How much data do you need?

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Do you know how much data you really need each month? Here’s the lowdown on gigabytes and some tips on choosing suitable 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 depending on your plan.

Choosing data suitable 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, having your speed slowed down or forking out for higher rates for the extra data you use.
To help you out, here is a 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.

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?

As an example, 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 (Note: this is an example only, usage amounts vary depending on the actual content).

Can I share data across phones?

Depending on the type of plan you’re on, you may be able to ‘pool’ a data allowance 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 pre-paid plan?

Yes. If you already own a mobile phone and don’t want a lock-in contract, you may be able to find a pre-paid plan that allows you to choose a mixture of talk minutes, text messages and data.

Last updated: 13/09/2021

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