optus_dongleWhen conducting mobile broadband comparison you are likely to note that the prices for different contracts vary a lot. These price discrepancies are, more often than not, associated with the download limit of the contract so you need to think carefully about the limit that you need. What’s more, the download limits on offer are usually far less than that which you would have access to through a standard broadband connection and exceeding your limits will be likely to cost you substantial amounts of additional cash.

Don’t be put off though, because it’s easy with a bit of broadband comparison to find the best mobile broadband deals for you, with the exact limit that you are after. But first, let’s think about exactly what you need.

How much do you download at home?

If you already have a home broadband plan then you are well placed to have an idea how much you download in a month. There are some free tools online that will actually monitor the amount that you download, alerting you when you approach a certain limit. These tools can be useful to help you to calculate exactly how much you use your home broadband for downloading in a month.

What do you download?

Do you download your missed television shows from the internet? Or a lot of your favourite songs? Finding mobile broadband deals that will allow you to maintain these downloading habits affordably will be difficult, so if you are using your mobile broadband as well as your existing connection, save the big downloads for that.

Alternatively, if all that you will be using your connection for is checking emails or surfing a selection of websites then you will be unlikely to go over your limits.

How much can you download?

Downloads of different sizes will affect how much of your limit will be used up, but these approximate figures may help to give you an idea. Please note that these figures are just based on average calculations and will not cater for larger than usual downloads.

  • Downloading 1MB of emails would mean 100 emails without attachments, around 3 emails with attachments, or just 1 email with a photo
  • 1MB would also buy you about an hour on an instant messaging program
  • Surfing the internet for an hour would cost around 20MB of your monthly allowance
  • A 3 minute MP3 of your favourite song will set you back by around 4MB, whereas a 20 minute film clip would be more along the lines of 40MB

With these approximate figures you can calculate a rough figure for a download allowance that will suit you. You’ll find it much easier to find the best and most affordable mobile broadband deals once you have an idea of how much you wish to download. This will also save you spending more money than necessary on a high download limit that you will never use.