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Data usage calculator

If you're not a heavy user, you might be able to save with a cheaper capped Internet plan.

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While unlimited data plans are being rolled out in force by Internet providers, there's still a lot of room for less hungry users to save with more limited plans. Our data usage calculator below will help you estimate your monthly data usage based on your Internet habits and help you decide whether you truly need vast quantities of data or whether you can make do with something finite.

Finder's Data Usage Calculator

Adjust the sliders below to indicate your general habits per activity or type of usage. If you're on mobile, you may need to refresh this page to use the widget below.

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This estimate provides a general guide and your own requirements may be very different. Remember that other factors may also influence your data consumption.

How did we estimate your usage?

To put together our calculator, we used the following data-use estimates for each activity:

  • Social media: 2 MB per minute/3 MB with videos
  • Music streaming: 2 MB per minute
  • HD video streaming (1080p): 30 MB per minute
  • 4K video streaming: 120 MB per minute
  • Large file downloads: 20GB per file
  • Voice & video calls: 0.6 MB per minute

Need more data? Compare NBN plans now

Tips to reduce your data usage

If you don’t read the fine print (especially in the case of mobile plans), you can easily find yourself with throttled connection speeds or extra charges on your bill. However, there are many simple actions to take that can make a big difference.

  • Reduce video streaming. As you can see in the table above, video streaming uses the most data of any activity by a long way, even more so with higher definition. Reducing how much YouTube or Netflix you stream is the single biggest usage change you can make.
  • Change your browser. Some browsers, especially Google Chrome, eat up a lot of data in the background. Consider switching to a browser like Opera and switching it to Turbo mode to save on data.
  • Disable background apps. By default, your computer allows a lot of applications to run in the background where – you guessed it – they can chew up data. You can stop them from doing this in your system settings.
  • Turn on battery saver mode. If you're really keen to minimise your data use, you can put your desktop or device into battery-saver mode. This automatically reduces the amount of data it's using.

How should I compare plans to find the right one?

When you're trying to sort through NBN plans, here's what to look at:

  • Speed. The NBN comes in four different speed tiers, ranging from max speeds of 12 to 100Mbps. After looking at how you consume data, you should be able to decide whether you can make do with a basic connection or if you need something a little faster. We have a more in-depth guide to choosing a speed tier here.
  • Data. Now that you know how much data you use on a monthly basis, you can make an informed decision about how much you need. While unlimited data plans are fairly common these days, you can still save quite a bit by choosing a 100GB or 200GB plan.
  • Contract types. Many NBN plans are month to month, meaning you can change at any time. Others will lock you into a lengthy contract with an exit fee for leaving early. Make sure you aren't locking yourself into a plan that's too slow or doesn't provide enough data.

Need more data than you thought? Start comparing NBN plans below

If you've used the data usage calculator above, grab your figure for "Total GB used per month" and tweak the "Data usage per month" slider in our broadband plan list below to match as closely as possible. Keep in mind that many plans these days include unlimited data – so hunt for those cheaper plans if your usage allows.

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