Finding a Phone Plan: How Much Data Do You Need?

Nowadays, a lot of us use our smartphones for just about everything. From getting work done to settling down for some entertainment, all you need is your trusty smartphone and an internet connection.

Well, almost: You’re also going to need the right data plan. If you’re on the lookout for a new phone plan and stuck wondering “How much data do I need?” then you’ve come to the right place. Sort out the answer with the help of these tips from Trademore.

Start with what you know: Ask “How much data do I use?"

Any attempt to find the right data plan for you should start with understanding how much data you currently use. Check your usage stats by navigating through your phone’s settings to right place:

  • Android users: Choose Settings > Data Usage
  • iPhone users: Choose Settings > Cellular

Here, you should be able to get an understanding of how much data you use over a given time frame. Additionally, most phones’ menus will give you some insight into how much data is used by each individual app. And this is where you’ll want to do some further digging. Rather than just take your top-line, monthly data usage numbers for granted, see if there are any problematic apps churning through data in the background. For reference, here’s a look at how much data common smartphone activities might typically use up:

  • Sending one email: 3KB-350KB
  • Opening one webpage: 150KB-1.5MB
  • Steaming one minute of audio: 500KB (low quality)-2.5MB (high quality)
  • Streaming one hour of video: 300MB (low quality)-3GB (HD quality)

With these figures in mind, give each of your top data-using apps a look and see if there are opportunities to cut down on your monthly usage. For instance, is there any media—songs, podcasts, or movies, for instance—that you can download while on Wi-Fi rather than streaming while you’re on the move?

Once you have a good idea of what your own average monthly data usage amounts to and know the places you might be able to find some data savings, repeat this exercise with anybody who will be joining you on your data plan.

How much data do you need: Picking the right plan

Armed with the knowledge of about how much data you (and any family members) use each month, research available data plans. Match your monthly usage to the right plan at the right price. Since data plans are typically offered in tiered options, with smaller data allowances costing less money, you’ll likely find a tier to match your usage. Keep in mind, however, that you may want to select a plan that gives you a little bit of headroom to go over your average without incurring additional fees or experiencing lower speeds.

Once you’ve enrolled in your new plan, carry on enjoying all that your smartphone has to offer. For more tech updates and tips to help you make the most of your devices, stay tuned to the Trademore blog.

Trademore has no connections, affiliations, partnerships or sponsorship agreements with the companies, entities, services and/or products mentioned in this blog post. The opinions, thoughts, views and expressions made within this blog post are independently created by and attributable to Trademore authors and/or contributors.