If you aren’t sure about your own mobile usage patterns, it can be very hard to find out how much mobile data you actually need. Knowing how long 2GB of data lasts, for example, can seem almost impossible to work out. However, with a bit of preparation, you can work out if 2GB, or any other data amount will be enough for you.
For this blog, we’ll be using the giffgaff £10 goodybag as an example. It has 3GB of available data included. £10 for just 3GB is a nice, affordable deal, but is it enough to last you the month? Well, by the time you have finished reading this blog, you’ll know the answer.
We’ll be using 2GB as an example, which means you get a nice 1GB buffer if you end up using more in a given month.
How To Measure Your Data Usage
Your data usage is going to vary, so measuring it can be difficult. We can’t use solid data because the file sizes for different things is so fluid. We can, however, use some basic usage examples that can fall into the 2GB limit. You can find more details about how much data you may need here.
To find out whether 2GB of data will be sufficient for your usage, you’ll need to look at how much you use different types of apps on your phone. You will also need to look at how often you are connected to mobile data, instead of WiFi. Let’s get started!
Social media apps like Instagram(Video) How long does it take to use 1gb of data?
IM apps like Messenger
Music apps like Spotify
Video streaming apps like Netflix
Utilities, mobile games, and other applications
In this blog, I have explained how much mobile data each of these app types may use. We will start with the apps that take the most data and will then look at the smaller bitesize apps.
Video Streaming Apps
Want to watch video whilst on mobile data? If you do, 2GB may not be enough. Video streaming can be a quick way to eat through your allowance. The data you need for a video on a platform like Youtube will depend on length of the video and the resolution you choose. Just a video or two a day would be enough to go way past the 2GB limit.
For example, only three 5-minute videos per day could use as much as 100MB of data. This would mean it would take 20 days to hit the 2GB cap. But that doesn’t include anything else you may use mobile data for.
My advice: If you’d like to watch videos on your smartphone, try to stick to WiFi. Alternatively, download videos before you leave the house. If you really want to watch videos via mobile data, £25 will get you a giffgaff goodybag with Always On data.
Music streaming apps have become very popular in recent years and they can take up a surprisingly large amount of data. One song on either of these platforms will be around 5MB on average. This means that, if you round it up, you’ll eat through 80MB of data for an hour’s worth of music.
If you only listen to music occasionally, this won’t be much of a problem. You can get away with listening to an hour of music 2 days per week and use under 700MB of data per month. However, if you listen to an hour of music every day, you’ll go over that 2GB limit.
My advice: The best thing to do is save music for offline listening. That way, you are free to listen to as much music as you like. If not, you could get a goodybag with more to offer. For example, the £15 goodybag comes with 8GB of data, which would be enough for daily listening.
Social media apps used compressed images to make sure that data usage is kept down, but that doesn’t meant you can’t eat through your allowance if you spend too much time on them. This is especially true if you use apps like Snapchat that have a focus on image/video sharing.
Just scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook won’t use too much data, but uploading story videos and images to your social media accounts will, and it all adds up over time.
Even just spending an hour or two on social media per day can be enough to hit 5GB of data per month. If you only use social media for a couple of hours per week instead, you’ll use closer to 1GB of data, giving you the remaining 2GB for other apps.
On Twitter, and in some cases Facebook, your data usage may be less. This is because less images are shown in comparison to Snapchat and Instagram.
My suggestion: 2GB of mobile data should be more than enough when using social media apps. You should have the freedom to use social media regularly on mobile data, but if you’re a social media addict, try to stick most of your usage time to when you have a WiFi connection. Otherwise, it may be better to get the 8GB goodybag for £15.
Instant Messaging Apps
Try not to send too many videos and photos via instant messaging apps and 2GB will be plenty to get you through the month.
Most instant messaging apps will use very little data, so with 2GB of data available to you, you could even get away with having your instant messenger app on 24/7. It’s expected that you’ll not use more than 500MB after a full month of your IM app running in the background.
My advice: with 2GB of data, you’ll be free to use your instant messaging app as much as you like, just try to limit the videos and photos you send or receive.
Games and Other Apps
First things first, make sure that you have automatic updates set to install over WiFi. Mobile app updates can take up a lot of data, so you won’t want any surprises hitting your smartphone when your favourite mobile game drops a new update. For actual data usage whilst playing mobile games and any other apps that don’t fall into the categories above, a 500MB allowance should be more than enough.
My advice: Unless you are getting through more than 1GB of data in your social media, IM, and video/music streaming, 2GB of data will be more than enough for you.
Picking The Best Mobile Data Deals
2GB of data will be more than enough for some people, but not nearly enough for others.
Thankfully, data costs are getting cheaper. At giffgaff for example, you can find a nice selection of monthly deals that include a certain allowance of data. These deals, or goodybags, are on a month to month basis so you’re not tied into a contract.
You can swap out your goodybag, too. So, if you run out of data one month, you can buy a goodybag with more data the next month. There’s no overcharging, either. Run out of data and that’s it, you’re out. No excessive charges for overusing. Goodybag prices start at £5.
Here’s a rundown:
If you look at the graphic above, you’ll notice that £10 gives you 3GB of data. If 2GB does it for you, then this deal will be even better.
Looking for a larger data allowance? The £20 goodybag will give you a huge 20GB each month. Is that not even enough? The £25 goodybag gives you ‘always on’ data. With this deal, you’ll get the standard 20GB at full speed and then even more internet at slightly slower speeds.
You can learn more about all of these goodybags and how to start using them here.
How long will 2GB of data last you? ›
Browsing the net with 2GB will last for around 33 hours. So you could browse for around one hour per day before reaching your limit. Similarly, you could use social media for less than an hour each day.How much can you do with 2GB of data? ›
A 2GB data plan will allow you to browse the internet for around 24 hours, to stream 400 songs or to watch 4 hours of standard-definition video. Nowadays, the key difference between mobile phone price plans is how many gigabytes of data it comes with.What does 2 GB of data mean? ›
In simple terms, 2GB of data is 2,000MB of data. If that doesn't make things any clearer, let's put it this way. 2GB of data will allow you to browse the internet for approximately 24 hours, depending on what you're going to be doing online.Is 2GB of data enough for a month? ›
2GB of data (or 2000MB) a month is a plan aimed at those who don't use mobile data often, but is enough to browse the web for around 80 minutes a day, or use social media apps for at least around 40 minutes per day. However, it is not suitable for those who stream lots of movies, or want to watch a lot of other videos.What happens if I go over my 2GB data? ›
A home internet provider usually won't charge extra if you use more than your allowed amount of data. Instead, the system will automatically slow down your internet, so it can only be used for basic things like web pages or reading text. Some internet providers call this shaping your connection.Is 2 GB enough for a phone? ›
For Android users, 2GB RAM may pose some concerns if you want to do more than browse or watch videos. Sometimes you may even experience OS-related slowdowns while completing typical daily tasks. Android 13, the latest Android version at the time of writing, requires at least 2GB RAM and 16GB storage.How many GB of data do you really need? ›
Most people need around 600 GB of data per month for their home internet connection. That gives you enough data to stream movies, play online games, and participate in video conferencing calls.Is 2GB enough for work? ›
2GB is enough to get some work done, like running your productivity suite and having plenty of open browser tabs, but you'll still be held back significantly in terms of running more powerful software solutions.How many GB is 2 hours? ›
You will use about 6 GB to stream in HD or 14 GB for a two hour movie in 4K.How much is unlimited data? ›
|Carrier||Unlimited data monthly cost||Data limit|
|AT&T Unlimited &More||$70||22GB/month|
|T-Mobile One Plus||$80||50GB/month|
|AT&T Unlimited &More Premium||$80||22GB/month|
Is 5GB of data enough for a month? ›
In short, 5GB would be enough for the user who doesn't rely on their mobile data everyday, or who uses it for general browsing every now and then. But if you're an avid streamer, this won't be a big enough plan for you.Do text messages use data? ›
You can send and receive text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messages through the Messages app . Messages are considered texts and don't count toward your data usage. Your data usage is also free when you turn on chat features.What eats up data on cell phone? ›
Apps are likely the biggest data users on your phone. Anything that needs to connect to the Web to update, refresh, or download will use cell data. This means all your social media and streaming apps, from Facebook to Twitter, Spotify to Netflix, will quietly eat up your data.Do you still use data while on Wi-Fi? ›
A Wi-Fi connection lets you connect to the Internet without using any cellular data at all. While connected to Wi-Fi, you can also download videos, TV shows, or movies to your phone or SD card to watch anytime at your convenience, with no data required.How much data is normal for a month? ›
Indeed, according to NPD, the average U.S. smartphone user now consumes a total of 31.4 GB of data on a monthly basis (a figure that includes both Wi-Fi and cellular consumption). That's up fully 25% from a year prior.How much data do you really need per month? ›
To ensure you never run out of data, you'll probably need a monthly data allowance of around 20GB.Do I need 2gb internet? ›
Do I need the extra speed? For most households or small businesses, the answer is most likely no. You simply do not have enough devices using the internet at the same time that will consume that much bandwidth. Look at how many devices you have and look at the above example to see it the upgrade makes sense.How long can I use 1GB of data? ›
A 1GB data plan will allow you to browse the internet for around 12 hours, to stream 200 songs or to watch 2 hours of standard-definition video. Nowadays, the key difference between mobile phone price plans is how many gigabytes of data it comes with.What happens when your phone runs out of data? ›
Generally speaking, two things can happen when you reach your data cap: Your data speeds will temporarily be slowed until the next billing cycle. Your data will be cut off and you won't have access to data until the next month.How can I reduce my data usage? ›
- Open your phone's Settings app.
- Tap Network & internet. Internet.
- Next to your carrier, tap Settings .
- Tap Data warning & limit.
- If it's not already on, turn on Set data limit. Read the on-screen message and tap Ok.
- Tap Data limit.
- Enter a number. ...
- Tap Set.
How many GB should I leave free on my phone? ›
We recommend having at least 1 GB of free storage space on your device to ensure that you're able to download both updates and attachments without any problems.What is the average GB for a smartphone? ›
With 32GB being the minimum, the standard choice for most smartphone companies has become 64GB. However, besides 32GB and 64GB, you'll also find phones with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and even a whopping 1TB of storage.How much GB do I need for Iphone? ›
128GB: enough for basic use. 256GB: enough for the average user. 512GB: store your entire photo, video, and movie collection. 1TB: never worry about storage space and store photos in Apple ProRAW.How many GB is normal per month? ›
On average, U.S. wireless customers consume 1.8 GB of cellular data every month.Do I need data on my phone? ›
The advantage of using mobile data is that you can access the internet anywhere, anytime*. So if you want to access emails, check social media or enjoy books and music on your commute you'll need mobile data.Does using an app use data? ›
Here's the thing: some apps suck up data regularly, even when you're not actively using them. But no worries, Android provides a way to stop any app from using data in the background. Third-party apps can even make this a lot easier and expand your options.How many minutes is a 2gb video? ›
I know that an hour of 720 P footage is roughly a 1 GB to stream , 2 GB will get you about 2 hours of footage viewing. If we were to compress and let's assume a compression factor of 0.8, then we can watch 88/0.8 = 111 minutes ~ 2 hrs long video.How many emails is 2gb? ›
Now email also allow you to send images and/or other files, which most providers limit to 10 megabytes in total. Assuming you receive those all the time, you could store about 500 emails. So depending on your usage, between 500 and 50000 emails would be a good estimate.Is 3GB of data enough for a month? ›
With your 3GB of data, you'll be able to browse the internet for approximately 36 hours per month, to stream 600 songs online or to watch 6 hours of online video in standard definition.How many GB is a 1 hour movie? ›
According to Netflix, you use 1 GB of data per hour when you stream a standard definition (SD) video. High definition (HD) videos, on the other hand, use 3 GB per hour. And 4K Ultra HD streams use up to 7 GB per hour of video.
How many GB does a movie use? ›
Streaming Movies or TV
A 1080p HD 60 fps 2-hour movie averages 6 GB in file size. A 1080p HD 30 fps 2-hour movie averages 3 GB in file size. A 720p HD 2-hour movie averages 2 GB in file size. A Standard Definition (SD) 2-hour movie averages 1 GB in file size.
Typically, downloaded standard definition Digital Movie files take up approximately 1-2 Gigabytes of space, and high definition files can take up to 2-4 GB.How many GB can you use on unlimited? ›
The standard unlimited data plan includes unlimited minutes, unlimited messages, and unlimited high-speed data up to a certain data cap. Usually this high-speed data cap is 22–23 GB. Some of the major carriers offer more expensive unlimited plans with higher data caps, exceeding 50 GB of data per month in some cases.How much does data cost on your phone? ›
|Characteristic||Average price per cellular gigabyte in U.S. dollars|
Like myself, you might think you can get by with your 10GB (or less) of 4G LTE data per month now, but for 5G applications, it won't be enough. To appreciate 5G, you'll have to upgrade to an unlimited data plan (if you aren't already on one) or pay more for your existing plan depending on your carrier.Is 1 GB enough for a week? ›
Exactly how quickly you'll burn through it will depend on what you're doing on your phone, with it lasting roughly an hour and a half if you're streaming standard-definition video, around eight hours if you're streaming music, through to several weeks if you're only sending and receiving basic emails.Why does my data run out so fast? ›
Your browser tends to consume your data rapidly. This is because browsers provide high-quality pictures and also allow ads that swallow up your data in a short period of time. To avoid this, turn on the data saving mode on these apps.How much data does 5G use? ›
Does 5G use more data than 4G? The short answer is no – 5G doesn't use more data than 4G. If you download a file or load up a web page, it will take exactly the same amount of data to do that over 5G as over 4G. Yet data use on 5G often will be higher.Does deleting text messages save data? ›
Delete old text messages
You'll be surprised to see how much storage space your text messages take on your smartphone. You may not even realize those messages are being saved to your phone. Don't worry, you can delete them. Be sure to delete messages with photos and videos first — they chew up the most space.
(On iPhone, tap the “Settings” icon, tap “Cellular,” then turn off “Cellular Data.” On Android, tap the “Settings” icon, tap “Network & internet,” tap “Mobile network” and turn off “Mobile data.”) After turning off mobile data, you'll still be able to make and receive phone calls and get text messages.
Can I text without data? ›
Text messaging doesn't use "data" as defined by cell phone networks-- if you can make and receive calls, you can send text messages, even if you can't connect to the internet.What counts as data usage? ›
What is Data Usage? Usage includes all the data you use; download & upload. When you access the Internet through your home network, wired or WiFi, using any device (including smartphones, tablets, or other devices that access the Internet), it will reflect your data usage.Why is my phone using data when connected to Wi-Fi? ›
If your phone detects that the Wi-Fi network stutters, it will switch to the mobile network, so that your phone still consumes mobile data even if it is connected to the Wi-Fi network. To disable Wi-Fi+, go to Settings, search for and access Wi-Fi+, and disable it.What is unlimited data on a cell phone? ›
What does unlimited data mean? Unlimited data is exactly what the name suggests, a mobile plan that offers you no cap on data usage. It means you don't have to worry about going over your limit and spending more each month and gives you the freedom to use as little or as much data as you like.How do I know if my phone is using Wi-Fi or data? ›
If you see the WiFi icon on your device, then you know that your device is connected to wireless internet. But if you do not see the icon and you see bars with “3G,” “4G,” or even “5G” instead, then you are using cellular internet (also called cellular data).Should I turn off my data when using WiFi? ›
Smartphone or tablet users should turn off mobile data when the device is expected to remain within range of Wi-Fi access point. Also consider turning off your cellular data if your Wi-Fi coverage has dead spots, when cellular service is weak, or you use a prepaid mobile plan with data caps or limits.What happens if you run out of WiFi data? ›
If you run out of data, you will likely be charged extra for any additional data you use. Internet providers that impose data caps usually charge $10 for every 50 GB of data you go over your monthly limit. You also may see drastically slowed speeds on your internet connection when you exceed your monthly data limit.How many GB does a person use a month? ›
If you are a heavy user, streaming a lot of HD video, playing online games, and downloading large files, then the amount of GB per month you need can add up quickly. According to Digital Trends, around 200-250 GB of usage per month is where the average person starts seeing an impact on their monthly plan.Is 1 GB of data enough for a month? ›
How much is 1GB of data? Ofcom's 2021 report states that phone users (on average) opt for 4.5GB of mobile data for the month. In comparison, a 1GB bundle is a fair bit below average. This is a reflection of how much data we use these days - 1GB simply isn't enough for most!How long does it take to use a GB of data? ›
A 1GB data plan will allow you to browse the internet for around 12 hours, to stream 200 songs or to watch 2 hours of standard-definition video. Nowadays, the key difference between mobile phone price plans is how many gigabytes of data it comes with.
How many hours can 1GB last? ›
GB is short for Gigabyte - and is equivalent to 1024 megabytes (MB) or 1,048,576 kilobytes (KB). As a rough guide, 1GB of data would let you do one of the following: Watch one hour and 20 minutes of video at Standard Definition. Stream roughly eight hours of high quality music (320kbps)What uses the most data on cell phone? ›
Apps. Apps are likely the biggest data users on your phone. Anything that needs to connect to the Web to update, refresh, or download will use cell data. This means all your social media and streaming apps, from Facebook to Twitter, Spotify to Netflix, will quietly eat up your data.What is normal data usage? ›
Android users consumer 6.8 GB of Wi-Fi data every month, while Apple iPhone users use an amazing 8.9 GB on Wi-Fi connections.