May 10, 2024

How much data do I need?

Written by Valeria

Tips & Tricks

As you're shopping around for the best mobile data deals around, you're probably asking yourself: "Just how much data do I even need?"

And it's a fair question. The market out there ranges anywhere from "build your own plan 1GB at a time" to "get unlimited everything all the time." And of course, those two extremes come with two extremely different costs. So here's a simple guide to help you decide on which phone plan works for you.

What are my most used apps?

An easy first step that will take all the guesswork out of finding the right data plan.

On Android:

  1. Open your phone's Settings app

  2. Tap Digital Wellness & parental controls

  3. You will see a chart that shows your phone use today. If you tap on it, it will expand to a view where you can now swipe to the right to see previous days' views, and scroll down to find the specific breakdown of how much time was spent on each app.

On iOS:

  1. Open your phone's Settings app

  2. Tap on Screen Time -> See All App & Website Activity

  3. Switch between day or week view.

This exercise will help in figuring out what kind of app user you are – do you spend all your time on streaming (music, entertainment), or do you mostly spend your time on messaging apps, and photo editing?

This is important to keep in mind before we move on to the next step.

How much mobile data do I use?

Not to be confused with how much internet access you use overall, mobile data usage is specific to data used outside of Wi-Fi. So if your most used app is Instagram, and you spend 3 hours on it daily – of those 3 hours, how many are on Wi-Fi and how many are on mobile data?

On Android:

  1. Open your phone's Settings app

  2. Tap on Network & Internet -> Internet

  3. Tap on the settings icon (⛭) next to the name of your mobile network at the top

  4. Tap on App data usage

  5. From there, you can pick specific periods (weekly) to analyze how much data specific apps are using on a regular basis

On iOS:

  1. Open up your phone's Settings app

  2. Tap on Cellular

  3. Scroll down to find your list of apps that are now sorted by data usage within your current Period.

This now tells you how much mobile data, on average, you use, so you can now figure out whether you actually need more data than what your plan allows (if you see your totals are getting close to the limit every month), or less (if you actually only use half or less because you're near Wi-Fi most of the time.)

Now, if you don't currently have a data plan at all, and can't complete this step of the guide, we're going to go back to our most used apps for help.

If your main source of connection right now is Wi-Fi and you're shopping around for a data plan, using your most used apps list is a great way to determine the right plan for you.

  • Are your most used apps streaming-heavy? (Spotify, YouTube, online games, Netflix)

  • Are your most used apps social-heavy? (Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat)

  • Are your most used apps messaging heavy? (WhatsApp, Messenger, email)

If you answered yes to the first one, then you will be better off looking for the best value for an unlimited high-speed data plan.

If you answered yes to the second and third one, then we have an alternative that can both give you access when you need it, and save you money. Like, over $1,000 kind of money.

If all you're looking for is to stay connected, then our Free Essential Data plan is the perfect fit. It gives you access to your number for unlimited calls & texts, as well as must-have apps like email, maps, and rideshare. Best part is – there's no bill. It's just free.

If you find yourself bored at the bus stop, or looking for a welcome distraction during your break at work, add on an hour ($0.99) or day ($4.99) data pass, and scroll through your Instagram feed for as much as you want, without a $50 monthly bill looming over your head.

The reality is – you likely spend most of your time on Wi-Fi anyway, so why pay for data if you don't have to? And when you do, there are flexible options available that don't break the bank – and keep you connected to the things that matter when that bank is unavailable. Try it today by ordering a SIM card, and get connected!