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Broadband Bandwidth: What Uses the Most Internet?

Date Jul 16, 2020
Blog category Broadband
By Val Soriano
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For many Kiwis, having an unlimited broadband plan is a necessity of life. While unlimited internet may be common in the majority of homes throughout New Zealand, there are still some users that are on a capped broadband plan. 

For those with limited internet bandwidth, it can be a frustrating process trying to budget your data for the month. To help you better allocate your broadband data, we’ll be taking a look at what uses the most internet when you’re online.

Video streaming websites

One of the biggest causes of high data usage is online video streaming websites, such as Netflix or Lightbox. Streaming videos online - especially in high definition - can use several megabytes per minute. If you were to stream your favourite movie or TV show in HD, you could be using around 3GB an hour! 

The higher the quality of your video, the more data is consumed - so wherever possible, watch your videos in standard definition. Turning off ‘autoplay’ features on your apps can also help reduce data usage.

Music streaming apps

Similar to videos, downloading and streaming music can take up a huge chunk of your data. For example, listening to your favourite song (in the best quality available) can consume as much as 2MB+ per 3-minute song! 

Some music apps - such as Spotify and Apple Music - give you the option to adjust the audio quality settings, so you can easily reduce the amount of data you’re using. On Spotify’s app, the “Extreme” audio setting uses approximately 302kpbs, while the “Normal” setting only uses around 96kbps.

Online games

Wanting to download the latest PS4 game onto your console? Hopefully you’ve got plenty of data, as downloading a new game can easily use several gigabytes of data! The exact amount of data depends on the game itself, so be sure to check the size of the download before getting started. 

Many online games also automatically update themselves when you turn on the game or console. This can also sneakily consume plenty of your bandwidth, so make sure to uninstall any games that you’re no longer playing.

Social media apps

It’s no secret that many of us use social media apps - like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram - regularly throughout the day. While scrolling through your newsfeed may not use as much data as streaming music or videos, using these apps for multiple hours each day can easily stack up your data usage. 

While it’s easy enough to adjust your digital lifestyle to reduce your data consumption , there is a better and simpler way to deal with the problem…Nowadays, many of NZ’s top broadband providers are offering great value deals on unlimited broadband packages, and they come with great sign up deals too! Head over to our broadband comparison tool and find the best unlimited internet deals available in your area.

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