Below are some facts about what numbers we used to calculate how much mobile data you will use.
How This Tool Estimates Your Mobile Data Usage
The examples in the tool above provide a general guideline for data usage in each activity. A developer at Best Cellular created this tool to help you calculate how much mobile data you actually use each month. Simply go through each category and choose the amount of data to get an estimate of your mobile data usage needs.
For this tool, we used the example of 1 email (with no attachments) using approximately 20KB of data. When you send 1 email (with standard attachments) you will use approximately 300KB of data. This estimate represents 50% of emails with no attachments and 50% of emails with attachments. If you’re sending emails with large images or larger attachments, you could use a lot more data.
The average web page reached 3MB in size as of 2017. Web browsing at an average rate uses about 75MB of data per hour. Note that this does not include video streaming or audio streaming. Many newer websites include video, audio, or other animated content which increases the size of each page.
This calculation uses an average image size of 5.0MB. Video, audio, and high-definition images will consume more mobile data. Social media apps such as SnapChat or Instagram consume data at a much faster rate. SnapChat uses many gigabytes of data every month by itself. In fact, some Snapchat users report 75% of their cellular data consumed by SnapChat alone. (A recent BuzzFeed article shows screenshots where SnapChat used up over 13GB of data in a single month!) Another problem with these apps is that they burn up a lot of data without you noticing. They download friends’ stories in the background, plus Live Stories and Discover content, which quickly drains your data.
Music streaming apps such as Spotify, Beats Music, & Google Play Music use up to 320kbps. This translates to 2.40MB per minute of audio or 115.2MB per hour. If you were to stream music for an eight hour work day, you’d burn through nearly 1.00GB of your mobile data. Streaming music over mobile data is not recommended. We suggest apps like YouTube Red which allow you to download music via WiFi.
Standard-definition video streaming – 1 minute of streaming standard-definition video uses 11.7MB. This equates to 700MB per hour.
1 minute of streaming 4K video uses 97.5MB. This equates to 5,850MB per hour!
1 minute of playing an average online game uses 200KB. This equates to 12MB per hour. | *Connecting to WiFi before online gaming is recommended.
Apps and Games downloads can be anywhere from 1MB to 3.5GB (including the game download and extra files). We highly recommend using a WiFi connection to download or update games and apps. Keep in mind that many games on the Play Store or App Store only list the main application file size, but will require game file updates or downloads after installation.
The size of updates will vary depending on the device and supported OS. On the low end, iOS and Android devices need regular security updates around 250MB. For actual OS updates, downloads could be as large as 3GB on either platform. Best Cellular recommends a steady WiFi connection anytime you are updating your device. You want to ensure that there is no interruption during these important downloads. A mobile data connection can vary due to coverage fluctuations, which leads to corrupted files during large system and security downloads or updates.
DISCLAIMER: We designed our Mobile Data Calculator to give users an estimated monthly total of bandwidth usage. These values are examples based on average customers nationwide. Actual amounts of data transfer through an included activity can vary significantly.