By Marli Naidoo
Data is expensive in South Africa. If you’re not careful, you can use up quite a few GBs in an hour.
Videos use the most data, especially if it is in high definition. For instance, if you use a 4 k screen, you can easily use 3 GB or more per hour. The best way to watch YouTube videos and save data, is to lower the video quality. Change your video settings as soon as the video begins to play. You can go from 2 160 p to 240 p if you don’t mind putting g up with a poor video quality. By lowering the quality to 750 p you will already be saving a lot of data and your video quality will not be too bad. At 240 p you will use 225 MB per hour, at 720 p between 1,24 and 1,86 GB per hour, and at 1 080 p at least 2,03 GB per hour.
Make sure that Autoplay is off so that YouTube stops playing when the video has finished and does not automatically start playing the next video.
Netflix devours data! Only one hour’s viewing pleasure can cost you 3 GB. If you are viewing on your cell phone or computer you can change the video quality in your settings at Playback settings. Unfortunately this option is not available for HD televisions.
Zoom meetings or calls are not very light on data either. The more people in the call, the more data you use. If you are having a Zoom call with one person only, you could use between 500 MB and 1,62 GB per hour, depending on the video quality. Therefore, make sure that your quality is as low as possible to save costs. A Zoom meeting with more people could gobble up between 800 GB and 2,4 GB . You can save data by switching off your video for the duration of your call or meeting, and also switching off your microphone when not using it.
WhatsApp video calls use less data than Zoom. If you talk to only one person, you will use between 180 MB and 300 Mb an hour.
If you stream music and play online games, you will use between 60 and 150 MB per hour, even if it is high-graphic-quality games. Games such as ROBLOX, which has large numbers of players per game, uses more data per hour (up to 200 MB), while games such as Freefire, which allows only a limited number of players per round, uses only 30 MB per hour. Games can, however, use quite a lot of data to download onto your device. This differs from game to game. If you have a lot of night data that nobody else in the house uses, you can use that data to download big games.
By paging through Facebook for an hour, you can use about 100 MB. Of course, this becomes more if you open videos in the process.
Therefore, if you want to allow your children on the screens during this lockdown period but do not want to use a lot of data, online games are the best option. They can join up with friends who have the same games. Just make sure they play where you can see and hear them, and always apply internet safety.