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The short answer? Yes and no.  Showmax is an internet-streaming service and an internet connection is needed to watch and download shows. But we’ve got some clever ways to manage your data usage, and a few tips on how to watch series and movies on Showmax without spending a cent on mobile data.

You might think data is a four-letter word, an obscenity, a curse word – but it doesn’t have to be. With Showmax, you can stream series and movies while keeping your data use – and the amount of money you spend – as low as possible.

And when you download shows on the Showmax app, you can even get away without using any data at all. Here’s how.

Option 1: Budget wisely for your data spend

Estimate how much data you’ll need for your binge sessions by using the Showmax bandwidth calculator. This nifty tool gives you an estimate of the amount of data you’ll need to budget for, depending on your device, your streaming habits and the amount of time you plan to spend bingeing.

Option 2: To stream series or movies, use the bandwidth capping feature

Firstly, what is “streaming”? It simply means getting video (or audio, or other data) delivered to your device – smartphone, laptop, Smart TV or tablet – in a continuous flow over the internet. There’s no waiting, and after hitting Play, you can watch your series episode or movie immediately. It’s a wonder of the modern world, truly, but the downside is that it can use up to 3GB of data per hour.

To prevent your monthly bundle disappearing in the space of three Friends episodes, or only one episode of HBO’s critically acclaimed family drama Succession, here’s what you need to do: use Showmax’s bandwidth capping feature.

It’s super-easy – it lets you control how much data you use when streaming across all your devices. Choose from Low (300mb/hour), Medium (700mb/hour) and Uncapped (1.5GB/hour) – the lower the quality, the less data you’ll use. Uncapped will give you the best video quality, but, especially when watching on the small screen of a smartphone, you can easily get away with capping your usage at Low or Medium. This means you’ll use about 10% of the data you usually would when streaming.

Option 3: Get Telkom LIT_Video

Are you a Telkom subscriber? It’s well worth looking into adding Showmax to your Telkom bill to save you from paying two separate bills.

Plus, Telkom has some good deals to help you save on data.

Telkom mobile users who sign up for a Telkom FreeMe 5GB or higher package get 50GB of free video data for streaming – that’s enough for around 180 episodes of Game of Thrones. This means you won’t use any of your monthly data for video streaming on Showmax or DStv Now. If you run out of the free 50GB LIT_Video data, simply buy another 50GB LIT_Video bundle for only R231.

Any other prepaid Telkom mobile users, even those who aren’t on the FreeMe 5GB or higher plan, can add the 50GB LIT_Video data bundle to their package for only R231.

And Telkom’s Home packages offer uncapped Fibre, ADSL and LTE data from 350GB to 6000GB, depending on the plan, meaning you won’t have to give data a second thought before streaming back-to-back episodes of Younger, Vikings and Suits.

To find out how to add Showmax to your Telkom account, go to

For more on Telkom LIT_Video, go to

Option 4: Download in a free Wi-Fi zone

If you don’t mind waiting til later to watch all the episodes of fantasy thriller Siren or to binge (again) on all three of the films in the Hobbit Collection, then downloading is the way to go.

The Showmax app allows 25 series episodes or movies to be downloaded onto your device, which you then watch offline without using any data. And you’ll have 30 days in which to watch them. Once you’ve started an episode or a movie, you’ll have to watch it within 48 hours. This is a serious win if you’re about to go away for the weekend to a place with limited internet, or before a long trip on public transport, because you can take your series and movies with you, and watch anywhere.

All you need to do is get yourself to a free Wi-Fi hotspot (hiiii, neighbourhood coffee shop), select the series episode or movie you’re in the mood for, and get downloading. Find out how here.

Option 5: Download using your own data, but control how much

If you can’t use the office Wi-Fi and there are no free Wi-Fi spots nearby, then you may have to download your shows to the Showmax app using your own data. But don’t worry – similar to Showmax’s bandwidth capping feature for streaming, the app lets you control how much data you use when downloading. There are four download file sizes to choose from – the smaller the file, the less data you’ll use to download. Kids’ shows like Dreamworks Dragons and Peppa Pig can easily be downloaded on the smallest file size, especially if your little ones will be watching on your smartphone.

Sound good? Ready to give Showmax a bash and say goodbye to data worries?

Start my free trial »

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