Data volume: how much do I really need?

The selection of cell phone providers and their tariffs is huge. The main differences are mostly in the volume of data and the associated price. GIGA helps you to find out how much data volume you really need.

It doesn’t matter whether you only use WhatsApp occasionally or regularly stream videos on your smartphone while you’re on the go in any case you need an appropriate internet connection. If there is no WiFi connection in range, you can only connect via mobile data. Nobody wants to pay too much for unnecessary data volume or surf at a reduced speed early on. Therefore, we will show you how you can determine your data consumption and find a suitable tariff.

By the way, in the following video we explain what a cell phone tariff is all about:

How do you mainly use the smartphone?

Before you decide on a tariff, you should first find out how exactly you use your smartphone. We present three different scenarios for this. These are only intended to serve as a rough guideline, as usage behavior can vary greatly from person to person.

Casual surfer

Your time on the Internet is limited to using WhatsApp or sporadic surfing? You may also have access to a WiFi connection most of the time and therefore rarely need mobile data. In this case, either a prepaid tariff or a inexpensive contract with monthly notice. The latter in particular is proving to be an increasingly popular option.

  • A tariff with about 1 GB data volume per month should be more than sufficient – if necessary with an additional flat rate for SMS and telephony.

Frequent users

Do you check your social media accounts like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Reddit several times a day? In addition, do you watch too many GIFs with dogs or cats? In this case, you will probably not get very far with a prepaid tariff, especially since these often do not shine with the best download speeds. A Tariff with a brisk data connection is advisable here.

  • A tariff with at least 3-5 GB data volume per month would be useful. Ideally, the tariff also has LTE so that you do not have unnecessarily long loading times and can surf carefree.

Streaming, cloud gaming and more

Your day starts with music on Spotify and ends with the latest episode of your favorite series on Netflix? In between, check out Twitch or watch your club doing in the live stream in the game. In such a case, only an appropriate one can help XXL tariff. This is especially true if you want to gamble on your smartphone via cloud gaming on the go.

  • One tariff from 10 GB data volume per month is advisable here. For frequent streamers, 15 GB and more would be recommended. A high download speed should also be ensured: LTE or the faster 5G, if available, would be ideal here.

How much data volume do I really need?

Basically, the amount of data determines how long you can surf at unlimited speed. Your surfing pleasure also depends on the network standard that is available in your area. While the extremely fast 5G standard is already available in large cities such as Berlin, Cologne or Munich, network coverage in other parts of Germany is still lagging significantly behind. And the faster the standard, the faster you can theoretically use up your data volume.

Nobody likes this sight: unnecessarily long loading times. A faster data tariff can help here. (Image: Getty Images, Tero Vesalainen)

If at some point your data volume is used up, your speed will be reduced in most cases. How can that be prevented? For this you should best use your current one Find out data usage and then find out how much is left at the end of the month. How exactly can you find out?

You can view this information directly on your smartphone by going to the respective settings under Android or iOS. The respective data consumption per app is displayed there and how much is still available to you at the current time. In this way you can also Identify potential data hogs.

If you have used up your entire data volume by the middle of the month, you should accordingly look for a tariff with at least twice as many gigabytes. Would you like to listen to music on the way to university in the future or watch videos during the daily train journey to work? Perhaps occasional surfing, chatting via WhatsApp or looking at your Instagram feed every day is enough for you? To illustrate, here are some numbers:

  • Instagram devours around 220 MB for every hour you scroll through the feed
  • Spotify uses between 40 and 100 MB per hour, depending on the streaming quality
  • Video streaming via Netflix sucks up around 250 MB of data volume per hour
  • The popular video platform YouTube even has a whopping 30 MB for a single minute in full HD

If you want to use these apps without restrictions on the go, take this into account when choosing your tariff.

How much data volume does it take per month?

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