Whether it’s updating your status, surfing the web for news or listening to music, data is an important part of your daily routine. Internet is the modern utility most people can’t live without.
How much data you use says a lot about you and your lifestyle. If your commute is long, most likely Spotify is your travel buddy. If you’re generally a budget conscious person, your phone plan follows the same principles.
Regardless of your choices, if you want to know how much data you need on a monthly basis before taking a wild guess and going for unlimited plans, take these 2 things into consideration:
- How much data are you currently going through
- How much data does your apps need
Understanding the lingo
Experts say that mobile represents 2 out of 3 digital media minutes and this gives “surfing the web” a new meaning altogether. Here are some basic explanations of the terms we use daily.
Streaming = Data streaming, commonly seen in the forms of audio and video streaming, is when a multimedia file can be played back without being completely downloaded first.
High-definition video = High-definition video is a video of higher resolution and quality than standard-definition; HD video is a definition of how many pixels (resolution) the video has.
The resolutions — 360p, 480p, 720p, or 1080p — represent the number of horizontal lines a video has from top to bottom. This way, a 480p video is made up of 480 lines stacked one on top of another, with each line being 852 pixels wide. In other words, a 480p video has a resolution of 852×480 pixels.
For comparison, a 720p HD video has 720 lines that are each 1,280 pixels wide, meaning that it is more than twice as sharp as the same video at 480p and can be viewed on a much larger screen.
4K refers to one of two high definition resolutions: 3840 x 2160 pixels or 4096 x 2160 pixels. 4K is four times the pixel resolution, or twice the line resolution (2160p), of 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels). The other high definition resolutions in use are 720p and 1080i. These are the resolutions most frequently used in larger screen televisions to create better-detailed pictures, according to Lifewire.com.
In the same way, this is what you need to think about when talking about data:
1MB = 1,000KB approximately
1GB = 1,000MB approximately
1TB = 1,000GB approximately
How much data you use
Based on the values above, we’ve provided a general view on how much data is used for our daily activities, such as:
1 email (no attachments) → 20KB
1 email (with standard attachments) → 300KB
1 min. of surfing the web → 250KB(15MB/hr.)
1 song downloaded → 4MB
1 photo upload to social media → 5MB
1 min. of streaming standard-definition video → 11.7MB (700MB/hr.)
1 min. of streaming high-definition video → 41.7MB (2500MB/hr.)
1 min. of streaming 4K video → 97.5MB (5850MB/hr.)
1 min. of online games → 200KB (12MB/hr.)
Now that knowledge is by your side, it’s easier to look at your monthly usage numbers with a different perspective. According to NerdWallet.com, the average smartphone owner uses 2GB to 5GB of data each month, but when it comes to your personal limits, take a closer look in your device.
Go to Settings → Data usage to get a clue of the total usage for a given date range, which you can change to align with your billing cycle, plus a breakdown by application. On an iPhone, the same information is found in “Settings” under “Cellular.” At Tello, you can keep track of your usage using the My Tello App.
Apps & their data appetite
Wondering how much data are your apps using? Everybody knows by now that movie downloads on their phone eat into monthly data. That is no longer an urban myth. Yet the plethora of apps we can’t live without on a daily basis makes it difficult to keep tabs on each one.
Streaming 30 minutes of video/ day on apps like Facebook, YouTube or Netflix uses more than 5GB of data in a month.
1GB of data can last between 24h of music on Spotify to 7 hours, depending on the streaming quality. The higher the quality, the fewer hours you have of your favourite jam. If you turn to Pandora, you can have almost 35h of music.
Youtube usage depends of course, on video quality, while Netflix’s max can go up to 3GB per hour if streaming in HD.
I often run low on data before the end of the month. Help?!
Many people face low data anxiety towards the end of the month. Here are some common sense tips to save on your data:
- Get a more affordable & flexible phone plan – now that you have an idea of what you actually use month over month, why pay for more? Choose a carrier that adapts to your needs, like Tello Mobile. Upgrade or downgrade your plan anytime, with no extra fees and add gigs of data if needed.
- Get more for Wi-Fi – when at home, download your TV shows, maps or even movies before leaving. Netflix, Amazon Prime and Google Maps have options to download content so you can watch your favourites on the go without eating into your data.
- Set Facebook videos to never auto-play – use your settings to select this feature and prevent Facebook from getting greedy with your data
- Limit background data – automatic syncing, checking for updates, looking for new messages, a lot goes on in the background. Use your phone settings to disable app syncing and toggle off the usage of mobile data in the background.