7 Quick Tips and Tricks to Help Manage Your Data Subscription
With streaming, surfing and emails keeping us online all day, we all need a little help with managing our data consumption
Welcome to the digital age, where technology has wormed its way into every aspect of our lives and always-on culture is the norm. In a time where almost every job is dependent on email, every road trip calls for Spotify or free evenings a window to turn on Netflix, people most definitely put a premium on staying connected, no matter where or when. One of the most common ways to do so? Data subscriptions.
While data isn’t particularly pricey (thanks to Prepaid promos and Postpaid packages), it certainly doesn’t come cheap either, especially not when one isn’t careful with their consumption. That said, we could all use a little help in the data management department, can’t we?
Ahead, we break down 7 easy tips to help you manage your data subscription.
Watch your consumption vigilantly
The easiest way to keep yourself from going overboard with your data usage is to keep track of your consumption regularly.
If you’re subscribed to a Postpaid plan, find out how much allocated data you have each month and be sure to stay within your limit. If you’re a prepaid subscriber, make sure that you monitor how much data remains in your subscription. Simply dial *143#, select MyAccount, and select Mobile Internet Usage to see how many GB or MB you have left.
Switch to wifi whenever possible
The general rule for saving cellular data is this: if there’s wifi, use it. It’s likely that you have wifi access to connect to at home and work. You can even find wifi available in many public places—malls, restaurants, coffee shops, you name it. When the opportunity presents itself, skip the data and connect.
Save streaming for Wi-Fi
It’s easier said than done, but when strategically consuming your data, try your best not to stream music, videos, and podcasts when on the go. If you absolutely can’t sit through those long commutes without any entertainment whatsoever, consider downloading the episodes you want to watch via your home wifi connection before heading out. The same applies for Spotify: as long as you’ve got a premium subscription, you can download albums and tracks in advance.
Be careful not to open image-heavy apps and websites while you’re on data as well (or better yet, just switch off these apps’ cellular data access momentarily). Remember, pages that take up plenty of bandwidth are sure to cause a spike in your consumption!
Use data-compressing apps
Apps like Google Chrome, Opera Mini, and Facebook Lite are built around low data usage, which means the data-saving feature is enabled by default. Pages, including content like video or images, are significantly compressed automatically for a little extra peace of mind.
Stop apps from syncing automatically
You may not have noticed, but a lot of background activity happens when you use your phone. Auto-updating apps, auto-refreshing social media sites—these might be the reason for that inexplicable increase in data usage. Make sure that you disable this feature to keep your data usage at bay. For Android, you can disable this at Setting > User & Accounts. For iOS, you can stop syncing via Settings > Cellular.
Watch out for apps that use location data
Do you recall what happens when you open up a freshly downloaded app for the first time? Most of them request access to use your location. This is another possible culprit when it comes to data consumption. Revisit those apps, toggle with the settings and save yourself a little by switching location access off—or allowing these apps to use your location only while the apps are open. iOS users, can make the modification via Privacy > Location Services > [App name] > Select Never or While Using the App. For Android, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > then toggle with the location access for the apps you choose.
Switch off cellular data whenever possible
Ultimately, nothing beats turning off your data when it’s not in use. Break your habit of leaving it on when you don’t need it. Sure, you might miss a Facetime call, an email, or even an influx of Instagram likes, but this strategy is king when it comes to keeping within your data limit. It keeps apps from discreetly connecting to the network without your knowledge, too.
Whether you’re on a tight budget or not, data charges can get costly when left unmanaged. Make sure to keep these tips in mind the next time you switch on your data to save yourself from the headache of excess charges, or worse, losing connection when you need it most!