Mobile data usage calculator: How much could you save?

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We'll estimate how much mobile data you need and how to manage your usage.

These days, the quality of a mobile plan is pretty much squarely rooted in how much data is included. More than 75% of mobile plans we list on finder.com.au have unlimited calls and texts to standard numbers – meaning discerning users need to look elsewhere to compare and find the best deals.

Unfortunately for most users, excess data fees are still a reality, with over 43% of Australians often exceeding their limits each month according to research done by Deloitte. To help, we’ve created a mobile data usage breakdown tool to help you find how much data you really need. Move the sliders to the usage levels that match yours and see the results update as you do.

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.


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

Data usage breakdown by app

App Activity MB/hour Description
instagram-logo-small Instagram 750 Instagram is one of the most popular – and data intensive – apps out there. You should be careful to ensure that any idle browsing doesn't turn into a huge data blowout.
facebook-logo-small Facebook 150 The Facebook app is one of the most data-hungry apps out there. "Facebook Lite", a lightweight, low-data alternative for Android is a great option for those looking to save on data.
snapchat-logo-small Snapchat 150 Snapchat, like most media-sharing platforms, is another heavy hitter. Enable "Travel Mode" or disable cellular data entirely to curb excess charges.
spotify-logo-small Spotify/music streaming 150 Spotify and other typical music streaming platforms typically consume about 100-150MB of data per hour, but be careful of high-quality services such as TIDAL's HiFi; these can be up to three times more draining.
youtube-logo-small SD (standard) video streaming 500 Standard definition video streaming on services such as YouTube typically uses about 250-500MB per hour. Subscription services such as Netflix or Stan typically use much more.
netflix-logo-small HD video streaming 3000 Netflix, and most other subscription streaming services, use about 3GB per hour for HD content (1080p+). Their standard definition content streams 1GB per hour, more than double YouTube's rate.
whatsapp-logo-small WhatsApp/Messenger 40 For most, using your favourite instant messenger app will hardly make a dent on a typical mobile plan, but be careful of in-app video sharing and downloading as these will be the real killers.
skype-logo-small Video calling 100 Video calling using apps like Facetime or Skype aren't huge data hogs these days, but extended usage can drain your data allowance.

Tips to reduce your data usage

If you don’t read the fine print, you can find yourself with excess data charges on your bill. However, there are many simple actions you can take that can make a big difference.

"Unlimited" data plans
Recently, providers have begun experimenting with "unlimited" data plans, making excess charges a thing of the past, but speeds are affected.

  • Set videos on social media to not auto-play
  • Turn auto-updating off on your apps
  • Set your phone to data saver mode
  • Download SD rather than HD movies/TV shows
  • Install "light" versions of data-hungry apps
  • Your smartphone may have options to monitor your data usage on a day-to-day basis

Find the best plan for your data needs

To find the perfect plan to suit your needs, enter the "Total GB" amount from the mobile data usage tool above in the "Data usage per month" filter below. Remember that other factors may also influence your data consumption, and that the above is an estimate based on typical usage.

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