minecraft—about 40 MB per hour
  • World of Warcraft—about 40 MB per hour
  • League of Legends—about 45 MB per hour
  • Grand Theft Auto V Online—about 60 MB per hour
  • Fortnite—about 100 MB per hour
  • Overwatch—about 135 MB per hour
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive—about 250 MB per hour

This does not include the amount of data it takes to download a game. You should always look at how many GB you’ll need to download a new game. Nowadays, you may be using well over 50 GB just to download a game onto your Xbox, PC, or PlayStation.

Video Chatting

Video chatting on apps like Zoom and Facetime is so important to stay in touch with loved ones, especially during the pandemic. It’s also become a normal way to conduct meetings for work. We’ve all been in a situation where someone on the video chat does not have sufficient internet to communicate smoothly. If you know you video chat a lot, it’s important to have a plan strong enough to match your needs.

Your data use depends on the platform and the video quality. If you’re Zooming at 1080p, you’re using about 1.62 GB per hour. However, this will increase if you are group video chatting, and you will use 2.7 GB per hour at 1080p. On Skype, you’ll likely use about 1.35 GB per hour on 1080p, but it will go up for group calls and for every additional person on the call.

Social Media Scrolling

Your data use for social media depends on what you’re doing. Simply scrolling will likely only take about 2 MB per minute (120 MB per hour). However, if you’re watching a lot of video content, that will increase to about 8 MB per minute or 160 MB per hour.

Web Browsing

Simply browsing the internet will typically use much less internet compared to some of these other activities. Sending or receiving a single email will take only about 1 MB. If you’re just Googling and browsing results, you could be online for 20 hours before using a single gigabyte of data.

Music Streaming

Because there’s no video involved, streaming music consumes a lot less internet than watching a movie on Netflix. It will take you about seven hours to use up a single gigabyte of data.

Data Saving Tips

If you want to save your data, one thing you can do is always opt for lower quality video when streaming or video chatting. Go to your settings on various apps and experiment with decreasing the streaming quality. You can also monitor how much data you’re using on your phone by going to settings.

Make sure if you’re not using it, it’s not using up data. That means closing out of tabs and apps when you’re done with them and making sure devices are powered off when you don’t need them. If you have kids, you may want to install parental controls and set limits to avoid too much usage you don’t know about. You can also turn off automatic updates for individual apps and only update them when it’s critical.

  • IL

    A good article allows you to estimate the need for the amount of information downloaded from the Internet for 1 hour. But I would like to see monthly figures. How many GB will be required for a full month. After all, ISPs usually indicate a monthly limit in tariffs. Roughly speaking, to work online via zoom (8 hours a day, 30 days, 2 GB per hour) will require 480 GB per month. It seems that this means a mandatory connection to an unlimited tariff. Because in limited tariffs, the numbers are an order of magnitude lower.

  • MU

    As a digital nomad, having access to reliable and sufficient internet is crucial. This article provides a helpful guide on data usage, which is a crucial aspect of internet management. It’s great to see that the authors have taken the time to share their knowledge and experience in this area, which is particularly relevant to digital nomads who rely heavily on the internet for work and leisure. With the rise in remote work and digital lifestyles, having a good understanding of data usage has become increasingly important, and this article provides a valuable resource for anyone looking to optimize their internet usage on the road.

  • FR
    frank cetta

    Is there any way to increase bandwidth? when I stream video it is always pixilated and the internet seems to have slowed down over the last 6 days
    Nomad Internet replied:
    Bandwidth can be affected by many things – how many devices are connected, and what they’re using the connection for; congestion in the area and how many people are on the network; and even your physical router’s capabilities! We suggest looking at an antenna or booster to increase your router’s capabilities, and rebooting the router can be useful too (turning it on and off to reset the power). As always you can reach out to our team for additional support and assistance as well!

  • KA

    I am interested in 100 mbps download speed.I have Wi-Fi connected to 5 item.I’m in milton by 05468.what are your prices
    Nomad Internet replied:
    Hello Karen, thank you for your interest in Nomad Internet! We can’t guarantee speeds as service is based on availability in the area paired with the router and any accessories you might use (like an antenna)! I’d recommend that you reach out to us via the Address Lookup Request form, and our team will assist you in finding the best plan for your location. Here is the link:

  • NO
    Nomad Internet

    We have had your internet for over 6 months now and very satisfied with it. It is so much better than the Frontier that we had and we have no other options besides satellite.
    — Sherry Pitchford        May 26, 2021
    This is so great to hear, Sherry!

  • WI
    William Lambert

    Do you have senior discounts? I need internet for 5.
    Nomad Internet replied:
    Thank you so much for asking! At this time we are working on a program to offer to our senior and military Nomads, but have not quite worked that out just yet! We do want to offer you a code for the holiday weekend though, “THANKYOU35”, which will allow you $35 off your membership fee upon checkout :) you can always reach out to our billing team at to ask for Alice or Emily who can also work with you on the monthly rate if you have additional questions!

  • NO
    Nomad Internet

    I am very interested. Live in middle of no where . So stream alot of movies. Zip.81138 an u help?
    — William Donnithorne        May 12, 2021
    Hello William, we're excited to have you join Nomad Internet! You can fill out this form and see which one of our plans works best at your location:

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