Netflix wants to save your data bundle with this new mobile data control feature

Mobile Neflix

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One of the major reasons most of my friends never resubscribed for Netflix after the trial period ended was the service’s high affinity for data. Ever since they launched their streaming service around the world including here in Uganda, they have observed big differences in how much people are streaming on smartphones and what kinds of mobile data plans they have. This month, Netflix is rolling out a new tool to help you better control how much data you use when streaming on cellular networks to help you save your data bundle.

Previously, for HD streaming would cost you about 3 GB per hour. Now with this new feature, for 1 GB (gigabyte of data) you would be enable you to stream about 1 hour of TV shows and movies. In terms of bitrates, this means that your mobile network would be able to support streaming at about 600 (kbps)  Kilobits per second. It was later discovered that on cellular networks, this setting balances good video quality with lower data usage to help avoid depleting your bundle, exceeding data caps and incurring overage fees depending on your mobile data plan. If you have a mobile data plan with a higher data cap, you can adjust this setting to stream at higher bitrates. The company’s goal is to give you more control and greater choice in managing your data usage whether you’re on an unlimited mobile plan or one that’s more restrictive.

How to set up this data bundle saving feature

  1. To set your cellular data usage, make sure you have updated your Netflix app on iOS or Android to the most recent version.
  2. Select “App Settings” from the menu, and pick “Cellular Data Usage.”
  3. There you can switch off the automatic default and select a higher or lower data usage setting that works with your mobile data plan, including an unlimited option.

Netflix mobile data usage

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The new Netflix Mobile streaming settings

The company is always tweaking its service and working on ways to improve picture quality while streaming more efficiently, so bitrates could change over time. As with all streaming, actual data usage can vary based on your device capabilities and network conditions. Your mobile carrier also may impact the actual data usage even if you elect a higher setting in the Netflix app. This setting only affects data usage while viewing on your mobile device on cellular networks; its should be noted that streaming on Wi-Fi is not affected nor is streaming when tethered.


Image Credit: digitaltrends