Question

WiFi Data Usage

  • 4 February 2014
  • 13 replies
  • 21932 views

My ISP is a satellite provider with limited allowance on the data usage. Does Sonos uses data from my modem to play music?

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13 replies

Userlevel 2
Hello,

Sonos will send/request packets to/from the Sonos servers, f.i. in order to check for available updates and/or to acquire the newest list of available music services for a given country. This can result in some bandwidth.

If you are listening to Internet radio or are streaming through a music service (most of which play files in up to 320 kbps), data usage can quickly become an issue. Please check this Tool to calculate a rough estimate of how much Internet radio/Streaming services will tax on your Internet connection.

Kind regards,

Björn L.
I was wondering if I'd be using data while listening to my own media from my phone or computer. 
Only online streaming services and Sonos updates/diagnostics use internet bandwidth.  Local libraries do not.
Is there a simple solution so a sonos Connect Amp is not using data when you are not streaming music. Tech support told me that since the sonos is always in idle when not in use it will use up data even when you are not streaming.
Is there a simple solution so a sonos Connect Amp is not using data when you are not streaming music. Tech support told me that since the sonos is always in idle when not in use it will use up data even when you are not streaming.

It will use up very, very little when not in use, mere packets a minute to maintain connection, and these will be local, not internet packets. It should not be enough to affect data usage at all. If you are seeing large data usage, then you may be muting the device instead of pausing/stopping. Muting simply silences the device while the streaming keeps on going, pressing Pause/Stop on the controller or the Pause (formerly mute) button on the top of the Connect:Amp will stop the stream.
oops!
i recent bought sonos playbar and sub. while i love it so much using pandora... it's killing my data. i have 1TB with comcast and never once had i had an email from them saying i've exceeded my bandwidth and now being charge $10 for every 50GB over.

so i just did a test and on my router, i'm seeing even at idle.. it's sending 65-85KB/sec and it's racking up quickly! is there a way to disable sonos for sending packets in the background? this is a great product but even at idle it's still eating up data like a MOFO!
I've been having the same issue with Comcast and Sonos. My conversations with both of them have proved irritating. Love to know when you learn the solution.
Userlevel 7
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The likelihood of Sonos being the culprit of data overages, especially with a 1 TB cap, is slim to none. The two scenarios below assume one stream (one speaker, or one group of speakers playing the same music) played for 24/7 over the course of 30 days.

If I've done my math right, a 320 Kbps radio stream would use a little over 100 GB of data (let's say 105, to be safe). This is a high assumption, because any LIVE audio music stream is more likely to be 192 Kbps or lower... many of the stations on TuneIn are 128 or 64 Kbps. But since there are music services that do offer music at 320 Kbps over Sonos - Slacker, Google Play Music, and others - I used that number as my basis for this use case.

Now, if you happen to have one of those fancy Lossless music services (Deezer Elite, Tidal, etc.) and play 1.5 Mbps audio 24/7 (which is a high estimate to begin with; most lossless audio falls in closer to 1 Mbps, but I'll be extra cautious just to be safe), you're using over 480 GB of data in a month. That's not impossible to cause an overage if you're also streaming lots of video, downloading lots of app updates for your phone and tablet, etc... but then Sonos isn't the only thing on your network using data, so just make sure you're not listening for 24 hours a day to reduce your use... and cut back on the streaming video.

If you ONLY ever play music from your own local library, and don't have any internet music services set up on your Sonos, then the only internet access Sonos will use is to occasionally check for software updates (maybe a megabyte or two a day, if even that). But you'll be prompted in your controller before updates are downloaded and installed. If not even 200 MB of data in a month is enough to cause you to go over your data cap, cut back on something else you're using your internet connection for.
Thanks for the detailed explanation. I'll look to Comcast for the issue. Perhaps it's on their end. I typically only stream music and then only using Apple Music and Pandora. If I get crazy, I may stream one or two movies in a month. Very rare. I don't do any gaming or anything else short of email that would take up any bandwidth, so you could imagine my shock when I went over 1TB for 3 consecutive months. Thanks again.
With that use, I can't see how usage can exceed 200 gb. I am able to be within limits with my 125gb plan with similar use so 1Tb is either someone else using your plan in some way, or an error at the service provider end.
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My ISP is a satellite provider with limited allowance on the data usage. Does Sonos uses data from my modem to play music? How much does each speaker use for data,?
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
How much does each speaker use for data,?
That depends on what music services you use and how long you listen to them for.

Many on-demand music services are streaming in 320 Kbps MP3 audio. Some services are using 192 or 128 Kbps MP3 or AAC files. Many live radio stations are streaming in anywhere from 48 to 128 Kbps range. Then there are services like Deezer Elite and Tidal that use lossless FLAC, with files averaging 1 Mbps in terms of audio bitrate (they're encoded with a variable bitrate, and they can have instantaneous values anywhere from ~700 Kbps to 1.4 Mbps).

1 Mbps streaming for one hour will use approximately 450 MB of data.
320 Kbps streaming for one hour will use approximately 144 MB of data.
192 Kbps streaming for one hour will use approximately 87 MB of data.
128 Kbps streaming for one hour will use approximately 58 MB of data.

These are assuming just the music data... other things like album artwork may increase that data usage slightly.

Music playing from your own library on your computer or a NAS won't use any internet data.

If you're not listening to music, there may be very minor data use by Sonos as speakers occasionally check for updates, though they don't download the updates until you respond to a prompt in the Sonos controller. Just make sure when you're done listening, you're pausing or stopping the music, not just muting it (which will keep it playing, you just won't hear anything).