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How To Make a Data Allowance Last Longer

If you do not have unlimited data on your mobile phone plan, it can be annoying to have to always think about how much data you are using to make sure that you don’t go over and get charged extra. The good news is that there are several things that you can do to make your data last longer that don’t take a lot of effort. Before you figure out what you can do to make your data stretch further, it’s a good idea to figure out how long the data allowance you have is likely to last you. How long you can make your data stretch for will depend on what you are using it for. For example, 5GB of data could easily last you the entire month if you are mainly connected to Wi-Fi at home and only use your mobile data for browsing or sending WhatsApp messages, while it could be gone in a day or two if you use it to stream videos.



How Long Will 1MB of Data Last?


1MB of data will usually last a second or two. There’s 1000MB of data in 1TB, which is used up in around an hour when you stream Netflix shows as an example.



How Long Will 500MB of Data Last?


500MB is a fairly modest data allowance and not recommended unless you plan to rarely ever use your mobile data. With 500MB of data, you can send around five hundred emails and browse the internet for around ten hours. Your entire data allowance will only last around half an hour if you’re streaming TV shows or movies.



How Long Does 1GB of Data Last?


1GB of data is enough to send or receive around a thousand emails. If you have a monthly allowance of 1GB, you can use this to browse the internet for around twenty hours, or for one hour of online video streaming.



How Long Does 2GB of Data Last?


2GB of data will be enough for you to browse the internet for around twenty-four hours. You can use it to watch around four hours of online video in standard definition or stream around four hundred songs on Spotify.


How Long Does 3GB of Data Last?


3GB is just under the average amount of data that mobile users use per month, but it’s still a fairly small amount. This data allowance will allow you to browse the internet for around fifty hours. You can use it for three hours of streaming on Netflix in standard definition, browse social media for around thirty hours, or listen to music for around 220 hours.


How Long Does 4GB of Data Last?


4GB of data is the average amount that people use a month, taking into account that most of the time they are at home they will be connected to Wi-Fi. This data allowance will allow you to watch standard definition videos online on services like Netflix or YouTube for around eight hours, browse the internet for around forty-eight hours, or listen to eight hundred songs on a streaming service like Spotify.



How Long Does 5GB of Data Last?


5GB of data is just above average – not too much, but not too little either. However, a 5GB plan would still be considered a smaller plan by today’s standards. With 5GB of data, you could browse the internet for around eighty hours, browse social media for around 55 hours, or listen to Spotify music for around 460 hours.



How Long does 30GB of Data Last?


30GB is a good data allowance to go for if you want a larger plan where you do not need to worry too much about going over your data allowance. 30GB should be enough to last most users the entire month and is well above the average. You can use it for around five hundred hours of internet browsing, over 2,700 hours of listening to music on Spotify, streaming Netflix in standard definition for around thirty hours, or browsing social media for around three hundred and thirty hours.



How Long Will 100GB of Data Last?


100GB is on the larger end of the scale, second only to unlimited data plans when it comes to what’s available. If you rely a lot on your mobile data connection rather than Wi-Fi or want to use your phone as a hotspot for other devices, this might be a good allowance to go for. You will be able to watch around 100 hours of online video in standard definition, spend over 1,100 hours browsing social media, browse the internet for over 1600 hours, or spend more than nine thousand hours listening to Spotify music.



How to Reduce Your Mobile Data Use


While larger or unlimited plan holders may not need to worry so much about going over their data allowance before the month is up, if you have an average or smaller data plan, then this might be something that worries you. The last thing that you want is to have no data to use when you are outside of the house or worse, have a huge bill as you’re paying per MB once you have used up your allowance. The good news is that there are several simple and effective steps that you may want to consider taking in order to get the most from your data allowance and make sure that you do not go over. Some good options include:



Switch Mobile Data Off


If you want to save as much mobile data as you can, switch off your mobile data and only turn it on when you really need it. This will help you keep your data use to a minimum if you are reaching the end of your allowance or have already used up your data allowance for the month and want to keep the additional cost to a minimum. If you have Wi-Fi at home or work, then you will still be able to connect your phone to the internet using the Wi-Fi network for free.



Disable Background App Refresh


Background app refresh is a feature that is automatically turned on for many apps such as social media and email apps, which continue to use data even when you are not actively using them. The function is designed to make sure that these apps are continuously updated so that you can immediately see the latest news as soon as you log into them. However, while this might be a handy function for usability, it can also use up a lot of your data, which you might want to avoid if you are not connected to Wi-Fi or have a small data allowance. You can easily go into the settings on your phone and turn off this feature completely or change the settings to only run background app refresh when the phone is connected to Wi-Fi to save data.



Disable AutoPlay Videos


Many online advertisers and companies today decide to make social media videos play automatically so that users are more interested in watching them when they are scrolling through social media. However, if you are not connected to Wi-Fi, having videos start playing automatically when you’re browsing Instagram or Facebook can seriously drain your data, which is even worse if you’re not even interested in the video content being played. Go to the settings of your social media apps to make sure that autoplay videos are switched off when your phone is not connected to Wi-Fi.



What Uses Data?


When it comes to determining how to save data or how much data you want to go for when getting your next phone plan, what you use your phone for on a regular basis is one of the main things to consider. For example, if you play a lot of online games or stream online videos regularly, then you might need more data compared to somebody who only browses the internet or scrolls through social media. Some of the main ways your phone uses data include:



Social Media and Web Browsing


These activities do not use up a lot of your allowance, with the average web page using around 1MB. Social media apps use a little more; you will use around 2MB per minute when scrolling through the Facebook app.



Streaming Music


If you use services like Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Music to stream music from your phone when you are not connected to Wi-Fi, this can use between 10-150MB of data each hour depending on how many songs you listen to and the music quality setting.



Messaging


Data-based messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are becoming more and more popular these days. If you use these as your main messaging platforms daily, you could use up to 150MB of data every day if you are not using Wi-Fi, and even more if you send voice notes and media.



Video Streaming


Streaming video is one of the most data-heavy activities you can do on your phone. How much data you will use depends on the streaming service and the video quality. If you are using Netflix and want to use less data, choose the ‘save data’ option, which offers lower quality, but uses 1GB per six hours.

No matter your data allowance, it’s always good to know how far it can stretch and how to make it last longer.



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