Australian Zwifter Stephen Jackson uses 4G data for his home Internet connection, and is therefore quite wary of using too much data. He has been tracking Zwift’s data usage for the past few months, and recently shared the numbers with me.

Methodology

Stephen used utilities to get the exact time length of his Zwift sessions and track the data usage of zwiftapp.exe (Zwift’s core computer software). The zwiftlauncher startup software doesn’t use much at all, so it was excluded from the results.

Results

Over 64 hours across 45 rides, the average data usage was 1.14 megabytes (MB) per minute. Watopia was the lowest at 1.10, London close at 1.14, and Richmond the high water mark of 1.37. Solo or group or racing didn’t affect data numbers, nor did the overall number of riders on Zwift. 

If you extrapolate this data to four one-hour rides per week, you’re looking at ~1150MB of Zwift data usage per month, not including any app updates.

UPDATE: received this from Stephen on 11/16/16: 
Eric, the Zwiftapp.exe has increased its data usage in the past 10 days. Prior to 4 Nov it was 1.14MB per minute, and since then it has jumped to 2.30MB per minute. Only difference I can see is the numbers of riders has been climbing over 1,000 regularly.

UPDATE: received this from Stephen on 2/8/17: 
Updated stats, since the northern hemisphere has kicked in and popularity has climbed, the usage has held steady across all the courses at about 2MB per minute. I am seeing typically 2 to 3,000 riders and it doesn’t seem to vary too much now.

Tips for the data poor

Stephen has two tips for the Zwifters looking to conserve data:

  • Zwift app updates can eat a lot of data quickly, so be careful – don’t have auto update selected.
  • To really save data, ride alone. Start your ride, disconnect from the Internet, ride for as long as you want, then reconnect to “end ride” and upload your ride file. Your usage will be about 10MB in total. It’s lonely, but a data cheap way to ride!

Thanks for the numbers and tips, Stephen!