Among many smart devices, Amazon Alexa or Google Home is the most crucial point to connect all the smart devices.
Further, those are the ones that will stay online all the time.
Therefore, it is quite normal to concern about the data usages for the longer run.
However, it seems there are several users who complain about the additional data usage of Google Home only.
Likewise, in these complaints, does Google Home use lots of data?
No. It does not. Google Home is just a smart hub that connects all the smart devices. It uses a relatively low amount of data. However, if you have a defective product, it could raise your monthly data amount.
So, that means, if your monthly data amount seems unnatural, there could be possible other reasons that you need to be aware.
How much data or bandwidth does google home use? Under limited devices
Google home along will not take much traffic or consume much data.
It uses tiny amount of data to control all the devices.
However, with the amount of connecting devices, the total data amount can be different.
Before going into the reasons that could raise a high data amount, let’s check the data usage for a typical google home network.
As an example, let’s say there is a small smart house with one google home device, one smart thermostat, three smart bulbs, and two smart plugs.
So, altogether 7 smart devices.
To properly work all these devices, it will require a minimum bandwidth of ~5 Mbps. This is considered as low bandwidth.
Now, let’s assume that we will give instructions continually and make our smart devices quite busy for one hour.
That means we will utilize our 5 Mbps bandwidth fully for a one-hour period.
Then the rate for consumed data will be 0.625 MB/s. In other words, ~2.2 GB amount of data will be used from your monthly data quotation. (you can use this online calculator for the conversion of Mbps to MB/s)
The actual amount of data could be around 5 to 10 % of this.
That is because we do not interact with them all the time.
So our bandwidth will not be used at its maximum potential.
Based on this approach, if we calculate our monthly data usage for the above mentioned smart home network, it should be around ~ 10-20 GB (10 hours per day for 30 days)
By the way, when I compared with other famous smart hubs, it seems they consume less amount of data rather than Google Home and its products.
So, if you are facing a problem with monthly data more than above-mentioned range, then there could be an alternative reason behind it.
Possible reasons for the high amount of google home monthly data usage
The high amount of data could be any for several reasons.
To address this matter, you need to know what are the ways that your google home could eat those data.
So let’s find them out.
Playing music all the time
If you are a music lover, then probably, you may listen to music all over the day.
Even you are listing to mp3 versions of the songs; it can consume 100 MB per hour, at least.
If you are using a video screen to listen to songs, then that could eat much more data.
Defective smart devices
Including google home itself could be defective in some cases.
Most of the time, it could be a software crash or software update crash that could constantly try to download files.
You can easily find the defective product by turn on and off each product while monitoring the data usage for a known amount of time.
Continues video stream
If your google home network consists of video streaming devices, such as security cameras, video-enabled doorbells, and baby monitors, then those could eat more data too.
You need to check their video stream settings. By default, they could be 1080p.
If so, reduce that into a lower value and adjust the settings to a proper level that does not consume much data during the day.
Hacked smart home
Even though this is not a general case, it should not care less.
Sometimes, a smart home hub, like google home, could get hacked by a virus or Trojan that may continually feed data to an external server.
So, ultimately increasing data amount in your monthly quota.
If you suspect something like this, then reset each and every device and reinstall everything from A to Z.
What are the smart devices that could consume a higher amount of data?
Well, let’s go through the data consumption of the most common devices.
Then you can find out what are the devices that need to be monitored in your google or Alexa smart home network.
Smart Home controllers such as Google Home or Alexa
Smart hubs or else the smart assistants are the linking controller for all your smart devices.
Google Home and Amazon Alexa are two famous smart hubs.
Typically, these hubs along use a tiny amount of data.
If you are just turning on/off lights, plugs, or changing the thermostat value, it does consume a minimum amount of data to activate those commands.
However, if you are going to listening to music, then that will cause a considerable amount of data rate, 100 MB per hour at least.
Nowadays, there are lots of video smart doorbells for higher protection.
These are considered an excellent choice to protect your household.
Anyway, the consumption of data usage for the doorbell video stream is really high in most commercial products.
You need to check the device settings and reduce that into an acceptable minimum level to protect your data bundle.
Otherwise, these could eat at least 50 to 300 GB per month based on the device manufacturer.
Smart Security Cameras (CCTV)
Now smart security cameras are pretty much advanced.
These days, we can have smart cameras that has the capability to record only live moving persons (using PIR sensors).
Those kinds of features can minimize your data package.
But, you still need to consider a few factors while using these cameras.
Smart cameras in highly active areas
Sometimes, you can mount your smart camera in a place where it is highly active.
Therefore, the camera can trigger all the time, and it will feed its video stream continually.
Ex: in a kitchen or near a road
HD quality video streaming
Most of the camera’s out in the market feature HD or HD+ video capability.
It’s really good to have a quality video output.
However, based on the video quality, the number of gigabytes been used will be raised.
For example, a low-resolution feed will consume around 15 GB per month.
Similarly, it will consume around 70, 160 GB for medium and high quality, respectively.
It does not require much amount of data. Usually, 50 MB per month is enough.
Smart Bulbs or plugs
These are quiet famous items in a smart house.
The operation for these devices may not change much from a smart thermostat.
They will do their task based on the given instruction and will not relay on much data usage to operate.
As a rough estimate, one device will consume 50 MB per month.
What can you do to monitor the monthly google home data usage?
There are a few different ways to track your monthly data usage.
The easiest way is to log into your router and check device data usage in the router’s reporting section.
If your router does not has a reporting feature (it’s a common feature, so it will be available in most of the router models), you can consider buying this google router from Amazon.
It has an advanced reporting feature for each device.
Another way is to set up a firewall in between your smart home device network and your internet connection.
Ipfire is a good open-source firewall that can be used for this purpose.
I think, now you are aware of the ways of google home network can consume data.
Based on that knowledge, you can evaluate your network data consumption and decide whether it has a problem, or it is time to increase your monthly data quota.
Frequently asked questions related google home data usage
Does Google home use idle data?
Yes, it does. But it isn’t much.
Rarely it will exceed 20 MB per week if the device idle.
Is google home always listening?
The short answer is yes. The google home will always be listening.
Otherwise, you may not be able to activate the full device by saying ‘okay google’
How do I check my Google home data usage?
You can use a firewall or else check the WiFi router report page.
If you have a Google WiFi setup, then there is a nice app to track all the data usage device by device.
Can you use Google home with mobile data?
Technically speaking, you can.
But, it will use lots of data that your mobile provider may not provide.
Further, the bandwidth can be limited too.
Does Google home use WiFi?
Yes, Google Home will require a working WiFi connection to work.
It is the main communication protocol for google home hub.
Can google home be used without WiFi?
No you can’t. Google Home will need a WiFi connection to transmit and receive relevant information from it’s connected smart devices.
Does Google home mini use data when not in use?
It will use a small amount of data.
However, it does not become visible that much.