How Much Is a Megabyte (MB)?

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Illustration of woman in yoga pose with stats and charts about how much data is in a megabyte
If tech geeks are lauding terms like megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB) and terabytes (TB) over you, don’t feel unintelligent.

What’s a Byte?

In computers, information is stored in the form of bits and bytes. 8 bits grouped make one Byte. Consequently, a Byte is one of the two smallest units of measurement used to measure data in computers and other such devices.

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

Data Break Down

 
Data Sizes Kilobytes Megabytes Gigabytes Terabytes
How many in a Byte? 0.001 KB 0.000001 MB 0.000000001 GB 0.000000000001 TB
How many in a KB? 1 KB 0.001 MB 0.000001 GB 0.000000001 TB
How many in an MB? 1000 KB 1 MB 0.001 GB 0.000001 TB
How many in a GB? 1000000 KB 1000 MB 1 GB 0.001 TB
How many in a TB? 1000000000 KB 1000000 MB 1000 GB 1 TB

What about a kilobyte and a megabyte?

These measurement units are easy, so don’t feel overwhelmed, 1 kilobyte equals 1024 Bytes. 1 megabyte equals 1024 KBs or 1,048,576 Bytes (a million bytes/1,000,000 bytes) and so on. But what really does having 1 megabyte of data and/or storage entail.
A terabyte is the biggest unit of measurement, which equals 1024 GBs or 1,048,576 MBs. Hard disks and flash drives go up to 4TB in storage while commonly used USB’s go up to 16 – 32 GB of storage. But all these “bytes” translate differently in terms of storage and data.

What can I do with 100 MB mobile data?

When you’re online, browsing the web, uploading files, checking social media or essentially anything that requires connecting to the internet, it is important to understand controlled data usage. So let’s say you have 100 MB of mobile data, and while some people may argue that 100 MB isn’t much, we’d disagree. Here are some activities you could potentially perform with 100 MB of data.
We headed over to Charity Mobile’s data usage calculator and Tings’s estimation and this is what we found:
Megabyte (MB) Data

What’s 1 Megabyte (MB) of data equal to?

 
Activity 100 MB =
Web Browsing 500 pages for 4 hours without downloads
Email 100 emails with small attachments
Podcasts 100 minutes
Music streaming (Spotify, Youtube, Soundcloud)
1 hour maximum (SD)
Navigation (Google Maps, Maps, Waze) 1 hour
Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) Anywhere between 40 and 10 minutes
Video Streaming (Netflix) 8 minutes (SD)
Realistically, a 100 MB data plan isn’t much in terms of digital information. It can be if you’re a light user who mostly has access to WiFI. This means not streaming, uploading and/or emailing large photos. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything in a 100 MB, you’d enjoy the occasional music on Spotify, an episode of two of your favorite show and the sporadic surfing of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

How much is 100 MB phone storage?

Megabytes in terms of storage, it’s very different from usage. If you have 100 MB of storage it usually means that you can store up to 100 MB of information on a company or your device’s servers/storage. Realistically, 100 MB of storage can be a little less in a digital world like hours and might translate roughly to either of the two:

In terms of phone storage:

 
Information 100 MB storage
Photos 100-250
Music (mp3) Approx. 25 songs
Videos About 50 five-second videos but varies with size.
GIFs 100-200, depending upon the size.
All in all, 100 MB of phone storage is a little less, no tv shows and/or applications can be downloaded and at times, even WhatsApp requires at least 100 MB of storage to function properly.
To understand this better, let’s put things into the perspective of the storage you get through different devices and apps. For instance, the iPhone 7 comes with the following storage options:  32GB, 128GB, or 256GB.

Further, a G-Suite user can store up to 30 GB of content for free, whereas a Dropbox basic account includes 2 GB of space. Finally, when you sign up for iCloud, you automatically get 5GB of free storage.

So to sum up, 100 MB of storage won’t get you very far unless you’re just storing text-based content but again, with Apple’s Cloud and Google Drive, do we really need phone storage anymore?

Stay Ahead

Managing data usage sounds exhausting but both Android and iPhones have built-in features to track your data usage and reflect your left-over storage space. A healthy habit is to check your data usage every once to minimize screen time and be on top of your monthly data usage.
Here’s how on iPhones:
  1. Navigate Settings > Mobile Data.
  2. Scroll down to check data usage within apps. You can also restrict access to any apps that use data here.
Here’s how on Androids:
  1. Navigate Settings
  2. Network & Internet > Data usage.
  3. To see your mobile app data usage.

Self-restrict yourself

Tracking your usage can be a hassle and more than anything, a struggle for people trying to cut down on screen time. Here are two ways you can try to restrict your data usage:
Data Warnings
Almost all phones now allow you to set data limits of your choice (ranging from MBs to GBs), after which your device disconnects from the cellular connection, giving you no choice but to end the activity. These are helpful and easier to track in the longer run.
Set Daily Reminder
Instagram now lets you set a “Daily Reminder” of how much time you spend on the application. If you choose an hour, let’s say, the app shall notify you in exactly an hour of your time spent on Instagram by showing you your usage. It’s a pretty sleek feature for people who’re really trying to make an effort.
But that’s not all. US Mobile also cares about you just as much. US Mobile’s Usage Insights, Dashboard > Analytics > Daily/Monthly now lets our users track their usage. This includes not just data but also texts as well as calls. We go a step further and tell our customers how much time exactly each line spends on calling and texting every week or month.
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This helps users monitor the intensity of their overall phone usage and helps them choose better and suitable customizable plans for themselves.
We’re not here to make you feel bad. We care about you and want you to know your usage for what it is. If you’re a light user, good for you! If you’re a heavy internet user, you might want to go ahead and read this.
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  1. I have had some tough times the last few months and am going to have to do away with my pay as you go cell phone and have just got in the mail the free phone from government.

    The new phone has 350 voice minutes and unlimited texts but it only has 1 GB of memory. How many MB’s does that calculate to being so I can keep a better track of what I can use per month? I do know the talk minutes will be around 6 hours so plan on texting more than talking. But the MB. to GB has me stumped.

    1. That’s a great question Sandra! 1 GB of data would get you roughly:
      1 hour of Netflix video on high quality
      3 hours of watching Youtube videos
      1.3 hours scrolling through Instagram
      6 hours of watching videos on Facebook

      And so on. We wrote an article on the subject a while ago. Check it out

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