How much data do you need?
Do you know how much data you really need each month? Here’s the lowdown on gigabytes and some tips on choosing the right level of data for your needs.
Between sending and receiving emails, surfing the web and downloading music and apps, it can be easy to chew through your monthly data allowance in next to no time.
Choosing the right data plan for your needs is important. If you have too much data, you may be paying more than you need to; not enough, and you may either be regularly buying add-ons or forking out for higher rates for the extra data you use.
To help make sure you’re getting the best possible deal, here is your go-to guide to gigabytes.
What’s a gigabyte?
To get your head around megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB), you have to start with bytes.
A byte is a unit of digital information that makes up everything on the web today. They’re the building blocks of the emails you send, the web pages you browse and the music and videos you enjoy.
When someone says MB or GB, it’s simply a shorthand way of talking about very large amounts of bytes:
• MB: ‘Mega’ means million, so 1MB = 1 million bytes.
• GB: ‘Giga’ means billion, so 1GB = 1 billion bytes.
Mobile providers typically offer plans that include 500MB, 1.5GB, 2GB or 5GB of data and up.
What can I do with 1GB of data?
One billion bytes might sound like a lot, but is it really? How many web pages would it take to chew through 1GB?
To help put things in perspective, with 1GB you can either view up to 3000 web pages, upload 4000 photos, watch 310 minutes of cats playing the keyboard on YouTube, or download 160 songs.
Can I share data across phones?
Depending on the type of plan you’re on, you may be able to ‘pool’ separate data allowances across multiple devices by rolling all of the mobile accounts in your household into a single shared plan.
This type of set-up can work well for families with multiple mobile phones and tablets who want the simplicity and convenience of shared data. This way, everyone can use data from a pooled allowance.
Can I get a data allowance with a PAYG plan?
Yes. If you already own a mobile phone and don’t want a lock-in contract, most of the major mobile phone providers in Australia now offer contract-free, month-to-month PAYG mobile plans that allow you to choose a mixture of talk minutes, text messages and data.
In this case, simply choose the plan or individual option that best suits your needs. Some providers allow you to buy a separate data pack with a longer expiration date so you can stretch your allowance even further
If you’re in the market for a new phone or plan that suits your data needs, we can help you find the right one. Compare different plans from our participating mobile provider today.