While many people have high-speed internet plans that include a specified amount of high-speed data, many plans slow speed once the high-speed data cap has been met for the month. Even unlimited data plans usually adjust speeds once the designated amount of prioritized data has been met.

With abstract amounts like “gigabytes” or GB, it’s challenging to estimate how far your data will go when you consider internet plan options. How much data you need is generally determined by the kind of online activities your household regularly chooses. Most internet users engage in a variety of activities but knowing your typical habits will help your decision-making.

Data Usage Estimated Guidelines

Activity Hours of Activity for 40 GB
Visiting websites Up to 4,000 hours
Online Video Games 400 hours
Scrolling social media 250 hours
Streaming Music 270 hours
Streaming video in SD (Standard Definition) 57 hours
Streaming video in HD (High Definition) 13 hours
Streaming video in UHD (Ultra High Definition) 5-6 hours

These online activity estimates are still affected by a lot of variables, but they’re a handy guide in understanding how far 40 GB of data will go. For instance, it’s clear that streaming movies and tv shows consumes data quickly, especially if multiple users are utilizing multiple devices.

A household of one person who streams shows and plays video games online may consume more data than a household of multiple people who only use the internet to check email and shop online.

Common Factors Affecting Data Usage

Online activities like these vary in specific data usage, depending on a lot of factors. If you want to optimize your data plan and make your data “stretch,” there are some common settings and troubleshooting options to check. These include:

There are multiple ways to check for unintentional or unnecessary data usage. Some internet providers offer quick paid high-speed data boosts if you run out of high-speed data, but if it happens consistently, upgrading plans is probably advisable.

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