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How to save on data when watching YouTube and Netflix on mobile

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Streaming videos on a mobile device are becoming more prevalent. This is due to services like Netflix or YouTube. IMO, these are the two widely used video-streaming services in the Philippines today.

Here are some tips you can do if you want to reduce your data consumption while watching YouTube or Netflix.


There’s an option to set the video quality of your streaming inside Netflix.

1) Access the Your Account page from a web browser (or Netflix app) and select Playback Settings.
2) Select your desired data usage setting (please note that each estimate below is per stream and that restricting data usage may affect video quality):
Low (0.3 GB per hour)
Medium (SD: 0.7 GB per hour)
High (Best video quality, up to 3 GB per hour for HD and 7 GB per hour for Ultra HD)
Auto (Adjusts automatically to deliver the highest possible quality, based on your current Internet connection speed)

We suggest setting it to Medium for good balance between quality and data usage.

3) Select Save.

Note: It may take up to 8 hours for these changes to take effect.

Adjust your cellular data usage settings.

Adjusting the cellular data usage settings for your account is the easiest way to reduce the amount of data used while watching Netflix. There are six data usage settings to choose from. Each estimate below is per stream:

Off – You will only be able to stream on the device while connected to Wi-Fi.
Auto – Netflix will select a data usage setting that balances data usage with good video quality. Currently, this will allow you to watch about 3 hours per GB of data.
Low – Watch about 4 hours per GB of data.
Medium – Watch about 2 hours per GB of data.
High – Watch about 1 hour per GB of data.
Unlimited – Recommended only if you have an unlimited data plan. This setting will stream at the highest possible quality for your device and the content you are viewing. This may use 1 GB per 20 minutes or more, depending on your device and network speeds.


You can save up on your data usage on YouTube by turning “On” the limit mobile data usage settings. This will prevent you from streaming HD videos accidentally when not connected to WiFi.

To do this, just go to the YouTube app and select Settings -> General and tick the Limit Mobile Usage toggle. This will reduce the video quality when you’re on 3G/LTE but will automatically switch to HD and higher when you are connected to WiFi.


If you’re on a telco subscription, look for data bundles or promos that offer more allocation. For example, if you’re on Globe or TM, you can subscribe to this mobile plan.

1. Text GoSURF50 and send to 8080
2. Text GoWATCH29 and send to 8080
3. You get 2GB worth of data for videos streaming for one day. That’s equivalent to almost 4 hours worth of videos at 480p quality.
4. Open your YouTube app and start watching.

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