Zoom has emerged as one of the top platforms for online meetings, virtual calls, and video conferences in recent years. In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic led to a huge increase in the number of Zoom subscribers globally, as virtual meetings took center stage as the new normal. However, before hopping on a Zoom call, it’s important to know how much data Zoom uses per hour.

In general, Zoom uses an average of 900MB – 1.2GB per hour for online calls. However, Zoom optimizes its bandwidth based on different connections. As such, mobile users would likely spend a little less data than desktop users. 

In this post, we will take a detailed look at how much data gets consumed in different online meetings and various factors that affect the rate at which your data gets consumed. 

How Much Data Does Zoom Consume?

The amount of data utilized by Zoom is greatly influenced by factors such as call length, call type, video quality, and the number of functionalities used in a particular virtual meeting.

Zoom consumes an average of 900 – 1200MB per hour. However, depending on the type of conversations you’re having and the duration of your call, you may end up using more or less data on Zoom. It is noteworthy that Zoom utilizes internet data. Consequently, it uses both cellular data, if you have a mobile data subscription, and Wi-Fi.

Based on Zoom’s list of performance requirements, here are the data bandwidth requirements for various Zoom activities.

One-on-one Video Calls

Here’s how much data is used on one-on-one video calls:

Video QualityData Used Per Hour
480p540 MB
720p1.08 GB
1080p1.62 GB

When compared to a group call, a one-on-one Zoom meeting consumes less data. You will not need so much data to stream video and audio from each other because there are just two individuals on the call.

On the other hand, you may end up using a lot of data on one-on-one calls if our video quality is adjusted to 720p or 1080p. If you’re looking to cut down on your Zoom data usage, turn off the “enable HD” option in your video settings to lower your video-call quality. Alternatively, you can turn off the video totally.

Group Video Calls

Here is how much data is used in group video calls:

Video QualityData Used Per Hour
480p810 MB
720p1.35 GB
1080p2.475 GB

Apparently, Zoom group calls consume the most data; the more people on your Zoom call, the more data it consumes. Zoom group calls use at least half more data per hour than one-on-one calls, even at the lowest video resolution.

For many people, this won’t be an issue if they have an unlimited-data internet subscription. However, if you make a lot of calls per day or share your Wi-Fi with a lot of people, you might need to downgrade your video quality from HD to SD.

If you’d like to learn more about zoom, check out this article.

Factors Affecting Zoom Data Usage

There are a number of factors that dictate the rate at which your Zoom calls consume data. A few of them are included below.

Using a Variety of Features on Zoom

You’ll end up spending less on data if you switch off your personal video while on a call because you won’t be adding your video feed to the whole broadcast. For instance, Zoom uses the least amount of data for audio-only calls and screen sharing. Sharing your screen would only cost you 22 to 67 MB per hour, but audio calls will cost you roughly 30 MB per hour.

However, it is noteworthy that if other Zoom call participants have their video turned on, you may end up consuming more data.

Streaming Quality

The quality of your stream has an impact on how much data your Zoom call consumes. As illustrated in the tables above, calls made at 720p take less data per hour than calls made at full-HD, 1080p.

Normally, Zoom uses the smallest amount of bandwidth possible to provide you with a sufficient connection. As a result, HD streaming isn’t automatically activated. This is fantastic for data-conscious users. However, some users may prefer a crisper experience. If this is the case, you can manually adjust your streaming quality by ticking the option that allows HD video in your Zoom settings.

Connection Speed

Another factor that influences the volume of data Zoom consumes on a particular call is speed. Depending on whether you’re streaming in HD definition, 720p, or 1080p, the download and upload requirements differ.

While faster speeds do not necessitate more data, they do tend to result in increased data usage. This is due to the fact that you can do more online activities in less time. As previously indicated, video-call platforms such as Zoom set their video quality to the best resolution enabled by your available bandwidth by default. An optimal data connection will result in increased data speed, and ultimately more data consumed.

Final Thoughts

Zoom has risen to become one of the most popular video-conferencing tools on the web, whether for distant business meetings or virtual fun activities. However, your video experience is totally dependent on your video quality and the amount of data you’re willing to let go of.