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Why you shouldn’t be concerned about going over 1 TB of data

Jessica Vandesande
Jessica Vandesande

Nov 2, 2020 — 2 min read

Here’s how much 1 TB of data is and why you probably won’t use that much data in a month.

You’re searching for an internet plan and deciding what data cap option is best for your lifestyle. Many providers offer up to 1 terabyte (TB) or unlimited data, but do you need that much data? Exactly how much is it? Every consumer struggles with data usage and selecting the right plan, so let’s find out just how much 1 TB of internet data is and if you should be concerned about going over that much data.

How much is 1 TB of data?

First, let’s define a TB. It is a measure of data used every time you connect to the internet. It’s larger than gigabytes (GB), megabytes (MB) and kilobytes (KB).

Here’s a list of data measurements from smallest to largest:

  • Kilobyte (KB)
  • Megabyte (MB) – 1,000 KB
  • Gigabyte (GB) – 1,000 MB
  • Terabyte (TB) – 1,000 GB
  • Petabyte (PB) – 1,000 TB

Internet provider data caps range from GB to TB or unlimited plans. Factors like your internet service provider and household activity affect data usage. If you’re a single user, a smaller plan will work for you, but if you have multiple people connecting to the internet, choose a larger plan.

Here are some internet providers who offer unlimited data service:

Maybe you spend most of your time gaming and streaming music and high-definition videos. If you’re an avid data user who uses 1 TB or more of data, select an unlimited plan and forget about tracking data.

Data usage rates for common internet activities

  • Browsing the web/social media for 200 hours – 3 GB
  • Streaming 200 hours of music – 0.8 GB
  • Streaming 50 hours of SD video – 35 GB
  • Streaming 20 hours of HD video – 50 GB
  • Downloading a full-length SD movie – 4 GB
  • Downloading a full-length HD movie – 10 GB
  • Downloading a video game – 40+ GB

How long it takes to use 1 TB of data

AT&T’s internet data calculator shows you just how much it would take to use 1 TB of data. According to the calculator, you could do the following activities* and still use less than 1 TB of data in a month:

  • Send and receive 40,000 emails
  • Stream 8,500 hours of music
  • Surf the internet for 2,000 hours
  • Game for 16,500 hours
  • Stream high-def videos for 350 hours
  • Post to social media for 5,600 hours

You would have to stream around 171 hours of 4K video for a month to reach 1 TB of data. That’s equivalent to you streaming 6 hours of 4K video every day for a month.

If you worry about data usage, take steps to proactively manage it. Try streaming standard-def videos instead of high-def or 4K videos and always check your data usage throughout the month. Here are more tips to manage your household data.

So, can you use 1 TB of data in a month? The answer is yes with the gaining popularity of 4K video streaming, but it’s not likely the average user will run into this problem.