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It happens to all of us! We buy the latest IPhone or Android and hire the best mobile plan, so we can make the best of our new mobile devices; spending a fortune on mobile contracts that often offer more than what we truly use. So, how can we know what plan or how much data do we need to match our use? With these helpful guidelines, we hope to make it clearer to you.

As obvious as it may sound, the amount of data we need depends on what each of us does on line. Whether it is on our phones or tablets, the amount of data used on our devices to scroll on social media will be vastly different that the one needed to stream HD movies. So, that’s the first step, to ask ourselves what do we need the data for.

Here are some examples of the amount of data used per hour in different activities:

Music streaming (average quality, 160Kbps): 1.2MB per minute, 72MB per hour

Music streaming/downloading (320Kbps): 2.4MB per minute, 144MB per hour

Netflix video, HD: 1GB to 2.8GB per hour

Photo uploading: 5MB per photo

Online gaming: 5MB per hour

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If you have trouble understanding what those numbers mean, let’s imagine that every day you see a movie while getting ready for work, (50MB), then you scroll your Facebook News Feed while travelling on the subway, (2MB), then at lunch you upload a picture on Instagram of you and your dog hiking, (5MB), and at night listen to a new playlist on your Spotify while working out, (20MB). All that data summed up gives a total of 77 MB in one day; which would mean that in a month you would need 2000MB (2 GB) approximately. But, to have an idea on how different the consumption can be, if you don’t stream anything but are enthusiastic on social media, send or receive 12 emails and use about 12 apps every day, you’ll use an average of 510MB per month. On the contrary, if you listen to 4 songs in streaming plus watch 12 minutes of streaming video the use would surpass the 2GB.

As you can see, there are different parameters to measure how much data we use and therefore to know what plan to hire.  However, whether you are a social media addict, or a youtuber, always remember you can minimize these numbers, by making little changes like downloading your music for offline listening, or make the best of Wi-Fi zones to upgrade your apps, upload pictures or download games. Either way, these facts may help you get a better idea of how much data you need for your monthly use, and with that in mind, you can find the best suited mobile plan and stop overpaying for unused data.