How much internet data is used when all streaming is done on a local wifi network?


I have limited data from my internet provider. There are no such things as unlimited data plans in Alaska. How much data is used if the server and all the streaming devices are on the local WiFi network? When streaming to a device off net, whose data is used, the owner of the offnet device downloading the content or data from the owner of the server? I am wondering just how expensive this system would be if massive amounts of data are used as content are streamed to multiple users.

  1. If you are streaming local on your network and your network is setup correctly, there should be no data usage besides what is used for authentication (which is some pretty small packets).
  2. Off network: that is a different story obviously. If you are streaming off network the bandwidth used is yours for the server and that of the mobile device. If direct playing it will be the size of the file, you can set the quality to be lower to help preserve some of this bandwidth at a loss of quality assuming your server can handle the transcode.

Me personally, if I was unfortunate enough to have a cap I probably wouldn’t have anybody else streaming from my server at all. Depends what your cap is however and how much of it you use already for other things.


adamskoog, Thank you for your answer. Tells me Plex isn’t necessarily the do all I was hoping it would be. I have a 250 gb plan and regularly use 100 gb per month on average. Occasionally if I have a bunch to upload or download, or, binge watch something I will use the rest. You said that if the server and the mobile device were both mine, the bandwidth used is mine. What if the mobile device is on someone else’s internet account but streaming from mine? Are the usage charges still all mine?


No, then you would have your upload from your server, and they would have the download portion on their mobile plan.

Either way externally you will be getting hit for the upload however. This is not specific to Plex, it is streamed from your server so you get hit with the upload, just as if you uploaded something to a cloud storage provider.


Thank you again. Well, I guess it would be nice to serve our movie library, videos and pictures at home, but, the rest of the family won’t have access to them nor will we while travelling. Looks like this would be a better answer to getting the media on our new Samsung TV than SmartView or an hdmi cable to a laptop. Then could sync media onto our laptop we want to take along while travelling. Am I on the right beam here?


I would say based on your situation that would be the case, it’s still nice to have a centralized server than to have the media spread over multiple machines and having to plug into the device you want to watch on.