How much Netflix can I actually watch?

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How much Netflix can I actually watch?

We love Netflix. As the service becomes more and more popular, many of us are moving away from traditional cable subscriptions to watch our favourite shows and movies on demand, whenever we want, on whatever device we want. But just how much Netflix can you actually watch in a month? If you ever wanted the answer to that question, this is the post for you.

The basics

Depending on your internet package and streaming quality, your internet usage can vary. So before we go any further, here are a few things you need to know:

Your internet package's usage allowance

Your usage allowance dictates how much data you can transfer on the Internet per month. Everything you do on the Internet takes up some of your usage allowance. Some activities use very little (emails, paying bills), while others use a lot (video chats, Netflix). That's why if you use a lot of Netflix, video chats or gaming, you will need a bigger usage allowance to keep things running smoothly. Depending on your service provider, your package's usage allowance can range anywhere from 25GB a month to Unlimited. Get to know this number. If you're not sure what it is, check with your service provider.

Your streaming quality

Streaming quality determines the sharpness of the picture quality. Netflix manages your streaming quality automatically to adjust for fluctuating bandwidth use. But if you log into your Netflix account, click your profile picture in the top right hand corner, select "Your Account" and find the "Playback Settings" button on the account page, you'll be brought to a page where you can manage your streaming quality. The standard setting is "Medium" and looks good on most televisions, tablets and phones. If you want the absolute best picture quality, use "High", but take note that this setting uses substantially more bandwidth.

So, how much?

Now that you know the basics, how much Netflix can you watch in a month? For your convenience, here's a handy table of how much data Netflix would use on most Internet packages:

If you want to do the math your self, here is the formula:

Streaming quality x # of hours watched a month = usage per month

To use the formula, replace "Streaming Quality" with one of these numbers: for medium quality: 0.7GB, for high quality: 3GB, and for ultra HD: 7GB. Replace "# of Hour Watched a Month" with an approximation of how much Netflix you might watch in a month.

In the table above, if you watched 60 hours of Netflix a month on medium quality, Netflix will consume 42GB of usage. This means you will likely need at least 50GB of usage to cover your overall monthly usage, 100GB would be ideal. If you turn your streaming quality up to high, your usage will more than quadruple - to 180GB. You'll enjoy a sharper image, but your usage will also go up substantially. Don't forget! if you have multiple Netflix users in the household, you will need to account for their usage as well.

For a real life example, take Start.ca's internet packages. Our $50 cable package provides you with 300GB of bandwidth usage - a great choice for Netflix, and everything else you might need.

That's it! Now that you know exactly how much internet usage you will need to watch Netflix. Dim the lights and enjoy!

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