How To Download Movies Using Less Data

Watching Netflix TV series or movies on the streaming site uses about 1GB of data an hour for every stream using standard definition video. Netflix uses 3GB an hour for each stream of HD video.

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One of modern life’s woes is worrying how much data we’re using up whether that’s watching a video, sending a trillion WhatsApps, or scrolling through social media.

When it comes to Netflix it may be a more pressing concern given you’re streaming or downloading video.

If you have unlimited data it may not be so much of a worry, but if you don’t and need to watch how much you use then we have a few tips.

How much data does Netflix use?

  • SD – up to 1GB an hour of video
  • Full HD – up to 3GB an hour of video
  • 4K ultra HD – up to 7GB an hour of video

Watching Netflix TV series or movies on the streaming site uses about 1GB of data an hour for every stream using standard definition video. Netflix uses 3GB an hour for each stream of HD video. Downloading and streaming actually use similar amounts of data, so it makes little difference if you’re using WiFI.

You also need the space to store your downloads so keep that in mind too. These figures for data are also the worst case scenario and you may use less depending on the length of the show, the frame rate, colour depth and whether you’re watching HDR.

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How to get Netflix to use less data

If you’re on a data plan (and not unlimited) then you’ll probably keen to cut down how much data Netflix us using. No one wants to pay out for watching a 4K video as it rinses your data.

Netflix has a few features that help you cut down your data usage. While you can’t set your data limit you can choose from four options: automatic, maximum data, save data and WiFi only.

  • Automatic: This option is your wallet pinching mode. It balances your data usage with good video quality to ensure you can get more hours per GB.
  • Maximum data: This option means you’re streaming the highest quality for your device and for the content you’re wanting to watch – this is probably 4K Ultra HD.
  • Save data: This option is pretty obvious. It does what it says on the tin. You will have a reduced quality video scaling down the data usage to the minimum it can go to. You can get about six hours per GB.
  • WiFi only: This option means you can only stream while you’re connected to WiFi. You can still watch your downloaded content when your WiFi is off or you’re out.

There will probably be one option out of these that stands out for you. If you know which one is the best for you then head to your Netflix app to adjust it.

  • Open your Netflix app
  • Choose Menu that’s in the top corner
  • Click Celluar Data Usage
  • Choose Automatic, Maximum Data, Save Data or WiFi only.

You can also set a data cap for your profiles which allows you to watch on different devices. This works well if you have a child’s plan and don’t want them working through data.

There is another set of options here that give you restrictions based on data usage per hour.

  • Automatic: Your data is adjusted to give you the best quality based on your internet connection speed.
  • Low: This gives you 0.3GB an hour per device.
  • Medium: This gives you 0.7GB an hour per device with SD resolution.
  • High: This gives you up to 3GB an hour per device for HD, 7GB an hour per device for 4K Ultra HD.

For profiles you need to set usage setting:

  • Sign in to
  • Select the profile you want to change the settings on
  • Tap Account in the top corner
  • Choose My Profile, click Playback Settings
  • Choose your option as above

If you’re wondering what Netflix show to watch now, then check out our best series on Netflix guide or best movies on Netflix list. If horror is your favourite genre we have the best horror movies on Netflix or best comedies on Netflix if you’re looking for something lighter.

How to guides

Looking for something to watch right now? Check out our TV Guide.

When you search for free movie download or watch free movies online, search engines serve you a long list of best free movie websites.
But you need to beware, as most free movies files and free movie site could end you up into downloading links to nasty computer viruses. They could infect or, at worst case, take control over your computer.
One more thing I have learned in these years is that most top torrent sites, including Kickass Torrents and Pirate Bay, are illegal as they violate copyright laws. So, before downloading movies, make sure those movies are legal to download.
But, there are hundreds of torrents available on the Internet, which are legal to download.
We receive emails from our readers on a daily basis who ask for legal sites like Tubi TV to download free movies and TV series.

The query is fair enough because it is no easy to get free streaming sites or free movie download websites without breaking laws.

Best Free Movie Download Websites (Legally)

So in the interest of our readers, I have compiled a list of movie sites, where you can download movies.
You can also consider streaming movies for free, instead of downloading them. In fact, you will be able to watch high quality movies if you consider to watch movies online.
To watch movies for free, you need to stream movies from the websites as many times as you like. You can even try out free movie streaming apps if you want to watch free movies online on a mobile device.
Below we have listed some of the best movie download sites and online streaming services that offer a good collection of movies and shows for free:

1) The Internet Archive Movies

The Internet Archive's Movies is one of the oldest and best websites to download free movies. It offers a wide variety of digital movies uploaded by Archive users for free. The categories range from full-length classic films to cartoons and concerts.
You can download movies in different file formats. Your computer's in-built video player supports most file formats, or you can opt for VLC Media Player that supports many video file formats.

2) Public Domain Torrents

Public Domain Torrents is one of a few legal torrent websites that offers a wide collections of movies to download for free.
The movies end up on the public domain when the original creator of a patented movie fails to renew its copyright claim on time.
The categories on Public Domain Torrents range from drama, horror, musical, to westerns. The movies are available in many formats and quality.
The interface is simple and easy. It helps you select a category of movies or find the most popular movies and recently added movies.

3) MoviesFoundOnline

MoviesFoundOnline is a free movie download website that lists free content from around the Internet. It has a long list of free movies, films, documentaries, animations, stand up comedy, drama shows and other media.
MoviesFoundOnline offers 40 genres including action, adventure, comedy, musical, short films, animation, romance, horror, and more. You can browse the site's categories to download movies.

4) Sony Crackle

Owned by Sony , Crackle is a great website to watch high-quality movies and TV shows for free. Crackle offers lots of popular movies and TV shows that you won't find for free on other websites.
Crackle offers legal content from big media providers like Universal Studios, Warner Bros and Fox Digital. So, you get lots of movies to watch.
The interface of Crackle is simple and easy to navigate. You need to signup and create a watchlist. Crackle will then recommend you content based on the things you like.
You can browse full library of movies and TV shows including Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi, Romance, Sports, Thriller, Crime, Anime, and Horror. It's all free as long as you are sometimes willing to watch commercials and ads.
Crackle also has Android and iOS apps, making it easy to watch free movies and TV shows while travelling.

5) Popcorn Flix

Owned by Screen Media Ventures, Popcornflix is one of my favorite video streaming websites with nice user interface. Popcornflix lists action, comedy, drama, documentaries, family, horror, romance, and foreign films. It also features web and film school originals.
With a constant flow of new movies, Popcornflix helps you watch movies on your computer, mobile phone, and other supported devices. All completely free, even without need to create any account on the website.
Hit Play button on your chosen movie and enjoy watching.
It's worth pointing out that Popcornflix is ad-supported. So you will have to sit through a few commercial advertisements, which is acceptable for a free, good quality watch.

6) TopDocumentaryFilms

Love watching documentaries? TopDocumentaryFilms (TDF) is one of the best sites for documentaries based on real life.
With the flow of recent films, TopDocumentaryFilms has more than 3,000 films. Some of the best documentaries on the site are under the 60-minute mark.
The website's layout is simple and straightforward. It helps you search by categories based on subject. This includes war, global conflict, and crime, making it easy to find something of an interest.
TopDocumentaryFilms also has a community of users. They provide ratings and reviews for each film. So other users can have an idea of the documentary before they watch.
You can also check out the site's front page for its featured films, or top 100 documentary list to see what people are watching.

7) YouTube

YouTube is the world's largest video-sharing website. Besides movie trailers, YouTube also hosts a sizable collection of full-length movies and TV shows for free.
YouTube also provides movies and TV shows that are its originals. You can enjoy them without paying a single penny.
Finding free movies on YouTube might be quite difficult nowadays. But you can check few popular YouTube channels, like Maverick Entertainment and The Paramount Vault, that feature a long list of films.
Also, there are thousands of films on YouTube that won't show up unless you search for them by typing their names. So if you are looking for a particular movie, especially an older one, perform a quick search on YouTube.
YouTube also offers paid subscription tiers like YouTube Premium and YouTube TV, to watch high quality movies.

8) Vimeo

Like YouTube but may not be as big as YouTube, Vimeo is also a famous video-sharing website for users. You can upload, share and view videos on Vimeo as well.

Vimeo also offers a good collection of free movies and documentaries. You can also find tons of entertaining short movies on the platform.
Vimeo has a pretty decent interface with a high definition playback support and no annoying ads. It also offers an On-Demand video section where users can pay for popular movies and TV shows.

9) SnagFilms

SnagFilms is a video-on-demand website. You can watch hundreds of rare documentaries and independent films that you can't find anywhere else on the Internet.
Founded in 2008, SnagFilms lists more than 10,000 independent documentaries and narrative films. You can search them by genre, most reviewed, newly added, and most popular.
SnagFilms is currently available as a free app for iOS and Android. It is also compatible with Kindles, some Roku devices, and a host of other streaming devices.

10) Yahoo View

If you were a great fan of Hulu's free version, Yahoo View is for you. Yahoo View is another free video-on-demand platform that works almost in the same manner as Hulu worked once.
The clean and easy-to-access interface allows you to select any genre of your interest. It includes popular TV shows from many broadcasting networks like NBC, ABC and FOX. The website also hosts movies trailers, free TV shows, and documentaries.
But, there is one thing you should note—under each video on the site, you will see days remaining before the free version expires. So make sure you complete those episodes in the given time.
Yahoo View also provides many international sitcoms and anime shows which you can enjoy without any episode limit.

How To Download Movies Using Less Data


11) Pluto TV—Channel

Although it is not as famous as others on-demand video sites, Pluto TV is one of my favorite services on the list.

How To Download Movies Using Less Data On Pc

Pluto TV is a free internet-based TV platform that offers more than 100 channels. They channels divides into movies, TV, news, technology, sports, and other popular sections.
Last year, Pluto TV struck a deal with MGM and Warner Bros to add a huge amount of on-demand movies along with TV shows.

Does Downloading Movies Use Data

Besides on-demand films, Pluto TV also offers a completely free live-TV streaming service. It hosts content curated from across the Internet. Pluto TV currently features nine live movie channels.
Pluto TV is available for almost all popular platforms. Besides iOS and Android, Pluto TV is also compatible with Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku devices, and more. So you can enjoy the service on the go.

12) Classic Cinema Online

How To Download Movies Using Less Data On Computer

If you love old, classic movies, Classic Cinema Online is your place. You can find those classic cinemas of the Golden Age of Hollywood which are not easy to find nowadays.
Some of the classic movies include Gregory Peck's Moby Dick, the original Lone Ranger film, the 1952 Mutiny and the 1932 Secret of Dr. Kildare.

How To Download Movies In Laptop

If you are looking for something specific, you can search by category, or check out the menu for old films.

13) Retrovision

Retrovision is another free movie download website featuring many classic movies and TV shows. The category includes Adventure, Comedy, Classic TV, Cartoons, Crime, Drama, Horror, and Sci-Fi.
Although not all movies on the site are high-quality—but there are still plenty of good movies to enjoy. The site is well designed that allows users to filter movies based on genre.
Mobile users can download its Android app called Classic UHF so that they can watch movies on the go.

Watch Movies Online: Streaming Services for Latest Movies

Always keep in mind that there is no legal way to download free movies that are still in theaters. For downloading latest movies online to watch them in the comfort of your home, you can try paid websites.
Here's a list of some paid movie download websites and online streaming subscription services that let you watch high quality movies online:
  • Netflix—It is a leading subscription service for watching movies and TV episodes, and probably one of my favorites. You can either stream to watch movies online or download movies or TV series to watch them on the go. Download option is available only for certain content.
  • Amazon Prime—It is yet another subscription service that lets you watch and download movies and popular TV shows.
  • Hulu—Once popular free movie download website, Hulu is now a subscription service. It lets users stream popular TV shows, movies and news online for a low monthly fee. The service is compatible with a long list of devices, including computers and smartphones.

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