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Tuesday, 19 February 2008
data usage calculator

What does 250MB (250 megabytes) get me?

When potential users hear about a 250MB allowance, everyone wants to know what exactly that means. What can you do with 250MB? Is it a lot of usage or a little? Are you in danger of exceeding your limit?

To help answer the question, here are some examples of what typical 'downloads' eat up in bandwidth:

File Size
1 email
10 KB
1 webpage visit to
150 KB
1 Hr of Online Poker
2 MB
125 Hrs
1 downloaded song from iTunes
4 MB
1 typical 3 minute video on YouTube/Google
5 MB
1 hour of 56k audio stream
25 MB
10 hrs
1 typical 5 minute video on iTunes
30 MB
1 hour of video stream or 2-way video chat
52 MB
5 hrs
1 hour of World of Warcraft online gaming
32 MB
8 hrs
1 typical 45-minute TV show from iTunes
1 hour of MagicJack phone call @ 128kb/s
4.4 hrs
1 hour of Skype phone call @ 64kb/s
8.9 hrs
1 hour of Skype video chat @ 384kb/s
1.4 hrs
1 hour of Netflix Standard Definition stream
1 hour of Netflix High Definition stream
1 Full-Length (2 hours) movie MPEG4 download
1 entire DVD (MPEG-2) disk image
1 hour of Hulu Standard Definition stream
1 hour of Slingbox Standard Defininition stream
1 hour of Ustream Viewing
1.3 hrs
1 hour of Xbox/PS3/Wii Online Gaming [Average]
5 hrs
1 hour of Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection
4.1 hrs
1 iBook download for iPad [Average]
1 episode on ABC Player for iPad [1hr episode]
183 MB
1 hour of Pandora Radio streaming
27 MB
9 hrs
1 hour of AOL Radio streaming
50 MB
5 hrs
1 hr of Facetime 2-way video calling on iPhone 4
90 MB
2.5 hrs
* number of times/hours you can perform this activity before hitting 250MB
** not recommended with the 250MB plan; even ONE of these activities would exceed 250MB

One thing that is not on the chart that we would be remiss to forget about is major software updates for your computer. They don't happen daily, but could easily be over 100 MB and have been known to happen a couple times a month. It may be a good idea to set your computer to NOT automatically download updates so that you don't "use up" all your bandwidth unknowingly.

From these charts, its obvious that the activities that consume the most bandwidth involves video streaming or downloads use up the most bandwidth. If your web habits include mainly emailing and web surfing, 250MB may be plenty of data for you.

Note: if our chart does not include data you'd like to see included, send an email with specifics to and if we can find authoritative answers to you question, we'll update this article.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 15 April 2013 )
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