Top Tips To Keep Within Your Mobile Broadband Data Allowance

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Top Tips To Keep Within Your Mobile Broadband Data Allowance
Phil Turner

When you use mobile broadband you will have a data allowance that you need to stick to.  However, there are a lot of people who find it rather hard to keep to the data allowance that they have. There are lots of tips that you should consider when it comes to staying within your data allowance. Following these tips can help you save money and prevent you from having no data left halfway through the month; or worse still getting hit with a hefty “outside package data” bill at the end of the month.

The Type of Mobile Broadband User You Are

The first tip that you need to know about is how to determine the type of mobile broadband user you are. When you know this you will be able to determine the amount of data that you are going to need each month. By having the right amount of data each month you will have an easier time keeping track of what you are using and staying within the limits. Using a service such as uSwitch is a great way to find out about the different mobile broadband packages out there.

What Kind of Mobile Broadband User Are You

There are three types of broadband users that you need to know about. Light, moderate and heavy users. Each display different usage profiles. The heavy user should not be looking at mobile broadband as a primary connection; even if they can get top speed 4G mobile broadband.

The light user will not actually complete a lot of online activity and this will reflect in the amount of data that they use. Moderate users are perhaps the most risky category of mobile broadband user, as they will occasionally use their connection to excess without realising that they are doing so.

Keep Track of What You Do

Knowing the type of user you are is important, but it will mean nothing if you do not look at the second tip to keeping within your data allowance. The second tip is to keep track of what you do online through your mobile devices. This is something that a lot of people do not do, and this is why they are unaware of where their data is going.

Mobile Broadband Data Usage Per Month

When you keep track of what you are doing you will be able to see whether or not your data plan is actually right for you. If you do not have the right plan then you are always going to have problems staying within your data allowance. By tracking what you do you will also be able to determine the data heavy tasks that you do.

There are a number of different ways that you will be able to track what you are doing. There are some people who take the traditional route and make a paper note of what they do. However, this can be time consuming and most people will forget to note things at times. Another option that you can look at is getting a monitoring system. These monitoring systems will track all of the applications that you use during a month, or for however long you have set them for.

Know How Much Data Tasks Use

The third tip to keeping within your mobile broadband data allowance is to know how much data certain tasks take. There are tasks where you will not be able to determine the exact amounts they are going to use. These tasks include the downloading of mail and many background activities. However, there are certain tasks that you will be able to find out about the exact amount of data that they use.

Task Mobile Broadband Data Usage

These tasks are generally going to be the data heavy tasks that you actually need to look out for. If you are going to be streaming media through mobile broadband then you need to know that a standard definition movie will take 400 to 700MB of data.

You can often see the file size noted on the streaming site. A high definition movie can take as much as 3GB of data, depending on the length of the film. A single 4 minute song can take 4MB to stream. It is these high consumption activities that will generally eat up all of your monthly data.

Do Not Update Your Apps

One of the best tips that you can use to stay within your monthly data allowance is to not update your apps when you are connected to 3G or 4G. App updates are something that can actually use more data than you might imagine. A lot of people assume that apps do not use a lot of data when they update, because of the speed at which it is done. However, a single update for an app can take 20MB to 50MB of data.

Application Update Mobile Broadband Data Usage

When you consider that many people have well over 20 apps on their devices this is a lot of data that is being used. It is easy to disable automatic updates for you apps.

When you do this you can have the apps alert you to when there is an update and then you can choose when this should be downloaded. It is best that you wait until you are connected to a Wi-Fi connection before you complete the downloads in order to avoid using your mobile broadband data.

Check the Background Activities

Mobile devices will have background activities going on that could be using your mobile broadband data. Most people ignore the background tasks because they feel they are not important for them to know about. When you do this you could find yourself using all of your data without realising it.

When you leave the background tasks to do what they want you could be leaking data. These tasks are the ones that you often do not consider like the Twitter feed and the email application. However, when any of these background apps send you an alert they are using data. There are a number of settings that you should check when you look at these background tasks.

The most important setting that you need to consider is the one that limits the access to mobile broadband. There are many devices that have a setting you can activate that stops all apps from using your mobile broadband unless otherwise stated. When you activate this setting the apps will only use data when they are connected to a Wi-Fi connection.

There is a lot you can do to control the amount of mobile broadband data you consume. Be disciplined, as it is normally that one-hour splurge of HD streaming that hits your allowance the most.

Author Phil Turner

View all Phil’s articles

For the Author: Phil Turner wanted to find out about the pros and cons of upgrading to 4G mobile broadband so he checked out this page on the uSwitch website

How do you manage your mobile data usage? Please comment and share with your friends, family and colleagues too…..

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