Back to top

1GB of data - How much is it and how long does it last?

Share this guide:

Last updated: 05 August 2022

When looking for a new mobile contract or SIM only plan, one of the most important factors to consider is the mobile data limits on offer. These can range from as little as 250MB on the most basic of plans, to unlimited download limits on the most comprehensive, but also most expensive, deals. 

Many low-cost plans offer 1GB of data per month. But how much is this exactly? How long will it last? And is it enough for me? Find out with this short guide.

What is 1GB?

1GB (gigabyte) of mobile data is equivalent to 1,000MB (megabytes). These shouldn’t be confused with gigabits and megabits, which are used to measure download speeds i.e. 100Mbps. For more info, check out our guide on the difference between bits and bytes.

How much is 1GB of mobile data?

Many mobile network providers offer SIM only deals with 1GB of data, so prices can vary quite a bit. Right now, you can get 1GB of mobile data for as little as £5 per month, from providers such as Three and iD Mobile. However, you could be paying as much as £24 per month for the same data allowance from the likes of Vodafone.

1GB data plans are available in a range of contract lengths, from rolling monthly plans, to 3-month, 12-month, and 24-month SIM only contracts:

1 month 1GB deals

Two network providers currently offer 1GB data plans on rolling monthly contracts:

Provider Calls and texts Monthly cost
iD Mobile Unlimited £5 See deal
Vodafone Unlimited £24 See deal

3 month 1GB deals

3 month SIM-only contracts are much less common than rolling monthly plans, 12-month or 24-month contracts. However, O2 currently offers a 1GB data plan on a 3-month contract, with unlimited calls and texts, for just £20 a month. See deal

12 month 1GB deals

Two providers currently offer 1GB mobile data plans on 12-month SIM contracts:

Provider Calls and texts Monthly cost
Three Mobile Unlimited £5 See deal
Vodafone Unlimited £12 See deal

24 month 1GB deals

Both Three and Vodafone also offer their 1GB mobile data plans on a 24-month SIM only deal:

Provider Calls and texts Monthly cost
Three Mobile Unlimited £5 See deal
Vodafone Unlimited £11 See deal

How long does 1GB last?

With 1GB of mobile data, you can browse the internet for over 16 hours, stream music for over 6 hours, and watch up to 3 hours 20 minutes of video on Netflix. This equates to just over 30 minutes of browsing, around 3-4 songs on Spotify, or a paltry 6 minutes of Netflix per day, if using 1GB of data over a whole month.

This is homuch 1GB of data would allow you to do:

Browsing the internet 16 hours 40 minutes 33 mins per day
Browsing social media 11 hours 7 minutes 22 mins per day
Sending files via email 100 files on average 3 per day
Streaming music 6 hours 40 minutes 13 minutes per day
Watching YouTube (480p) 3 hours 50 minutes 7 minutes per day
Watching YouTube (720p HD) 1 hour 9 minutes 2 minutes per day
Watching YouTube (1080p Full HD) 36 minutes 1 minute per day
Watching Netflix (Low quality) 3 hours 20 minutes 6 minutes per day
Watching Netflix (SD) 1 hour 26 minutes 2 minutes per day
Watching Netflix (HD) 20 minutes 40 seconds per day
Watching Netflix (UHD) 8 minutes 30 seconds 17 seconds per day
Video calling (SD) 1 hour 51 minutes 3 minutes per day
Video calling (UHD) 37 minutes 1 minute per day
Downloading/updating apps (Android) 87 apps on average <3 apps per day
Downloading/updating apps (iOS) 29 apps on average <1 app per day

Is 1GB of data enough for me?

Getting the right amount of data per month is important when looking for the best mobile plans – you don’t want to pay for what you don’t use, while on the other hand you don’t want too little so you’re cut off or end up paying for expensive add-ons.

Based on the above table, we wouldn’t recommend a 1GB mobile data plan unless you only scarcely use the internet on your phone. If you need more than just a few minutes of browsing per day, or sending a few emails here and there, we’d recommend getting at least 5GB, or even a 10GB plan.

If you like to stream Netflix in high quality, we’d suggest go even higher for 100GB, or even unlimited, if you have the budget for this.

Understandably, 1GB mobile plans are some of the cheapest on the market, starting at just £5 per month on a 24-month contract. Almost all mobile deals come with unlimited calls and texts these days, so if you’re on a tight budget, and you use your phone mostly for calls and texts, with the odd bit of browsing here and there, 1GB of mobile data could be enough.


We are an independent and impartial price comparison website.


Our services are 100% free to use.

check is supported by its users. When you make a purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Fergus Cole

Author: Fergus Cole

Fergus is a journalist specialising in the personal finance, energy and broadband sectors. He also has a passion for travel and adventure so tries to make the most of this in any spare time he gets.

Don't miss these

Read on our blog

With the government poised to implement tough new measures to...

TalkTalk Confirms Huge Bills Hikes from Friday
30. 03. 2022 | Lauren Smith

Budget broadband provider TalkTalk has been notifying customers via email...

A year-long investigation by charity Citizens Advice has revealed a...

All English Schools Will Have Gigabit Broadband by 2025
23. 03. 2022 | Lauren Smith

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has announced a new commitment to...