Mobile data usage - facebook

How Much Data Do I Need? Discovering Your Ideal Data Consumption


One of the great revolutions of the century has been mobile data. Accompanied by a smartphone or tablet, it means the possibility of connecting to the internet from anywhere at high speed. But it is difficult to access an unlimited data rate due to price and the limited supply of products of this type. Faced with the reality of having a limited amount of data to navigate and devices that allow us to watch streaming videos, play online, etc., we find ourselves faced with the need to save all possible data and monitor them daily.

Running out of mobile data in the middle of the billing period can be an absolute nightmare if they apply a speed reduction or involve a considerable outlay of money in additional bonuses. For this reason, before choosing a telephony rate, it is advisable to ask yourself how many gigabytes you need on your mobile phone.

The burning question: how much mobile data do I need? To find out how much data you need and how to get to the end of the month without having to stop browsing or do it at a plodding speed, we present you with a guide on mobile data and how to save it as much as possible.

How Much Data Do You Use?

We have included the speed and data requirements of the most popular online activities in the following table, and this will surely help you determine the data and speed you will need in your next Internet plan.

Activity Minimum required MB/hour
Web navigation 1Mbps 10-25MB
Social networks 1Mbps 156MB
Playing music 5Mbps 150MB
480p video playback 4Mbps 700MB
HD video playback 8Mbps 3GB
4K video playback 25Mbps 7GB
Online gaming 3Mbps 15MB
Online Gaming (MOBA) 6Mbps 60MB

How Much Data Do I Need Per Month?

The million-dollar question. Your answer depends on the mobile rate that interests you the most, but it isn’t easy to know the specific amount since the options to consume them are very wide and depend on many factors.

The amount of data depends on the use of each person. It is not the same to be an average user as a demanding one. In this way, customers who only use messaging applications and check the news will not consume the same data as those using social networks with integrated video.

Virtually all mobiles today allow us to monitor the data we consume and which applications. In this way, the first step to knowing how much information we need is to see the amount we consume on average per week. By accessing this option on the smartphone, we will learn both the amount we need to hire and the apps that are draining our rate.

Once we’ve done that, we must choose a mobile rate that allows us to have plenty of data at the end of the month if an unforeseen event arises, such as a drop in the Internet line that we have in our home or case our average consumption rises.

Thus, the best option is a rate of 1GB or 2GB above our consumption to save money by not paying for data that we do not consume but have plenty of it. In addition, today, many operators allow us to accumulate data from one month to another, so we can have data to spare as soon as we save a little.

How Much Data Do I Need for Home Internet?

Using the internet at home is different from using it on another device. Typically, on smartphones, we surf with gigabytes of the internet while working with megabytes at home.

Over time, the connection system has changed. Now telephone companies work with fibre optics to use the internet faster and with better quality.

Regarding megabytes, the minimum you can hire is 50 megabytes, which would be the most basic rate. Currently, few companies offer this connection since most rates have at least 100 megabytes of navigation.

How Much Data Do Your Apps Consume?

If you’ve never calculated your internet data usage, look below for a reasonable estimate. Ask yourself. How much phone data do I need?


Accessing email is a widespread activity for smartphone users. It is relevant to know that email only takes up a small amount of data, especially compared to the many other ways a phone can consume MB.

For example, sending a standard email (text only) without an attachment consumes around 20KB.
On the other hand, if we add an attached file, the number of megabytes consumed will depend more on the same file.

Post Monthly calculation MB Recommended
2 per day It would be 60 emails/month 15MB / month
20 per day It would be 1200 emails/month 150MB / month
40 per day It would be 900 a month 300MB / month

Upload Photos and Video

The millennial community has drastically changed how we communicate, introducing new and innovative ways of doing it to the market. Some of the most common are sending photos and videos and consuming lots of data.

Only with Instagram and Snapchat we have enough to be aware of our consumption.

In the case of photos, depending on the size, we could be talking about 250KB. Assuming we upload four photos of this same size, we would have already consumed 1 MB. (1024MB = 1GB).

On the other hand, consumption depends on how we use Snapchat or Instagram for video. If you’re the type who publishes photos in their stories, consumption is lower. However, being one of those who prefer to upload video after video, you may end up wasting your data in the blink of an eye.

Photos Monthly calculation MB Recommended
2 daily charges It would be 60 a month 1GB / month
10 daily charges It would be 300 a month 2GB / month
30 daily charges It would be 900 a month 3GB / month

Web Navigation

It is common practice to open Google to search for sites related to our goal – news, services, products, etc. We have found that this habit typically consumes between 1MB – 4MB per minute.

Most users average 48 hours of web browsing per month (one and a half hours per day). On average, browsing the web through your smartphone equals 2.5MB per minute. Those with a small data package (1GB or less) should consider that 8 hours of web browsing could become 1GB of consumption.

If you have a small data package and enter the navigation profile that we have just described, we recommend that you be connected to a Wi-Fi network as much as possible.

Navigation up to date Navigation per month MB Recommended
1 hour a day 30 hours per month 4GB / month
2 hours a day 60 hours per month 8GB / month
3 hours a day 120 hours per month 15GB / month

Online Games

If you’re one of those who love playing video games online, you will indeed care to know the number of megabytes your favourite game will consume when you are not near a Wi-Fi network. (Some games require a connection to a wireless network as they consume excessive amounts of data).

Games in which users send and receive messages all the time, have a multiplayer mode or allow purchases within it will mean that your team must maintain continuous contact with a server. That is, it will consume data. Fortunately, unlike what many might imagine, online games do not require more data than Facebook or Instagram and spend an average of 1.5MB per minute.

Important: Some games will consume data faster than others, so we recommend checking the amount of MB available before and after playing to understand the consumption of that specific game better.

Hours of play per day Game hour per month MB Recommended
1 hour 30 hours per month 500MB / month
2 hours 60 hours per month 1GB / month
3 hours 90 hours per month 2GB / month

Listen To Music

If you use an application such as Apple Music, Google Play, Spotify, Pandora, Soundcloud, or iHeartRadio, the average per minute is 1 to 2MB. So, a 4-minute song could take up to 8MB.

Considering these same statistics, an hour of music would translate into 60MB. Now you must think, how many hours do you usually listen to music and multiply that amount by 60MB and 30 days? In this way, you will get the exact amount you would consume per month at this rate.

If the number of megabytes you need is very high because you are a music lover, we have an alternative to help you save hundreds a month and allow you to listen for more hours than you imagined.

Music a day Podcasts per month Minimum Suggested Data
1 hour a day 30 hours per month 500MB / month
2 hours a day 60 hours per month 1GB / month
3 hours a day 120 hours per month 2GB / month


The consumption of megabytes when listening to podcasts is very similar to music. It always starts by consuming 1MB, and later, it depends on the duration of each one.

Although, of course, they regularly have the option to download. Perform the download within a Wi-Fi network to later listen to it.

Podcasts a day Podcasts per month Minimum Suggested Data
2 hours a day 60 hours per month 500MB / month
3 hours a day 90 hours per month 1GB / month
4 hours a day 120 hours per month 2GB / month

How Much Internet Does YouTube Consume?

Watching content on YouTube is very entertaining: you can find a wide range of videos with music, movies, podcasts, and more. The problem with this is that videos are the most significant mega-consumers.

The videos on YouTube can consume up to 6MB per minute, which may not sound like much if we see it in units. However, let’s not forget that little by little, the jar is filling up. And with the long durations and large amounts of video comes enormous data consumption. Another factor is the resolution of the video, that is, if it is low or high definition.

Assuming you had a 200MB plan, you could finish it in just half an hour on YouTube in high definition.

We recommend YouTube to those users who have plans of 10GB or more per month. Or they have access to a Wi-Fi network while using the app. Are you looking for plans with large amounts of data?

YouTube per day YouTube per month MB Recommended
1 hour a day 30 hours per month 10GB / month
3 hours a day 90 hours per month Wi-Fi network
4 hours a day 120 hours per month Wi-Fi network

The Right Way to Adjust Your Usage

Lowering your cell phone bill is an imperative goal, no matter what stage you’re at. It’s always smart to find ways to decrease your spending.

Use “Lite” Or Low-Power Browsers

Although Google Chrome has become the standard for browsers, many others in the iOS and Android app stores allow you to reduce data consumption by blocking ads and optimizing web pages.

Activate Aeroplane Mode

With the airplane mode of your mobile phone, you will automatically disconnect all its ways of connecting with the outside, meaning GPS, Wi-Fi, mobile data, calls, SMS, etc. In this way, you will save a lot of battery and data, but you will be completely isolated.

Uninstall The Apps You’re Not Using

Background consumption of applications has decreased over time, but it is still a problem when saving data. And it is that many applications connect to the internet to consult data even if you are not using them.

This problem is the case, for example, of Facebook, with an app with high consumption in the background that burdens the data rate. If you have programs that you have not used for a long time, consider uninstalling them. You can download the applications again later if you need them.

Save Data with YouTube

YouTube has become the largest streaming video platform in the world. Millions of users consume data daily to watch their favourite content from anywhere. Still, not many people know that video is the format that consumes the most data, even above playing online. Thus, to save a large amount of data per month, you can reduce the quality of the videos you watch or limit the data in the app.

Reduce Data on WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook

Although the text of the messaging applications hardly consumes megabytes of your mobile rate, these apps, such as WhatsApp, Telegram, or Facebook Messenger, increasingly integrate more possibilities of video, stickers, GIFs, and other formats of significant internet consumption. You can access the application options and deactivate the automatic download of images, videos, and others to reduce this data expense. Thus, you will only download what you want to see, also taking advantage to avoid group spam.

Download And Update with Wi-Fi Only

Although it seems obvious, most smartphones download updates automatically when released, whether using Wi-Fi or data from your mobile rate. Many of these have the option of automatic download with data pre-activated. In this way, you will save several GB of data per month by deactivating this option and leaving the mobile-only to download the updates when connected to Wi-Fi.

Set A Data Limit

To reduce our data usage, we can establish a data limit In the configuration of our mobile, which is very useful when we want to save and do not want to have extra charges. When we reach the limit point, the data is deactivated, and nothing comes to you. In this way, you know when your data limit will end and act accordingly in time.

Re-Evaluating Your Plan

The danger of overdoing the data you spend is that your operator can take two quite annoying measures. The first, and increasingly common, is to slow down. It depends on how much they lower it, but today the minimum with which they will leave you is 16 Kbps.

Compared to the average speed of 4G – which is usually between 20 and 40 Mb, with the possibility of reaching more than 50 Mb in areas with very good coverage – you will find yourself with very slow navigation that will significantly limit your speed.

The other option is that they keep you up to speed, but they charge you an extra fee for each MB (not GB) that you spend.

Don’t be afraid to change the conditions if they suit what you need. If your plan does not link to an Internet pack, any contract fee is free of permanence to modify it whenever you want. Within the same company, you can upload and download your data from the mobile applications of each operator.

Anyway, no matter how happy you are with your company, it never hurts to check if another plan is cheaper for you. In addition, some telcos offer promotions and gifts to their new customers that can cut your first bills.


Calculating the monthly data consumption is the key to choosing the rate that best suits the needs of each one. It is advisable to be generous with the calculation as there are many contingencies and minor expenses, and the additional data bonuses are usually much more expensive than the ordinary plans.

Once the data and voice minute needs of each are apparent, it is essential to compare the different offers offered by the operators. This choice will give you a better suite of options to choose from for your data plan.

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