How Much Data Does Zoom Use?

Almost 5 million people in the United States use Zoom every day. If your internet connection has a monthly data cap, spending time connecting with people on Zoom can eat into your available data. Let’s take a look at how much data Zoom uses, as well as ways you can use less data.

Zoom data use depends on video quality

Zoom has a few different video quality options, including standard definition (SD), standard high definition (HD), and full HD. These options all have different display resolutions, which is the picture detail measured in pixels. A higher resolution video stream has higher picture quality and uses more data.

SD video calls typically have either the same 360p vertical display resolution as video cassette standards like VHS, Hi8, Video8, and Betamax or the same 480p vertical resolution as a DVD.

Standard HD video calls have a vertical display resolution of 720p, while Full HD calls have a vertical resolution of 1080i/1080p.

Data use also depends on aspect ratio, which is the horizontal length of the video compared to its vertical height. Zoom calls can have either a fullscreen aspect ratio of 4:3 or a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9. Fullscreen video is smaller and will therefore use slightly less data.

The display resolution and aspect ratio of your Zoom call often depend on your camera, not on Zoom. Some cameras only stream calls in SD – which compromises video quality, but uses less data.

While factors like aspect ratio also affect data use, here’s the average amount of data Zoom uses for SD, Standard HD (720p), and Full HD (1080p) calls:

SD 720p 1080p
Per minute 8 MB 15 MB 25 MB
Per hour 500 MB 1 GB 1.5 GB

Zoom Data Use Depends on Meeting Size

A one-on-one Zoom call uses less data than a group call does, since your device needs to input more streams if there are more people in the call. Here’s the average amount of data a Zoom group call uses, based on video quality:

SD 720p 1080p
Per minute 13 MB 23 MB 40 MB
Per hour 800 MB 1.35 GB 2.5 GB

Group calls automatically stream in SD unless you enable Group HD in your settings. Only Zoom Enterprise users can stream group calls in Full HD.

How to Use Less Data on Zoom

There are a few different ways to change your video settings on Zoom so that the application uses less data. For example, you can:

Upgrade to Unlimited Data

If you use Zoom often, you might want to upgrade to an unlimited fixed wireless internet plan. With unlimited data, you can make Zoom calls in Standard HD or Full HD without worrying about how much data you’re using.

Stephen Kota

About Stephen Kota

Founder & Primary Author

Stephen enjoys photography, boating and gardening. He cares for pet Kois in his water garden.

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