How Much Data Does Zoom Consume?

  • Zoom and Data Consumption
  • Group Video Conferencing
  • Factors that Affects Data Consumption via Zoom

Zoom is one of the top cloud-based video conferencing services that allow users to meet and communicate via video-only, audio-only or video and audio conferencing. Live chats, share screens and recording is also available and can be done simultaneously while conferencing.

The service easily became an in-demand conferencing service due to its very straightforward and easy to use platform. It offers quality videos with record session features and wireless screen sharing across mobile devices and operating systems. Zoom also happens to be one of the most affordable premium conferencing services available for personal and business use today.

Connected to the internet, Zoom uses a considerable amount of data to be able to facilitate one-on-one or group meetings while providing access to the different features the service offers. How much data does Zoom consume? Compare Broadband elaborates on the data consumption requirements of Zoom.

Zoom and Data Consumption

On average, Zoom uses around 540 MB - 1.62 GB of data per hour for one-on-one video conferencing calls and around 810 MB - 2.4 GB per hour for group conferencing. To minimize data consumption, using Zoom via a mobile device like your handheld tablet or smartphones is advisable. However, some Zoom features would be inconvenient to use through a mobile device compared to a laptop or a desktop computer. A bigger screen would make the whole "Zoom Experience" productive and more efficient.

On top of the average data consumption mentioned above, additional data will be required based on the streaming quality, the length of the call as well as the number of features being used while video conferencing. The more features you use while in a meeting - share screen, recording, or a more defined streaming - the higher your data consumption will be. Here's a more detailed insight on how much data is consumed when you use Zoom for different purposes.

One-on-one Meetings

The amount of data consumed in Zoom one-on-one meetings depends on the download speed, the upload speed and the stream quality. The higher your stream quality is, backed with fast download and upload speed, results in higher data consumption. A 720p video quality at an average download and upload speed of 540 MB/hour will require 1.08 GB of data in an hour. Lower streaming quality with an average upload and download speed of 270 MB/hour will only consume 540 MB/hour of data. On average, you'll consume 540 MB to 1.62 GB of data in an hour of one-on-one video conferencing via Zoom.

Group Video Conferencing

Similar to one-on-one meetings, group conferencing data consumption is parallel to the stream quality and the speed of your internet service. The higher the video quality is and the faster your download and upload speed is, the higher data consumption you'll have. Group meetings will consume around 810MB to 2.4GB in an hour. However, for additional features such as share screen and recording, your data consumption will be even more.

Factors that Affects Data Consumption via Zoom

On top of the average data consumption one-on-one video conferencing and group conferencing consumes, there are also other factors that contribute to the amount of data you will consume while using zoom. Evey meeting requires a different set of combinations that will likely affect the amount of data that you will consume. Here are some of the other factors that contribute to your data consumption.

Multiple Zoom Features

Zoom includes several features that make it more convenient and productive to use especially for business calls, tutorials and presentations. Using multiple features at once increases the data consumption. Uploading a video feed, using video and audio conferencing simultaneously, sharing screen, managing live chat feeds, and cloud recording are a few of the very useful features available at Zoom that add up to your data consumption when used. Using digital backgrounds or a virtual image behind your video, also adds to the list of other features that causes your data consumption to balloon.

Stream Quality

The default settings of zoom use the least bandwidth and consume the least data. If you are conscious with the amount of data that you consume, it would be ideal to use the default stream quality. However, if you prefer streaming semi-HD 720p or full-HD at 1080p, prepare for the higher data consumption you'll use up. The streaming quality can be changed manually in the zoom settings.

Download and Upload Speed

Speed is a factor that affects the amount of data you consume during a Zoom call. However, most internet users prefer faster speeds to be able to communicate more effectively and conduct online meetings efficiently. No one would compromise speed over the amount of data a Zoom meeting will consume. Let us focus instead on the minimum speeds required for an efficient and clear Zoom conference.

For one-on-one meetings, it would be ideal to have a minimum upload and download speed of 600 Kbps to 1.8 Mbps. Group calling will require a faster speed to avoid lags and connectivity issues. A minimum of 1.0 Mbps to 3.0 Mbps is the ideal minimum for download speeds while upload speeds should be within the 800 Kbps to 3.0 Mbps speed. Screen sharing requires 50-150 Kbps of upload and download speed while clear audio calls require 60-80 Kbps download and upload speeds.

The bulk of the data consumed in a Zoom conference call is usually allocated to streaming video. If you are looking to save on bandwidth while using Zoom, it would be best to turn off your video feed when you do not need it. You can also avoid using the additional features that come with Zoom if you are looking to save on data usage. Reducing the stream quality also saves you around 50% of your data consumption. The default streaming setting is already enough to host or attend a video conference in zoom. Minimizing the use of the screen sharing feature can also cut your data consumption by half.

If giving up these Zoom features would compromise your work or the experience that you would want to achieve during your Zoom meetings, it would be ideal to increase your data cap allocation instead to fully enjoy using Zoom. Increase your bandwidth allowance to enjoy better connection, higher streaming quality while using Zoom's features to its optimum. Or, you can check out and compare the best unlimited broadband plans so you won’t have to worry about hitting the data cap.