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How Much Data Does a Laptop Use on a Hotspot?

As more people are looking for ways to use the internet without being tied to a specific location, hotspots are gaining more popularity. Hotspots are especially helpful when you’re on the go and need internet access. With a laptop, you can use the internet from anywhere as long as you’re within range of a hotspot. But how much hotspot data does a laptop use?

The amount of data you use on a laptop connected to a hotspot will depend on the activities you’re doing. Web surfing and sending emails may only use 100 MBs of data, while streaming HD videos and downloading large files can quickly consume over 1GB. A zoom call uses about 810 MBs of data.

Overall, laptops can use a significant amount of data when connected to a hotspot. Ultimately, it’s important to keep track of your laptop’s data usage to ensure that you stay within the limits of your hotspot plan. Let’s get into the details and find out if you can track your hotspot data usage. We’ll also look at ways to save data when using a hotspot on your laptop.

Using a Hotspot for Your Laptop 

Personal hotspot technology concept

A hotspot is a shared internet service that many people can use simultaneously. If you have an internet package on your phone, you can create a hotspot and share it with others. This way, the other users will be able to use your internet to do different things like watch videos or check emails.

You can also connect your laptop to the hotspot, but data consumption will be much higher than typical phone hotspot usage.

The latest laptop models offer the functionality to use the internet through hotspots. If you want to use a hotspot on your laptop, you can enable the WiFi connection on your laptop and connect it with the mobile data connection. You’ll need to enter the password before connecting, depending on how the hotspot is set up.

Hotspots come in handy if you’re in a place with no available WiFi networks and need to use the internet on your laptop. However, your bill can skyrocket pretty quickly if you’re not careful about how much data you use.

How Much Data Does a Hotspot Use? 

Using your phone as a mobile hotspot means that other devices access the internet through it. Therefore, the hotspot data consumption varies depending on the activities of the user on the devices connected to the hotspot.

Wireless hotspots use a lot of data when downloading huge files or streaming content on Netflix or HBO. But you’ll consume much less data if you’re using the hotspot to check your emails or browse the web.

The data usage also varies when it comes to streaming videos. The amount of data you’ll need to stream an entire movie depends on the quality of the video and the length of time you view the video. The higher the video quality, the more data you’ll use to stream it. The same is true for long videos.

Streaming an hour-long video will use around 300MB, which may seem small but becomes significant if you’re viewing multiple videos of this length in a day. Now, when you take into account the amount of data that higher-resolution videos will use, it’s no surprise that HD movies can consume up to 2GB of data.

Most streaming services offer an option in the settings menu to play the video in a lower quality instead of HD resolution, meaning you’ll save a ton of data when using a hotspot. So, check that the streaming platform allows you to play videos at an SD resolution before you start streaming content.

Here’s a breakdown of how much data you’re looking to use when doing other common activities:

ActivityApproximate Data Usage Per Hour
Web browsing60 MB
Checking emails1 MB
Streaming music150 MB
Facebook80 MB
Instagram720 MB
Zoom (High-quality group call)810 MB
YouTube300 MB

Can You Track How Much Hotspot Data You Are Using?

Woman holding an iphone

You can track how much hotspot data you consume using a data tracking app that monitors the applications that use your data the most. You can also find your data usage information in the app provided by your service provider or in your phone’s settings under the “Data and Connectivity” section.

Carefully monitoring your hotspot data usage is crucial as it prevents you from exceeding your monthly data limit. 

Ways to Save Data When Using a Hotspot for Your Laptop 

The following tips can help you save data when using a hotspot on your laptop:

  • Close the programs and applications on your laptop that consume a lot of data.

  • Close all the background applications and programs to avoid wasting your hotspot data.

  • Disable the auto-update option, which usually eats up a chunk of your hotspot data.