Unlimited data plans are becoming popular by the day as most families prefer their internet to stay on always, just like running water and electricity. But with so many providers to choose from, you can find the right ISP to save as much as $20. But before you embark on a journey to find a cheaper ISP, you need to know how much data you actually need. The following guide will help you work out how much data you’re using now and how you can cut that back. This information will help you compare different ISP plans with confidence.

How much data are you using?

The easiest way to find this out is by checking your old internet bills that include your monthly usage. Do not worry if you don’t have paper copies, just log-in on the user portal on your ISP’s website.

How much data can you save?

Do you find yourself going over the limit of your monthly data usage? Use the following tips and you won’t have to ban Netflix in your home:

Set Facebook videos to never autoplay

An average Facebook user uses about 2.5GB but this data can grow if you watch lots of Facebook videos. To avoid this head to Facebook Settings, Videos, and Photos and select Never auto-play.

Check the video quality on streaming sites

Netflix has three video streaming qualities while Stan has four video settings. Data usage is different as per the selected video quality i.e. low, medium, high-quality and auto.

Many streaming services use the auto option and this means that you’re streaming using the highest video quality settings on your current internet connection and device.

Choose the different video quality options and if you are satisfied with the lower options, you will end up saving about 2GB per hour.

Download movies in SD instead of HD

A HD movie file is about 4GB while an SD movie file is about 1.5BGB. If you are using a smaller screen to watch your movies, you will not see much difference between SD and HD.

What happens when you exceed your data limits?

Many ISPs will simply throttle your browsing speeds once you exceed your data limit. This means that you will get slower speeds until the end of your monthly billing cycle. Your speeds will be back to normal at the start of the following month.

With the throttled speed, you will only be able to browse some websites and check email – downloading is not possible will dial-up connection speeds.

  • For web browsing, you will need around 7GB per month.
  • If you are an average Facebook user (20 hours per month), you will need about 2.5GB of data per month. This goes for any other average Facebook user in your household. Setting Facebook videos to “never auto-play” will save you a lot of data.
  • With Netflix, low video streaming uses about 300MB per hour, medium 700MB, HD is 3GB while 4K uses 7GB. Watching an entire season of your favorite episode on auto setting (high), you will use close to 39GB.
  • Renting TV shows and Movies on Google Play and iTunes can result in different data usage depending on the quality that you’re watching. An SD film on iTunes uses about 1.5GB while a 1080p uses 4GB. Longer movies like the Lord of the Rings extended editions uses more data; SD 3.6GB, 720p 7.5GB and 8.2 for 1080p. Data usage is more or less the same on Google Play Store.
  • On YouTube, you will use 1.6MB per minute for low-quality videos but 1080p equates to 12MB per minute. The higher settings that include 1440p and 2160p (4K) uses more data.
  • Music streaming services don’t use a lot of data. For example, Apple Music uses 155MB per hour for 256kbps, Spotify is 72MB per hour for 160kbps; Tidal is 640MB per hour while Google Play Music streams audio files at 320kbps.
  • How much data do you need for gaming? Today’s games require as much as 60GB per game download and this does not take into account the game extensions and updates. If you’re playing online, you will need around 50MB per hour but other games will demand extra data.
  • For Skype video calling, you will need 25MB per hour, this means that you will have to make 50 video calls to get to 1GB in a month. Voice calls use even fewer data.

This information will definitely help you understand your data usage to avoid going above your data cap. But on GTA Telecom, you don’t have to calculate how much data you’ve used because our internet is unlimited. Call us today for more information.

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