How Much Mobile Data Do You Need?

If you’re like most smartphone users, you probably don’t think about how much mobile data you use until your phone bill arrives. And if you’re on a limited internet traffic plan, that can be a shock! 

So how much mobile data do you need each month? Read on to find out.

How much mobile data do I need?

Statistics about the average mobile data usage per month in Australia show that 15% of Aussies exceed their mobile traffic limit regularly. If you happen to be one of them, don’t worry – there are ways to prevent this from happening in the future by taking some precautions.

The amount of data you need each month for personal use can vary depending on the device and service you use and can be anywhere between 1GB and 50GB. For example, TikTok could cost you 1GB of cellular data per 1 hour of video.

Some things to consider are:

  • The type and frequency with which you use your internet connection;
  • Whether or not it’s Wi-Fi enabled at home;
  • What apps are being used most often.

What Apps Use the Most Data?

The data used by various apps can be tracked and recorded, but not all apps use the same amount of data. Some apps will record your location while others may keep track only of the data you use inside the application; some videos or photos might take up 100 MB each whereas other files like songs could weigh in at just 1MB each!

How much data does Snapchat use per hour? What about Instagram and other apps? Let’s see:

Web Browsing60 MB
FaceTime85 MB
Facebook80-160 MB
Snapchat160 MB
Instagram720 MB
Youtube300 MB
NetflixUp to 1 GB
Music Streaming43-155 MB
Podcasts60 MB

How Much Phone Data Do I Have?

This mostly depends on your plan. Monitoring your data usage can be a daunting task. Thankfully, some great third-party apps can help keep you in check:

  • Data Saver is a free service that will automatically compress images before they’re sent over cellular networks which means less buffering.
For iPhoneFor Android
My Data ManagerTraffic Monitor
DataManData Usage Monitor

Tips for Reducing Your Mobile Data Usage

Because of data caps, it’s important to be mindful of how much mobile traffic you’re using each month. 59% of Aussies watch video content on their smartphones. Streaming music and videos can use up a lot of your monthly data allowance, especially if you’re not careful. 

Follow these tips to reduce your data usage:

  • Adjust the settings on your phone–you can reduce the quality of your videos or photos or limit your internet traffic usage to certain apps.
  • Be proactive about using Wi-Fi–if you are at home or at work, connect to the Wi-Fi network instead of using your mobile data. You can also use public Wi-Fi networks when available.
  • Disable automatic downloads for apps, music, and other files–You can survive without updates when you’re on the go or set automatic updates only when connected to Wi-Fi.
  • Restrict background data usage for specific apps–adjust your settings so that only certain apps are able to access the Internet.

Rules for Choosing a Mobile Plan That Fits Your Needs

Okay, so you decided to research the market and switch to a plan that’s both affordable and provides sufficient mobile data. These are the questions you should ask yourself:

What features are important to you?

  • Data allowance–Most plans these days offer at least 1GB for internet traffic. But if you’re a heavy user, you’ll want to look for something with 5GB or more.
  • Speed–5G mobile broadband connection is the fastest option available, but if you’re not planning on using mobile traffic for high-speed activities like streaming videos, 3G will suffice.
  • Contract length–Most postpaid plans require two-year contracts. Think twice before signing, because terminating the contract can be complicated.

How much are you willing to spend each month?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as everyone’s mobile traffic needs are different. However, a good rule of thumb is to set aside $10-$20 per month for 1GB of internet traffic.

If you’re a heavy user, you may want to spend around $30-40 per month. Of course, if you only use your phone for basic tasks and don’t stream videos or music, you can probably manage with a less expensive plan.

How to choose the right carrier?

Australian mobile carriers offer a range of plans with different mobile data allowances. It can be tricky to work out which one offers the best deal, but here’s a brief overview of what’s available:

  • Telstra offers prepaid and postpaid plans, with a variety of data allowances to choose from. Some family and entertainment plans also include unlimited calls and texts.
  • Optus, same as Telstra, offers both prepaid and postpaid plans, and you can choose from various data allowances. There are also plans which include some bonuses, like movie tickets and data-free sports streaming.
  • Virgin Mobile offers prepaid plans only, with different data allowances.

Pro tip: Generally speaking, if you plan on using a lot of data each month, it’s worth looking for a plan that includes unlimited or high mobile data allowances. 

You might be interested in a detailed comparison of the Top Internet Providers in Australiа.

Prepaid or postpaid plan – which one is right for you?

Prepaid mobile traffic plans are a great option if you want to pay for what you use and budget your internet traffic usage. They’re also a good choice if you don’t want to be tied into a contract.

Postpaid plans can be a good option if you need more than what a prepaid plan offers, or if you want the convenience of having your mobile data bill rolled into your overall phone bill.

The benefits of using a family plan

If you have a family, it can be cheaper to buy a family mobile data plan instead of each person having their own individual internet traffic plan. With a family plan, you share a certain amount of data between all the people on the plan.

By using a family mobile data plan, you can each pay for what you use and avoid additional charges. You’ll also have access to a larger pool of mobile traffic, which means you can stay connected even when you’re on the go.

Before We Hang Up…

So, how much mobile data do you need exactly? Well, it all depends on your needs and budget. It’s up to you to choose the right carrier that will offer you plenty of mobile data at a cost-effective price.


1. How much data does the average person use per month?

Most people use about 2GB of mobile traffic per month. That number can vary greatly depending on the person’s internet usage habits. Someone who watches a lot of streaming video, for example, would use more data than someone who only uses the internet for basic activities like checking email.

2. How to check Vodafone data usage?

You can dial *111# and select ‘Balance/Services’ if you’re a prepaid customer. Your data usage will be listed under the ‘Data Usage’ heading. If you’re a postpaid customer, you can log into the My Vodafone app and click on the ‘Usage‘ tab.

You can also visit the Vodafone website and log into your account to check your usage. Click on the ‘My Plan & Usage’ tab and then select ‘View my usage’.

3. How much mobile data does music streaming use?

That depends on the type of music streaming service you’re using. For example, if you’re using a service like Spotify or Apple Music, they will stream at a maximum of 320kbps. That’s going to use up about 1MB of mobile traffic per minute. So if you streamed an hour-long podcast, it would use up about 60MB of data.

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