Which video chat uses the least amount of data?

11 April 2016, 11:00

There’s a handful of ways of video chatting/conferencing with people, including Skype, Facebook Messenger, and Apple’s own FaceTime.

Which uses the least bandwidth? Well, at the risk of sounding like those crummy clickbait blogs, the answer will surprise you!

Thanks to blogger John Gordon, who’s measured the bandwidth taken by a five-minute video call made using each of the above services, we have the following results:

— FaceTime: 7.5MB
— Facebook Messenger: 32MB
— Skype: 46MB

John was so astonished at the low FaceTime bandwidth usage that he repeated the test, and got roughly the same score.

In other words, FaceTime wins the video chat race in virtually every way — the picture quality is better, it’s more convenient to use on Macs and iOS devices and — this one’s a biggie — it actually works consistently and properly.

For what it’s worth, you can find out the total bandwidth used in a FaceTime call after it’s finished by taping the (i) icon alongside the call’s entry within the list.

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