Prevent unexpected costs, manage data spending

When you sign a contract with a mobile services provider, you may choose a plan that includes data. The plan specifies the data limits – how much data you can use during a billing period before you begin paying data overage fees.

Providers typically offer a variety of plans with different data limits and prices. In general, you are using data whenever you are connected to the Internet using your provider’s wireless cellular network.

When you use more than the data included in your plan, you will be charged a fee for the extra data you use. The amount charged will vary from service provider to service provider and will typically be identified on your bill as a data overage charge. These can add up quickly and can be expensive so it’s a good idea to monitor your data spending.


7 tips to reduce your data spending:


1. Set Data spending Alerts and Limits

The easiest way to monitor and control your data usage is to set the limit and alerts for your data consumption every month.

For iOS, go to Settings > Cellular > Apps using WLAN and Cellular to view your data stats. Do note that the data stats do not reset automatically after each billing period, so don’t forget to reset it yourself after you pay your bill each month for accurate representation of your data spending.

You could also consider using third party apps like My Data Manager that helps you track your data usage. You can also set custom alarms for data usage limits so you will be alerted when your data usage has exceeded the quantity of data.

For Android 4.0 and later, go to Settings > Wireless & Networks > Data Usage (this may vary across Android skins, but it should be under your Wireless & Networks settings). There will be a table of your data usage over a specific period of time.

2. Cut Down on Background Data

Background data, even if you don’t use an app, some apps require data feeds to remain updated, such as Facebook and Whatsapp. When you’re on WiFi you wouldn’t bother, but when using data roaming, it hurts.

Image from Techhive


To adjust your background data settings on iOS, you’ll find it under Settings > Cellular > Apps using WLAN & Cellular. For Android, you’ll find the relevant settings through Settings > Wireless & Networks > Data usage where you can limit the background data of apps.



3. Turn Off Auto Updates

Auto-updates could eat up hundreds of MB in just a few minutes, depending on how many apps you have. As indicated above for iOS, simply go to Settings > iTunes & App Store to turn off Apps and Updates to prevent any potential bill shocks at the end of the month.

For Android, you’ll find the settings in the Google Play Store. Go to Google Play Store > Menu (top left) > Settings > Auto-Update Apps. Here you may choose to disable auto-updates completely or only allow auto-updates on WiFi connectivity.

4. Download Area Maps

Navigation can cost you A LOT of data since it relies on constantly sending and receiving data to track your location on the map. Luckily for Google Maps users, you can download an area of the map ahead of time and manually navigate your way through the indicated route. Simply search the area you want, tap More Info, then Download.

Unfortunately, this isn’t available for Apple Maps. However, Apple users may rely on Apple Maps’ cache which doesn’t need data connection to function. Just load the map in full as usual on WiFi, then exit your app and turn off data connection. You’ll still be able to run the map without data connection. This is particularly useful at places where there are no data connectivity or the data connection is unstable.

5. Browse Only on Mobile Version

Besides better readability and smoother scrolling, mobile version of websites also use less data as they compress data from desktop versions to make it mobile-friendly. If you want even more efficient use of data, you could consider using Opera Mini as your browser as it has an automatic ad blocker to save you even more data.

6. Compress Your Data

There are several third party apps that can help facilitate this, but one we’d recommend is the Onavo Extend app that is compatible for both Android and iOS users. Onavo may not work with streaming audio nor video apps, but it’s efficient in reducing the impact of images and texts on your data usage.

You’ve gotta love the flexibility this app gives you over your data usage levels. Besides the usual breakdown for which apps are using your data the most, you are able to create a universal cache for all apps and it also helps you manage image quality to suit your desired data-saving levels. It’s free, so give it a try!

7. Use Streaming Channels that Allow Offline Usage

If you want to save data and have storage space to spare, you might want to download your music and movies. YouTube’s offline options are pretty good if you have the time to download the stuff you need on WiFi. Downloading movies through mobile torrent sites are NOT advised as it often comes with viruses and other bulk your phone can do without.

For music, Apple Music, Google Play Music, and Spotify are some apps you could consider as they allow you to create playlists to listen offline. Again, if you have the storage space for it. Spotify has the option to download all your saved songs, which is nice since all you need is an extra tap of the finger to get them offline while you finish up packing for the trip. (source)

Or…you can contact Alert for data roaming solution created for your needs. We can offer you best solution based on your needs.


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