Understanding Network Speeds and Streaming
Have you ever asked, "How much data does Netflix use?". You're not alone, and the answer is not exact. Connection speeds for streaming and similar activities vary based on the service. Netflix and Hulu both recommend a download speed of at least 1.5 Mbps. Netflix recommends 5 Mbps download speed for HD quality. DIRECTV NOW recommends a speed of 2.5-7.5 Mbps for HD quality.
The good news is that Cricket offers two Unlimited plans to meet the recommended speeds:
- Unlimited: 3 Mbps max download speeds, limited to 1.5 Mbps streaming speed (SD quality)
- Unlimited Max: 8 Mbps max download speeds. Keep Stream MoreSM on to get the most out of your data.
How much data does streaming video use
If you're connected to a Wi-Fi network, you can stream using Wi-Fi and it won't affect your cellular data. However, when you move out of your connected Wi-Fi range or have Wi-Fi turned off, streaming will use your wireless plan's high-speed data allowance.
Keep in mind, the higher quality the video, the more bandwidth will be used. When streaming is not optimized, a single hour of streaming can use up to 3 GB for HD video. That's a lot of bandwidth!
Save Data with Stream More
Wireless carriers like Cricket and AT&T have settings that can allow you to control the amount of data used when streaming. If you are a Cricket Wireless customer, look for the Stream More setting in My Account under Plans & Services or Account Settings. Stream More is a no-cost setting that gives you the power to optimize streaming video on your mobile device to conserve your high-speed data. With Stream More, you can save data by streaming certain higher-definition video at standard definition (SD) quality, similar to DVD (about 480p). Stream More is available on Cricket high-speed data plans and the Unlimited Max plan. It is not offered with the Unlimited Plan since that plan's streaming speeds are already limited to max of 1.5 Mbps (SD quality). Learn about Cricket's Stream More
How to Get the Most out of Your Data
Tips for the best picture and sound quality if you plan to stream TV shows and video through your smartphone on a regular basis:
- Choose an Unlimited data plan that does not cap your data allowance
- Look for plans with faster download speeds to reduce buffering
- Switch to Wi-Fi whenever you are in range of an available network
- Maintain Stream More or similar settings, depending on your carrier