With a smartphone or tablet, you can watch your favorite YouTube™ videos or stream the perfect playlist from pretty much wherever, whenever. But all that enjoyment can quickly gobble up the amount of data you’re allotted each month under your plan, and no one wants to pay overage charges.
Follow these five tips for managing your data usage so you won’t get caught off guard:
1. Adjust your Wi-Fi settings
Check your settings so you’ll automatically connect to a secure Wi-Fi network when you arrive at home or the office. It’s pretty easy on most phones and tablets. Just go to your device’s settings, make sure your Wi-Fi is on and log on to your wireless network. Your device should remember the network and log on automatically whenever it’s in range.
2. Use Wi-Fi for big files
To take full advantage of Wi-Fi, make sure you’re using it when downloading large files. Some apps can be more than 100 MB, and downloading them on a network connection will eat up data quickly. That’s also true when it comes to watching shows—4G video streaming uses about 350 MB an hour.
3. Manage your notifications
You probably get a lot of notifications and other alerts on your phone or tablet, which can also consume data. Some can be necessary. Others—like being notified that there’s a new level available in Candy Crush Saga—maybe not so much. Be sure to disable email and push notifications, automatic app updates and your device’s GPS when you don’t need them.
4. Shut off your apps
Closing apps when you’re done using them can also reduce data usage. Many open apps—especially those that provide location services—will continue sending and receiving data even when your phone or tablet is locked. That not only wastes data, but can also drain your battery.
5. Set up usage alerts
Create and access usage alerts through the My Verizon Mobile app. Then, you’ll get a text or email when you’re at 90 percent and 100 percent of your monthly data limit. From the app, you can also add data to your plan if you’re near your limit, or reduce it to lower your bill.
How to estimate your data use: You use your smartphone and tablet to send texts, watch videos and write emails, but how much data do you really need? You may be surprised by the answer.