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Terrific new Netflix tool will help you beat your carrier’s data caps

Updated 4 years ago
Published May 5th, 2016 3:05PM EDT
Netflix iPhone Android App Streaming Quality
Image: gigaom.com

Netflix will now let you adjust the video streaming quality in its mobile app, so that you don’t go over your monthly data allotment when watching movies and TV shows over a cellular connection. If you’re on an unlimited plan, that’s probably not something that will affect your mobile experience. But iPhone and Android users who like to watch Netflix shows over cellular plans with limited data will surely appreciate the new settings option.

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The feature isn’t exactly new, but it’s the first time that Netflix subscribers can use it. Until now, Netflix would automatically throttle video quality when a cellular connection was detected to save data traffic. The company announced back in March that it plans to let users decide on the quality of video streams. At the same time, it also acknowledged that it had been doing that for them, at least when it comes to AT&T and Verizon customers.

Starting Thursday, you’ll have better control on the amount of cellular data your Netflix habits consume. As you can see in the screenshots above, you’ll be able to set the type of video you want to see, and even limit Netflix use to Wi-Fi-only connections. For example, “medium” video quality consumes 1GB of data for every two hours of video. The default setting gets you three hours of streaming per gigabyte of data.

To set up your Netflix data consumption preferences, make sure you have the latest app version installed on iPhone and Android, and then head over to App Settings and Cellular Data Usage to limit data consumption.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.