With people becoming increasingly worried about overspending by being on the wrong mobile phone tariff, it has become even more important to understand your phone usage and how your money is spent. An increasing area of uncertainty is mobile internet usage, how this works and where we might be haemorrhaging those precious pieces of data. I’ll take a closer look at mobile data usage with this blog post and aim to help demystify this confusing area of our mobile phone contract.
There are a number of ways that data can be unknowingly wasted and sometimes due to a lack of understanding as to what a megabyte is and how it affects your allotted data plan.
However it has been recently highlighted that one of the biggest drains on data can in fact come from a source that most people would not initially suspect.
That is of course applications, more commonly known as apps. Made famous by Apple’s App store, they are an integral part of most smartphone user’s lives as they are used for everything from gaming to choosing a restaurant. They are however one of the biggest data drainers on your mobile phone. We will go through some of the biggest proliferators around.
Every smartphone comes with some sort of web browser. Web surfing can be the major killer in many data plans as there is a common misconception by people believing that all websites are the same and use the same sort of data.
This isn’t the case.
The content can be text rich or visually rich or even a mix of both. Those that are text rich will always cost you less data than those which are visually rich, or image intensive. Roughly 10 pages a day of large images, or images with large file sizes can eat up 20% of a 500MB plan quite quickly.
Popular social media apps are often pre-loaded on your phone to save you the time of having to download them from the app store (Android, Blackberry, Apple or Nokia’s Ovi store). However they are also one of the worst things that could ever happen to your data plan. Updating statuses doesn’t take up much data but viewing/posting videos and pictures does. Also clicking of links will add up the same as web surfing.
Video and Audio Streaming
Video and audio streaming apps are fantastic to use, but also fantastic when it comes to consuming your data. With every minute of a YouTube video costing the user 2MB of data this can very quickly add up to your 500MB allowance. The same sort of data consumption can be said for those using audio streaming apps as they can lead to you exceeding your data limit from simply listening to 10-15 minutes of music a day.
This is only a real issue if you are firstly on a low data plan and secondly if you post a truly spectacular amount of photos a month using your phone. If you match both of these criteria my advice to you would be share a minimum of ten a week as teasers and upload the rest at home from your computer.
Data is like a balanced diet. You need to have everything in moderation to keep yourself happy but be careful not to let your data consumption run out of control or you will soon break that waistband known as your data plan.
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