How Much Is 5GB Data & How Long Does It Last? (2023)


Written by: Circles.Life

How Much Is 5GB Data & How Long Does It Last? (1)

About a decade ago many providers had a cap of 5GB per month on their data plans - sounds crazy as that's now the lower end of the scale, right? But come to think of it, 5GB data isn’t nothing. You could still browse online, work through a few emails or chat with your friends on a 5GB data plan.

But you might still have questions like "how much is 5GB of data going to cost me?" and "will it be enough?".

To find out, keep reading.

How Much Is 5GB of Data?

"Is 5GB a lot of data?" seems like a simple question. But different activities, apps, and devices use data in different ways. This means that 5GB of data will last for different amounts of time, depending on what it's being used for.

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We most commonly look at data in terms of GB or MB, but it can be broken down further than that. The smallest measurement of data is 1 bit. Up from this is 1 byte, which is made up of 8 bits

From there up, we typically measure in multiples of 1,000, in the following order: Kilo, Mega, Giga, Tera, Peta, Exa, Zetta, Yotta. It's worth noting that when talking about mobile data, we don't currently look at anything over Gigabytes as that would probably be way more than anyone would need - even if you’re addicted to your phone.

So if you're wondering, "how much is 5GB of data in MB?", it would be 5,000MB, as it's the next interval up. When mobile data plans first started hitting the mainstream, plans of less than 1GB were available, but that's a rare sight now with data plans only increasing in size every year.

What Can You Do With 5GB of Data?

These days, almost all smartphone apps connect to the internet in one way or another, so people are often using data without even realising it. Keeping track of data isn't always easy, especially if you're not sure how much data different platforms are consuming.

A typical smartphone will allow you to do all kinds of things online, such as:

  • Use social media
  • Stream videos/music
  • Web browsing
  • Access cloud storage
  • Make video calls
  • Play online games
  • More

Each of these activities can use different amounts of data. Web browsing, for example, typically doesn't use much. Video streaming, on the other hand, can use quite a lot - especially if the video is high quality.

When you buy your data plan, you want to think about what you'll be using it for to ensure you have enough data. At Circles Life, we have a range of plans available to meet the needs of different users. Someone who uses a lot of data may want to opt for 100GB a month, while other users may not need as much data and might be fine with 5GB.

To get an idea of how much data you'll consume, you need to think about what activities you use your smartphone for, and how data-heavy these activities are.

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How Long Does 5GB Data Last?

For some people, 5GB will last them a whole month. For others, it might only last for a few days. It all depends on your device and what you're using it for. A good place to start is video streaming, as it's one of the most data-heavy things you're likely to do each month.

How Long Will 5GB of Data Last on Netflix

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Stan and Disney+ have become incredibly popular platforms for watching movies and shows. It can be easy to get caught up in a series, but hours of viewing may drain your data. To help break this down, let’s focus on Netflix.

Viewing Netflix content in the lowest quality will use around 300MB per hour, and the highest quality available (4K ultra high definition) can use up to 7GB per hour. If you're watching Netflix you want to make sure you adjust the quality so that you're not eating through your data too fast, but even on the lowest setting, 5GB of data will still only last for around 16 to 17 hours.

Other streaming services such as Disney+ and Amazon Prime will typically have similar usage rates.

Netflix, fortunately, has a download feature, so you can download a lot of their content when you have a WiFi connection. You're then free to watch it on your device whenever you want without it using your data.

How Long Will 5GB of Data Last on Youtube?

Like Netflix, YouTube allows you to adjust the quality of videos while streaming, which will affect how much data is used. The lowest end of the scale is 144p, but you're not likely to want to view videos like this.

At around 480p, videos are much more watchable, and this will consume around 264MB per hour. The highest quality setting on YouTube is 1080p, which uses about 1.65GB per hour. To compare Netflix and YouTube, a 720p video will use around 3GB of data per hour on Netflix and roughly 870MB on YouTube.

People typically don't watch videos for hours at a time on YouTube as they do on Netflix, but if you use the platform a lot you should factor it in when deciding which data plan to get. Related reading: Is a YouTube Premium account worth the money?

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How Long Does 5GB of Data Last on Spotify?

Spotify gives you the option to adjust the audio quality so that you can save data if you want to. As an audio streaming app, Spotify uses much less data than video streaming platforms.

  • Low (24Kbps) - uses 10.8MB per hour
  • Normal (96Kbps) - uses 43.2MB per hour
  • High (160Kbps) - uses 72MB per hour
  • Very high (320Kbps) - uses 144MB per hour

From this, you can see that the audio quality can make a huge difference to data usage. You want to keep this in mind when using Spotify or other music streaming platforms.

Like Netflix, Spotify has a download feature, so if there are any songs or albums you really enjoy, you can download them when you’re on a WiFi connection so that you don't have to use data every time you listen to them.

How Long Does 5GB of Data Last on Podcasts?

There are several apps that you can use to stream podcasts. This includes Spotify, as well as Apple Music and Pandora. Again, the amount of data that these use when you're listening to podcasts depends on the audio quality. Generally, you can expect similar usage rates to music streaming, so close to the usage for Spotify above.

How Long Does 5GB of Data Last on a Hotspot?

If you're trying to figure out "how much is 5GB of data on a smartphone?" you can get an idea from the uses above. Things get a bit more complex when asking "how much is 5GB of data for a hotspot?", and it's harder to say how many hours you'll get out of 5GB of data.

Hotspotting can vary more, as the usage will depend on the device that you're hotspotting to.

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It's harder to get an exact figure, but you should expect some activities to use close to the following amounts of data per hour:

  • Web browsing - 60MB
  • Facebook - 80MB
  • Music streaming - up to 150MB
  • Netflix - 250MB+
  • YouTube - 300MB
  • Instagram - 720MB
  • Video call (e.g. Zoom) - 810MB

In recent years, remote work has become incredibly popular. Because of this, you may be wondering, is 5GB of data enough for a month of working from home? This will depend entirely on your daily tasks.

You may not need to use much internet for your work if it's primarily done in tools you can use offline, such as Microsoft Office. Some jobs, however, might require more. If you have a lot of meetings and calls, this will use up 5GB of data quite quickly, so we don’t recommend this as a viable option.

How Much Does 5GB of Data Cost?

Mobile communication technology has improved significantly over the years. While 5GB of data per month would have been very expensive not too long ago, at Circles Life, we currently offer it for $10 a month with no lock-in contracts. If you feel like that's not enough for you, we have a few other plans that offer higher data allowances at competitive prices.

Finding the Right Data Plan for You

For anyone visiting Australia on holiday, or if you just use your phone for simple tasks such as keeping in touch with friends, emailing, etc., our 5GB plan may well be plenty. Click here to find out more.

Besides our 5GB per month plan, we also have SIM-only data plans with 30GB ($20 a month), 50GB ($25 a month), and 100GB ($30 a month). And yes, those prices are for real!


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