In the past, wireless telecommunications service providers offered unlimited data to their customers. Although unlimited data plans still exist today, there are numerous instances of unexpected charges, hidden limits, and even throttled speeds associated with such plans. This has led to many people becoming more conscious of how much data they actually use.
Considering how smartphones and tablets are now the preferred Internet-access device of choice throughout the world, it can be a little difficult to keep tabs of your data usage. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to ensure you stay within the limits of your service provider’s data plan. Some of these steps include:
Using the Built-In Data Tracker
Whether you are on Android or iOS, your phone has a built-in data usage tracker. You can easily access this feature and set it to track how much data you’ve used up within a 30-day period. This tracker is usually found under the settings page. Furthermore, these trackers can also be set up to provide you with a push notification alert when you are nearing the limit you’ve set. It’s a good way to remind yourself that you should rein in your data usage until your data plan’s cutoff date.
Restricting Background Usage
Many apps, particularly social media apps, tend to run in the background. If you have your mobile data on, these apps will constantly update their data without a prompt from you. Over time, these apps can eat up a significant amount of data. Make sure you restrict background data use to only the apps you need to stay up-to-date (e.g. email). This option can often be found under the Apps screen and applying the restriction to each app individually.
Enabling “Download Over Wi-Fi Only”
Some apps are designed to automatically download updates as soon as your phone or tablet is connected to the Internet. While this feature may sound convenient, the default setting for this feature includes Internet connection via mobile data. Save yourself from surprising data charges on your monthly bill by making sure you have “Download Over Wi-Fi Only” enabled.
Downloading “Lite” Versions of Your Apps
Many app developers understand how difficult it is for their users to manage their data usage on a daily basis. This is why many developers have created “Lite” versions of their apps, consuming less space on your internal storage and further reducing the amount of data these apps need to download whenever you use them. A good example of this would be to download Facebook Lite instead of the standard Facebook app. Take the time to look for “Lite” versions of your favorite apps on Google Play and the App Store.
Follow these tips to manage your data usage and make sure that you stay within the limits of your service provider’s data plan.