Whether you’re streaming YouTube or scrolling through social media, you’ll be using data. But what is it, how do we measure it and what do you need to know? We answer your questions and give you some handy links to sites and apps that you can use data free.
What’s the difference between kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB)?
A byte is one unit of data. The number of bytes tell us how much data can be stored. The first computer with disc storage had 5 MB. But this has grown massively…
Kilobyte = 1,024 bytes
Megabyte = 1,024 kilobytes
Gigabyte = 1,024 megabytes
We measure data usage in kilobytes. As you use data, the number of KB you have goes down. Any small part of data you use, we’ll always round up to the nearest KB.
What is upstream data?
Any data sent from a device (like a laptop or phone) is upstream data – so that could be sending an email, uploading a file or playing an online game.
What is downstream data?
If you receive an email, download a file or visit a web page – that’s known as downstream data.
What are data packets?
If you’re sending someone a picture, for example, that image will be broken up into packets and then reassembled on the other end.
We use data packets that are no more than 50MB in size. There are no re-sent Data packets as all usage is rated within real-time.
How does iD Mobile calculate how much Data is used?
We use an Online Charging System (OCS) which measures how much data you use. When you try to use data on your phone, your device will seek permission from our OCS. This starts a data session which is then charged according to what kind of plan you have. Your data session may run out if you’ve used up your allowance or reached your bill cap.
Data charges are based on both upstream and downstream data. Because of this, there may be times when your device uses some data we can’t measure. This means that your device may give a different reading of how much data you’ve used.
Which sites and apps don’t use up your data?
Some sites and services are “free rated” for data, meaning that you can use them without being charged for data – but these won’t work if you’re using a VPN. These include: