How Much Data Does Zoom Use?


On average, Zoom consumes nearly 900 MB of data per hour. That’s not very much if your internet plan gives you 1 TB of data or more to use per month. But you’ll want to keep an eye on how much data Zoom uses if you have a smaller data cap, especially if you have a satellite internet plan.

Using too much data can lead to extra fees or service slowdowns. To help you manage your data and keep from going over the edge, we put together a guide to help you figure out how much data you’re using on Zoom. We calculated out the data requirements of different functions, and we devised some workarounds to help you keep Zoom’s data diet under control.

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How much data do you need to use Zoom?

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ActivityAmount of data used
1:1 call in “high-quality video” (480p)540 MB/hr.
1:1 video call in 720p1.08 GB/hr.
1:1 video call in 1080p1.62 GB/hr.
Group call in “high-quality video” (480p)810 MB/hr.
Group video call in 720p1.35 GB/hr.
Group video call in 1080p2.475 GB/hr.
Audio-only VoIP27–36 MB/hr.
Screen sharing22.5 MB/hr.
Screen sharing w/ thumbnail67.5 MB/hr.

Zoom uses an average of 888 MB of data per hour. That’s how much data you’ll consume if you regularly make 1:1 or group video calls, use the screen-sharing function, and watch Zoom Webinars with multiple people in the same Zoom session. 

We came up with these figures by calculating the amount of data that Zoom uses based on Zoom’s speed requirements for different activities.

What uses the most data on Zoom?

Participating in group video meetings with your video in 1080p resolution will use the most data—a whopping 2.475 GB per hour.

We recommend setting your Zoom video to the lowest resolution possible if you have limitations on your data. Most satellite providers, for example, have particularly restrictive data policies. So if you live in a rural area and satellite internet is your only option, you’ll want to avoid overtaxing your data by Zooming in HD.

You’ll use a lot less data if you switch off your Zoom video screen altogether. Participating in a Zoom session with your video off uses only about 27–36 MB per hour, and sharing your screen runs you between 22.5 MB and 67.5 MB an hour.

Looking for a provider that gives you more data? Run a search with our address check tool.

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What is a data cap?

A data cap is the amount of data you’re allowed to use each month on your home internet plan.

On most internet plans, your data cap will be enough to let you do all sorts of activities without going over. But you’ll likely have a smaller data cap if you live in a rural area and have a Wi-Fi package from a satellite or fixed-wireless internet provider.

Many cable, fiber, and DSL providers give you at least 1 TB of data per month. By comparison, most satellite internet providers give customers much less data—usually in the range of 1–300 GB, depending on the package and provider. Some fixed-wireless plans also come with fairly strict data limits, usually to the tune of just 250 GB per month.

Pro tip:

Looking for other ideas on how to save your data? Read our guide to internet data for a full explanation.

Do you have enough data to use Zoom?

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ProviderViasatHughesNetStarlinkAT&T Fixed WirelessRise BroadbandVerizon LTE Home InternetT-Mobile Home InternetCenturyLink
Data cap12–300 GB1–50 GBUnlimited250 GB250 GB–unlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited1 TB–unlimited
Overage feeN/A*N/A*N/A$10 per 50 GB$5 per 10 GBN/AN/AN/A†
View plansView plansView plansView plansView plansView plansView plansView plansView plans

*When you reach your data limit on Viasat and HughesNet plans, you don’t get any charges, but your internet speed is slowed down significantly.

†CenturyLink doesn’t charge overage fees if you use too much data for the month. However, it will slow down or even disconnect your service if you exceed your data cap too many times.

You’ll have enough data to use Zoom regularly if you’re on an unlimited data plan, or if you have an internet package that gives you 250 GB of data per month or more.

The amount of data you get depends on the type of internet you have. But you can make sure you’re getting enough data to use Zoom by ordering an unlimited data plan. At the very least, you should aim to get a plan that gives you 250 GB as a cap.

What happens if you exceed your data cap?

Depending on the type of internet you have, exceeding your data cap will lead to additional fees on your bill or a slowdown of your internet service.

Satellite plans have “soft” caps, so you won’t be charged if you go over your monthly limit. But your internet speed will be slowed down considerably to make way for other customers.

On fixed-wireless internet plans, exceeding your data cap leads to overage charges. The charges range from $10 per every 50 GB (for AT&T Fixed Wireless) to $5 for 10 GB (for Rise Broadband). These fees can really add up, so we recommend getting an unlimited data plan for your fixed-wireless connection. Rise Broadband’s unlimited data package costs more than a data-capped package does, but it’s well worth the investment.

If you’re not happy with the data limits you have now, consider upgrading your plan or switching providers. Type in your address below to see if you can find a provider that gives you more data each month:

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How can you use less data on Zoom?

You can use less data on Zoom by switching off your video or (if you have to use the video) lowering your video resolution. You can even call into a meeting using your phone instead of a Wi-Fi connection, which frees up your data for other purposes.

Here’s a rundown of tips and tricks to help you use less data when you’re Zoomin’:

Turn off your video

The best way to reduce data usage is to switch off your Zoom video. Streaming video takes up a ton of data per hour, and your app will use a lot less if it’s audio-only.

To turn it off, click on the camera-shaped Start Video button in the bottom left corner of your screen. When the button has a red line through it, that means your video is turned off.

Turn off your HD video

If you have to activate your Zoom video screen for work or class, you can set your screen to a lower resolution so it eats less data.

To switch off HD resolution, go to the Video Settings menu (accessible from the tiny, upwards-pointing arrow next to the Start Video button). Then uncheck the functions for “Enable HD” and “Touch up my appearance.”

Zoom screenshot of video settings
Zoom screenshot of HD video settings

Call into a meeting with your phone

One way to not use any data at all is to call into a Zoom meeting on your phone. Just dial one of Zoom’s numbers based on the region you’re in, then punch in the meeting ID and (if necessary) the meeting passcode.

If the meeting hasn’t started yet, hit # to wait for the host to arrive.

When you’re a panelist on a webinar, you’ll have to enter your unique participant ID. Hosts to Zoom sessions and Zoom webinars can start things over the phone by entering the host key.

Here are the numbers you can call when you’re in the US to access a Zoom meeting over the phone:

  • +1-669-900-6833 (San Jose)
  • +1-253-215-8782 (Tacoma)
  • +1-346-248-7799 (Houston)
  • +1-646-876-9923 (New York)
  • +1-301-715-8592 (Washington DC)
  • +1-312-626-6799 (Chicago)
  • +1-877-853-5257 (toll free)
  • +1-855-880-1246 (toll free)

For calls outside the US, see Zoom’s Help Center for the full list of international dial-in numbers.

Get more data—or switch providers

You can usually purchase more data on your internet plan if you run out before the month is up. The satellite provider HughesNet has Data Tokens that give you an extra GB per data for $3 each. Viasat, the other major satellite provider, lets you buy one GB per data for $10 or more for a lower individual price.

But then there are providers that give you a lot more data or even unlimited data. Starlink, the new satellite internet service from SpaceX, has unlimited data on its current service (now available for public beta testing). The 4G LTE internet services from Verizon and T-Mobile also give you unlimited data.

Put in your address below to see if you can find a provider with more data in your area:

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FAQ on how much data Zoom uses

How much data does Zoom use per hour?

Zoom uses an average of 888 MB per hour. One-on-one video calls use anywhere from 540 MB to 1.62 GB per hour, depending on whether you have your video set to HD. Group video calls use 810 MB to 2.475 GB. More data gets used if your video is higher resolution and there are more people on the call.

How much bandwidth does Zoom use?

According to Zoom’s bandwidth requirements, you’ll need a minimum of 3 Mbps download speeds and 0.6–1 Mbps upload speeds to use Zoom. That’s pretty low when it comes to bandwidth minimums, but you’ll likely experience grainy video quality and delays in audio and video if you’re multitasking online while Zooming at such a slow speed.

Your Zoom connection will be a lot smoother if you have more bandwidth. But you can avoid service interruptions and bad connections by minimizing the use of video, turning off your HD setting, and not using other apps while in your Zoom session.

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