How much data does hotspot use? | Close estimates

When you’re about to get a new phone contract, it can be really appealing to opt for a deal with a ton of data. That way, if you ever need to hop onto the internet on another device, then you can just connect to your hotspot with a tablet or laptop and you’ll be good to go.

But how much data does a hotspot use? Is it even worth using the hotspot on your phone if you’re going to be browsing the internet on your laptop? Well, this is what we’re going to find out.

How much data does hotspot use?

Online ActivityData Usage (per hour)
Checking Your Emails<5MB
Downloading a Spotify Track3-5MB
Streaming Spotify30MB
Browsing Twitter/Facebook50MB
Internet Browsing through Safari/Chrome50-100MB
Skype Call250MB
YouTube (Standard Definition)300-400MB
Zoom Calls, Group600-800MB

As you can see, and as you probably expected, streaming videos is the biggest burner of your hotspot data. So if you want to cut back on your data usage, then this is the first thing to think about.

This is especially true when you consider the higher resolution monitors that you might be using nowadays – it may not even be worth using your hotspot to watch TV shows in 4K, as it’s going to use a whole lot of data.

The amount of data you’re using will also heavily depend on what you’re actually doing online. If you’re only checking your emails, then generally you’re not actually going to be using that much data. They’re text based, and often they’ll use less than a MB of data for you to check through your recent mail.

But if you’re going to be making video calls, then you’ll end up using your wifi very quickly. It’ll use significantly more data than a voice call, so if you can it’s best to stick with voice until you can get access to Wi-fi.

If you have a data plan that has limits on it, then this can stop you going over your allowance. Having a data limit can be a good idea if you haven’t got unlimited data to use freely.

How do I use less data on my hotspot?


If you’re going to use your hotspot, then there are ways that you can actually limit the amount of data that you’re using on your device. Here are some ways that you can make sure you use less data.

No Updates – One of the main things you can do to ensure that you use as little data as possible is to turn off the automatic updates on your mobile. Doing this can ensure that you use the minimum amount of data possible. Then, update your phone completely when you have access to unlimited data.
Close applications- If you’re using your mobile and you have a lot of different apps running in the background, then closing all of these first can be a good way for you to limit the amount of data you’re going to use. When you’re using your mobile hotspot, make sure that you’re not accessing pages on your phone at the same time too.
Stop downloads – Some people download Spotify music, and when your phone gets access to internet, it’ll automatically try to resume doing this. Turning this off can be a good way to use less data. When you’re running low on data, go into your settings and switch your mobile data to off, as this will stop you from going over your allowance.
Stream in a lower quality – As you can read above, streaming films uses a lot more data than web browsing. However, there’s also a massive difference in the data used between streaming low quality in comparison to streaming in 4k. So if you want a lower data usage, consider watching in 720p or 1080p instead.

All of these things, as well as making sure you’ve got data limits set on your account, are a good idea if you’re worried about going over your allowance.

Does hotspot use more data?

If you’re wondering whether using your phone as a hotspot will use more data than if you were just using your phone, then of course it depends. If you’re using your hotspot to allow another phone to use your data, then they should use a similar amount of data. But if you’re going to use a laptop on your hotspot, then of course this is going to use significantly more data than your phone. In many cases, it’s best to only use your laptop to check your emails and maybe lightly browse the internet.

Is it bad to use a hotspot?

There’s nothing bad about using a hotspot – unless you have a limit on the amount of data on your phone! If you do, then make sure you abstain from streaming videos and downloading large files on the internet. There aren’t any security issues with using your phone as a hotspot, as long as you set up a secure password when turning your personal hotspot on.

How much data do I need for hotspot?

There’s no specific amount of data needed for you to set up a hotspot. You can use a hotspot with as little as just a few MB’s of data left if you’re only going to check your emails. However if you want to do more than this, then it’s advisable to have at least a few GB of data on your device.

Is 50gb of data enough for Netflix?

If you’re looking at data packages and you’re not sure if you’re going to have enough to cover Netflix, then it will really depend on the device you’re going to watch Netflix on. You will use a lot more data watching a movie on Netflix on your laptop than on your phone. One hour of Netflix on a phone may only use 500MB of data, but the same hour on a high quality laptop in 4K may use a few GB of data. So, it really depends.

How can I make my hotspot better?

If you’re wondering how to make your hotspot better, then you’ll just want to make sure that you’re using your router to its full potential. You can increase your wifi signal by using an adapter. You also need to make sure that your hotspot is within a close proximity to the device that you’re connecting to it.


In conclusion, the amount of data that you use when you’re connected to your hotspot will heavily depend on the activity that you’re using. In some cases, it can even be preferable to download a video instead of streaming it, as streaming a movie in a high resolution can eat a whole lot of data up.

So, when you’re using your phone as a hotspot, it’s a good idea to be conscious of just how much data that you’re using. Otherwise, you might eat up all of your data allowance before you know it.

Avatar of Jon
About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

Leave a Comment


5 common router virus symptoms & what to do about them

Dual-band vs Tri-band routers – Should you upgrade?