Keeping track of your data usage is a simple but important step to make sure you’re getting the most out of your monthly cellphone plan. While you certainly don’t want to use more than what your plan includes, you shouldn’t have to worry every time you send an email or check Facebook. Here are a few easy ways you can avoid surprises.
The best way to preserve your data is simply to connect to Wi-Fi if it’s available. This lets you go online using a wireless Internet connection at home, as well as in many public spots like stores, cafes, restaurants, or hotels. Your phone will use Wi-Fi instead of connecting to your cellular network, meaning you can save your cellular data for those times when you really need it.
It’s also helpful to understand which features and apps on your device are using data. This includes sending and receiving email, browsing the Internet, using social media, and streaming music or video. Some streaming apps will offer an option of downloading content directly to your device when connected to Wi-Fi, so you can listen or watch without consuming any of your data.
One of the biggest data users is GPS. In fact, it consumes far more than most other types of apps. That’s why it’s an especially good idea to turn GPS off completely when you’re not using it. Likewise, downloading new apps will always require either a Wi-Fi or cellular network connection, although the data needed to download and run individual apps will vary. You can find out each app’s specific requirements in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
You can track which apps are consuming your data, and how much, by opening the “Settings” app on your Android or iPhone. On Android, you’ll tap “Data Usage” to get a list of individual items using data; on the iPhone, tap “Cellular” to get this information.
And should you ever find that you simply need more data for your smartphone, don’t forget: you can always upgrade your Consumer Cellular Connect Plan. There’s never a fee for changing your plan. In fact, if you happen to go over your monthly plan, we automatically upgrade you to the next level, so there are absolutely no overage fees and you get the best rate for what you’ve actually used. It’s really that easy!