I love traveling, and I love my mobile hotspot. It’s especially useful if my internet ever goes down abroad.
At one point, my internet was down for two weeks, and I streamed all my favorite shows with my mobile hotspot. Unfortunately, my data ran out.
However, if you have an Amazon Firestick, it might be essential to learn how much data it uses, especially if you run into a problem like mine.
Does a Firestick use more data than Roku? What’s the best internet plan? And how much data does a Firestick use overall?
These questions are essential if you plan to use a hotspot or stream video content daily. You might also want to know how much data your Firestick uses when connected to a hotspot and if it’s possible to stop it from using any more data.
However, to answer the main question at hand, the data a Firestick uses depends on the content you’re viewing. So, if you’re streaming standard definition videos, it’s safe to say you are using approximately one gigabyte of data per hour.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll tackle:
- How much data a Firestick uses when streaming SD, HD, and 4K video
- How much data a Firestick uses compared to a Roku stick
- The best internet plan for a Firestick
- How much data does a Firestick use when connected to a hotspot?
- How can you stop your Firestick from using data?
How Much Data Does Firestick Use?
If I knew how much data a Firestick uses, perhaps I wouldn’t have run out of data. That’s why this is an important question.
It’s essential to note that data figures might differ depending on what you are streaming, whether standard definition, high definition, or even 4K.
With that said, streaming Standard Definition videos using an Amazon Firestick uses approximately one gigabyte of data per hour.
Streaming HD video uses about six to seven gigabytes of data for a movie that is 90 minutes long (that’s about 3 or 4 gigabytes per hour). While 4K uses 10GB per hour.
In other words, if you’re like most people and enjoy three hours of TV every day after work, expect to use about 90 gigabytes of data in one month for SD movies and 210 gigabytes for HD movies. That’s a lot!
|SD Video||HD Video||
Firestick Data Usage
|1 GB Per Hour||3/4 GB Per Hour||
10 GB Per Hour
If you’re concerned about the amount of data you’re using and want to know the amount you’ve used in any given month, the Fire Stick makes it easy to do so.
How do you check your data usage? You can do so by checking the Fire Sticks Data Monitoring feature.
- Simply head to your Home Screen.
- Click on Settings.
- You’ll see Preferences on your right. Click on it.
- Navigate to Data Monitoring.
- To enable this feature, click On.
With this feature, you can also set a data cap that sends you a notification once you’ve used that amount of data. It’s pretty handy if you’re budgeting data.
Does a Firestick Use More Data Than a Roku?
To be upfront, it depends on how you use each device. Therefore a Firestick can use more data than a Roku, but let’s elaborate.
Although we gave you an example of how much data a Firestick uses per month in the above section, pinpointing an exact amount is tough, especially because it depends on how you use the Firestick.
However, some users suggest that the Firestick uses up to four times more data than a Roku. But is that true? Let’s take a look at some hard numbers for you.
Earlier, we stated that a Firestick uses about one gigabyte per hour if you’re streaming a standard definition video. So, how does that compare to Roku? And does a Roku stick use more data?
As it turns out, Roku does not use more data than a Firestick. In fact, a Roku uses roughly the same amount.
A Roku stick uses about 800 megabytes per hour for a video that’s standard definition.
However, just like the Firestick, it depends on the resolution of the content you’re viewing. For example, a Firestick or Roku will use more data if you’re streaming a 4K video.
However, it’s the 4K quality video that determines the amount of data each device is using, not the other way around.
Best Internet Plan for Amazon Fire Stick?
As I learned during my vacation, having a wifi hotspot for streaming content for weeks is not good enough.
That’s because it has a data cap. So eventually, you’ll run out of data for streaming. So, what is the best internet plan for an Amazon Firestick?
First things first, ensure your internet plan does not have low data caps the way a wifi hotspot would. But, that’s only part of the equation.
To ensure smooth streaming, a slow internet speed leads to buffering, and who loves an interrupted movie?
For smooth streaming, an internet speed of at least 20 Mbps is good enough, even if you’re streaming 4K videos.
Next, ensure your data plan does not have data caps. If you love movie marathons or binging your favorite Netflix series, call your internet provider and see if they have any unlimited data plans available. This will save you trouble in the long run.
How Much Data Does a Hotspot Use for a Firestick?
A Firestick uses the same amount of data connected to a mobile hotspot as it does when connected to wifi. Therefore an unlimited hotspot plan is essential.
So, with standard definition content, expect to use about one gigabyte of data per hour. This is the lowest amount of data it will use.
If you love HD content, expect to use about six to seven gigabytes of data per movie (or 1.5 hours).
Many hotspot plans have a data cap of about five gigabytes per day. Therefore, this might not be enough.
How to Stop a Firestick From Using Data?
Firesticks are fantastic little gadgets. However, even if your TV is off, and you’re not actively using the device, it still consumes data.
As it turns out, an inactive Firestick uses about 20kb/s of data. Unplugging your device and turning it off is the only way your Fire Stick will not use data.
However, reconnecting it every time you want to use it isn’t very pleasant. So, what do we do in this case?
Although you cannot stop the Firestick from using data, you can reduce the amount of data it uses.
Reduce a Firestick’s Data Consumption
Another way to drastically reduce the data consumption of your Firestick is to head to your Data Monitoring settings and set your video quality to its lowest setting. In this case, set it to “Good.”
Please note that this setting will reduce video quality a noticeable amount. However, data streaming will now be reduced to about 0.3 gigabytes per hour.
That’s a whole lot less data!
Also, let’s not forget about the screensaver. The screensaver uses a lot of data. Therefore turning it off is an excellent way to reduce data consumption.
Many times, your screensaver is on in the background. So, head to your Screensaver settings and choose “Turn on: Never.”
Another way to reduce data consumption is to turn off auto-updates. The Fire Stick updates are enabled automatically by default; therefore, turning it off will save you from using data you might not want to use.
To do so, navigate to Settings, then Applications.
Then select Automatic Updates and switch it to Off.
This will ensure you reduce your data consumption.
An Amazon Firestick is a data guzzler. It uses about one gigabyte per hour when streaming standard definition videos. If you’re streaming high-definition videos, expect to use about six to seven gigabytes per movie.
Fortunately for you, there are ways you can reduce the amount of data it consumes.
We hope this article helped you budget your data plan or find an unlimited data plan that works for you.
James Quintanilla is a technical copywriter. Although his experience allows him to write on many topics, he loves to focus on tech and travel. As a freelancer, James has worked on projects with Pointer Clicker, Lonely Planet, and the Travel Channel. When he’s not writing or planning his next adventure, he’s watching a scary movie.