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How Much Is a Megabyte (MB)?

Megabyte (MB) Data

MB is short for Megabyte but what does it really mean in terms of usage?

First of all, a Megabyte is a multiple of the unit byte; one megabyte is one million bytes and it’s used to quantify digital information. Actually, if we’re going to be picky – a megabyte is 1048576 bytes, and one byte is 8 bits, but let’s not get into that kind of detail. Wikipedia does a great job of explaining it in case you’re interested.

The smallest data plan we have at US Mobile contains 100 MB, all the way up to 8 GB. If you translate Megabytes to Gigabytes, there are 0.001 Gigabytes on 1 Megabyte so 10 GB equals 10 000 MB. But how can we translate it into actual usage?

100 MB in Data Usage

When you browse the web, upload files, check social media or anything that requires connecting to the internet, it’s important to understand what 100MB means. The term may also refer to the amount of information a Web server sends to another Web server or to your browser.

If you have 100 MB of data allowance you can do one of the following:

  • Send/Receive 100 text emails with attachments
  • 4 hours of web browsing (depending on pictures, videos, etc)
  • 1 hr of navigation in Google Maps (or similar)
  • Send approx. 3000 messages through What’s App, Viber or Messenger
  • Stream music for 1 hr and 20 min
  • View/Download one 15-minute video
  • Upload 40 photo posts on social media

A 100 MB data plan can be enough if you’re a very light user, not streaming and uploading/emailing large photos. In case you need more data during a month with US Mobile, you can just add on more data at the original price and without commitments.

100 MB in Storage

When you talk about megabytes in terms of storage, it’s very different from usage. If you get 100MB of storage it usually means that you can store up to 100MB of information on a company’s servers. That equals one of the following:

  • 100-250 photos depending on the resolution
  • About 25 MP3 songs (the average mp3 song is about 3-5 megabytes)

A better way to understand how much it is is to put it 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.

Are you struggling with the storage on your phone? Here are 7 storage hacks for you.

2 thoughts on “How Much Is a Megabyte (MB)?”

  1. Sandra Akin says:

    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. Mushfiq Rahman says:

      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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