How to Estimate Your Mobile Data Usage

How to Estimate Your Mobile Data Usage
Image: iStock
This article is sponsored by Dodo.

Not knowing how much data you use can get you into trouble, especially if you run dry while you’re out and about. Lucky for you, there are ways to estimate how much of it you might need before committing to a phone plan, and without worrying about the damning text message that says you’ve almost reached your limit.

In case you weren’t aware, 1MB equals 1000KB and 1GB of data is made up of 1,024MB. This and our other tips below will help you estimate your monthly mobile data requirements.

How much data do I need for web browsing?

General web browsing that involves reading the news or online shopping takes up 60MB per hour. This considers that a portion of your browsing may include image-heavy sites that will take a toll on your monthly cap.

How much data do streaming service use

When watching TV shows and movies on a streaming service (such as Netflix) using your mobile data, you’re essentially giving up 1GB of data per hour for a standard definition video. This goes up to 3GB per hour for HD streams. Downloading and streaming will use up a similar amount of data.

To compare, Stan uses 570MB per hour for a low-quality stream, 1.1GB for medium res and 3GB for a high-quality stream.

What about social media and video conferencing?

Unless you’re going through a social media cleanse, there’s no escaping the daily use of WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, YouTube and every other service that falls under this category. But what you use and how much of it varies so greatly that it’s best to go into your phone settings, select mobile data usage and see what your data allowance is going to each month. This applies to every app installed on your phone. For shits and giggles, compare it to how much you’re using on WiFi. There will be a world of difference in those numbers.

Follow the same process for video conferencing via Zoom or any of the other popular services. Your data usage will depend on various factors including whether it’s a 1:1 call, a group call, if you’re sharing your screen and so on. Zoom meetings, for instance, can take up somewhere between 810MB to 2.4GB per hour. However, you’ll rarely use your mobile data for these calls unless you’re on the move or your home WiFi is down.

Find the right phone plan for you

If you don’t want to commit to a contract, a no lock-in SIM-only plan is your go-to. Challenger telco Dodo is offering a range of plans and data allowance that may suit your needs.

Pay $20 per month and take advantage of 12GB of data instead of the 6GB that previously cost the same amount. Or, opt for the $30 plan which has now tripled to 36GB for the same price.

With these plans, you can also benefit from unlimited national calls within Australia, an unlimited number of domestic and international texts for free along with 100 or 200 calling minutes to a select group of 35 countries.

There’s no time limit on the offer so you can easily sign up for the plan online whenever you want and manage your account online through My Dodo, all in one place from the comfort of your home.

Log in to comment on this story!