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Do you spend 100+ hours on Instagram? How much data do you really need?

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Does your data allowance seem to disappear at an alarming rate? Just how much do you need for your favourite apps? Find out here!

When it comes to sizing up your next mobile phone contract, it’s important you get the data allowance just right – too much will be a waste, but too little and you could be hit with some hefty extra charges. So, how much data do you really need, the Gadget Cover team takes a look.

No matter how much data is included in your contract, it’s worthless if your device gets lost, stolen or damaged. Let Gadget Cover keep your phone safe by providing great value mobile or  

How much data does the average person use?

According to Ofcom, the average mobile phone user in the UK uses 5.6GB of data per month. But with the growth of 5G and the increasing demands of modern apps, that data usage is only set to grow in the coming years.

However, there’s a very broad range of data users out there with some using only around 1GB or less a month while others use a whole lot more. Indeed, mobile network provider Three claims that its customers use an average of 21.3GB of data a month!

What type of data user are you?

So, what type of data user do you think you are? There are many different types of mobile data users all with different data requirements.

Casual users

Casual users primarily use their mobile phones for basic tasks such as making calls and sending text messages. They may occasionally use mobile data for simple activities such as browsing the web, checking emails or the occasional social media post.

They won’t consume much media or play games while on the go – instead waiting until the evening when they’re connected to their home Wi-Fi. Low data users will safely use less than 5GB a month.

Moderate users

These users like to use their mobile phones more frequently and for more advanced tasks. They may regularly use mobile data for activities such as interacting with apps, updating social media, online shopping, and streaming music or videos.

A medium data user will probably require between 5GB to 10GB to cover their monthly usage.

Business users

If you rely on your mobile phone for business and work purposes then you really can’t afford to be low on data. Most business users will need to be able to send and receive email, update their busy calendar, access business-critical apps and websites, and edit documents throughout the working day.

They may also use their mobile data for teleconferencing, watching live streamed conferences, gaining remote access to office systems, and other business-related activities.

All of this can soon add up, so business users will probably be looking for a data plan of at least 10GB or more a month.

Heavy users

These users rely heavily on their mobile phones and get through a large amount of mobile data each month. They may frequently use mobile data for activities such as streaming high-definition videos, playing online games, and using data-intensive apps.

A data allowance of between 20GB and 30GB – or perhaps even an unlimited allowance – would be best for these types of users.

Mobile-only users

Without a traditional home internet connection, mobile-only users will be relying exclusively on their mobile phone for internet usage and access to our always-connected world. An unlimited data allowance is probably the best option here.

iPhones are ideal devices for any type of data user. Make sure yours has insurance cover available by arranging iPhone insurance in the UK through Gadget Cover.

How long will your data last?

With ever more data-intensive apps and features appearing on our phones, our data needs are constantly evolving. To help you keep on top of this, Asda Mobile has taken a deep dive into how much data you can expect to use on a whole host of popular activities.

Check out this table from its website:










Internet browsing

16.6 hours

83 hours

133 hours

166 hours

250 hours

333 hours

833 hours

1,666 hours

Listening to music

92.5 hours at 24kbps

462 hours at 24kbps

740 hours at 24kbps

925 hours at 24kbps

1,388 hours at 24kbps

1,851 hours at 24kbps

4,629 hours at 24kbps

9,259 hours at 24kbps

Watching Netflix

1 hour (standard definition)

5 hours (standard definition)

8 hours (standard definition)

10 hours (standard definition)

15 hours (standard definition)

20 hours (standard definition)

50 hours (standard definition)

100 hours (standard definition)

Watching YouTube

36 minutes (1080p)

3.2 hours (1080p)

5 hours (1080p)

6 hours (1080p)

9.6 hours (1080p)

12.8 hours (1080p)

32 hours (1080p)

64 hours (1080p)

Social media

11 hours (scrolling)

55 hours (scrolling)

88 hours (scrolling)

111 hours (scrolling)

166 hours (scrolling)

222 hours (scrolling)

555 hours (scrolling)

1,111 hours (scrolling)

Video calling

5.5 hours on FaceTime

27 hours on FaceTime

44 hours on FaceTime

55 hours on FaceTime

83 hours on FaceTime

111 hours on FaceTime

277 hours on FaceTime

555 hours on FaceTime


How much data do the most popular apps use?

Read on to find out how much some of the world’s most popular apps could cost you in terms of data.

  • TikTok

    TikTok uses around 840MB per hour using default settings. Data saver cuts this to 360MB for an hour of viewing.
  • FaceTime

    On average, video calling app FaceTime uses around 200MB per hour.
  • Zoom

    Depending on how many people there are on the call and the video resolution, a group Zoom meeting could take up between 540MB to 2.4GB per hour.
  • Instagram

    Tech Advisor estimates that you’ll use approximately 600MB per hour for just browsing. If you want to upload then you’ll be looking at between 1.2GB per hour (default setting) and 240MB per hour (using data saver).
  • Snapchat

    We all love playing around with those crazy photo filters, but Snapchat can be a bit of a data hog using approximately 720MB per hour.
  • Facebook

    One hour of Facebook use could set you back 480MB of data.
  • Spotify

    Depending on the audio quality you want, data usage could range from 10MB per hour all the way up to 132MB per hour.
  • YouTube

    Data usage ranges between 3.5GB to 5.4GB per hour. Again, this will depend on the video quality you choose.
  • Netflix

    From 1GB per hour for standard definition to 3GB per hour for high definition.

11 top tips to save on mobile data

Sometimes our mobile data usage can spike, leaving us running low on our data allowance for the month. Rather than paying out for a costly add-on to our phone deal, many of us will simply struggle on for the rest of the month with low data.

However, if you plan ahead with some of our top tips on reducing data usage then you should be able to get more out of your monthly data allowance. Give them a try and see how much you could save!

  1. Connect to Wi-Fi: Whenever possible, connect to a Wi-Fi network to avoid using mobile data.
  2. Download for later use: Rather than streaming music and videos, download while you’re connected to Wi-Fi for offline use.
  3. Use apps’ data-saving features: Some apps allow you to reduce data usage by compressing images or videos, or by limiting background data usage.
  4. Close apps: Some apps will continue to use data even when your phone is locked, so hit ‘Close’ when you’ve finished with them.
  5. Limit streaming: Streaming music and videos can use a lot of data, so try to limit the amount of time you spend streaming on your phone when away from a Wi-Fi connection.
  6. Stream videos in a lower resolution: High resolution means more data usage.
  7. Update over Wi-Fi: If your phone needs to update then wait until you’re connected via Wi-Fi.
  8. Adjust app settings: Many apps have settings that allow you to control how much data they use. For example, you can disable automatic updates or disable high-quality images or videos.
  9. Monitor data usage: Use the data usage tracker on your phone to monitor how much data you are using and to identify which apps are the most data-greedy.
  10. Use low data mode (for iPhone) or data saver mode (for Android) on your phone: These are great features that manufacturers have installed to help you restrict background data use.
  11. Keep your apps and OS updated: Newer versions often include improvements to help with data optimisation and a host of other features.

Wondering how to cut the cost of your mobile phone during the cost-of-living crisis? We’ve got more top tips elsewhere on our blog.

Find great value iPhone insurance in the UK at Gadget Cover

If you’re lucky enough to own an iPhone, then you’ll have access to some of the best mobile phone technology in the world. That’s why the team at Gadget Cover is always searching for the very best value iPhone insurance in the UK to help you protect these amazing devices.

Our policies can include protection against accidental damage, liquid damage, theft, breakdown, and even loss (with our Gold level of cover). Other benefits include family cover, worldwide cover, accessories cover and e-Wallet cover up to the value of £500.

Finding iPhone insurance in the UK is easy at Gadget Cover.

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