Downloading vs. Streaming: Which is data-friendlier?



Should you stream or download Drake’s album "Views"? I’ll help you decide!

Downloading vs. Streaming: Which is data-friendlier?

Published on August 12, 2016

Should you stream or download Drake’s album "Views"? I’ll help you decide!

Before I answer the data question, let’s first define and differentiate the two.

For starters, downloading and streaming both require an online connection. You can’t do both if you’re not connected to WiFi or using data. But the key difference is this: when you download a file, it involves ownership – the files are stored directly in your device and you can play it any time you want; while streaming gives you access to media that are stored somewhere else and are probably owned by someone else.

Now as far as data consumption is concerned, logically, downloading and streaming the same content should eat up the same amount of data. But it can still vary, specifically for streaming, with your Internet speed.

Deciding between the two, however, is really a question not just of how much data either consumes but also of what you’re more willing to invest (data or storage) and how willing you are to spend for it.


To make the case for both, it also depends on what you’re looking for. Music requires less data than videos. Whether you’re streaming or downloading video, it will burn through your data allowance faster than you can type up the data promo code.

Whether you prefer streaming or downloading, it’s good to know that you now have more choices to fit your lifestyle and needs!

Marty the Smarty