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Learn how many hours of web browsing, video streaming, music streaming, and more you can do with various data allowances – from 1GB to 150GB


Numbers. CRUNCHED!

How Much Mobile Data Do You REALLY Need?

1GB of Data

  • 🌐 12 hours browsing
  • 📺 2 hours SD video
  • 🎵 16 hours music
  • ⚠️ Not ideal for heavy use

10GB of Data

  • 🌐 120 hours browsing
  • 📺 20 hours SD or 10 hours HD video
  • 🎵 160 hours music
  • 👍 Suitable for most users

100GB of Data

  • 🌐 1,200 hours browsing
  • 📺 200 hours SD or 100 hours HD video
  • 🎵 1,600 hours music
  • 🍿 Great for heavy users


How much mobile data do you need? Like, really need. Most UK smartphone users tend to use between 5GB and 30GB – 30GB being the extreme high-end (so, the exception not the rule). 

Most people never use more than 10GB a month. But there’s loads of different options available on phone plans – from 1GB to 200GB. 

Let’s explore what you can do with every possible type of data allowance from the lowest (1GB) to the highest (200GB). 

How Much Mobile Data is Enough? Let’s Compare…

The Bare Minimum

What 1GB of Data Gets You?

  • Browse the web for approximately 12 hours
  • Stream standard definition (SD) video for 2 hours
  • Stream music for 16 hours
  • Send or receive around 1,000 emails without attachments
  • Upload or download approximately 200 photos


Still Very, Very Low…

What 2GB of Data Gets You?

  • Browse the web for approximately 24 hours
  • Stream SD video for 4 hours
  • Stream music for 32 hours
  • Send or receive around 2,000 emails without attachments
  • Upload or download approximately 400 photos


Better, But Probably Not Enough…

What 5GB of Data Gets You?

  • Browse the web for approximately 60 hours
  • Stream SD video for 10 hours or high definition (HD) video for 5 hours
  • Stream music for 80 hours
  • Send or receive around 5,000 emails without attachments
  • Upload or download approximately 1,000 photos
  • Play online games for about 60 hours


The Average Amount Used By Most UK People

What 10GB of Data Gets You?

  • Browse the web for approximately 120 hours
  • Stream SD video for 20 hours or HD video for 10 hours
  • Stream music for 160 hours
  • Send or receive around 10,000 emails without attachments
  • Upload or download approximately 2,000 photos
  • Play online games for about 120 hours
  • Download 2-3 standard definition movies


Great Amount For Most People

What 20GB of Data Gets You?

  • Browse the web for approximately 240 hours
  • Stream SD video for 40 hours or HD video for 20 hours
  • Stream music for 320 hours
  • Send or receive around 20,000 emails without attachments
  • Upload or download approximately 4,000 photos
  • Play online games for about 240 hours
  • Download 4-6 standard definition movies or 2-3 HD movies


Ideal For Heavy Users On A Budget

What 30GB of Data Gets You?

  • Browse the web for approximately 360 hours
  • Stream SD video for 60 hours or HD video for 30 hours
  • Stream music for 480 hours
  • Send or receive around 30,000 emails without attachments
  • Upload or download approximately 6,000 photos
  • Play online games for about 360 hours
  • Download 6-9 standard definition movies or 3-4 HD movies


Same As 30GB, More Than Enough

What 40GB of Data Gets You?

  • Browse the web for approximately 480 hours
  • Stream SD video for 80 hours or HD video for 40 hours
  • Stream music for 640 hours
  • Send or receive around 40,000 emails without attachments
  • Upload or download approximately 8,000 photos
  • Play online games for about 480 hours
  • Download 8-12 standard definition movies or 4-6 HD movies


A Huge Amount, Most Will Never Use It All

What 100GB of Data Gets You?

  • Browse the web for approximately 1,200 hours
  • Stream SD video for 200 hours or HD video for 100 hours
  • Stream music for 1,600 hours
  • Send or receive around 100,000 emails without attachments
  • Upload or download approximately 20,000 photos
  • Play online games for about 1,200 hours
  • Download 20-30 standard definition movies or 10-15 HD movies


The Power-User Amount…

What 150GB of Data Gets You?

  • Browse the web for approximately 1,800 hours
  • Stream SD video for 300 hours or HD video for 150 hours
  • Stream music for 2,400 hours
  • Send or receive around 150,000 emails without attachments
  • Upload or download approximately 30,000 photos
  • Play online games for about 1,800 hours
  • Download 30-45 standard definition movies or 15-22 HD movies


What Can I Do With 1GB of Data?

With 1GB of mobile data, you can typically:

  • Browse the web for approximately 12 hours
  • Stream standard definition (SD) video for 2 hours
  • Stream music for 16 hours
  • Send or receive around 1,000 emails without attachments
  • Upload or download approximately 200 photos

1GB of data is not a lot of mobile data. If your plan has 1GB, you’re going to be fairly limited with what you can do with it. 

Things like video – either via platforms like YouTube, Netflix or TikTok – will quickly eat through 1GB of mobile data. Ditto streaming music from services like Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. 

If you go with 1GB of data, you won’t pay much for your plan. But conversely, you won’t be able to do much with it either. If you seldom use the web when you’re out – or apps or streaming – 1GB might work but I’d advise against going this low. 

Is 10GB of Data Enough For Heavy Use?

10GB of mobile data can be sufficient for heavy usage, allowing you to:

  • Browse the web for approximately 120 hours
  • Stream SD video for 20 hours or HD video for 10 hours
  • Stream music for 160 hours
  • Send or receive around 10,000 emails without attachments
  • Upload or download approximately 2,000 photos
  • Play online games for about 120 hours
  • Download 2-3 standard definition movies

You know what? Most people don’t use nearly as much data as they think. The average amount of data used by people in the UK is less than 10GB a month. Reports vary, ranging from anywhere to 30GB to 5GB, so 10GB is a good medium value. 

If you go with 10GB SIM-only plan, you’ll likely have more than enough data to play with over the course of a month. 10GB of data is actually quite a lot and will be more than enough for most users, providing you’re not doing things like tethering to your laptop or tablet. 

What is Considered A “High Amount” of Data?

Mobile data allowances of 100GB or more are generally considered high. With 100GB of data, you can:

  • Browse the web for approximately 1,200 hours
  • Stream SD video for 200 hours or HD video for 100 hours
  • Stream music for 1,600 hours
  • Send or receive around 100,000 emails without attachments
  • Upload or download approximately 20,000 photos
  • Play online games for about 1,200 hours
  • Download 20-30 standard definition movies or 10-15 HD movies

How Do I Determine The Right Amount of Data For My Needs?

To determine the right mobile data allowance, consider the following:

  • Your typical usage patterns (web browsing, video streaming, music streaming, etc.)
  • The number of connected devices using the data allowance
  • Your budget and the cost of different data plans
  • Whether you have access to Wi-Fi at home, work, or school
  • Any additional data-consuming activities like gaming or large file downloads

Can I Still Use Mobile Data After I Reach My Data Limits?

It depends on your mobile plan and provider. Most SIM-only plans will charge you extra for going over your allocated amount of data. You don’t want this, so make sure you KNOW exactly how much you currently use.

This is simple to do, just go into the settings on your phone and locate mobile data. Inside here you’ll find all your data usage metrics. Look at the average amount used over the last few months – that’s your sweet spot.

If you consistently use 10GB to 15GB, go with a 20GB or 30GB SIM-only plan. If you seldom get anywhere near 20GB, go with a 20GB plan.

What Happens When You Go Over Your Allocated Data Limits?

  • Your data speeds may be throttled to a slower rate until the next billing cycle
  • You may be charged for additional data usage at a per-GB rate
  • Your mobile data may be cut off until you purchase an additional data package or reach the next billing cycle
  • Some providers offer unlimited data plans that allow you to continue using data without extra charges, albeit with potential speed restrictions after reaching a certain threshold

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