Over 100 million devices powered by Alexa have been sold, and while the majority of internet providers allow unlimited connection, some home and mobile plans may limit monthly data transfer.
If this is your case, you may be wondering how much your Echo Dot or Echo Show Alexa consumes, so you don’t deplete your plan too quickly or end up with a hefty bill for exceeding your limit.
Does Alexa consume a lot of data? It’s possible, all depends on your usage…
So, it is helpful to know the bandwidth consumption of your connected devices at home.
How Much Bandwidth Does Alexa Consume?
It’s hard to answer this question as it depends on the number of connected devices and your usage habits. On average, Alexa consumes 5 KB to perform simple tasks, 60 MB per hour for music streaming, and 100 MB per hour for video streaming, which could potentially be a few KB to several GB per month.
Here is the approximate bandwidth of Alexa commands:
|Give a command||5-10 KB|
|Ask a question||100-500 KB|
|Listen to music||50-70 MB per hour|
|Watch a video||50-150 MB per hour|
|Alexa connected (not in use)||7 MB per day|
|1 hour daily use||=2 GB per month|
How to Measure Alexa’s Internet Data Consumption
To calculate the data usage of your Amazon Echo with Alexa, you can use the management interface of your box, modem, or router.
Go to the advanced settings, Diagnostic, or Real-time traffic analysis to see the devices and know their bandwidth.
All you need to do is:
- Log in to the modem or router management interface
- Log in with your login credentials
- Select the equipment (by its name or MAC address)
- Click Real-time traffic analysis
If you want to accurately measure your exact Alexa or other connected device bandwidth, read my article on the best routers for a connected home. The TP-Link Archer A9 allows you to do this accurately.
These settings allow you to isolate Alexa’s data consumption.
How to Find the MAC Address of an Amazon Echo?
Each device connected to a network has a unique MAC address, which is a sequence of characters (numbers, letters, and punctuation).
For Alexa, you simply:
- Open the mobile app
- Click on Devices / Echo & Alexa
- Click on the registered device / about
- Retrieve the MAC address
Then, you just need to identify this same address in your router or modem’s traffic.
Does Alexa Use Bandwidth Constantly?
Yes, Alexa uses bandwidth all the time, even when it is not in use.
The reason is simple, Alexa needs to be ready to respond when you talk to it, so it is constantly listening to the environment.
However, this usage is low, comparable to a device in standby mode.
Alexa uses approximately 7 MB of bandwidth per day when it is not in use.
When Does Alexa Use the Most Bandwidth?
Alexa uses the most bandwidth with its Amazon Echo Show, consuming about 100 MB per hour.
Listening to music consumes approximately 60 MB per hour.
Performing simple tasks consumes a few KB at the time.
With an unlimited internet subscription, there’s no problem.
But if you have a limited plan (like in shared apartments, student housing etc.), it’s good to have this information.
Does Alexa Consume Too Much Internet Data?
Unless you are restricted by a plan, you don’t have to worry about Alexa’s Internet data consumption.
Be sure to check your Internet plan if you have any doubt about a monthly cap.
Based on my experience, an intense daily internet usage (excluding peer-to-peer film downloads) consumes less than 1 GB per day (1000 MB).
For about 1 hour of Alexa usage per day, you will consume an average of 2 GB per month.
In this case, even if you have a small plan of 20 or 50 GB, Alexa will likely not be the highest consumer.
What to Ask Alexa
For owners of virtual assistants like Alexa, the most common commands are to turn on/off the light; turn on/off a connected outlet; add a product to the shopping list; set a timer, ask for the weather, play a music playlist, and watch a cooking recipe or follow TV news.
With the development of new connected devices, the requests increase and vary.
The most used function of Echo Dot is to listen to music.
The most used function of Echo Show is to find a video cooking recipe.
Alexa and Google Assistant allow you to start or stop the music whenever you want.
Amazon Alexa uses a reasonable amount of bandwidth, about 2 GB per month for daily use of 1 hour.
Alexa consumes data even when you’re not using it (around 7 MB per day or 200 MB per month), which is minimal.
Note that listening to music and watching videos consume much more internet data than basic usage.
Be sure to check your internet plan to avoid any nasty surprises at the end of the month.