If you don’t have an unlimited cell phone plan, you might watch your monthly data like a hawk. Going over your allotted data can result in a higher bill, which could potentially throw off your entire monthly budget.
Using a cell phone isn’t always cheap, so if you’re looking to save money, start by learning how to waste less data on your daily activities. Here’s what you can do.
1. Don’t turn off your phone’s Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi can be a godsend when you don’t have an unlimited data plan because you’re able to stream and surf the internet without using your cellular data. But for this to work, you must turn on your phone’s Wi-Fi feature.
If you turn off Wi-Fi, your phone will no longer automatically connect to your home’s network or any other network that you’ve previously joined. As a result, the more you stream, check email or browse the internet, the faster you’ll eat away at your monthly data.
2. Get a new Wi-Fi router.
Then again, maybe you never turn off your cell phone‘s Wi-Fi, yet you realize that your phone doesn’t always connect automatically to your home’s network. That means there could be a problem with your home’s router.
If your router is getting old, purchasing a new one can ensure you have a reliable connection. You may need to replace you router every two to five years, depending on the brand.
Or perhaps the problem is that your router doesn’t transmit a strong enough signal throughout your home. In this case, look into getting a Wi-Fi extender so the signal from the router can reach your phone no matter your location within the home.
3. Use low power mode.
When you’re not within Wi-Fi, put your phone in low power mode. In this mode, you’re still able to use the phone. However, it turns off certain phone features so you use less data.
For example, your phone won’t constantly look for Wi-Fi , nor automatically check email, refresh social media accounts or complete automatic downloads. Not only can low power mode reduce data usage, it can also extend your battery life, which is a major plus if you’re away from home and unable to connect to a power source.
4. Stream at a lower quality.
If you’re using your cell phone to stream movies or programs, stream at a lower quality to retain some of your data. Chances are, you don’t need to stream everything on your phone at the highest quality. For movies or shows that you prefer watching in high-quality, wait until you’re in Wi-Fi and watch these from your home TV.
5. Download music to your phone.
Who doesn’t enjoy listening to music while exercising or enjoying a walk or jog around the neighborhood? This can make your workout sessions fly. But if you’re streaming music, you’re also eating away at your data.
Instead, download your favorite exercise playlists to your phone. Or, if you use a music streaming service like Spotify, copy your playlist to the phone for offline listening.
Data is precious in the smartphone world. And if you’re not careful, you can quickly eat through your data early in the month, until there’s nothing left for streaming or watching movies.
Making a few simple adjustments can keep your bill reasonable. But if you feel you’re using a lot of data and you can’t figure out why, contact your cell phone provider. The company can determine which apps are using the majority of your data, allowing you to make the needed adjustments.