Data v. WiFi: 4 Tips to Minimize Your Data Usage
- Set Alerts and Limits
Instead of blindly using data and hoping that you will make it through the month without running over, consider installing alerts and notifications to inform you of how much data you have used. Both Android and iOS systems have ways to do this via your Settings application. Some phones, such as the latest versions of the Android even offer users the option to preset a data limit, which your phone will not allow you to go over. You can also use a data usage estimator to ensure that your cell phone’s data plan is the right amount for your daily data usage. By simply clicking on the different data plans, the estimator gives you a daily view of just how many emails you can send and receive, how many downloads you can make, how many Internet pages you can visit and how long you can stream videos and music under that data plan.
- Always Look for Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi is your best friend when it comes to staying within your monthly data plan. Make sure your phone’s Wi-Fi setting is turned on, and attempt to connect to a network whenever possible. Your best bet is to strive to use password protected networks as they offer increased security and often, quicker connections. If you are at a restaurant or coffee shop, do not be afraid to ask your server for their Wi-Fi password to do some browsing without running through your data. If you are on the go, feel free to use public networks for any activities that do not involve highly private information such as your credit card account or social security number.
- Closing out Apps
You may know that closing out of apps that you are not using is a great way to preserve your phone’s battery but did you know this also holds true for your data usage. If you are no longer on an app, make sure you actively close out of it to avoid going through your data at a rapid pace. Some social media apps like Facebook and Instagram also allow you to opt out of automatic video-playing, which can often drain a lot of data. By controlling which videos you watch instead of simply playing everything on your newsfeed, you can drastically reduce your data usage without missing out on any of your friend’s latest posts.
- Data Saving Hack
A commonly unknown settings feature that is costing you a lot of data each month is “Background app refresh” (iOS) and “Background data” (Android). This feature is burning through your data by constantly updating and running apps that you are not using. To turn this feature off on your iPhone go into Settings, tap on General, tap on Background app refresh and simply slide it off or choose which apps you want to turn it off for. To turn this feature off on your Android go into Settings, tap Data Usage under Wireless and Networks, click the three dots in the top right corner and click restrict Background data.
With these data saving tips in mind, you are well on your way to reducing your data usage and, consequently, your phone bill.