If you have an internet plan with a limited amount of data, it’s important to understand what kind of activities use the most data. A lot of plans will cap bandwidth at 100GB. How much can you do with 100GB of internet in a month? And in 2023, is 100GB enough?
In this article, we will explore how much you can really do with just 100GB. Whether you typically just browse the internet, game online, or stream your favorite TV shows, you’ll learn how much data you use. We’ll also show you how you can check your data usage. Finally, we’ll offer a few tips on how you can maximize your data allowance.
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How long does 100GB of data last?
100GB is quite a bit of data, but it can go pretty fast when you spread out your usage over a month. How long your data lasts depends on a variety of factors. If you have a data cap of 100GB, it’s important to understand how much you typically use for various internet activities. What internet activities do you normally do during a day? Do you use Wifi a lot at home, school, or work? How much screen time do you get in a day?
Typical data usage rates
Below we will dive into the most common internet activities to see how much data is used on average. If any of these activities apply to you, take a mental tally and add them as you go. Figure out how much total you use in a day, and then multiply by 30.
If you come in under 100GB, that’s good news! If you are over your data limit, check out the tips near the end of the article that can help you maximize your limited data.
Note: Most of the data usage rates below are in megabytes (MB). 1 gigabyte (GB) = 1000MB. So 100GB would be 100,000MB.
Web browsing and email
Normal internet tasks, like browsing websites, emailing, chatting, etc. uses about 15MB per hour.
100GB of data would give you over 6,000 hours of web browsing.
Social media apps and websites typically feature pictures, gifs, and other media files. That uses up more data than regular web browsing.
Social media scrolling uses about 150MB per hour.
You could browse social media for 600 hours with 100GB of data.
Online music streaming uses an average of 72MB per hour.
Downloading one song uses 4MB.
With 100GB of data per month, you can stream music for 1,388 hours.
Movie and TV streaming
Video streaming is where your data usage really increases. Video files are much larger than images and music.
Standard definition (SD) streaming uses 700MB per hour. 100GB gives you 142 hours of SD streaming.
High definition (HD) streaming uses 2.5GB per hour. 100GB gives you 40 hours of HD streaming.
4K Ultra HD streaming uses about 6GB per hour. 100GB gives you 16 hours of 4K streaming.
Online gaming doesn’t use as much data as people usually guess. You can game online at 80MB per hour.
100GB of monthly data allotment would last 1,250 hours of online gaming.
Depending on video quality, video calls use an average of 800MB per hour.
That’s about 125 hours of video calling with 100GB of data.
How to check your data usage
If you want to know exactly how much data you use each month, you can check your devices to see how close you are to 100GB. It’s going to be different depending on which operating system and hardware you are using, but here are the general steps.
Go to Settings, and then Network and Internet. Then select Status, and Data Usage. You’ll see a breakdown of how much internet data you’ve used recently.
Go to Settings, and then Cellular Data. You can even see which apps are using data. Reset the counter if you want to start tracking for a day, week, or month. And then check back later to see how much you’ve used.
Most Wifi routers and modems for home internet have a data usage counter. Refer to your owners manual for steps on how to connect to the administration or statistics page. Once you’ve logged in, you will be able to see how much data your household has used each month.
Tips to use data efficiently
If you’ve added up your typical day, and found that you’ll probably go over your 100GB data cap, here are a few tips and tricks that you can try to use data more efficiently.
Turn on Wifi
If you have a cellular data plan, this tip applies to you. Try to use Wifi whenever possible. Log into the wireless network at home, school, and at work. Most public places have a free guest network you can use. If you do connect to public Wifi networks, we recommend a VPN. VPN’s encrypt your Wifi traffic so you can remain protected when in public areas. If you don’t already have a preferred VPN provider, we recommend Private Internet Access.
Turn off background applications
Go into your phone and computer settings to disable background apps that might be using data in the background, while you are not using them. Social media apps like Facebook are notorious for using a lot of background data. This tip will probably save you some battery as well.
Adjust video quality
If you stream a lot of video, or do video calls, try to lower the video streaming quality to SD instead of HD or 4K. SD uses a lot less data than HD. You can nearly cut your data usage rate in half by switching to a lower quality. Thanks to upscaling, most devices and services will present an SD video that looks just as good as HD, especially if you are using a smaller screen like on a phone.
Conclusion – Is 100GB of data enough?
With 100GB of data, you can stream movies and TV for 40 hours, stream music for 1,300 hours, and browse the web for over 6,000 hours. 100GB is enough for most people in 2023, but it depends on which internet activities you do the most on a daily basis. Video streaming uses the most data, while email and browsing social media uses a lot less data.
There are several tips to help save some data usage. Always use Wifi when possible. Turn off background apps that may be using data when you aren’t using the app. And make sure to turn down video quality settings when streaming videos and shows.
If you follow these tips, you can make 100GB of internet data last for a month easily!