Manage Internet data usage

Learn about data-heavy activities such as Netflix plus tips on picking a plan

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 huge attachments)
  • Instant messaging
  • Moderate use of social media

Other activities, however, consume lots of data. To avoid overage charges, be aware of (all values approximate):

Watching Netflix in 4K / UHD
7 GB / hr
Watching Netflix in HD 3 GB / hr
Watching Netflix in SD 1 GB / hr
Downloading movies 700 MB
Video conferencing 200 MB / hr
Streaming audio Up to 100 MB / hr
Up/downloading large files Over 100 MB
Online gaming Up to 75 MB / hr

Note: Netflix usage includes using the Netflix app on Optik TV. More about Netflix and managing its data usage

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 set-top box:

  • Live TV
  • TV On Demand (including Crave TV)
  • Video On Demand
  • PVR recordings
  • Pay Per View
However, Optik on the go and applications that run on Optik TV will contribute to your data usage. Applications on Optik TV include Netflix, Stingray Music Videos, TED Talks, Karaoke, National Film Board, Weather Network, and TumbleBooks.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.

Note: 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. See how to control data usage on Netflix.


On YouTube, a quality selector tool appears directly below the video frame, as shown below:

Estimate your data usage, pick the right plan

The best way to predict your future needs is often to look at your past usage.

View your current and past usage

You can track your data usage to ensure you are on an Internet plan that meets your needs:

  1. Log in to My Account
  2. On the Overview page, find your Internet service under Home Services
  3. Select View usage

Pick the right plan

See below whether your Internet plan aligns with your usage:

Typical uses Recommended plans

Browsing the web, shopping, banking
Emailing (without huge attachments)
Viewing some YouTube videos
Occasional Skype use (voice only)

TELUS Internet 6 or higher

Video chatting/conferencing
Moderate use of streaming audio/video
Some online gaming
Regular use of social media

TELUS Internet 25 or higher

Heavy use of video streaming
Regular online gaming
Frequent up/downloading of large files
Multiple users on multiple devices

TELUS Internet 50 or 100

Heaviest users should consider
upgrading to Unlimited Data Usage

Staying within your monthly data allowance

Take these basic precautions to ensure you’re not “wasting” Internet data:
  1. Protect your Internet connections from unauthorized use: ensure your Wi-Fi is password-protected
  2. Install anti-virus / anti-spam software
  3. Turn off streaming music and video when not in use

For more on Internet overage charges – and tips on how to avoid them – please see Usage-based Internet charges.

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