How to Save Data While Streaming Video (Netflix, Amazon Prime)

So during your weekly Zoom catchup with friends, you might be finding it’ harder and harder to find new things to talk about.

Does this conversation look familiar?

So, what have you been up to?

Well I’ve been staying inside…and…staying inside.


I have a feeling some of us will be guiltily nodding along with this one. For those of us who are lucky to be inside, with access to the Internet and a streaming device, binge watching has become a coping mechanism of choice. But what if you have highspeed data caps on your home Internet? Or what if you’re sharing the home WiFi with others (family, housemates, a significant other) and your viewing addiction is making it hard for them to telework or do their own streaming?

CDJapan Rental has a great deal on pocket wifi, with a range of flexible plans starting at ¥187/day. Japan Pocket Wifi Rental

Though it might not be obvious at first glance, streaming services do generally offer lots of settings to allow you to conserve! In this two part series we’re going to look at some of the most popular streaming services and help you look at how you can successfully cut back on the amount of data you’re burning through each day, without sacrificing your watch time or the quality of your video.

1. YouTube

While we might intentionally go to Netflix or other streaming services to watch our content, Youtube is the place that sucks us in. You were just looking for one song, one how to video, and then suddenly you’ve been taken down the wormhole.. only 10 hours later you realize that you are deep in the hole.

If you’re watching high quality video, this can suck up quite a lot of data! 

According to the site, Whistle Out, data usage for Youtube is as follows depending on the quality you choose:

Data Source:

So if you are using the high-quality setting, or even the 720p setting, having videos run in the background, or having a few hours of streaming in your day can really add up! if you’re sharing a connection, this can really slow things down for other people.

So how do you go about changing your data settings? We’re going to show you using an example from a video produced by our parent company, CDJapan.

First, select the icon shaped like a gear. You’ll see at the very bottom, there is an area for you to select the video quality. Without making any changes, the quality will fall to its automated setting, which is generated based on the connection speed detected by Youtube. By clicking on the arrow, you’ll have the ability to adjust. 

As you can see, after clicking on the arrow, all the available speeds are displayed. And like that, you can select your preferred quality! Once the selection is made, the setting will remain unless you change it again manually. 

2. NetFlix

And next, we have the service that has become emblematic of streaming. This phrase that all the cool kids are using, Netflix and chill? Would not be possible without this iconic service? No way. But again, Netflix is guilty for the sin of gluttony when it comes to eating all our data. 

Data Source:

7GB in one hour?! Okay, who needs Ultra HD. We can definitely go for something a little more grainy if its not going to cost us 7GB per hour.

Be careful, the automated setting do tend to favor higher settings, so it’s always best to check.

To change the quality, head into Playback Settings. This can be found under the profile general settings. 

And voila! Selection from here is simple. 

Luckily, Netflix is super transparent and also includes the data usage in your selection area. 

3. Amazon Prime Video

And our runner up! Okay, so maybe it still can’t compare to the brand name power of Netflix, but Amazon Prime is truly stepping up its game in recent years. With expanded programming, more and more independently financed series, and the low prices アAmazon is know for even with its paid content, Amazon Prime is still coming in quite strong. 

And we have to also give them props for this, their adjustments to video quality are also super easy to access and transparent. As you can see here, the data per hour is displayed right next to the settings. While Super High quality data settings might set you back 1.17GB per hour, which to be fair is nothing compared to what Netflix eats! But again, everything up to your discretion, choose the setting that fits for your usage and your data allotment. 

And if you need additional data in Japan

Sure, we might be biased, but we strongly suggest you head over to our parent company CDJapan Rental for amazing rates, now suitable for telework and stay at home efforts in Japan. Take a look and let us know what you think, visit the site here

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GetAround Japan is your number one travel guide, providing the latest information on visiting and living in Japan, with tips on what to eat, things to do, and places to stay. Whether you're planning for a trip far in the future, or already in Japan in need of some fresh ideas, our archive of posts will help you find the best way to fill your time and get the most out of your travel experience. We provide you updates on serious policies that affect visitors and foreign residents while also keeping things light and fun with articles on quirky trends and pop culture. How do we know how to provide visitors the information they need? Our affiliate company CDJapan Rental provides WIFI and Sim Card rentals to thousands of visitors to Japan every year. In other words, we are constantly in touch with and listening to the voices of our customers, and infuse our blog with the information they ask us for. For inquiries, contact us here Company Information CDJapan Rental (Neowing Corporation) 1-10-15-3F Nihonbashi Horidome Chuo, Tokyo 103-0012, Japan

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