How is data calculated on a smart phone?

I have never had a smart phone but there are times when it would be nice to look something up on Google when I am out and about. I don’t use my phone much at all just a few short calls a month. I have a basic Page Plus plan right now, only $12 a month. It comes with 100 MB of data on 4G LTE if I had a smart phone. So, how does that translate into something meaningful like browsing time? The next plan comes with 3 GB of data if I need to upgrade. Watching videos and things like that are not something I would need to do.

There is an app I would use sometimes at a fixed location with Wi-Fi, does that time count against the data limit?


You’ll go through 100 MB of data pretty quickly, even if you’re just web browsing or checking email. If you don’t watch videos, you should be OK with 3 GB a month. If you’re on wifi, you’re not even connected to your cellular carrier, so that doesn’t count against your data plan.

100 MB is nothing. If the 3GB plan is affordable, that is more reasonable. An average webpage is maybe 3-5 MB these days, and you’ll likely go through several of them trying to do anything, even just looking up directions or buying a ticket or something.

To help, you can get AdGuard — World's most advanced adblocker! to block all the bandwidth-wasting ads, plus use Android’s built-in bandwidth meter/limiter to make sure you don’t go over your limit.

I’d consider Google’s Fi network too, $20/mo for unlimited texts & calls, plus $10/mo per GB you use, down to the penny, so if you only use 100MB you pay just $21 total that month. Google Fi - A Simple, Wireless Phone Plan With Unlimited Data

Data is only used if you are not connected to wifi.

YMMV, but under any subjective metric 100 mb is a minuscule amount. You can check a handful of websites per month, no streaming of video, music, anything. As a point of reference, using regular browsing in Chrome wasted about 500 mb in a month for me. That’s including much more wifi browsing.

My plan is currently 5 GB and that’s a safety margin, I don’t always use that much but most is streaming music in the car, I don’t watch movies off wifi. Many services don’t necessarily give dire consequences for going over, but may throttle you down to very slow speeds.

There is a big problem with smartphones called background app usage–not just the specific things you think you are using like browsing web pages.

For smartphone plans look at: