My question on the main site: How much data (MB) does a one-hour Zoom call use for each participant? was closed for being "not about computer hardware or software".

According to the FAQ (What topics can I ask about?), personal and home computer networking is on-topic for SuperUser.

My question is about bandwidth usage related to a personal network under a specific context. More specifically, this has to do with an aspect of networking (data throughput) in relation to a home PC or personal mobile phone connected to the internet. Looking at the keywords in the topic "personal and home computer networking":

  • it is "personal" because it relates to an individual participant's data usage on their own network;
  • it is "home computer" because it relates to a device that (especially with COVID-19 'stay at home' restrictions) is used by an individual; and
  • it is "networking" because it relates to data throughput on a network.

I'd concede that:

  • this isn't related to hobby-networking of a cluster of otherwise disconnected computers, but the tag includes lots of questions about the internet; and
  • the question includes mobile phones in a context other than "as they interface with your computer", but answers would also broadly be applicable to PCs and tablets.

And finally, the tour says that superuser.SE is for "every question about computer software or hardware". My linked question is mainly about an aspect of computer hardware (network data consumption) as it is used with a (now) widely-used piece of software (the Zoom app, which is software installed on PCs, tablets and mobile phones).

A similar question dating back to 2014 about Skype data usage remains open, so there's precedence for questions such as mine. Unfortunately, it doesn't fully address my question.

Can someone please explain why the question isn't on-topic?

  • Your question is too broad, mobiles are off topic and any answers would be opinion based.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Mar 28, 2020 at 1:28
  • @DavidPostill Thanks for your comment. Isn't the Skype question of a similar scope? I've addressed the mobiles issue in the meta above but if you've considered that, I'll accept it. On being opinion-based: sufficient live testing should be able to provide a useful range, so answers can be fact-based (which I'd prefer for this question) rather than opinion-based. There might even be some data out there but I haven't been able to find it, hence the question.
    – Lawrence
    Mar 28, 2020 at 2:52
  • @Lawrence - The Skype question also has 5 answers that were deleted. It isn't exactly the type of question you want to use for comparison purposes. The Skype question, in my opinion, is the type of low-quality question that makes this community frustrating. Skype in 2014 was a desktop application, it was not a web or mobile application, so a question about the amount of bandwidth it uses would have been within scope.
    – Ramhound
    Mar 28, 2020 at 19:11
  • @Ramhound Thanks, that helps. With the details from your comment and DavidPostill’s, I’ll accept the decision on my question.
    – Lawrence
    Mar 28, 2020 at 23:53


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