From the moment you first had a data plan, it was a game-changer. All of a sudden you could access the Internet wherever and whenever you wanted.
Unfortunately, every data plan has it limits (unless of course you’ve signed up for the unlimited data plan). So just when you most need Google Maps to help you find your way home, you might receive a notification that you’re approaching your limit.
For those who feel like they always run out of data at the most inconvenient time possible, here are a few tips on how to reduce the amount of cellular data you use.
Connect to Secure WiFi Networks
For some this might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how often people waste cell data when they could be connecting automatically to their home Internet.
Turn on your WiFi and log into networks that you trust–at home and at work, for example. You might even connect to the network at your favorite coffee shop, your church, or your favorite bar. Just take steps to make sure that you’re using these networks safely.
Ideally you’ll be using your WiFi most of the day, saving your data for special occasions.
Restrict Data-Heavy Apps
Not all apps are created equal–some will use a sliver of data while others will quickly eat through it.
Monitor your data usage to identify the biggest offenders. Is Facebook automatically playing videos when your scroll over them? Is Instagram pre-loading images that you might not even look at?
Go to the settings on your phone to restrict the amount of data that each app can use. It might be helpful to download a data manager app for your phone. Phone or app settings can sometimes be used to create data alerts when you’ve used a certain amount. You can also restrict data access after overall data use hits a certain level.
Download Content Ahead of Time
Plan ahead and download anything that you might want to watch, listen to, or use when you leave the house. Will you be travelling in an unfamiliar city for a few days? Download the maps you’ll need. Preparing for a long road trip with your kids? Download movies from Netflix® and songs from Spotify®.
By using just WiFi to download new apps, phone app updates, and anything else you might need, you’ll be sure to have enough data available to you for the moments when you really need it.
Decide on a Data Plan That Works For You
Every person and situation is different, which means it’s up to you to decide how much data you need every month. A stay-at-home parent who uses WiFi might not need as much cellular data as someone who goes on frequent business trips, for example. Maybe you’re content with just enough to get you through the month, or maybe the peace of mind that comes with an unlimited data plan is worth the extra expense?
Use these tips to see how much data you can save in a month, and then decide for yourself what plan fits best with your situation.