I am considering buying an Android phone and hence the question about Internet usage. How much Internet bandwidth can I expect to use if I want to enable syncing of contacts, calendar, email, etc. (assume e.g. I receive 10 short textual emails per day) I am going to need?

Is it possible to automatically connect to WPA protected Wifi's, and do all the syncing only when Wifi is available (hence not use 3G internet at all)?

I will use it in a free country (UK atm)

  • If you avoid streaming videos and the like, you shouldn't have any trouble. Even with fairly heavy use I seldom have more than a couple hundred MB of data per month.
    – ale
    Commented Apr 13, 2011 at 20:42
  • 1
    It also depends on the phone and configuration. My Motorola DROID out of the box was set to use a lot of data- updating news and weather every 30 minutes, pre-caching news and images. With very little intentional data usage, I as hitting 2GB for a few months until I tracked down the culprit. Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 4:08

3 Answers 3


Depends entirely on how many contacts you have, how often they change, how often you set it to sync, etc. Paying for data as you go is generally a bad idea with an Android phone, they use a lot.

You should be able to shut off 3G though (probably dependent on the phone) and just use WiFi. Although, it might be more difficult to prevent it from using 2G data. Some phones let you use WiFi while the phone is in Airplane mode, which would shut off both 3G and 2G. Android has the ability to store WiFi credentials and connect automatically.


You can definitely connect to WPA protected wireless and your phone will connect automatically when you're within range of a known wireless network.

You can use APNdroid to cut off your 3G altogether. Take a look at: How can I prevent my phone from using any kind of internet?

If you've got wireless at home and you're there every night, your phone will be able to sync your contacts, etc. over night.


You can turn off all internet data over the mobile network using Settings->Wireless & Networks->Mobile Networks->Data enabled

Personally, I connect to WIFI at home and with reasonably heavy use of email, chat and web browsing when away from home, I only use about 200M of data a month.

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