How much broadband data do I need?

Getting confused by gigabytes, megabytes and speeds? We're here to decode the jargon and help you work out how much broadband data your household will need. Firstly, you need to think about what you'll be using the internet for, how many people will be using it and how important your broadband speed is.
What type of broadband user am I?
  • Light user. You live alone and you're not online a lot. Maybe you just check your emails, browse social media or play the odd YouTube clip. You might also be new to the internet. In this case, opt for a low usage package and ADSL broadband. Start small and upgrade your package if you need to.
  • Heavy user. This is for the families who have multiple users with multiple devices, all accessing the internet. Also, anyone who uses the internet to play games, stream online and watch in-demand TV like Netflix and BBC iPlayer will also be classed as a heavy user. Make sure you have unlimited downloads to avoid extra charges and go for fibre optic broadband rather than ADSL. Fibre optic is the fastest available so you won't have to contend with dreaded buffering issues.
  • Student user. Specific packages are available to students that are usually unlimited, as students need to spend a lot of time online. They also have a nine month contract - as opposed to a 12, 18 or 24 month contract - meaning that you won't have to pay for the service outside of term time.
How important is broadband speed?
Generally speaking, the more people using the connection, the slower it'll be for everyone. So, if you're looking for broadband for a family household (four or more) or a shared household then you'll probably want superfast broadband with unlimited data. It's also ideal for downloading films and gaming.
Single users or couples that will be browsing, emailing and watching catch-up TV probably don't need superfast broadband - or unlimited data. But if more than one device is using the internet simultaneously - for instance scrolling on Instagram whilst watching BBC iPlayer - the connection will begin to slow. It all depends on how much you will be using the internet and how important the speed is to you.
Let's break it down for you. We recommend superfast fibre optic broadband if:
  • You want to stream TV and video in HD or 4K quality
  • You want to download large files from file-sharing sites
  • You want to play and download a lot of video games
  • You live in a shared house with lots of gadgets connected at the same time
  • You want the most reliable connection
We recommend 'standard' ADSL broadband if:
  • You just want to email, check social media and browse websites
  • You want the lowest cost package
  • You can't get fibre optic broadband in your area
How much broadband data do I need?
Here's an estimated guide on how much data you might need within your broadband package.
  • Browsing and email use - up to 10GB a month
  • Browsing and on-demand TV - 10-30GB a month
  • Browsing, on-demand TV, movies and music downloads - 40-80GB a month
  • All of the above, plus gaming - 40GB to unlimited a month
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