Get to grips with mobile data and make your allowance go further

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We use smartphones for so many things, from watching TV and playing games, to checking emails and sharing photos. But whenever we go online without connecting to Wi-Fi we use mobile data, so it's important to know how much we use and how to make it work harder.


So how much data might I use every day?

Data allowances commonly range from around 250MB to 2GB (2000MB), but you can get through it quickly if you use your smartphone a lot. If you connect to Wi-Fi whenever you can, you'll cut down the costs. Here's how much data you could use on average in your day-to-day life.


I'm mostly a talker and texter

- Sending messages for 1 hour = 2MB
- Receiving 1 picture message = 4MB
- Downloading 10 emails = 1MB
- Searching on Google for 10 minutes = 5MB

That's 12MB of data allowance every day.


I'm a busy working parent

- Making video calls for 5 minutes = 20MB
- Streaming kids' TV for 10 minutes = 30MB
- Using Google Maps for 5 minutes = 5MB
- Browsing the web for 1 hour = 25MB

That's 80MB of data allowance every day.


I'm an online gamer

- Streaming music for 20 minutes = 20MB
- Online gaming for 1 hour = 45MB
- Browsing Facebook for 1 hour = 20MB
- Streaming videos for 15 minutes = 45MB

That's 130MB of data allowance every day.

6 ways to make your data allowance go further

1. Some apps work in the background and use a lot of data. Make sure you close any apps you aren't using, or delete them if you never use them.

2. Updates to apps and your operating system use data too, so set these to download only when you have a Wi-Fi connection.

3. Set up an alert on your smartphone to remind you when you are near your limit. So if your allowance is 100MB a month, set one up at 80MB. You can also check your data balance online in My Account, where you can view what you've used.

4. When you are at home, make sure your router is turned on and connect to the Wi-Fi network with your smartphone.

5. Only turn mobile data on when you're actually using it.

6. If you need extra data, add a flexible Mobile Boost of 150MB or 500MB a month at a time with no long-term commitments.

If you need any more information or help with your mobile data allowance, you'll find it on our mobile data help page.