Amazon Prime Data Usage

While many movies and TV show episodes on Amazon Instant Video can be watched at no extra cost with a subscription to Amazon Prime, you should be wary of your Internet data usage.  What’s that, you ask?  It’s the amount of computer information that you transfer back and forth between the Internet and your computer, and many telecommunications companies that provide Internet connections impose a monthly limit.  If you go over this limit, your Internet provider may slow down your Internet connection and/or charge you a penalty fee on your next telecom bill.


Just a heads-up that some of the services we’re reviewing here have affiliate partnerships with us, so we may earn a commission if you visit one of them and buy something. You can read more about how this works at

How much data does Amazon Prime Video use?

Amazon refuses to publicly say how much data Amazon Instant Video uses when you stream movies and TV show episodes through it.  However, some have done research on the subject, and calculated that Amazon Instant Video uses about 850-900 megabytes (0.85-0.9 gigabytes) of Internet data per hour of video when using standard definition video quality.  If you’re watching a video in high definition quality, then the data used per hour of video jumps to almost 2 full gigabytes. 

So, if you assume a 250 gigabyte data cap, you could watch about 10 hours of standard definition video per day through Amazon Instant Video, or 4 hours of high-definition video per day (assuming that you didn’t use the Internet for anything else, of course).

As a comparison, Netflix uses about 1 gigabyte of date per hour of standard definition video, and about 2.8 gigabytes per hour of high definition video; Hulu uses about 0.65 gigabytes of data per hour of high-definition video.  So Amazon Prime Video is a bit more economical than Netflix (though not by much, and Netflix has more data control options), but far less than Hulu.

How to manage your Amazon Prime Video data usage

If you’re worried about how much data you use when watching movies and TV shows over Amazon Instant Video, there are a couple of things that you can do about it.

1. Reduce your video quality

When watching the Amazon Instant Video player, move your mouse cursor over the HD icon in the bottom-right portion of the screen.  When the “Watch in HD” window pops up, click Off.  This will let you watch videos in standard definition, which will use less data.

See our How to Watch Amazon Prime Instant Video on Your Computer tutorial for further instructions on how to control the Amazon Instant Video player.

2. Contact your Internet service provider

Find out what company supplies your Internet connection (try checking your monthly telecom bill).  Give them a phone call or send them an email, and ask two things.  First, how much Internet data do you use on average per month?  Second, do you have a limit on the amount of Internet data you can use per month, or is your Internet cost or speed related to how much you use it in any way?  Getting the answers to these questions may help you plan out your Internet data usage.

3. Plan your Internet usage with a data calculator

You can use websites and programs, such as, to estimate and plan your monthly Internet data usage.  Type in the number of hours that you use the Internet for various activities per month, set a monthly data limit, and see how your Internet use stacks up.  From there, you can plan what areas of Internet use you’re okay in, and which you need to cut back in.


That’s some information on how much data Amazon Prime Instant Video uses, and how you can manage it!