How much data do i need?

tl;dr: 1 minute of HD video = 1 MB. 1 hour of HD video every day = 17.6 GB of data in a month. Approximately.

This is my setup

  • iPad Pro
  • Zong Data SIM

I have a data sim in my iPad Pro, and i subscribe to a monthly internet package. I have tried various packages over the years. Sometimes it's 60 GB/month, sometimes it's 3 GB/month. Sometimes i max it out, sometimes i don't.

I was curious to see how much data i actually need. The main factors are:

  • How much bandwidth i use
  • How much time do i have

Time is an important factor because having the data doesn't matter if i don't have the time to use it. For example, if i work full time and only get 1 hour a day of entertainment, and say i spend that on watching Netflix, an hour watching high quality video would equate to apprx. 600 MB. One hour every day in a 30 day month would mean 18000 MB, which is 17.58 GB. My entire month's data usage is then less than 18 GB.

As far as bandwidth goes, i do have a PTCL DSL connection (12mbps) as well, which works well most days. And i also have 1.5GB of data on my postpaid mobile plan, which can serve as emergency backup for Slack calls. The internet SIM is not the only connection i have, so it's not the end of the world if i max out on data.. I can opt for a data plan that

What i use the iPad internet for

  • watching Netflix content - i can't set video quality in the Netflix app but the video has to be crispy clear (4G LTE). if it's blurry (3G) i stop watching..
  • watching videos on Youtube (1080p)
  • watching course videos on PluralSight, Skillshare, Codecademy or Frontend Masters
  • Soundcloud for music
  • Google Photos (photo backups)
  • Slack and Facetime calls
  • Instagram
  • Browsing (Safari)
  • Hotspot for my PC as backup internet

All video content i watch has to be 720p minimum.


  • 1 documentary (The Creative Brain) = 52 minutes of HD video = 447 MB data used
  • 20 minutes long Slack call (audio) = ?? MB
  • 30 Photos backed up to Google Photos in High Quality = ?? MB

I can see how much mobile data an app has used on my iPad under Settings > Mobile Data

Please note that this site and the posts on it are, and will always be, a work in progress. If i waited for perfection, i’d never get anything done.