How Much Data is a Gigabyte?

How Much Data is a Gigabyte?

With all the video streaming, putting out a tweet or two, and not to forget, the non-stop emails, how much data are you using, and is there a limit to it? If you’re confused about your data usage patterns, don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

We know how hard it is to get a new mobile phone plan. Not only is it time-consuming, but it also gets worse when you’re out of talk, text, or data in the middle of the day or, god forbid, an emergency. We don’t want you to be in that kind of situation. Therefore let’s start from the basics.

The Bytes Table (Explained)

Nowadays, mobile phone plans vary as per gigabytes of data that come with them. But before we get into what 1 Gigabyte means in usage, we need to break it down into smaller bits (bytes, bits – get it?):

Here is what you need to know, Kilo < Mega < Giga < Tera.

Data SizesKilobytesMegabytesGigabytesTerabytes
How many in a Byte?0.001 KB0.000001 MB0.000000001 GB0.000000000001 TB
How many in an KB?1 KB0.001 MB0.000001 GB0.000000001 TB
How many in an MB?1000 KB1 MB0.001 GB0.000001 TB
How many in a GB?1000000 KB1000 MB1 GB0.001 TB
How many in a TB?1000000000 KB1000000 MB1000 GB1 TB

For starters, you don’t have to remember the weird table above but do remember, 1 Gigabyte (GB) is perhaps the standard measure for data plans all across network providers. So if you need unlimited talk, texts, almost all of the carriers charge you the same. The difference, however, is what data plan comes along.

Not everyone needs Gigabytes of data to live through. If you’re probably on a vacation or a retreat, you might want to have talk, text, and a few Megabytes (MB), for instance, 500MB. So the next time you’re in front of a data plan, a rough usage estimate might make things clear.

Building Blocks to help visualize a GB

What does 1 Gigabyte (GB) of data get you?

One Gigabyte (GB) is approximately 1000 Megabytes (MB). There is a whole spiel about how one GB 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 Techopedia.

We have come up with what 1 GB of data looks like with the help of

Activity1 GB =
Web pages600 web pages
Email/Instant Messaging350,000 messages
Streaming video (HD)30 minutes of video
Streaming video (SD)2 hours of video
Streaming music200 songs
Skype voice call30 hours of call
Skype video call4 hours of call
App downloads or updates25 applications

How much data do I need?

Before you estimate how much data you need, it is perhaps necessary to categorize your data usage.

Let’s take one of our customers, Michael, who likes to stream high-quality music on Spotify. In that case, a 1 GB data plan will enable Michael to pour 8 hours of high-quality music without any disruption. However, if Michael reduces the audio quality to 160Kbits/sec, that would double the streaming time to 16 hours, and the rate of 96 kbpsmay even go up to 24 hours of quality streaming.

Music isn’t the only thing that gets Michael going, he is super active on Instagram, so our 1 GB plan allows him to upload close to 4000 photos per month, making it almost 133 pictures per day. It seems that 1 GB of data isn’t that less after all. You need to realize that, before selecting a data plan, you need to come up with a combination of your data usage.

Netflix, Spotify, or scrolling through social media platforms may not be the only metric here, but it makes it easier to compare data plans.

US Mobile’s custom data plans range from 50 MB to 8 GB, unless you’re one of those, with Unlimited Data. Now, we don’t want you to rush to a data calculator every time you’re selecting a plan. Therefore, with the help of, we’ve done some calculations to make your lives much more comfortable.

DataGoogle MapsNetflix EpisodesSocial Media
50 MB30 mins02 hrs 30 mins
100 MB1 hr05 hrs
250 MB4 hrs012 hrs
500 MB8 hrs01 day 1 hr
1 GB17 days12 days 3 hrs
2.5 GB1 day 19 hrs35 days 8 hrs
6 GB4 days 6 hrs812 days 19 hrs
8 GB5 days 16 hrs1017 days 23 hrs

How to find out your current data usage?

It seems almost impossible to keep track of your data usage. You can’t just keep a diary of hours of google maps or Netflix episodes. Whether it’s Android or IOS, a smartphone data usage monitor allows you to track your data activity through data usage monitor.

How to find out your current data usage on iPhone?

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Mobile Data.
  2. You can scroll down and check which apps use cellular data. If you don’t want an app to use cellular data, you can turn it off.

Note: You can even check out data usage statistics for a particular app for the current period or view statistics while you were roaming. To reset these statistics, go to Settings > Cellular or Settings > Mobile Data, and tap Reset Statistics.

How to find your current data usage on Android?

  1. On your Android phone, go to Settings
  2. Tap Network & internet Data usage.
  3. Under “Mobile,” you’ll see how much total data you use.
  4. To see graphs and details, tap Mobile data usage.
    • To pick a time period, tap the Down arrow.
    • To see how much data each app uses, look below the graph.
  5. In case you want to set data limits, tap Mobile data usage> Settings.
    • Tap Data warning, if needed, turn on Set data warning.
    • Enter a number rang between Megabytes (MB) and Gigabytes (GB), tap the down arrow.
    • Tap Set.

Note: Some of these steps vary according to your Android version. To check, open your phone’s Settings app. Tap System > Advanced > System Update. You can see your Android version and security patch level.

Steps to set data usage limit on android.

It enables you to check your app-wise breakdown, set up daily, weekly or monthly limits, and send out an alert if your data usage crosses a certain amount.

See this article for a more detailed guide on how to control your data usage and make your data plan last longer.

Although this feature may be useful, not everyone has an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy, so what then? What if there’s a better way to track and measure your data usage, it’s here, and we call it usage analytics.

Consumer analytics on US Mobile Dashboard.

At US Mobile, we understand that data usage is fundamental in building your plan or tailoring one to your needs. With real-time data monitoring, you will be able to track your usage instantaneously. It doesn’t matter whether you have a single line or perhaps hundreds. If you’re a heavy data user or a light user, our analytics feature is for everyone who wishes to keep a note of their data consumption.

With daily and weekly estimates, it’ll be convenient to estimate your monthly usage and select a data plan accordingly.

Our Advice

Now that we have drilled down on every detail of data usage, we want you to cut through the confusion and use data as per your will. You don’t have to fit a particular category to use data. Just make sure whatever data bundle you end up with is enough to satisfy your daily online needs.