How Much Data is a Gigabyte?

Building Blocks to help visualize a GB

One Gigabyte (GB) is approximately 1000 Megabytes (MB). There is a whole spiel about how one GB really is 1024 MB. If you want to go into that type of detail, we recommend you to take a moment and head over to an article by Whistleout.

Since the amount of data is usually the differentiating factor when selecting phone plan, it’s important to understand what it means in actual usage. As a rule of thumb, the smallest file you have stored on your phone is four kilobytes (4KB) in size.

The Bytes Table

Before we get into what 1 Gigabyte means in usage, we need to break it down into smaller bits (bytes, bits – get it?):

8 Bits = 1 Byte

1000 Bytes = 1 Kilobyte

1000 Kilobytes = 1 Megabyte

1000 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte

1000 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte

What 1 GB of data will Get You

Depending on what activity you’re doing on your phone, you use different amounts of data and the amount of time 1 GB lasts will vary. US Mobile’s custom data plans range from 50 MB up to 8 GB. With the help of Confused.com, we’ve defined what our plans will get you in actual usage.

100 MB
=
43 pages
surfing; 
1 hr
Google Maps usage; 
5 hrs 
of Facebook; 
0 episodes
on Netflix (streaming a 60-minute episode requires 720MB)

250 MB
108 pages
surfing; 
4 hrs
Google Maps usage; 
12 hrs
of Facebook; 
0 episodes
on Netflix

500 MB
187 pages
surfing; 
8 hrs
Google Maps usage; 
25 hrs
of Facebook; 
0 episodes
on Netflix

1 GB
445 pages
surfing; 
17 hrs
Google Maps usage; 
51 hrs
of Facebook; 
1 episodes
on Netflix

2.5 GB
1114 pages
surfing; 
43 hrs
Google Maps usage; 
128 hrs
of Facebook; 
3 episodes
on Netflix

6 GB
2671 pages
surfing; 
102 hrs
Google Maps usage; 
307 hrs
of Facebook; 
8 episodes
on Netflix

Please know that if you stream videos on Facebook, you should consider it as Netflix usage since streaming a moving picture requires a lot more data.

If you aren’t planning on getting a plan for your tablet or phone, head over to our piece about affordable prepaid plans for smart devices. It will guide you on what type and size of plan you need.

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