People with fast-paced Wi-Fi connections don’t think about the amount of data a video call takes. That’s because Wi-Fi is limitless. However, people who only use mobile networks know that data is precious, and that’s why this question is so important. If you want to get the figures behind your video call data, keep reading.
A video call uses at least 3.75 MB of data every minute. That figure applies to Standard Definition video calls, which you might know as SD quality. For High Definition (HD) video calls, the data used is around 13.5 MB per second. If you consider the two-way flow, you will note that a video call takes between 7.25 and 27 MB every minute.
TechBiva 101: You should know that none of the leading video-calling apps gives exact data figures. Instead, they operate on estimates, which is why we have presented it as such.
In this article, we will look at the data details of FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype. Then, we will answer a few related questions and compare some video calling apps. In the end, you will get tips on how you can reduce or save your data.
So, stick around to get all that info and much more ????.
Data Used By The Main Video-Calling Apps: FaceTime, Zoom, And Skype
Although this is one of the most popular video-calling apps, there are no official data numbers. However, after crisscrossing a few web pages, we saw that FaceTime uses around 3MBs of data every minute, which translates to 180 per hour. As you read the other two, you will see that those figures are pretty economical.
From Zoom’s official support page, you will pick out that for a 1:1 video call:
1. Standard quality: 600kbps (kilobits per second)
2. 720p HD quality: to 1.2 Mbps (megabits per second)
3. 1080p HD quality: up/down of 3.8/3.0 Mbps
For group calls:
1. Standard quality: up/down of 1.0 Mbps/600 Kbps
2. 720 HD quality: up/down of 2.6/1.8 mbps
3. 1080p HD quality: up/down of 3.8/3.0 Mbps
4. Gallery viewing: 25 views = 2.0 Mbps, 49 views = 4.0 Mbps
Now, let us boil down all those kilobits into a language you can understand:
|Type of Call||Quality||Bits per second||Bytes per minute||Total per Hour|
|1:1||Standard||600kbps||9 MBs||540 MBs|
|1:1||720p HD||1.2Mbps||16 MBs||1.08 GB|
|1:1||1080p HD||3.8 Mbps||50 MBs||3 GB|
|Group||Standard||1.0 Mbps/600 Kbps||10.5 MBs||630 MBs|
|Group||720p HD||2.6/1.8 mbps||29 MBs||1.7 GB|
|Group||1080p HD||3.8/3.0 Mbps||68 MBs||4 GB|
|Group||Gallery||2.0/4.0 Mbps||30 MBs||1.8 GB|
Now, let us look at Skype:
Like Zoom, Skype also provides a support page to explain their bandwidth details. To summarize, here is a table that boils everything down for you:
|Type of Call||Recommended Download Speed||Recommended Upload Speed||Data per hour (MBs)|
|Video call or screen sharing||300 Kbps||300 Kbps||135 MB|
|Video call (high-quality)||500 Kbps||500 Kbps||225 MB|
|Video call (HD)||1.5 Mbps (1500 Kbps)||1/5 Mbps||675 MB|
|Group video for 3 people||2 Mbps (2000 Kbps)||512 Kbps||565 MB|
|Group video for 5 people||4 Mbps (4000 Kbps)||512 Kbps||1 GB|
|Group video for at least 7 people||8 Mbps (8000 Kbps)||512 Kbps||2GB|
From Zoom and Skype, you can see that better quality attracts more bandwidth. And, of the two, Skype provides better rates for video calling between two people. But, for group calls, Skype makes things weightier, especially if more people are added.
How Much Data Does A 1-Hour Video Call Use?
A 1-hour video call will consume between 225 MB and 900 MBs every hour regardless of the platform. But, it could go higher than that, especially if more people join the call and it involves activities such as screen sharing.
Here is a table that shows data usage across multiple video-calling platforms:
|Platform||Data per Hour (for Group Video Calls)|
|Google Meet||500 MB|
|Microsoft Teams||225 MB|
How Much Data Does A 10-Minute Video Call Use?
If video calls take between 225 and 900 MBs for 60 minutes, a 10-minute video call takes 187.5 MB. Here is the math:
1. 10 minutes * ((225 + 900) / 60)
2. 10 minutes * (1125 + 60)
3. 10 minutes * 18.75
4. 187.5 MB ✔️
Is 1GB Enough For Video Call?
Regardless of the video-calling platform, 1 GB is enough for around one hour. However, if you are on Skype, Slack, or Zoom, you may have to buy more, especially if you are on a group video call that more people keep joining.
On Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, and WhatsApp, 1GB is more than enough. Moreover, it can last up to two hours!
How Much Data Does A 30-Minute WhatsApp Video Call Use?
Averagely, you spend around 3 MBs of data every minute on a WhatsApp video call. Therefore, for thirty minutes, that will be 3 * 30, which is 90. If you consolidate that with the data we have already given, a 30-minute WhatsApp video call uses 90 to 150 MBs.
Which Video Call Uses The Least Data?
Because WhatsApp is built for socialization, the developers don’t put it out as a data guzzler. Also, it needs to use the least data, or else its 2 billion-plus users will go bonkers.
Another video call app that uses less is Google Duo. It is an excellent alternative because, like WhatsApp, it meets most of the consumer needs. With little data on your network, you can enjoy hours-long video calls.
Others that don’t each too much data include:
3. Line Video
4. Facebook Messenger
Which Video Call Uses The Most Data?
Skype, which averages around 900MB per hour for a top-quality group call.
TechBiva 101: It is safe to say that business-oriented video-calling apps like Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams consume the most data. Others like WhatsApp, Telegram, and FaceTime, which are social media apps, are very fair to the consumer.
Does Zoom Use A Lot Of Data?
Yes. If you compare it to others like Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, you’ll see that it consumes twice as much data. That’s almost 1GB for a 60-minute group call!
Does FaceTime Use A Lot Of Data?
With all other factors held constant, FaceTime videoing uses 225 MB per hour. Compared to WhatsApp, FaceTime is a guzzler, meaning that it uses more data.
Which Use More Data: Zoom Or WhatsApp?
Zoom, and here are two reasons why:
1. Zoom is business-oriented, meaning that developers have built it for optimal operations. So, whenever a meeting requires more bandwidth, Zoom won’t mind pulling more resources into the engagement.
2. Although they both involve the cloud, Zoom takes a more intensive approach.
How Can I Reduce Or Save On My Video Call Data?
If you want to stop your phone from eating up too much data, consider taking on any of these two measures:
1. Set Low Data Usage On Apps That Use Video Calls
All video call apps give you the option of lowering your bandwidth. For example, WhatsApp allows you to edit and reduce data guzzling using the following steps:
1. Launch the app by tapping on its icon.
2. Then, go to Settings and then select the Storage and data option.
3. There, tap on the Use less data for calls slider to turn it on.
If those steps don’t seem helpful, try these (for iPhone):
1. Launch WhatsApp
2. Then, go to Settings and then select the Data and storage option.
3. There, tap on the slider next to Low data usage. That way, you will use less data when videoing friends and family.
2. Change Your Network Type
If you use a 4G connection, your mobile data will run out faster than 3G. And while most devices recommend an active 4G connection, 3G delivers quality results. So, it can’t be too harmful if your tone down the network type, especially when you’re about to jump into a call.
If you’re on an Android and want to change to 3G, follow these steps:
1. From the home screen, tap on Settings.
2. Then, tap on Network and Internet.
3. Now, tap on the Mobile network, and then expand the Advanced option.
4. Tap on Preferred network type, and on the options that appear, check the radio box next to 3G.
Every minute, a video call may take up to 4 MBs of data. That figure may vary from platform to platform so that others may go up to 7, even 25 MBs per minute. With that much data consumption, mobile data isn’t preferred. Instead, always use a Wi-Fi connection whenever you’re videoing on a platform such as Zoom, Skype, or Slack.
With the numbers given in this post, you’re ready to choose the most convenient video calling app for you. For business-oriented discussions, TechBiva advises that you use Google Meet. And for social videoing, WhatsApp will suffice for you.
And that was it!
If you found value here, please share it with other video call fans. Indeed, the numbers will guide them on what app they can use, depending on their data budget.
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