Thursday, February 17th, 2022 by Jo Borger
There was a time – not too long ago – when the most important feature on a phone plan was how many texts you could send each month. These days, it’s all about mobile data – but how much data do you really need?
It’s a simple question that could help you avoid excess monthly charges or – on the other end of the spectrum – stop you from paying for too much data that you’ll never use.
Three steps to finding out how much data you need
The perfect amount of data differs person to person, depending on how you use your phone. If you like to stream movies on-the-go, you’ll need more data than someone who might only use their phone’s internet connection to check their news app. Here’s how to calculate how many gigabytes you personally need for a month.
Step 1: Check how much data you currently use
You can see how much data you are getting through each month in your phone’s ‘settings’ app. There’ll be a section called ‘Data Usage’ – or something similar – which will tell you how much data each app on your phone uses up.
If you’re having trouble finding your data usage, we suggest Googling ‘How to find data usage on [your model of phone]’, which should provide step-by-step instructions.
Step 2: Tally up your monthly data usage.
Add up how much each data each app on your phone uses per month. I’ll use my own mobile as an example (just don’t judge me for the amount of time spent on Instagram…)
Total monthly data usage: 12GB
Step 3: Choose the best plan for you
Using the total monthly data usage figure you calculated, choose the right plan for your needs. The general rule of thumb is that it’s best to round up if you are in the middle of two brackets to ensure you’re never without data when you need it.
You can see from my example above that I’m not a huge data user. It’s probably because I connect to WiFi most of the time and only really use data when I am out-and-about. There’s no right-or-wrong way to use data – there’s just your way.
For me, it looks like a 16GB plan is perfect – covering the average amount of data I use per month (12GB), plus a few extra GBs for safety. You can read more about our different phone plans, and their data inclusions, here.