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How much mobile data do I need?

how much mobile data

The smartest way to go online with your phone is to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots whenever you can. Depending on how much you use data instead of Wi-Fi, you’ll be a light, medium or heavy mobile data user. Here’s some guidance on the data allowance you should be going for depending on your usage:

How you connect and what you do online User Suggested data allowance
Always connected to Wi-Fi, rarely mobile data Light user 250Mb or 500Mb
Browse the web, send email, and use apps like Facebook Light user 1GB
Use a lot of apps including social media

Light to Medium user

2GB – 3GB
Use a lot of apps, browse the web and watch videos Medium user 5GB
Stream a few hours of music or podcasts

Medium to Heavy user

5GB – 10GB
Send documents & files back and forth Medium to Heavy user 5GB – 10GB
Watch videos or TV a few times a week Heavy user 10GB
Streaming TV shows on your commute Heavy user 20GB to unlimited

What can I do with 1GB of mobile data?

As another example that might help you estimate how much data you’ll need. Here’s what you can get out of 1GB of mobile data:

Browse the web for 40 hours to do your online shopping or get your answers from search engines
Watch TV for two hours in standard definition, or for one hour in high quality
Upload 500 photos to your social media
Send about 10,000 emails
Send 1 million instant messages
Call your friends and family on Skype or FaceTime for 4 hours

How do I find out how much data I’m currently using?

If you prefer to find out about your current usage rather than relying on our guidelines and estimates, here are 3 ways to help you:

  1. Download your current network’s app
    Mobile operators like Vodafone and Three offer special apps that will show you how much of your data allowance you’ve used. Apps like My Vodafone or My3 provide the most accurate insight into your data usage.
  2. Check your mobile phone’s settings
    Some operating systems let you check how much data you’ve been using. On an iPhone, go to Settings – Cellular – Cellular data usage and see how much data you’ve used since you last switched your phone on. Tap ‘reset statistics’ to make it start again and check back after a month. On an Android, go to Settings – Data or Data usage. You’ll see a graph of how much data you’re using and which apps use the most.
  3. Download a data tracking app
    Visit your App Store or Google Play Store and download a data tracking app that you can check after a month.