How much data do you need?

Have you ever asked yourself, 'how much data do I need?' And do you know how much data you'll use watching TV, movies, YouTube or music? What about general web browsing and emailing? Find out in our useful guide.

Data usage: The basics explained

Internet usage refers to all of the traffic or data that travels through a customer's router/modem. In other words, everything you do in the web consumes a certain amount of data, which will be taken from your monthly data cap, unless you have an unlimited broadband plan.

While some things like watching YouTube videos and streaming movies can consume your monthly limit of data in just a few hours, there are others, such as general web browsing and emailing, only consume tiny amount of data.

If you do heaps of downloading or stream tonnes of films, TV shows and video online - or you have other people who all use the internet a lot, you may find that a broadband internet plan with a data cap is not enough.

Unlimited broadband plans have no monthly data cap and let you use all the data you want and are usually the best option for not only heavy users but also multi-user households.

Should you get unlimited broadband?

If you are trying to find a cheap option so you can save a few dollars off your monthly bill or looking for a suitable broadband plan, consider how much data you expect to use a month and choose a package that matches your needs.

An unlimited plan does not set a cap on how much data you can download so you may wish to consider an unlimited internet plan.  For example, if you watch large number of movies, regularly download films, play online games, and listen to online radio throughout the day.

Contrariwise, if you do just use the internet for general browsing and emailing and you don’t really use streaming services at all, then a broadband plan with capped usage may be a better choice, as these are often cheaper than unlimited options and you don’t need that much data.

Whichever you feel is most suitable for you; do not forget to compare providers on our website to ensure you get the best plan for your particular requirements, and for the best price.

Data usage calculation.

The easiest way to find out how much data you need is to look at old internet bills or check it with your provider. If you do not have these handy or cannot contact them, then below we have some examples of the stuff people be likely to to do online, and how much data it takes to do it.


Approx data usage:

Watching Netflix in 4K / UHD


Watching Netflix in HD


Watching Netflix in SD


Downloading movies


Video conferencing (Skype, Hangouts etc)


Streaming audio

0.1 Gb/hr

Online gaming

0.1 Gb/hr

Facebooks Browsing

0.15 Gb/hr

YouTube Usage (720p)

0.5 Gb/hr

Which providers offer unlimited broadband?

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