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How much data does skype use?

Novel Tourist

We are planning on buying a laptop for an older family member who does not have a fixed line internet connection.  They intend to use a mobile dongle.  How much data is used in a skype call or skype connection?  we need to make sure it is financially feasible

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Message 1 of 29
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Novel Tourist

As long as you have an unlimited data plan, you shouldn’t incur any extra data charges for using Skype on your mobile phone. If your phone has a data limit, then please speak to your mobile operator for full details.

Using Skype’s functionality, such as making or receiving calls or sending or receiving instant messages, will use more data than simply signing in and leaving the application idle. If your phone has video calling capability, video calls use more data than regular voice calls. To prevent Skype from using any of your data allowance, simply set your status to Offline.

Here are examples of some typical Skype data usage:

  • Skype-to-Skype: 50kbps or around 3MB for one minute of calling
  • Calls to landlines or mobile numbers: 6-20 kbps or around 1MB for one minute of calling
  • Video calls between two mobile devices: 500kbps
  • Video calls between a mobile device and a computer: 600kbps

Having a large number of contacts on your Skype account also increases the data usage, as the application has to update more contact information, such as statuses, profiles and mood messages. If you would like to prevent this, you can create a new mobile account and only add your favourite contacts.

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Message 2 of 29
Novel Tourist

Is there something going wrong here? The data usage is a direct quote from the Skype support page, which also seems a bit strange.


Someone at Skype seems to be mixing up MB and Mb or kbit and kbyte.


Doesn't seem to be a big thing, but if the readers know they only have a particular number of MBs a month on their contract, they are working on the wrong basis when the data usage is shown as above. 3MB per minute is not 60 x 50 kbit per second.

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Message 3 of 29
Novel Tourist

Correct. the writer is confused.

50 kbps is NOT 3 MB per minute

50 KBps is 3 MB per minute

50 kbps is 3/8 MB per minute

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Message 4 of 29
Casual Tourist

i agree with the two posts just above mine. the first reply has mixed up kb with kB


kb = kilobits

kB = kiloBytes


all internet speeds kbps or Mbps are multples of bits, i.e. kilo-bits/s and mega-bits/s, not Bytes.

8 kb = 1 kB


so 50 kbps = 50*60 = 3,000 kb/min = 375 kB/min, not 3MB/min. big difference! someone has mixed up 3,000 kb with 3,000 kB.


(i might add that when convering kilobytes to megabytes, the divisor is 1024, not simply 1,000 but can be used for quick calculations. and that small "k" stands for kilo, not capital "K" which means degrees Kelvin in Physics/engineering)

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Message 5 of 29
Novel Tourist

Where was the error made? Was it the wrong unit used or was it an error in the conversion?


Is it safe for me to assume a minute phonecall will consume 125 kB or is it 1MB per minute as stated in the initial answer?




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Message 6 of 29
Casual Tourist

I think the question was intended to seek the info related to a call made from a laptop using a MOBILE dongle. So that part is still unsolved. I'm not sure if the data usage varies for different devices. I too am eager to know the data usage for a laptop to laptop vedio call.

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Message 7 of 29
Novel Tourist
"To see how much bandwidth a video call is using, you must first enable technical information to be displayed during calls.
To do this:
Sign in to Skype.
In the Tools menu, select Options...
Under Advanced, select Advanced settings.
Tick Display technical info during calls and click Save."
"Once you have done this, you can see how much bandwidth your video call is using. During the call:

In the menu bar, click Call > Call Technical Info.
The Call Technical Info window is displayed.

In the Basic section, the bandwidth used by the video call for both uploading and downloading is displayed."

For further info see:
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Message 8 of 29
Novel Adventurer

I installed a traffic monitor recently and Skype uses over 300 MB per month just idling with zero calls.


People with limited data plans could completely exit Skype when not making calls instead of leaving it idling at that rate.

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Message 9 of 29
Casual Tourist
Anyone know that how much you can talk at 1GB?? If only use for skype
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Message 10 of 29
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