Unlimited internet plans are quite common now, but it’s a good idea to know exactly how your monthly data is being used. Here’s a look at just how much data different online activities could use up.


Streaming, whether used for music or movies, takes up a lot of data. If you regularly stream videos in HD, you could use up to 3GB per hour. On the other hand, SD streaming only uses about 1GB per hour. Streaming music on apps like Spotify or Apple Music uses a lot less data, and it could be to the tune of approximately 1G for seven hours of streaming music.


Online gaming will use up a large amount of data every month. Games like Fornite consume about 1GB for 42 rounds. A software patch for a game takes anywhere between one to three GB of data. If you purchase a game digitally, then downloading a game like Star Wars Battlefront takes a minimum of 27GB to start playing.

Emails and browsing:

If you only need an internet connection to stay connected, browse the web, and send email, you won’t need a ton of data. It takes only about 1GB to send and receive about 1,000 emails. Basic web surfing also consumes nearly 1GB for 20 hours. Social media sites and their image and video-heavy content could easily consume upwards of 1GB per day.

Exceeding the cap:

If you go over the data limit set by the provider, you may be charged an overage fee. It may be charged in increments, e.g., $10 for every 50GB consumed over your set limit. But check what your provider chargers as these charges may escalate quickly. Some ISPs may not charge overage fees but may reduce your internet speed to between 1 and 5 Mbps.

Urban data:

The amount of data in your plan depends on the provider and the type of internet. In urban areas, the most common connections available are fiber, cable, and DSL. Fiber connections usually do not have caps, but cable and DSL typically do. But they may also offer an unlimited data option for an additional monthly fee.

Rural data:

Rural and remote areas usually have satellite or fixed wireless internet. Fixed wireless data limits vary between 200GB to unlimited. Satellite internet data caps are typically in the 10 to 50GB per month range.

Remember, the average family of four uses about 190GB of data per month, so decide what kind of plan you need accordingly.