How much data volume do I need for what?

When it comes to buying a new cell phone contract, the question of the required data volume inevitably arises. Is the volume offered in the low-cost contract sufficient, or does it have to be a higher-priced contract to get by with the data volume? In our tip article, you can find out which applications and actions require how much data volume.

Data flat – How much do you need?

Finding the right cell phone contract is like looking for the famous needle in a haystack. The different providers all have more or less good offers. There are two factors to keep in mind for the right cell phone contract:
-Your phone usage
-Your surfing behavior

You can generally divide infrequent users into three types: basic, infrequent, and normal users.

The basic user sends e-mails or a few text messages and can, therefore easily get by with 200 MB.
The low user needs a bit more data volume because he surfs a bit now and then, uses apps or sends and receives pictures via Messenger. Here, 500 to 750 MB per month is sufficient.
The normal user is often on social media (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram), prefers to send voice messages and make video calls via WhatsApp than to use his flat rate. Here, you have to book at least 2 GB of data volume.

With all rates, however, you should make sure that the data is automatically deactivated since it automatically adds more GB when the data volume is used up, and you end up with higher costs.
In addition to the few users, there are also many users. They stream music and videos on the go via LTE and need at least 5 GB of data to avoid being without high-speed Internet in the middle of the month. Suppose you use your smartphone even more excessively and actually only take it out of your hand to sleep, since you sometimes use it as a hotspot for your computer to work on the go in addition to streaming. In that case, you’ll need to book at least 10 GB of data volume to get through the month.
As mentioned, using messengers, surfing occasionally, and checking e-mails require little data volume. Watching movies and downloading or streaming music, on the other hand, requires more data volume. Forwarding photos also requires more data.

How much data volume do you need for what?

1.024 Kilobyte (KB) = 1 Megabyte (MB)
1.024 Megabyte (MB) = 1 Gigabyte (GB)

As long as 2 GB, 5 GB and 10 GB data volumes are enough:

2 gigabytes is roughly enough for: 6 hours of online videos, 600 website views, 25,000 WhatsApp messages, 600 photos sent.
5 gigabytes is roughly enough for: 15 hours of online videos, 1,500 website views, 62,500 WhatsApp messages, 1,500 photos sent
10 gigabytes is roughly enough for: 30 hours of online videos, 3,000 website views, 125,000 WhatsApp messages, 3,000 photos sent

There are various ways to get your data volume under control, especially when watching videos on Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp or Snapchat.
The consumption of data volume when sending and downloading a video is equally high:

Facebook mostly plays videos on smartphones automatically and requires 3 MB per minute.
However, you can deactivate the autoplay function in the app settings or in the browser. Afterward, videos are only played in the WLAN or must be “triggered” by you first.

YouTube offers videos of varying quality. The data consumption also depends on this. At the lowest resolution, about 5 MB of data are consumed, while watching at the highest (Full HD) quality already requires 30 MB of data volume. You can also deactivate autoplay in the YouTube app settings, set the video quality to low, and only play HD videos via WLAN (General settings).

WhatsApp blocks the sending of videos with a size of more than 16 MB. However, videos you have created with the smartphone’s internal camera and uploaded and sent via WhatsApp are between 12 and 20 MB per minute. If you film directly from WhatsApp (camera button), the video is only 5 to 6 MB in size.

Snapchat always requires a lot of data volume, since the content is constantly reloaded in the background. Thus, a larger amount of required data volume (up to an additional 10 MB) can quickly come about. Watching a snap for one minute consumes about 15 MB of data. You can activate the data saving mode in the app settings to prevent the content from loading automatically.
If it happens anyway and you have exceeded your booked data volume, you will be throttled. This means that you can only use the network at a snail’s pace (max. 64 kB/s – at O2 at least 1 MB/s).

After roughly determining the data volume you need and the network coverage in your area, you will quickly know which cell phone plan is right for you. Especially when it comes to video streaming, Amazon and Netflix now offer the option of downloading movies via WiFi and then watching them offline.

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