How to Manage a 1GB data Plan (3-minute read)
If your goal is to cut your monthly cellular bill to the bone, you need to be fully aware of how you are using your device and what your source of network connectivity is. Generally, it’s a free-for-all when you’re on your – for all intents and purposes – unrestricted unlimited WiFi connection. However, you need to steadfastly watch your data consumption while using your cellular connection that allows only 1GB data consumption per month. You will typically be on WiFi while at home or at a coffee shop, switching to cellular when you are outside and cellular is the only way to connect. The good news is that WiFi’s footprint is ever increasing and it is getting easier all the time to find a good WiFi connection in well populated areas.
As a rough guide, with a 1GB data limit (1 gigabyte or 1024 megabytes), you can stream video for 1 to 2 hours. Just one movie or sports telecast would use up your entire month’s cellular data – so be sure to limit your cellular connection to only the occasional few minutes of video streaming. Dedicate the lion’s share of your video streaming to WiFi.
Emails and Web Browsing
With 1GB of data, you can send or receive roughly about 1,000 emails plus you can browse the Internet for 20 hours per month. Keep that in mind when you’re using your cellular data connection. It’s still always best to connect to a secure WiFi access point whenever available to preserve your “cellular data tank”.
Music Audio Streaming
1GB of data will last roughly 8 hours per month, if you’re streaming music audio at high quality bitrates – that goes by very quickly – it could be gone in one daytime! Again, stick with WiFi to stream audio or use your purchased music that is already downloaded on your device for no impact on your data allotment.
Phone Calls & Texts
Even though these are “unlimited” with the FreedomPop plans (not charged against your cellular data usage) you still need an internet connection on WiFi for calls and texts if you run out of your 1GB cellular data.
For the record, these use very small amounts of data anyway. A 60-minute phone call will use about 30MB.
Data Consumption – Highest to Lowest Ranking
Audio streaming, music
Audio streaming, spoken
Web browsing, with many images and text, no video
Web browsing, with mostly text and few images, no video
Emails (without large attachments)
Texts (MMS is limited by carriers to about 300kB – allowing for attachment of images, or short, low-resolution video or audio clips)