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Help! How do I work out my internet data usage?

Data is a precious commodity in rural, regional and remote Australia. As a result, deciding how much data you actually need to purchase each month can be a little overwhelming.

To help you predict your own monthly data needs, we’ve put together this handy table with the most common online activities and their average data usage.


Do you really know where all your online data usage lies?

Video streaming data usage

No two households will have identical usage online so it’s hard for us to tell you categorically how much data you’ll use each month.

It would seem obvious that the more internet users in your home, the more data you’re going to need but it’s not that straight forward. Teenagers are likely to be more prolific internet data eaters than say elderly parents that live with you for example.

So it’s really important to have a think about exactly who in your house does what online and how often they do it.

The very best thing for you to think about is what they:

(a) need to do online each day, and

(b) want to do online each day.

We’ve compiled the table below to help guide your estimations.

A quick guide to the common online activities and their data usage

CategoryData Use
FacebookApproximately 2GB per month, but auto-play videos can use more.
SkypeApproximately 25MB per hour using video.

Less for voice.
Cloud programsThis depends on the file size you’re transferring.

These cloud-based programs use no more data than normal web browsing except for the size of the file you’re actually transferring.

You will use data on downloading if you decide to install a desktop version of your Cloud program.

Download size examples:

• Dropbox desktop app
o Mac – 372.8 MB
o Windows – 645KB

• Evernote desktop app
o Mac – 161.8 MB
o Windows – 369.28 MB

• Slack desktop app
o Mac – 197.5 MB
o Windows – 179.16 MB

• Teams desktop app
o Mac – 241.6 MB
o Windows – 94MB
Emails50kb for the average text only email
Video streaming1 GB of data per hour for each stream of standard definition video, and up to 3 GB per hour for each stream of HD video.
GamingDownloads on any device can range from
30 – 100GB with updates being 5 – 15GB.

Gameplay can range from 40 – 150MB per hour
Audio streamingYou will use approximately 1GB per 8-hour workday of streaming depending on the stream quality
Education platformsThese will vary, especially if you’re using a cloud-based program or need to download a desktop version first.

Download size examples:

• Blackboard mobile device
o Apple – 98.6MB
o Android – 74MB

• Moodle desktop
o Mac – 62.7MB
o Windows – 188.32MB
Web-browsingApproximately 2MB per page

[Data sources: SkyMesh, Blackboard, Moodle, Canstar, whistleOut, Lifewire, Netflix, Dropbox, Evernote, Slack, Teams, Skype]

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Use a lot of data online? Learn more about Sky Muster Plus and the benefits of unmetered data

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Louise Hughes
Written by Louise Hughes

Louise has had a life-long love affair with beautiful words; writing because it drives her, and reading because it feeds her soul. She's the luckiest woman alive to be able to create clever content and intelligent customer experiences for a living.

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