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Does the Nest Audio Use Data?

Last Updated Feb 11, 2022
nest audio

Google’s Nest Audio is a smart home device with virtual assistance, and it’s a speaker for playing music, podcasts, news, or whatever it is that you want to listen to throughout the day. Since Nest Audio is always on, you might be curious as to whether or not it uses data and how much.

The Nest Audio does use data, but not very much. However, it could be considerably more depending on what you’re using it for. Just being on and in the background consumes about one MB or two per hour, and that’s really not that much, even if you are on a lower-tiered data cap.

Google devices aren’t like a 4K TV. Even if you max them out, it’s still not going to be comparable. The only Nest devices capable of really chewing through your data are camera devices, and that depends on how long they are on and their settings. Read on to learn more about the Nest Audio’s data usage.

Can You Check the Nest Audio’s Data Usage?

Sometime in the middle of 2021, Google quietly released new updates to their devices and the Google Home app—on Android and iOS platforms—to give you a bird’s-eye view of how much data your Nest devices are using.

With this update, you can do two things: Check your number of connected devices and their data usage or review your overall network usage. Not only is that good information to know, but it also helps you minimize the things you don’t use so often or just get an idea of what is pulling the most data on your network.

It’s especially useful if you have a data cap, which most Internet Service Providers apply, regardless of your internet usage tier. You need to have the Google Home app to check it. There used to be a Google WiFi app as well, designed for this purpose, but Google Home has replaced it entirely.

How to Check the Nest Audio’s Data Usage

To check your usage statistics, open your Google Home App:

  1. Select WiFi.
  2. At the top of the screen, select Devices.
  3. Select the device you want to see.
  4. Select the Additional Details tab.
  5. Select either Speed or Info.

Checking the speed information will give you a detailed analysis of the data of the device you selected in terms of current usage and how much data it has used over a particular amount of time.

Selecting the info tab will provide you with information on your current connection status and the MAC and IP address of the selected device. The info tab doesn’t reveal any information on data usage, just connection issues and the like.

Checking Your Network Usage

If you want to see all of the information from every device and their combined data usage, that information is available as well, and you can also find it under the Google Home App.

  1. Open the Google Home App.
  1. Select WiFi.
  2. Select Internet.
  3. Select either Real-Time Usage or Usage.

Selecting Real-Time Usage will show you the amount of data that all of your devices on the network—including all smart devices tied into your Google Home—are uploading and downloading at the moment.

If you select Usage, you will be able to select a specific timeframe, and the app will produce all of the data uploaded or downloaded over that period.

You could combine 5 or 6 Nest devices, excluding cameras, and your data usage would barely be a blip on the network.

What Uses the Most Data on Nest Audio?

Music is quite a bit more data-intensive on your Nest Audio than any of its standby functions or just using the virtual assistant.

As with TVs, streaming music uses more or less data depending on the quality of the stream. There are several tiers of audio streaming quality, and it’s not the Nest Audio that’s consuming more or less data, but the quality of music that you choose to stream through it.

  • Low Quality (Typically free streaming services): 10.8MB per hour
  • Normal Quality: 45MB per hour
  • High Quality: 75MB per hour
  • Very High Quality (Typically premium subscription services): 144MB per hour

There are so many streaming services available that it would take an entirely separate article to cover them all. However, all of them—for the most part—offer different levels of streaming quality.

Paying for Apple Music, which comes with hi-res audio, will eat up the same (or similar) amount of data that Spotify Premium will. Some music subscriptions have a few things here or there that modify your hi-res listening experience, but data consumption is similar across the board.

Final Thoughts

Alone and doing little else besides being a good paperweight on the end table, a Nest Audio device is not going to do much to affect your overall data usage. Even when you engage the virtual assistant (Ok Google), you’re looking at a couple of MBs at the max.

Music is a different story altogether; however, it’s still nothing compared to a 4k TV. Unless you unplug the Nest Audio from the wall, it will always consume just a trickle of data.

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