How Much Data Is Too Much During the Pandemic?

Man using too much data on his phone, tablet and laptop
Photo by Bacho / Shutterstock.com

Unfortunately, things haven’t gone back to “normal” as fast as most of us would have liked, and it looks like it’s going to take a considerable amount of time before they do.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to plague the country (and world), you are probably finding yourself at home more than ever before.

As you have become less mobile, now might be a good time to reevaluate your mobile plan. That unlimited cellphone plan you had could be overkill now that you’re home all the time.

How much is too much data?

That really depends on how much you use and need now.

Sure, when you were constantly on the go and found your eyes glued to your smartphone display, having an unlimited data plan gave you comfort, knowing that you had more than enough mobile data to keep you connected to fast 4G LTE speeds.

Now, however, with most of your time spent at home, unlimited plans are probably unnecessary. If you already have home internet/Wi-Fi, you can just connect your phone to that network. There’s no reason to spend so much money on two internet connections if you’re mostly using just one of them.

On the other hand, if you still find yourself out and about often, and still constantly on your phone, you might just need to stick to a cellphone plan that has unlimited data. You might still want to review some of your recent phone bills to see how much data you really use. Oftentimes, people use much less mobile data than they think they need.

What if I don’t have home internet?

Well, you’re facing an entirely different situation. Many people forgo home internet connections (and the bills that come with them) and rely solely on their mobile data to keep them connected.

Generous allowances of mobile hotspot data with certain unlimited plans from the major carriers have made this much easier. Now, however, being at home more might mean you’re using a lot more of your data, especially if you’re working from home.

Remember, even unlimited data plans aren’t truly unlimited. That is, once you exceed your plan’s high-speed data limit, your data could be slowed down when network traffic is high.

It might be time to get a home internet connection — many home internet plans are truly unlimited or come with limits that are so high, you’re very unlikely to ever exceed them. Once you do that, consider switching to a cheaper cellphone plan with lower data expenses.

Limited data cellphone plans

Unlimited talk and text are included in almost all cellphone plans. This means that price differences in plans are largely related to the amount of data that is included in the plan. Generally, the lower the data limit, the lower the price.

Here are some of the most popular plans that have lower data limits:

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