Managing your monthly mobile data usage can be tricky. Amid so many online activities to indulge in, such as streaming, browsing, social media surfing, and FaceTiming, it’s hard to keep a track of how many Mbps you have consumed.
So, what’s your routine here? In the first couple of weeks, you indulge in all sorts of online activities eating your data allowance generously. And all of a sudden, you are notified that you are already consumed around 70%-80% of your data and you only have 20% left for the rest of the month.
If you don’t want your videos to buffer and webpages to load slowly, you will have to plan your data usage right from the beginning of the month. Therefore, you need to understand how mobile data works, and only then, you will be able to manage your day-to-day data usage effectively.
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What is Mobile Data Usage and Allowance?
You don’t have access to a reliable Wi-Fi connection all the time. Especially if you step out of the house often, you will need a reliable carrier and a data plan to stay connected. And how you use that data allowance is referred to as mobile data usage.
Typically, mobile data usage measures in GB (gigabytes). According to the general rule of thumb, the more data you have in your monthly plan, the longer will be your browsing sessions and online activities. Data plans are hot commodities. Which is why cellular providers put price tags on various data allotments.
Moreover, usually, these price tags are quite escalated.
For Mobile Data Usage, Is an Unlimited Data Plan Worth It?
All those internet users who indulge in a lot of internet activity away from home, unlimited data plans are the best deal. Don’t miss the tricky part though. Plans advertised as ‘unlimited’ are not really unlimited.
Many popular and renowned providers advertise unlimited data plans in fine print along with several other lower-tier plans. The data limit seems generous in GBs to use your internet for entertainment. However, once you hit the limit, the speeds will be throttled just like your Wi-Fi plan. Hence, not unlimited in the true sense of the word! However, you can take advantage of the monitoring feature of your data plan to keep checking how much data you have consumed throughout the month. This helps in managing the usage and make it last for the entire month.
In addition, don’t enable usage of mobile data in the background for apps to update themselves and so on. This is perhaps the biggest data-draining concern you can avoid. Always turn your mobile data off when not in use. All it takes is a tap!
How Much Data Do You Need?
The answer to this question is strictly based on your usage and the type of online activities you like to indulge in. For instance, if you have mobile hotspot data usage in addition to your own internet activities, then you will need tons of data. Because you are keeping your pals or other devices connected too with the hotspot feature.
Online activities like gaming and audio-video streaming are data-drainers and can eat up your Mbps quickly. Here is an enlightening table for some quick and convenient info.
|Online Activity||Data Consumed|
|Video streaming in SD||0.7 GB an hour.|
|Video streaming in HD||2.5 GB an hour.|
|Video streaming in 4K||5.85 GB an hour.|
|Audio streaming||72 MB an hour.|
|Sending an email without an attachment||20 KB.|
|Sending an email with standard attachment||300 KB.|
|Uploading an image to a social media site||5 MB.|
|Visiting one web page||1 MB.|
|Online gaming||12 MB an hour.|
The aforementioned table gives you a clear picture of where your data is being consumed. We would suggest sticking to the basic and essential online activities whilst relying on your data plan. Keep the other data vampire online activities for times when you have access to your Wi-Fi connection.
Moreover, don’t share your mobile hotspot too often. You don’t know which online activity your buddy is going to indulge in. And you don’t want all your conscious planning to save your Mbps go to waste!
Some Popular Providers and Their Offerings
We all were expecting 5G in 2020 to revolutionize the way we use our data plans. Turns out we will have to wait more as it is only launched in a few areas. However, most of the popular providers have introduced their 5G plans.
To experience those blazing speeds, you will have to go for the highest data plan offered. Here is what some of the popular providers offer:
Want to go for AT&T’s 5G? You get to choose from two different plans:
- Unlimited Extra for a monthly fee of $85 with 50GB premium data.
- Unlimited Elite for a monthly fee of $95 with 100GB premium data.
You get to choose from 3 different 5G plans:
- The Play More Unlimited plan with 25 GB premium data at $90 a month.
- Do More Unlimited plan with 50 GB data at $90 a month.
- Get More Unlimited plan with 75 GB premium data at $100 a month.
Optimum offers an unlimited GB plan along with 1 GB and 3 GB tiers for $30, $12, and $20 a month respectively.
Spectrum also offers 5G plans with hyper-fast speeds. You can subscribe to an unlimited data plan for $45 a month without any additional fee for the mobile hotspot. And for the by the gig data plan, you will be charged a monthly price of $14 per GB.
Explore your options!
– How to track mobile data usage in Android?
Go to the Settings menu and tap data usage. Choose the dates in the data usage cycle and change it to the starting date of your monthly data plan. Check the box that says “Set Mobile Data Limit.” You can set the meter to match your data plan.
– How is mobile data usage measured?
Mobile data usage is measured in MBs (Megabytes) and GBs (Gigabytes). All online activities involve either uploading or downloading for which mobile data is consumed.
– How to check mobile hotspot data usage?
There are apps like Datally to monitor hotspot data usage.