Data Charges Got You Down?

Remember when your cell phone was nothing more than a gadget that you kept on hand for emergencies? How the times have changed. Today, cell phones are practically an extension of our arms. They are no longer a neat little fad gadget that we can show off to our friends, they are an essential part of our lives. Most cellular providers offer flat rate unlimited calling and texting plans that include a cellular data allowance. On paper, these plans seem like a great deal, and they are, just as long as you do not use more data than you are allowed.

WIFI Assist

Unfortunately, many of us, especially in business, use just as much, if not more, data than we do call or texting. This is where the additional, and often unexpected data charges usually stem from on your monthly bill. What many of us do not know however, is that it is possible to reduce or even eliminate these data charges altogether, read on to learn how.

Keep track of how much data you are using

Let’s face it, we need our cellular data to keep up with our day-to-day, what we don’t need on the other hand, is to pay an arm and a leg to have it.  Most of us couldn’t even begin to know how much data we use on a monthly basis, this is because many of us do not know how or where to check – Cellular providers are obviously okay with this common lack of knowledge.

Before you can even begin to manage your cellular data usage, you need to get at least a general idea of how much you are using. This will help you to work out your average monthly data usage, and help you decide if you’re using the best data plan for you. Follow the instructions below on how to view how much data you have used.

Go to Settings > Cellular (Or Mobile Data) and scroll down to see your Mobile Data Usage

It is important to note that if you have never reset this number it could be pretty big. My advice is to get into a routine of resetting it every month, preferably on the same day that your network resets your allowance. If you are finding after a few months you are consistently going over your data allowance by the same (or close to the same) amount, you may want to talk to your cellular provider about getting set up with a different data allowance plan that can better accommodate your usage.

Stop your apps from using cellular data

If you feel that your data usage is outweighing the amount that you actually use, the problem is more than likely your apps. Apps are always running in the background regardless of whether or not you are using them, sometimes they are even performing data guzzling and battery killing updates. What you may not know, is that it is possible to disallow these apps from using cellular data. Here’s how.

Go to Settings > Cellular/Mobile Data and scroll down to switch off the apps you do not want running on your cellular data.

WiFi Assist

If you’re receiving texts from your cellular provider notifying you that you have reached 80% or more of your data allowance long before your billing month is up, you’re not alone, and the reason behind this is more than likely due to Wi-Fi assist.

WiFi assist comes with an equal amount of pros and cons. In one sense we need access to our data both in and out of the home or office, but at the same time we don’t want to deal with huge data charges on our bill. Often enough, the amount of data that we seem to be using just doesn’t seem to add up.

When Apple introduced IOS.9, a few of us were finding that our cellular data was being burned up faster than ever before. It turned out that the reason behind this was Apple’s new WiFi Assist Feature, which would activate your mobile network if your WiFi signal was weak or flaky. Most of us were not aware of this feature, and were seeing startlingly high monthly bills as a result. Not surprisingly, Apple took a fair amount of backlash over this, prompting them to add in a new support document about the feature that informed users that they “might use more cellular data”.

Luckily, turning off your WiFi Assist is pretty simple, here’s how:

You can turn this feature off in Settings > Mobile Data then scroll to the bottom of the page where you can turn off Wi-Fi Assist.

Data doesn’t have to come with costly headaches if you are aware of where these charges are coming from. If you have followed these simple steps and still finding that your data charges are financially unmanageable, it may be time to talk to your cellular provider about increasing your cellular data allowance to accommodate your usage.

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