What is Data?

No matter what it is you are doing on the internet, you are using data. Whether you’re watching a movie on your favorite streaming platform or shopping online for an ugly Christmas sweater to win the holiday contest at work, the actions you take when doing these things are recorded when the signals you prompt are transmitted and you are taken to the next digital location. While the amount of data has something to do with how fast it can be transmitted, data is different from speed. You can have a speedy connection without using a lot of data. The amount of data you use depends on how much you use the internet, not how fast it works.

Simply put, data is the amount of internet you can use and speed is how fast that data transmits. For megabytes and gigabytes, you will see MB or GB respectively. Megabits and gigabits are represented by a Mb and Gb with a lowercase b. MB and GB refers to consumption and Mb and Gb refer to data speed. There are some activities requiring an internet connection that use tremendous amounts of data such as upgrades to your system as compared to other, simpler activities like browsing social media.

To get the best bang for your buck when it comes to internet service, you will need to determine how much data your household uses. When there are multiple people with multiple devices connected to the internet living in a home, the need for higher amounts of data is required. People working from home and those who enjoy gaming that requires internet access will also need to consider how the activities they are indulging in are eating using data. Unfortunately, data can be pretty costly if you go over your limit, but you still need a plan that fits with your lifestyle and in your budget.

In order to properly gauge how much data you need, draw out a list of the internet usage you currently use. This includes checking emails, getting on social media, working, downloading content, uploading content, and anything else requiring internet. When it comes to data and speed, the more data and more speed is going to cost more regardless of the provider. You’ll want to look up the average data used when engaging in the activities you do on a daily basis in order to pick a plan that suits your home.

Social media platforms use different amounts of data per hour. While Facebook uses approximately 156MB each hour, Twitter requires a whopping 360MB an hour. Instagram only needs 100 MB per hour, but simply browsing the internet only uses about 15MB per hour. The thing that takes the largest amount of data is unarguably streaming ultra-high definition (4K) video at 5.8GB each hour.

How good your internet service is all depends on the plan you choose. If you decide to buy a plan with an insufficient amount of data for your home, using the internet is likely to be a challenge. You can expect a lot of lag and slow loading times as well as long periods of waiting when it comes to downloading content.

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