What is a MB and what can I do with it?

Tips on data usage:
how much is a MB?

What is a MB and what can I do with it?

Often we get the question, how much is 1 MB? Of course this is kind of hard to explain when someone knows he's been online for 5 minutes. Because what you are doing in these 5 minutes makes how much MB you have been using. So we took a look at mobile data and what you can do with for example 250 MB. 

First a little background info. ipad

Often you see KB, MB and GB. What do these mean? Well we can be short and simple on this:
- there are 1.024 kilobytes (KB) in 1 megabyte (MB)
- there are 1.024 megabytes in 1 gigabyte (GB)
Now you know a little what the difference is between a megabyte and a Gigabyte.

When do you use mobile data?

Almost all the programs that run on a smartphone or tablet use mobile data or WIFI. In fact the only thing that doesn't use data is using the telephone for a simple phone call or text message. However if you have an iPhone and have iMessage enabled, your (blue) text messages also consume a little bit of data.

So keep in mind that when you are surfing on the internet, receiving and sending emails, updating or reading your social channels, posting or mailing pictures, installing new apps, getting new songs, or when you stream some videos on YouTube, you always use mobile data. And if you think your smartphone is off and you are not using it, the device could still go online for updates or check your mail. Don't be fooled that if you don't use your device it doesn't consume any data.

What should you avoid when you don't have a flat fee data plan?

There are a few simple tips to reduce your mobile data costs:


  • Download and install a data monitor, a simple free app that monitors how much mobile data you have used.
  • Download and install data crunchers, such as Onavo. They shrink and compress data reducing the amount of incomming mobile data.


  • Streaming or downloading video's is by far the largest data consumer
  • Use a mobile connection for heavy downloading large files, programs or movies etc.
  • Video calling programs are like streaming video and consume a lot of data

If you had 250 MB per month, what could you do with it?

expatThe overview below states how much on an average base is possible with 250 MB. Not all emails have the same size, but we've taken an average which we think is good.
The overview underneath gives you an idea what single (not simultaniously) activities you can do with 250 MB:

Browse the web (on simple sites) 2.500
Browse the web (on sites containing a lot of images) 750
Read plain emails 250.000
Read designed emails 500
Watching Youtube 0.5 h.
Call someone using Skype without camera 7.5 h.
Call someone using Skype with camera 1 h.
Using to your favourite music station 4 h.
Downloading/updating applications on your tablet 40 times

Remember, these are of course estimations to give you a bit more insights into what you could do with data.

We hope this post on mobile data gives you some better insights in mobile data usage. We are always curious on your feedback, find us on Facebook or Twitter