Discord is one of the most used communication software; depending on the type of communication (text, voice, or video), it could use anywhere between 280KB to approximately 700MB of data per hour, depending on your camera.
One of my friends recently exceeded his internet data cap while gaming and using Discord. As a result, he had to pay extra to his provider. Worried that it may happen again, he asked me, the enthusiast, how much data does Discord use. Luckily, I have already dealt with this problem once, so I was able to provide him with an adequate answer.
In this article, we'll discuss Discord data usage on a PC and how to minimize Discord's data usage to avoid hitting the data cap imposed by your internet plan.
We already mentioned that Discord's data consumption is anywhere between 280KB (0.28MB) to 700MB of data per hour, depending on whether you're using text chat, voice or video calls. However, the numbers mentioned above are approximations and ballpark values.
Unfortunately, there's no official statement regarding exactly how much data does Discord use in various instances like text chats and voice and video chat. However, we can measure Discord data usage on PC and smartphones, but we'll get to that part later. For now, let's break down how much data Discord uses per hour.
Data consumption for text messaging in Discord depends on various factors, which include the number of people chatting, the chat volume, and whether or not they're exchanging pictures and links.
As with most messaging apps, plain text messages in Discord uses the least amount of data. For example, a text chat between two people, who exchange messages at a reasonable rate without sharing images, may consume anywhere between 100KB to 500Kb per hour. In most cases, the data consumption averages out at 280KB, as we previously mentioned.
However, this number scales up as you add additional participants to the text conversation. The texting frequency also increases, which affects data usage. If the users share images, a group chat might consume a considerable amount of data.
Voice calls consume a significantly larger amount of data compared to text messaging, and you can expect Discord to use up to 6MB of data per hour of voice chat. However, as with Discord text, there are various factors that affect data consumption. These numbers include the quality of audio, the number of participants in the Discord Voice Call, and user settings.
For example, a voice call between two users with continuous audio transmission will use approximately 6MB per hour. However, if you add more participants, you can expect discord to consume much more data. This can be minimized by using the Push-to-Talk function.
Push-to-Talk transmits data only when the person is speaking, significantly reducing Discord's total data consumption per hour of voice call. Considering that you're still using data for incoming transmission, the reduction in data usage is marginal but very significant once those marginal savings start adding up.
It's worth noting that Discord generally consumes less data than other voice chat apps, like Skype, since it only transmits information when the user is speaking. It's also worth noting that Discord uses less data on mobile devices than on PC. PC environments tend to make their resources available to different apps, which can result in a marginally greater data consumption.
Video calls use the most data, as they imply video transmission. You can expect Discord to use anywhere between 250MB to 400MB per hour, depending on various factors. These factors include the number of participants, the camera resolution, and the ambient light.
Camera resolution and video quality play the most crucial roles in how much data Discord uses within one hour of a video call. Higher resolutions offer greater detail but also require more data used to transmit. For example, transmitting an hour-long 720p video may consume approx 400MB, while an hour-long 1080p video may consume up to 700MB to transmit.
Luckily, even during a video call, Discord only transmits audio while you're speaking. This helps reduce Discord data usage and save a little bit of data, which is one of Discord's best advantages.
Besides being used as a communication tool, Discord is also used for streaming various content. If you ever wondered how much data does Discord use for streaming, the right answer depends on the 3rd party streaming service you're using.
For example, Spotify uses anywhere between 40MB and 100MB for an hour of music, depending on the quality settings. Youtube, on the other hand, uses approximately 150MB per hour at the lowest quality settings. If you change the streaming settings to the highest level, you can expect Discord to spend over 1GB of data, which is a lot.
Luckily, there are streaming settings you can employ to minimize data usage, such as reducing the resolution at which your stream your videos.
Windows and macOS allow you to track the amount of data used by Discord either through built-in tools or 3rd party software. For the purpose of this guide, we'll stick to the built-in tools where applicable.
If you're a Windows user, you can track Discord data usage by entering Settings and clicking the Network and Internet. Once the current connection opens, you can click Data Usage, after which you'll be shown the exact amount of data used by Discord in the past 30 days.
If you're using macOS, simply open Activity Monitor and go to Network to see the current data usage for each app separately. Please note that this resets each time you reset the OS, so it can be used as a good indicator of Discord's data usage within a single session.
Same as with PCs, you can use tools that come built-in into your mobile device, regardless of whether you're using an Android or iPhone. Alternatively, you can use third-party software, such as the Glasswire app, to check how much data Discord consumes.
If you're using iPhone, go to Settings and then click on Cellular. Scroll down until you find a list of apps installed on your device. There you'll find Discord and how much data Discord has used since the last reading.
Android users can get the same readings by going into Settings, then Apps, followed by Manage apps. From there, select the Discord application and press Data Usage to check discord data usage details on their Android device.
If you're not satisfied with how much data Discord is using, you can minimize data consumption within Discord settings.
To do so, start the Discord application and go to User Settings — a small cog icon at the bottom of the left-hand chat pane. Next, go to the Text & Images located under the App Setting section.
Next, go to Notifications and disable system notifications by disabling the Enable desktop notifications option. Next, go to Accessibility, scroll down to Stickers, and select the Never animate option.
It's quite evident, from our discussion above, that Discord uses a significant amount of data, depending on what type of communication you use. However, it's worth noting that it usually uses less data than other contemporary messaging and communication apps, like WhatsApp, Viber, and many other apps.
While Discord's total data consumption is relatively low compared to other applications installed on your system, it can still use all your data if you're not careful. We suggest installing a data usage monitoring app that will notify you once you approach the data cap. That way, you can avoid paying extra for additional data outside your subscription plan.