What can I do with 120 MB of data?

I want to take my iPad to London with me, and the hotel does not offer free wireless. I can buy 120 MB for $30 from AT&T, but what will that get me? I found a data calculator online, and it seems like I can do about 25 text-only emails, but that doesn’t seem like enough for me to bother getting it.

I want to check on my hometown news, upload a couple pictures, and send emails to friends. I won’t watch movies or listen to music. Is 120 MB enough? I’m hoping I’m reading the data calculator incorrectly, and can do more than 25 emails with it.

Do they have pay wifi? If so, you might want to suck it up and get that.

120MB is enough for literally thousands of text-only emails. As long as they don’t have embedded images or attachments, emails are generally only a few kilobytes each.

25 text only emails is 120 MB?

I don’t think that’s right.

I just looked in my own email account for a long, text-only email.

I found one that contained just under 700 words, and it is 13.6 kilobytes. At that rate, you’d get almost 10,000 emails in 120MB.

If you’re logging into your email through a web interface and not an email client, you have to remember that you will use a bit of extra bandwidth every time you load a new page of the web interface (inbox, new message, trash, etc.).

Yeah, I’d say that 30k for a largish text-only email is a reasonable guess, so 120 megs gets you 4000 of them.

Browsing news could be several hundred k per news story, depending on how much crap your news site has on it. For pictures - are you going to upload them as huge megapixel pictures, or shrink them on your laptop before you upload?

120 MB should be plenty for your stated usage. I use about that much data over the air per month on my wireless plan, and I read dozens of emails and/or web pages per day, plus over the course of the month I probably download 5-10 big PDF files, stream 2 to 5 videos, and use Google maps with abandon.

A text-only e-mail should be less than 1 KB, meaning you could send tens of thousands.

Loading a web page with images can easily measure in the 100s of KBs per page, though cached images should keep this a little more reasonable. So you might be looking at hundreds or low thousands of web page views.

Image uploads can have a highly variable size, but a couple of MB each isn’t so unusual. You could count on at least dozens of pictures of that size.

I once used a 3G connection to watch a movie on NetFlix. We used almost 180 MB in 1.5 hours.

It’s worth noting, too, that if you’re prepared to be a bit patient about when you do your email etc., there are plenty of places in London where you can get free wireless.

The West End, including popular tourist areas like Regent Street, Oxford Street, and Trafalgar Square, are covered by a new free wireless service operated by the O2 network and Westminster City Council.

The Apple store also has an app that will help you find restaurants, cafes, etc. with free wireless in London.

I am thinking I may end up doing that. The price is not on their web site, so I’ve emailed.

I have no problems shrinking my pictures on my laptop, but I don’t know how to do that on the iPad so I’m afraid they’ll be big. When I get back to my hotel I do like to get online to relax, so I will have to be careful, thank you all for letting me know I am using the data calculator incorrectly. That’s a relief. I have the first iPad, so my data plan with AT&T is unlimited. I have no idea how much I’m using which is why I’m clueless with this.

Sorry for forgetting the ipad bit. :wink:

If you access your email via a web interface, odds are the company logo on the website uses more kilobytes than all the emails you can type. The add banner will have 10 times more bytes than the emails you’ll send and receive.

If you open an email, and it has picture attachments, you may find that you have used a huge allotment of your 120MB. if you have email client set up on iPad, you may download those big attachments even if you never open them.

A typical web picture might be between 100KB and 500KB or half a megabyte. I browse occasionally on my iPhone and have trouble egtting to 50MB / month.

However, graphics and web sites on an iPad? You could hit your limit in a few dozen pages.

The real question is - what happens if you go over? Do you then get dinged another $30 or do they switch to the “super-highway-robbery” higher rate, or does it stop working? My guess is whatever gets the phone company most money.

The other poster had the best idea - suck it up and pay for internet. usually that’s $10 to $25 for an expensive hotel. Maybe buy internet every other day or less. If the problem is, no wifi- take a small wifi router with you, preprogrammed for DHCP as the WAN side of the router and a password-protected wireless. I used an Apple Airport. It works with 220V, all you need is a USA-to-British plug adaptor, which you need anyway for the iPad charger.

not sure if there are public Wifi spots in the UK while you’re out and about, but someone can tell us (I see they ahve).

Thanks, everyone. The more I think about it, the more I think I will pay at the hotel. I already have an Airport, and my daughter is meeting me at the hotel so this way she can get online, too.

Another worry is just dealing with AT&T and canceling the international service next month. I can see a problem if it doesn’t get cancelled and I have to keep paying while I argue, or having them cancel everything including my unlimited data iPad package.

I thought that 640k ought to be enough for anybody.

I’ve used disposable “1 GB over 1 month” data SIMs before, and I’ve found that with light to moderate use (i.e. daily web browsing, email etc., but very little data-heavy stuff like YouTube or streaming audio) it would easily last the whole month.
$30 for just 120MB sounds a little pricy, but I guess it’s still only $30.

Can I put that in my iPad? Do they sell them at drug stores over there?

Sorry, I don’t know. I get them on eBay UK. iPad-sized ones are available, but I’m not sure about issues such as your iPad being locked to a particular network.
I was mainly just trying to illustrate how long I’d expect to get out of that amount of data, based on my experience.

A text-only email is about 6 Kilobytes. You probably got mixed up and thought it meant Megabytes. 1 Megabyte is 1000 Kilobytes, roughly, so your usage shouldn’t be a problem.

I would be careful about the pics, though. Don’t upload too many on the cell network, just find a free wireless network, or pay to use a coffee shop or hotel’s network. Or, just be patient and wait until you get home.

There’s free WiFi everywhere. Most coffee shops, many pubs, loads of public spaces, etc. You might find that the hotel room is within range of someone else’s nearby free WiFi service.

What is this patience you speak of?
You’re right, though. Thanks.