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How to Reduce Netflix Data Usage By Adjusting Mobile Streaming Quality

If you are using your iPad and iPhone to stream Netflix while out and about, connected to a mobile data network, you might find this new feature very helpful in taking control of the mobile streaming quality. Netflix data usage is directly correlated with the video quality of your streams, which of course weigh heavy on your cell provider’s monthly data cap. Some people enjoy the liberty of having an uncapped mobile data plan, but most will have to watch their data volume limits. Hence Netflix introduced a feature that allows you to automate or manually set the stream quality on mobile device when not connected to your home Wi-Fi network. Here’s how to adjust your Netflix data usage and mobile video quality.

Prerequisites: You will require the Netflix app in version 8.4.0 or later, please check in your App Store app whether you have any Updates available for the app before going along with this guide so that we’ll be working with the most recent version.

Netflix Data Usage: How to adjust your streaming quality

When using Netflix away from a Wi-Fi network over your 3G or LTE connection, having a flatrate with an unlimited data plan comes in handy. Unfortunately, most of us still have to deal with traffic limits and pricey upgrade buckets. For precisely this reason, Netflix introduced manual controls for your streaming quality that allow you to get a grip on how much data is used up when viewing your favorite shows or movies using a mobile data connection.

Open up the Netflix app on your iPhone or iPad and tap the Menu icon on the top left. Then scroll down in the sidebar until you see App Settings and tap it.

On the current settings page, we can adjust whether we’d like the Netflix app to determine our streaming quality automatically, or manually set one of four quality levels or five options for the video and audio:

  • Off (Wi-Fi only): This means that the Netflix app won’t load any kind of content over a mobile data connection and you’ll be streaming over Wi-Fi only. Use this when your data plan is extremely prohibitive and/or expensive.
  • Low: You will get a solid 4 hours of video per GB of data.
  • Medium: Better video equals more data consumption: Around 2 hours per GB.
  • High: A single hour will cost you roughly 1 GB of data. Only recommended for unlimited data plans.
  • Unlimited: The best video quality Netflix has to offer for this particular movie or show, but also extremely heavy in terms of mobile data consumption.

Monitoring mobile data usage

Independently of which quality setting you choose, you should keep an eye on your mobile data consumption unless your plan is entirely unlimited. We can recommend checking your quota with built-in iOS functions (Read More…) or using third-party apps that will even notify you with manually definable alerts at certain thresholds of your data limit (Read More…).

Netflix
Developer: Netflix, Inc.
Price: Free+
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