A decade ago, 15GB seemed like a lot of data for internet use. Today, we cannot expect the same with increased use of the internet in the new norm. However, it really depends on how you spend your data. 15GB could be a lot but it could also be insufficient.
Here in this data guide, we investigate and analyze what you can do with 15GB of mobile data, how long it will last for various activities, and whether the amount of data is enough for you.
Different online activities use non-identical amounts of data – some activities use only a little data, while others may consume much more. For instance, 4K streaming consumes a lot of bandwidth, while casual web browsing won’t drain your data that fast.
For 15GB of data, technically, you could last 50 hours if you use 300MB per hour. Fifty hours per month equals 1.67 hours per day, so 15GB per month is enough if you only use 300MB per hour and not more than 1.67 hours in a day.
This also means you can only engage in low-consumption activities such as web/social media browsing, emailing, or Spotify music streaming. You cannot last that long if you stream videos (including YouTube), watch Netflix/other streaming platforms, or gaming because these activities consume a lot more data.
That said, in general, 15GB of data should be enough since some studies showed that, on average, the amount of monthly data used on a hotspot is only 4.5GB. In addition, most users do not spend a lot of data on UHD video streaming or playing bandwidth-sapping multi-player online games when connected to hotspots.
Of course, you should always have in mind that hotspots are not supposed to be your primary internet connection – they’re just a backup that you can use on the go.
How Long Can You Use 15GB of Data?
You can understand how long a 15GB of data can last if you have some ideas about how much certain activities use up mobile data. Here’s a list of some of the most common online activities and their average data consumption:
Note: 1,024MB (Megabytes) = 1GB (Gigabyte)
|ONLINE ACTIVITY||DATA USAGE (PER HOUR)|
|Social Media browsing||90MB (scrolling)156MB (interacting)|
|Listen to music (Spotify or other music streaming platforms)||10MB – 144MB, depending on audio format|
|Streaming Netflix||1GB (SD format)3GB (HD format)|
|Streaming YouTube||1.56GB (1080p)2.7GB (4K/UHD)|
As you can see, streaming videos may cost you a lot of data usage. If you don’t want to exceed your 15GB monthly data limit, you might want to avoid spending a lot of time on Netflix and YouTube. If you still want to use Netflix and YouTube, you should at least try to avoid streaming in HD or 4K – that could save you a significant amount of data.
So, how long can you perform those activities if you have 15GB of data? Let’s see the breakdown:
|ONLINE ACTIVITY||HOW MANY HOURS 15GB CAN LAST|
|Web browsing||250 hours|
|Social Media browsing||166 hours (scrolling)96 hours (interacting)|
|Listen to music (Spotify or other music streaming platforms)||104h – 1,388h, depending on audio formats|
|Streaming Netflix||15 hours (SD format)5 hours (HD format)|
|Streaming YouTube||9.6 hours (1080p)5.5 hours (4K/UHD)|
|Face Time||83 hours|
Note: One month consists of 720 hours.
If you look at web browsing, non-stop 24/7 browsing will last you for about a third of the month. Being active on social media all the time would also last you for half that period. But, since you’re not going to be online non-stop, 15GB/month should be enough for simple online tasks. Heavy-duty applications, like video streaming, may eat up your data a lot faster.
Will 15GB of Data be Enough for You?
For 15GB of data per month, you can do these online activities:
- Listen to and download music on music apps like Spotify
- Stream YouTube, Netflix, or other TV apps occasionally (go for non-HD quality if you don’t need to see wrinkles!)
- Consistent video chatting with friends and family
- Consistent scrolling and interacting on your favorite social media platforms
If you want to do more (stream movies and videos all the time or play online games), 15GB will not be enough. 4K/UHD video streaming would not last for more than five hours. If that’s what you want to do, it would be best to get a much bigger plan.
Q: If you already have unlimited data, do you still need to buy a hotspot plan?
Q: What’s the average person’s data usage per month?
A: It’s no surprise that internet usage has increased to unprecedented levels in the new norm. It’s best if you could analyze how much data your home network really needs. A recent survey (2021) shows that an average household in the US consumes 540GB/month. We’re talking here about the entire household (not just one person) and about the broadband connection (not a hotspot). People tend to be much more careful with their hotspots.
Q: How many GB does a 2-hour 4K movie use?
A: Streaming a 4K/UHD movie for two hours will use approximately 14GB.
Q: How much is 1,000GB, and is it enough for a month’s use?
A: 1,000GB is 1TB of data, and it should be more than enough for a month’s use. It’s a huge amount of data, and you can make a lot of heavy online applications such as HD video/TV streaming and play multi-player online games in addition to the regular usage.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can survive with 15GB of mobile data. But how much is 15GB of hotspot really? If you have come to this point, you should already know what you can and cannot do with 15GB.
For regular use (emailing, web browsing, and some social media scrolling/interacting), 15GB a month seems to be enough. On the other hand, if you are a Netizen and only get offline when you sleep, you need a lot more than 15GB of mobile data per month.
Hey, I’m Jeremy. I hold a bachelor’s degree in information systems, and I’m a certified network specialist. I worked for several internet providers in LA, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Seattle over the past 21 years.
I worked as a customer service operator, field technician, network engineer, and network specialist. During my career in networking, I’ve come across numerous modems, gateways, routers, and other networking hardware. I’ve installed network equipment, fixed it, designed and administrated networks, etc.
Networking is my passion, and I’m eager to share everything I know with you. On this website, you can read my modem and router reviews, as well as various how-to guides designed to help you solve your network problems. I want to liberate you from the fear that most users feel when they have to deal with modem and router settings.
My favorite free-time activities are gaming, movie-watching, and cooking. I also enjoy fishing, although I’m not good at it. What I’m good at is annoying David when we are fishing together. Apparently, you’re not supposed to talk or laugh while fishing – it scares the fishes.