How Much Data Do You Really Need?

The Internet is a very crucial part of our daily lives. In fact, it is just as important as the electricity and gas connection. For that reason, many families have opted for unlimited packages for their monthly use. They go with such packages because they don’t want to worry about what will happen if they run out of bandwidth. However, you might want to consider all the money you are wasting on that volume of data you may never use or do not need to use. You can actually save money by knowing how much data you really need.

By comparing and calculating the use of various popular websites, you can find out how much data they approximately consume. While tallying the results with the numbers on your bill you can find out if opting for a package is better suited for you. Look at your bills, and see if the amount of data that you are using can be attained through data packages. This is especially helpful if you want to cut down your expenses and increase your savings. In most cases, you’ll make a better choice if you switch to a different plan that fits your data needs just right. You can compare more internet plans at once from several providers at CompareMyRates or by just going to the providers’ websites and comparing everything manually. Either way – a different plan will cut down your internet expenses if you know how much data you really need and use.

And if you think your usage is beyond any package, you can make certain changes to your settings to decrease data usage without really giving up on your usual internet activities. These days, you do not even have to worry about what will happen if you run out of your monthly data allowance. At maximum, your company might switch you to a slow internet package unless you pay for the purchased package.

All you need to do is a little comparison and analysis of the data you use to know how much of it you really need. Here are the stats of certain popular websites and apps, which you can use to determine your broadband package:

Approximate Data Usage

You can calculate your data usage approximately by knowing the amount of data used and the time you took to consume it. The rate may vary based on your content quality, which plays a huge role in the amount of data consumed.


According to data suggested by the census, most Australians browse the web for 48 hours on average, each month.  Typical web pages consume up to 2.5 MB, which adds up to 7GB per month. Facebook, on the other hand, consumes a bit more data if you consider the image-heavy format. It uses 2MB per minute, approximately, while the average user spends 20 hours on the website, the total monthly usage racks up to 2.5 GB. Netflix is becoming just as important as Facebook and Google these days. If you are streaming your favorite shows on auto settings, you may be using as much as 39GB per month.

Music Streaming

If you are streaming at 320kbps, you may never use more than 144MB. You can bring the number down to 72MB by using the Free tier of Spotify as you would be streaming at 160kps. The quality may not be the same, but you are saving up. Apple music uses up to 155 MB per hour as it only streams at 320kps whereas Google Play adjusts to the quality of internet you have.

Renting or Buying Video Content

You can create a huge change in your data usage by renting or buying movies and TV shows. A lot of it also depends on the video quality and file size of the content. You can find this information easily on iTunes, but Google’s Play Store does not work with the same format. The results, however, are very similar. Renting movies per month can add up to 16GB of data usage.

YouTube Usage

The video content king uses internet based on the quality of videos you are watching. A low-quality video may consume 1.6 MB per minute while a good quality video will use up to 12MB per minute.

YouTube Usage 1080p720p480p 360p240p
Per min.12.4MB7.4MB4MB2.66MB1.6MB
Per hour750MB450MB240MB160MB100MB


Gaming and Skype

Not everyone uses internet for gaming and Skype but these two make up the primary usage of many other users. If you are one of them then you should know that Skype does not use too much internet. Your usual video call uses about 360KB per minute which approximately add up to 25MB per hour. The voice calls are even cheaper. Gaming, on the other hand, can be a big eater of internet bandwidth.

If you are playing games online, you have nothing to worry about as it mostly does not use a lot of data. Usually, your data usage for online games is up to 50Mb per hour. If you are playing and downloading games on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or your computer, then your usage can go through the roof. Most new releases add up to be more than 60GB per download while the post-release updates may rack up to a gigabyte. You can, however, find out how big the game is by checking the description before downloading it.

Data Saving Habits

You might think that the amount of data you use is fixed but that is not true. You can definitely save GBs by making a few changes that do not require you to decrease the time you spend on the internet specifically.

While streaming and downloading videos from the internet, look at the video quality. Higher resolution means greater data usage. Go to your video settings on YouTube or other video streaming websites and decrease the streaming quality.

You can also save up quite a lot by tweaking your Facebook settings. Instead of having the videos on autoplay, go to settings and only stream the videos that you want to watch.  This way, your browser will not stream videos beforehand and keep you from consuming your precious data package.

If you are someone who prefers to download their movies and videos before watching them, you too can save up a little by opting for SD quality rather than HD. Always remember to check the size and quality of the file before you download it and know that the time it takes to download has nothing to do with the amount of data being consumed.

With all this being considered, you should start comparing offers from internet providers in your area and switch to a plan that better fits your data needs. You’ll save a lot in the long run.