If you are using a mobile hotspot, whether it’s your phone or a dedicated hotspot device, it is important to understand how long that data will last. 15GB of data can last anywhere from a couple of days to a month, depending on what you are doing on the internet. In general, streaming TV shows and movies will use a lot more data than browsing the web or sending emails.
In this article, I will explain how much data is used for common internet activities. Using these estimates, you’ll be able to see how long 15GB of mobile hotspot data will last you. I will also give you some tips on reducing your data usage so you can make your data last longer. Finally, I’ll show you how to check your data usage so you can stay on top of your 15GB monthly limit.
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How much is 15GB of hotspot data, really?
15GB is a lot of data, but if you are doing things like streaming video, it can be used up in a matter of days. In 2023, 15GB is still a significant amount of data. But with the popularity of online streaming, it’s not as much as it was just 10 or 15 years ago. If you are just browsing the web or sending emails, 15GB is enough for a month or more. When you start downloading rich media like pictures, videos, and music, it’s a different story.
In the next section, I will go over some popular internet activities, and show you how much data they use on average. This will help you estimate your own data usage, and help you decide whether or not 15GB of mobile hotspot data is enough.
Average data usage by activity
Check out each of the common internet activities below, and make note of the average data usage per hour. Multiply the data usage by the estimated number of hours you perform this activity each day. Do this for each activity, and then add up your total at the end. Then multiply by 30 for your estimated monthly usage.
If you are at or under 15GB, 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.
Most of the data usage rates below are in MB. 1 gigabyte (GB) is 1000MB. So 15GB would be 15,000MB.
Normal internet tasks, like browsing websites, emailing, messaging, etc. uses about 15MB per hour.
15GB of data would give you 1,000 hours of web browsing.
Streaming movies and TV shows
Streaming movies and TV is where your data usage really increases, because video files are much larger than images and music.
Standard definition (SD) streaming uses 700MB per hour. 15GB gives you 21 hours of SD streaming.
High definition (HD) streaming uses 2.5GB per hour. 15GB gives you just 6 hours of HD streaming.
4K Ultra HD streaming uses about 6GB per hour. 15GB gives you less than 3 hours of 4K streaming.
Depending on video quality selected, video calls use an average of 800MB per hour.
That’s about 18 hours of video calling with 15GB of data.
Online gaming doesn’t actually use as much data as people assume. You can game online at 80MB per hour.
15GB of monthly data allotment would last 187 hours of online gaming.
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 15GB. 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 dedicated mobile hotspots 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.
You can also check your data usage by visiting your mobile carrier account page. You should be able to see data usage for your mobile line or dedicated hotspot line.
Tips to use data efficiently
If you’ve estimated that you will use over 15GB of hotspot data each month, you can try some of the tips below to use data more efficiently.
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.
Is 15GB of data enough in 2023?
15GB will last the average internet user several weeks, depending on which internet activities you are doing. If you are streaming video or music, expect 15GB to run out much quicker. Browsing social media and online gaming uses less data than streaming, but you’ll still need to pay attention to your usage to stay under 15GB.
Overall, 15GB in 2023 is a lot of data, but not for streaming. If you plan to stream a lot, you’ll need to upgrade your hotspot plan, use Wifi, or turn down your streaming settings to get more usage from the limited amount of data.