Usage Information

How to Estimate Your Internet Usage Requirements


What is Internet Usage?

Internet usage is the amount of data which is transferred between your computer or other device (e.g. smart phone, tablet) and the Internet over a certain amount of time. This amount of data is measured in bytes, kilobytes, megabytes and gigabytes.

Data can be transferred in two ways;

  • From the Internet to your computer or device (download - e.g. watching a video online);
  • From your device or computer to the Internet (upload - e.g. uploading pictures to a social media site).

However you use the internet on your computer or device, all activities that use the Internet contribute to your overall usage which includes Uploads and Downloads.


What is the difference between download and upload?

A download means that data is transferred from the Internet to your computer or device.

Examples of Downloads:
Email: Opening emails involves opening files received such as PDFs, word documents, photos and other attachments as well as written messages within the body of the emails themselves.

Navigating the Web: Opening emails involves opening files received such as PDFs, word documents, photos and other attachments as well as written messages within the body of the emails themselves.

Web-TV and Web-Radio: These online media types send a stream of data every second and so they use much more bandwidth than just surfing the web.

Chatting: This activity involves messages received in an online conversation. Video conference chatting uses more bandwidth than typed messages.

Note: Downloading songs, movies, software or images also uses bandwidth.

An upload means data is transferred from your computer or device to the Internet.

Examples of Uploads:
Chatting: Each video conference or message sent in an online conversation is an upload. Video chatting involves larger amounts of data transfer than text chatting.

Email: Any message or attachment (photos or Word, Excel or PowerPoint files) sent in an email is an upload. The larger the file attachment, the larger the upload.

Music exchange sites (Peer-to-Peer): Some sites used for downloading files, songs and videos (such as iMesh, FrostWire, BitTorrent, Vuze, eMule, and etc.) are based on file exchanges which involves other users accessing your library to download songs from it and this can count towards internet usage as an upload.

Note: Most people tend to download more than they upload.


What is a GIGABYTE?

A gigabyte (GB) is measurement unit for computer data that is technically about 1,048,576 Kilobytes (KB) and around 1000MB... but in the real world, this equates to approximately:

  • 1.5 hours of Video Conferencing
  • Around 200 music tracks (5MB each); or
  • Approximately 1000 images or photos (1MB each);
  • 1.4 standard definition movies (700MB per movie)

What can cause unexpected high usage?

The most common culprits for data disappearing are:

  • Videoconferencing: Communicating with other offices and/or your customers for extended periods of time via a Video Conferencing application.
  • Streaming: Video or audio content on YouTube,, tou,tv, etc.
  • Online gaming: such as XBOX LIVE,,
  • Automatic updates: e.g. Adobe, Windows, Explorer, etc.
  • Exchanging files via iTunes, LimeWire,, Kazaa, BitTorrent, etc.

How can I check and monitor my Internet usage?

For information about your current usage levels, please contact Customer Service by calling 132 777.

How much data does it take to... ?

Below are some general estimates of common amounts of data used for usual internet activity. The guidelines below are only approximate so please be aware that actual usage could be far greater (e.g. if you utilise High Definition Video Conferencing, or download High Definition movies or images instead of standard definition versions or if you receive or send a large amount of emails with large attachments).

Activity Type Measurement of estimated / approximate data used
Internet browsing/surfing 5MB per hour
Email 500KB per email (estimate includes attachments & spam)
Video Conferencing 600 MB per hour
Films 2GB per film (avi,mpeg,divx)
Game/Movie Trailers 100MB each
Music Tracks 5MB per song(4-5min duration)
Online Gaming 15MB per hour
Online radio Average stream at 128kbps