A 500MB data plan will allow you to browse the internet for around 6 hours, to stream 100 songs or to watch 1 hour of standard-definition video.

Nowadays, the key difference between mobile phone price plans is how many gigabytes of data it comes with.

If you're looking for a mobile phone plan with 500MB of data, prices currently start from £0/month in the UK. With your 500MB of data, you'll be able to browse the internet for approximately 6 hours per month, to stream 100 songs online or to watch 1 hour of online video in standard definition.

In this article, we'll discuss what you can do with 500MB of data and how long you can expect your 500MB allowance to last for. We'll also discuss 500MB data plans, where you can find one in the UK and how much you can expect to pay.

How Much Is 500MB Data?

In the UK, a number of mobile networks currently offer 500MB data plans. There's a choice of 0 mobile networks if you're looking for a Pay Monthly SIM card. Unfortunately, no Pay As You Go options are current available.

Pay Monthly SIM Cards

If you're looking for the lowest possible prices, you can get a Pay Monthly SIM card with 500MB of data from £/month. The following table shows a list of currently available deals:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
No price plans could be found matching this criteria.

Contract lengths will vary when taking a Pay Monthly contract. You'll normally need to undergo a credit check when taking out a Pay Monthly contract.

Pay As You Go SIM Cards

If you're looking for a bit of extra flexibility, a Pay As You Go bundle allows you to have this.

Unfortunately, there are no Pay As You Go bundles available at present with 500MB of data per month in the UK. However, other options with a different amount of data will be available, including a selection of unlimited data plans.

Please see our full guide to Pay As You Go bundles for more information.

Alternatives

Instead of choosing a 500MB data plan, it may sometimes make sense to choose a plan with more data. This is especially the case when special offers and promotion are available: you might be able to get a larger allowance of data for the same or for a very similar price:

Amount of DataPay MonthlyPay As You Go
250MB Data-£5.00 £5 more
500MB Data--
1GB Data£5.00 £5 more£3.00 £3 more
2GB Data£5.00 £5 more£7.50 £7.5 more
3GB Data£4.50 £4.5 more£5.00 £5 more
4GB Data£4.95 £5 more£6.00 £6 more
5GB Data£6.00 £6 more£7.00 £7 more
6GB Data£5.95 £6 more£1.00 £1 more
8GB Data£7.00 £7 more£10.00 £10 more
10GB Data£7.00 £7 more£10.00 £10 more
12GB Data£6.95 £7 more£10.00 £10 more
20GB Data£8.00 £8 more£10.00 £10 more
30GB Data£8.00 £8 more£10.00 £10 more
40GB Data£10.00 £10 more£20.00 £20 more
50GB Data£10.00 £10 more£15.00 £15 more
100GB Data£11.95 £12 more£19.88 £20 more
Unlimited Data£15.00 £15 more£15.00 £15 more

Some price plans include a data rollover feature giving you a second opportunity to use your data allowance. Alternatively, an unlimited data plan could also be worth thinking about if you'd like a worry-free plan where you never need to think about how much data you're using.

How Long Does 500MB Of Data Last?

When figuring out how much data you need, it's important to think about your own individual usage requirements.

If you choose a plan with too much data, you could be overpaying for lots of data that you don't actually use. On the other hand, choosing a plan with too little data could mean being cut-off from the internet in the middle of the month.

The following table gives you an approximate guide to what you can do with 500MB of data:

Activity500MB data is equal to...
Accessing web pages300 web pages (approx 6 hours browsing)
Basic e-mail/instant message175,000 messages
Rich e-mail/IM (with attachments)1,000 messages
Downloading or streaming music100 songs
Downloading or streaming video (SD)1 hour
Downloading or streaming video (HD)15 minutes
Skype voice call15 hours
Skype video call2 hours
Listening to online radio8 hours
Downloading or updating apps13 apps

We've made a number of assumptions in coming to these numbers. You can read about these in more detail here.

As of 2019, the average UK consumer uses around 3GB of mobile data each month. This has been growing rapidly in the past few years (e.g. it was only 1.9GB in 2017 and 0.2GB in 2012). This makes a 500MB data allowance is a little smaller than average. However, if you find yourself mainly using a wi-fi connection when at home or at work, it's possible you won't need as much data as the average consumer.

For more information, see our guide on how to find out your current data usage.

More Information

Our full guide to mobile download limits has more information including on how to find out how much data you need.

Once you've decided how much data you need, we've summarised the best Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go SIM cards across a variety of price points in the UK.

Your Comments 448 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 448 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • I enjoy the no worry of unlimited. I can easily read articles like this and get lost following all the branch off topics and then have no time left.
    I would really be in a pinch if I used up all my data without concern, reading about duck wing feather mites in birds of the pine forested area of Kanuckistan or somewhere, and have no time left to read a bus schedule the next day.
    The extra cost is worth it to me. Hell, I used 2gb just trying to read the comparison chart for 2gb.

  • I just bought Pay As You Go card (it said £15 25GB on it, but I paid £1 for the card).

    I then bought £10 top-up for it and put it on…… I was lazy and couldn’t be bothered to go downstairs to see what the internet code was and so went on to mobile data.

    17 minutes later my £10 was used up.

    This was my first experience with my new Smart Phone. I will be going back to my Samsung Flip phone which DOES only cost me £10 per month for unlimited calls and texts. I do NOT need internet and photos and all this malarkey – I was getting on just fine (Amazon is useful but if I remember to check when they will arrive I do not really need them).

    This is daylight robbery by 3 (and no doubt other companies are similar). I am utterly shocked!

    I don’t know what I did wrong, but I expect other people will have as well – what if I had been lost in a forest – 17 mins for £10 wouldn’t have been very long to get unlost and I may have been eaten by a wolf…….

    Back to my happy-clappy phone!

    Angela

    • Another point from me – Angela – I only went on to Google and TESCO website to see if I could log on to the internet – don’t recall anything else, and I updated some settings on my new phone….. I didn’t upload or download anything or add any Word or Excel docs; I looked up the word ‘squirrel’ and I don’t think much else….

      I am off to the 3G phone shop tomorrow, but for me – this was a bit like a horror movie!!

      I am off to use my laptop now – modern technology I understand!

      Angela (again). 🙂

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