How Much Data Does a Zoom Meeting Use?

Tyler Abbott
Staff Writer, Mobile & Wireless
Read More
April 25, 2022
3 min read

Whether we like it or not, Zoom has pretty much become a part of our daily lives. In fact, I have to hop on a Zoom call in about 20 minutes, so let’s answer this question quickly. Just kidding (but I really do have the meeting).

To avoid your face freezing midconversation and your voice suddenly remixing into a weird Daft Punk song, you’ll want sufficient internet data for your Zoom conversations to run smoothly. Let’s answer how much data does a Zoom meeting use.

Zoom internet recommendations

Per Zoom’s website, here are all the internet bandwidth requirements for different activities on Zoom

For 1:1 video calling:

      • 600kbps (up/down) for high quality video
      • 1.2 Mbps (up/down) for 720p HD video
      • Receiving 1080p HD video requires 1.8 Mbps (up/down)
      • Sending 1080p HD video requires 1.8 Mbps (up/down)

For group video calling:

      • 600kbps/1.0Mbps (up/down) for high quality video
      • Gallery receiving view: 2.0Mbps (25 views) and 4.0Mbps (49 views)
      • 1080p HD video requires 3.8Mbps/3.0Mbps (up/down)
      • 720p HD video requires 2.6Mbps/1.8Mbps (up/down)

For screen sharing only (no video thumbnail): 50–75kbps

      • For screen sharing with video thumbnail: 50–150kbps
      • For audio VoiP: 60–80kbps

For webinar attendees: 

    • For panelists with their video on:
      • High-quality video: 600kbps 
      • 720p HD video: 1.2-1.8Mbps(down)
      • 1080p HD video: 2-3Mbps
    • Screen sharing only (no video thumbnail): 50-7kbps(down)
    • Screen sharing with video thumbnail: 50-150kbps(down)

For Zoom Phone: 60–100kbps

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How much data does a Zoom call use?

That was a lot of technical jargon above, so let’s make this information a bit more digestible. Here’s a breakdown of internet speed measurements.

      • 1 megabit (MB) = 1000 kilobytes (Kb)
      • 1 megabyte (MB) = 8 megabits (Mb)
      • 1 gigabyte (GB) = 1,000 megabytes (MB)

Now that we’ve got an idea of the measurements, let’s take a closer look at how much data Zoom uses depending upon the quality of your stream, and how many people are in the meeting.

What’s the difference between download and upload speeds?
Light Bulb

You need both download and upload speeds to run Zoom. Your download speeds affect what you can see, and upload speeds affect how other people on the call can see you. The higher your upload speeds, the smoother you’ll broadcast yourself to other people on the call. The higher the download speeds, the more clear you’ll be able to see and hear everyone else on the call.

Zoom data usage for a 1:1 meeting
Quality
Download
Upload
Total

High

270 MB/hr.

270 MB/hr.

540 MB/hr.

720p

540 MB/hr.

540 MB/hr.

1.08 GB/hr.

1080p

810 MB/hr.

810 MB/hr.

1.62 GB/hr.

You use somewhere between 540 MB and 1.62 GB per hour (between 9 MB and 27 MB per minute) for a 1:1 Zoom meeting, depending upon the streaming quality.

Zoom data usage for a group call
Quality
Download
Upload
Total

High

450 MB/hr.

360 MB/hr.

810 MB/hr.

720p

675 MB/hr.

675 MB/hr.

1.35 GB/hr.

1080p

1.2 GB/hr.

1.2 GB/hr.

2.4 GB/hr.

Your Zoom data usage jumps up with more people on the call. Group Zoom meetings take up somewhere between 810 MB and 2.4 GB per hour, or between 13.5 MB and 40 MB per minute.

Reducing your Zoom meeting data usage

If you're noticing consistent lagging in your Zoom meetings, but your internet is working just fine then there are a few things you can do to reduce the data that Zoom needs. You can try turning your video off, and keeping your audio on mute when you're not using it. You can also change the video quality in settings and turn off the HD video. 

To put those numbers in context, take a look at how much data is used for other everyday activities.

Data usage for common activities
Activity
Amount of data used

4K video streaming

5.85 GB/hr.

HD video streaming

2.5 GB/hr.

SD video streaming

0.7 GB/hr.

Audio streaming

72 MB/hr.

Uploading one image to social media

5 MB/photo

Sending emails (without attachment)

20 KB/email

Sending emails (with standard attachment)

300 KB/email

Online gaming

12 MB/hr.

Viewing a web page

1 MB/pg.

Based on AT&T data calculator estimates. Amounts may vary.

Zoom streaming is fairly comparable to normal video streaming, but since upload speeds are part of the equation, a Zoom stream does take up more data than streaming Netflix.

Struggling with your Zoom calls?

If your internet is having a hard time keeping up with Zoom calls, then you might want to see what other options are available in your area. You might be paying too much for a lousy internet connection, and there might be some better options for you. Our internet expert Catherine recommends Xfinity internet as the best internet provider.

Best Internet Provider
Starting from
$19.99
/mo
Upload speeds
535 Mbps
Download speeds
501200 Mbps
Data effective 02/17/2022. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

You can find out if Xfinity internet is available in your neighborhood by entering your ZIP code below. Even if you don't have Xfinity in your area, you can enter your ZIP and find out what internet providers are in your area.

Now that you know how much data Zoom uses, here are your next steps:
Find a new internet provider that keeps your Zoom calls clear.

Potentially use less data with a different video conferencing platform.

Tyler Abbott
Written by
Tyler Abbott
Tyler has been obsessed with watching sports as efficiently as possible since the creation of the DVR. He is always on the lookout for the best tech in TV and wireless so he can watch all the sports and still have enough time to hang out with his baby. He has written about streaming, wireless, and TV for over three years. He hopes the Lakers will eventually get better.

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