Activities that consume data
Everything you do on the Internet consumes data. However, given the large data allowances of our Internet plans, you needn’t worry about activities like:
- Web browsing, online shopping
- Sending and receiving emails (unless they contain large attachments)
- Instant messaging
- Moderate use of social media
Note: If your existing Internet plan is delivering its stated speed but is still too slow for your needs, consider upgrading your plan.
Other activities, however, consume lots of data. To avoid overage charges, be aware of (all values approximate):
| Data usage activity || Approximate data usage |
| Watching Netflix in 4K / UHD || 7 GB per hour |
| Watching Netflix in HD || 3 GB per hour |
| Watching Netflix in SD || 1 GB per hour |
| Downloading movies || Approximately 700 MB (depending on the length of the movie) |
| Video conferencing || 200 MB per hour |
| Streaming audio || Up to 100 MB per hour |
| Uploading/downloading large files || Over 100 MB |
| Online gaming || From 25 MB/hr to 200 MB/hr (depending on the game) |
Note: Netflix usage includes using the Netflix app on Optik TV.
Optik TV and Internet usage
Watching Optik TV on your TV does not count as data. Specifically, the following do not count as data use on your Internet connection when accessed via a PVR or digital box:
- Live TV (including Pay Per View)
- TV On Demand (including Crave TV)
- Video On Demand
- PVR recordings
However, the Optik TV app and apps that run on Optik TV will contribute to your data usage. Apps on Optik TV include:
- Stingray Music Videos
- TED Talks
- National Film Board
- Weather Network
Managing data usage when streaming video
Streaming video is often the biggest contributor to Internet data usage. So understanding how it works is especially important.
Most video streaming services allow users to control video quality – which has a direct effect on data usage. Be aware of two factors:
- Both YouTube and Netflix have an Auto setting. If selected, the streaming service will deliver the optimal quality setting, based on the speed of your Internet connection. If you have a very fast connection, a higher quality signal will be delivered
- If you upgrade your Internet speed, your data usage may increase. This is because the faster speed allows for a higher quality image, which in turn consumes more data
With Netflix, your settings can only be adjusted on the Netflix website.
On YouTube, a quality selector tool appears directly below the video frame, as shown below, selecting a lower quality video stream will reduce your data usage.
Understanding your data allowance and charges
Managing your Internet data usage