How Many GB Of Data Do You Need To Work From Home?

By Robert David Orr / Last updated: Jun 8, 2022

If you’re like a lot of people, you quickly found out that the data that your data consumption exploded exponentially at the beginning of the pandemic when everyone started working from home.

You quickly learned that all your video meetings and conference calls were eating up a ton of data and bandwidth, and your old internet service plan just wasn’t getting the job done.

How much data do you need to work from home?

To start, you need at least 8-10 GB of data to work from home, generally speaking. A professional software engineer or data analyst who handles a lot of data in their work might consume as much as 2 GB – 5 GB of data daily; video streaming and online gaming fanatics are more likely to consume an average of 1.6 – 2.5 GB of data daily for viewing standard quality videos.  While, freelance writers will consume between  500-1000 megabytes (0.5GB-1 GB) of data daily, considering they will only need Microsoft Office and a browser for research. 

Remote workers often use video call services like Zoom, Face Time, or WhatsApp to stay connected with their clients and other team members via video chats.

The quantity of data you require is determined by various factors, including the type of work you do, the number of hours you spend online, and the equipment you use.

Emails and instant messaging services are also used extensively, not to mention the use of online directories and search engines for research.

Whether it is video conferencing, use of streaming services, e-learning, email, or social media, the use of an internet connection is required. Therefore, to successfully work from home, an active data plan and high-speed internet connection must be readily available.

With the increase and dependence on mobile internet usage, one would wonder how much data is required to conveniently run an office space from home.

Internet services providers, like Comcast’s Xfinity service, offer data and internet access with several different packages to choose from.

However, it might not be easy to determine how many Gigabytes of data will be needed with the increase in daily internet usage by remote workers and professionals.

According to Statista, the average daily in-home data usage for PC/Mac in the United States before the pandemic was 700 Mbs, but it spiked to 1 GB in 2020. The figures also went from 3.9 GB per day to 5.4 GB for Streaming Box/Stick (streaming your favorite videos via an Amazon Fire Stick or other similar device).

With the advancement of technology providing tools like Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp, Face Time, Zoom, cloud computing apps & instant messaging apps, and email, you no longer always need an office space to conduct effective work.

Remote working or work from home jobs has been on the uprise since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

Employees, professionals, sales staff, and even freelancers have adopted the “work from home” option, which allows them to carry out tasks, make sales and build project modules from their homes using the right technology.

These tasks could either be carried out on their mobile phones or personal computers; sometimes, a remote worker might use both simultaneously. 

But how do you know how much data you need?

How many GB of data is consumed in an average home?

How many GB of data does an average person use?

Does working from home require more data?

What is the right Internet bandwidth necessary to work from home?

How much GB of data do I need for high-quality video streaming services? 

Real quick: before we get too far along here, if you want to get more great ideas for your gaming room or home office and connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks here.

How Much Data Do You Need To Work From Home?

  • Is 20GB enough to work from home?
  • Is 30GB enough to work from home?
  • Is 50GB enough to work from home?

Below is a table that estimates the amount required on the number of users and tasks:

No. of Persons Tasks/ Activities Amount of data required /Month
1 Person
  • 500 hours of browsing
  • 32 hours of video conferencing
  • 20 hours of standard video streams
  • 64 hours of HD audio streaming
  • 5,000 emails
1-2 Persons
  • 1,000 hours of browsing
  • 80 hours of video conferencing e.g. Skype
  • 50 hours of standard quality video
  • 160 hours of audio streaming
  • 10,000 emails
25 GB
3-4 Persons
  • 2,500 hours of browsing
  • 300 hours of video conferencing
  • 100 hours of standard quality video streaming
  • 600 hours of audio streaming
  • 20,000 emails
50 GB


4+ Persons
  • 5,000 hours of browsing
  • 320 hours of video conferencing
  • 200 hours of standard quality video streaming
  • 40,000 emails
100 GB

*The bandwidth requirement can vary depending on other factors too.

The more data you have, the better. You need enough data to create a viable working environment.

Simply evaluate the factors we mentioned earlier and compare them to your work routine to determine how much data you’ll need for a certain period of time.

Does Working From Home Use A Lot Of Data?

Ultimately, everything that is done via the internet requires data – with video streaming, music streaming, and downloads of large files consuming the most.

However, for a remote worker, the amount of data needed varies and depends on the type of the job. For instance, a sales staff employee who implements video chats and internet calls to connect with clients might require about 500 MB – 2.5 GB of data per hour.

Basically, the amount of data that a remote worker will consume depends on the type of job and the amount of time spent on the internet.

What Is The Right Internet Bandwidth Necessary To Work From Home?

Don’t you hate it when the video lags in an important board meeting? Or when it takes an eternity to just download a small email attachment?

With internet connection being an essential tool for any employee or freelancer working from home, the average internet transmission speed has to be considered and in optimal supply.

A remote worker has to determine the right amount of internet speed required to run a productive and effective home office.

A person will require an average of 10 Mb/s of download speed and 1 Mb/s of upload speed in order to work from home effectively. At that speed, multiple instances of internet connections can run simultaneously without interruptions.

Simply put, a faster internet speed will help you wrap up your work faster and more efficiently. 10 Mb/s is good, but 100 Mb/s is better!

How Many GB Of Data is Consumed In An Average Home?

The average amount of data consumption by households has increased rapidly over the years – reaching an all-time high in 2020. Households are estimated to be consuming as much as 3.5 times more internet data than they were using five years ago.

Year Average Monthly Internet Data Usage
 2012 25 GB
2014 40 GB
2016  97 GB
2018 268 GB
2020 344 GB

Over the last ten years, internet usage has expanded exponentially – with an equal increase in internet bandwidth.

Internet service providers have improved their utility by introducing broadband and high-speed internet access to match the growing mass of users and high adoption of video streaming services requiring large data plans and high-speed internet transmission.

How Many GB Of Data Does An Average Person Use?

There’s obviously no doubt that the average individual consumes more internet data daily than ever before.

With video stream services like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime – just to mention a few – offering millions of high-quality video content accessible on various mobile platforms and devices, the average amount of data consumed by every person is constantly rising.

In 2020, the average person consumed about 4.5 GB of data on the internet on activities ranging from video streaming, music streaming, emails, video chats, and social media.

How Many GB Of Data Do I Need for HD Video Streaming Services?

According to studies by online video viewers survey in 2020, 27% of viewers watched as much as 10 hours of video content online.

Using video stream services like Youtube, Netflix, and Hulu for long periods requires a certain amount of bandwidth. Some internet service providers offer video stream data packages and unlimited data plans for this purpose.

The amount of data expended on a video stream usually depends on the service and the quality of video rendered by the platform. Low-quality videos typically consume about 300 Mb (0.3 GB) of data per hour, while video streaming at standard quality will consume up to 700 Mb (0.7 GB) of data per hour.

High-quality or HD video streams, on the other hand, require about 0.9 GB (for 720p), 1.5 GB (1080p), and 3 GB (for 2K) of data per hour, respectively, according to the video quality.

Next Steps

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Robert David Orr

I'm an award-winning web designer & developer, creator, an all-around digital marketing guy and, most importantly when it comes to this site, a long-time veteran of the working from home life. My work from home life spans more than 10 years, and I've experimented with just about everything you can think of when it comes to getting the most out of my home office, how to work from home without going crazy, and found solutions to the numerous challenges that those of us who work from home run into in this life.

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