How much data does something use?

It can be hard to get a handle on how much data something uses.
Your UK Sim Card comes with a lot of data – a full 12GB. That’s easily enough to see you through the 90 days your sim card is valid for. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to how much data you are using. There are certain settings your phone may have, some apps you use and some websites you visit that can quickly drain a lot of your data.
While the amount of data certain operations use depends on many factors, here’s a rough guide to what you can do with the 12GB on your data sim card:

  • Send and receive 240,000 emails.
  • Instant message chat with your friends for 12 full days.
  • Spend 96 hours on Facebook or web surfing.
  • Upload 4000 photos.
  • Watch YouTube on standard-quality for 36 hours.
  • Call home with 32 hours of video chat.
  • Play online games for anything between 32 and 320 hours – it varies wildly.
  • Watch two movies streaming in HD.

There are other factors to consider rather than overall time. One of the most unexpected ways your mobile device can use up a lot of data without you knowing is automatic app updates. On some devices, apps are set to automatically download large updates regardless of what sort of connection you have. You might not even get a notification that an app you’ve never even used is silently getting a 200MB update.
So, go into your mobile device settings and change them so apps can only update if you give permission. There are different ways to do it for iOS and Android. Once you’ve done that hold off on updating until you have a good signal on an unlimited connection.
Keep an eye on your data sim balance:

  • Switch on the device that has your data sim installed
  • Turn OFF Wi-Fi
  • Go to https://www.three.co.uk
  • Click “Check your data allowance”
  • Your remaining data will be shown in MB – an unused data sim will have just over 3000MB.