How Much Is 8MB of Internet Usage?
By Steve Lander
In 2012, the average American household consumed 52GB of data per month, based on a survey conducted by Sandvine, a network provider. Eight megabytes of Internet usage, or 0.008GB, is a very small amount of data. At 52GB per month in a 30-day month, 8MB would be six to seven minutes of Internet usage for a typical house at 2012 usage levels. However, depending on what you do with it, 8MB can actually be a lot of data.
An average plain text file is about 1.5KB per page, while a word processed document without any fancy formatting or images can be as small as 15KB per page. Eight megabytes of Internet usage would theoretically be enough to transmit 533 pages of word processed content or 5,333 pages of plain text material.
Other Computer Documents
Many other computer documents are also relatively small. Spreadsheet files are frequently small, taking up just 6KB per page, so you could transfer over 1,300 pages using 8MB. Presentation files average 57KB per slide, so 8MB would be around 140 slides. 8MB would also be enough bandwidth to transfer 800 average-sized 10KB emails, or 80 pages of Acrobat PDF files at an average size of 100KB per page.
While raw images from high-end digital SLRs are frequently very large, the kind of images that get used on the Web are relatively small. Typically, small images are 30KB or less while large, higher-resolution images can still be kept between 60- and 100KB. Eight megabytes would transfer 80 100KB images or 266 lower-resolution 30KB images.
When you start transferring audio and video, 8MB can get used up very quickly. With MP3 encoding, which compresses audio, 8MB transfers 11.1 minutes of 96 kbps MP3 music, 6.7 minutes of 160 kbps MP3 music or 4.2 minutes of 256 kbps MP3 music. At Adobe's recommend 800 kbps bit rate for DVD-quality streaming video, 8MB transfers 80 seconds of content, while it only transfers 35.6 seconds of 1,800 kbps 720p HD-quality video.
Steve Lander has been a writer since 1996, with experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology. His work has appeared in trade publications such as the "Minnesota Real Estate Journal" and "Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Advocate." Lander holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Columbia University.