General Question

prioritymail's avatar

Internet usage converted to MBs and GBs?

Asked by prioritymail (1617 points ) February 27th, 2012

Does anyone know how many MBs or GBs you use by surfing the net in a month – including things like Google searches, loading news pages etc… the occasional flash site or whatever, maybe if you are online 4 hours a day? And also how many MBs or GBs of data an hour long conversation (no video) over Google Voice is? In Australia you buy internet access by the MB so I’m wondering how much I use typically…
If you are ever in Oz or NZ, just know their internet infrastructure leaves A LOT to be desired. A LOT.

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9 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar

Streaming video is going to be your number 1 enemy. Most images are optimized for the web, so that should help some, but I’m not sure about hour-long Google Voice calls (they may have quality settings that can help there). I know iPhones can frequently get around 2G’s of data in a month, but that’s ignoring all the data used via Wi-Fi connections, the fact that you’re viewing smaller images and websites that typically have fewer ads. Also you should probably factor in regular software updates, which can be very significant in size. I’m so used to the all-you-can-eat mentality with data that it’s really hard to fathom just how awful that must be.

jerv's avatar

On my smartphone, I surf for about an hour a day (mostly Fluther and a gaming forum), stream a couple of hours of internet radio during my committee, and keep my apps updated. That right there brings me to 2GB/month.

At home, my wife has been watching old episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so we had just shy of 33 GB go through that pipe last month. Buying by the MB is rather ludicrous these days since I can blow through 2–20 MB just doing daily updates, but you did say they were backwards.

citizenearth's avatar

In my place, one 4G wifi company provides this data plan: 1 hour surfing comes to about 4Mb, 1 hour streaming video amount to 100Mb and voice phone costs 9 cents/minute.

robmandu's avatar

It’s not like paying by the MB per month is unheard of in the U.S. After all, that’s how smartphone users sign up for service.

Recently, AT&T has gotten in a bit of a kerfluffle over throttling usage of Unlimited plan users after only 2GB of data use. AT&T’s official rationale is that those users exceeded the data usage of 95% of other users on the network.

My point in all that is to provide a baseline – if we want to trust AT&T’s analysis – and which arrives at a similar point as @jerv. However, for home use, you should expect to use a lot more, especially if you intend to stream television shows and movies.

That said, I doubt you just pull a number out of thin air and tell your ISP, “I want to pay for 1,542 MB of data usage next month.” They likely offer a tiered service plan. Can you provide a link to their web site for pricing info?

Bellatrix's avatar

That’s why there are so many discussions about the National Broadband in Australia @prioritymail. Given the work I do demands a reliable and reasonably fast internet supply, I am looking forward to when it is rolled out and since many of the people I work with are outside of metropolitan areas, I hope it will improve access for Australians in regional areas. Where are you situated that your internet supply is so bad?

As to how many Mb/Gb I use. I don’t know. We have a plan that allows us some huge amount a month and I have never run out. I also have ADSL and it is fast enough to do anything I need. I also have dongles through 3 and Telstra for when I travel and I am not often without internet but on occasions the connection is slow.

I am online all day either at work or at home and am mostly uploading/downloading text files/pdfs/audio or video content but via YouTube. I rarely download music or film files. I will ask my husband more about our plan and get back on that.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

This may help you a bit with data usage… there are some third-party apps for web browsing that will compress the data before it is sent to your phone. This will decrease data usage & increase the speed of load times. For iPhone, there is the Opera Mini Web Browser and there is Onavo, which is also for the Droid Market

Bellatrix's avatar

Oh you can look at Whirlpool Broadband That should help you find the best options in Australia.

prioritymail's avatar

Thanks everyone.

Bella, I am in Cairns. At some places I have been it is not a problem. At the current place I live, I was told rent includes wifi except video skype is limited to once a week. On moving in, I found out she prepays by the GB in small amounts, has to recharge a battery on the device to keep it going, and I have had maybe 3 hours of internet access since Ive moved in. Another place I looked at, landlord said you’re on your own, and the third place wifi was only turned on for 3 hours at night each day. The hostel I stayed at and the last place I lived included unlimited wifi in the price. I wonder what the landlords that offer unlimited wifi as part of the rent do? They must have a different arrangement than those that are limiting it.

I would be interested in hearing what your set up is. Is there such thing as a USB wifi thingy? Like plug into USB port like a thumb drive and you get wifi? Also, online people are talking about $2/day for unlimited phone wifi that they can then illegally tether to their computers I think through Optus. Have you heard about that one?

prioritymail's avatar

(Yes I think it was on the Whirlpool Broadband site that i was reading about the $2/day tethering concept….)

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