How much data do you really use?

Many of the things you do on your phone – like surfing the internet, streaming music and using GPS – use data.

Some use a little, some a lot. Here’s a rough guide to help you estimate your own data usage.

Data can be confusing to understand, so here’s a quick 101 on gigabytes and megabytes and what they mean for you.

In the same way that a weight of an object is measured in grams, data is measured in bytes. Today, data is commonly measured in kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB). As a guide, there are:

  • 1,024 bytes in 1 kilobyte
  • 1,024 kilobytes in 1 megabyte
  • 1,024 megabytes in 1 gigabyte


Tips to limit mobile phone & mobile broadband usage

  • Turn off or limit automatic notifications (eg. Facebook alerts)
  • Limit or stop videos from automatically playing (autoplay) within websites/apps (e.g. Videos in your Facebook news feed)
  • Turn off or limit location services (eg. mapping services where data is used for GPS / social media). Particularly for apps that don't really need your location to function.
  • Set automatic software updates to download only over Wi-Fi (where available)
  • Turn 'Push' email off (Push email is when your device automatically retrieves emails as they arrive). Switching to 'Pull' / 'Fetch' retrieves emails, when you manually refresh your mail or at a set time frequency (eg. Hourly) etc.
  • Use secure Wi-Fi networks (where available)
  • Limit or set apps, media, photos, podcasts, etc. to download, sync or back up via Wi-Fi only
  • Use tablet / mobile versions of websites (where available)
  • Switch off multi-tasking and / or background apps that are no longer in use
  • Close unused browser windows / tabs
  • Keep your device's operating system up to date
  • Delete apps you don't use (to avoid unnecessary updates)
  • Secure your device with a password

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