We’ve all been there. A text message buzzes in and you think maybe it’s a friend getting in touch for plans or seeing how you’re doing, but instead it’s your cell service provider, tersely stating you’ve reached the limit of your cell data. As smartphones become a household fixture, so do conversations debating paying for unlimited data plans.
If you’re considering locking into a data-centric contract, “hold the phone!” There are several ways you can lower your monthly data usage, most of which revolve around using that wonderful stream of bandwidth that never runs out — your home WiFi from Frontier Communications. So next time you feel like you could be rapidly approaching a data ceiling, consider these tips:
- Turn on your phone’s WiFi receptor so whenever you’re near a WiFi signal, you pick it up. Most phones have an option to leave an open invitation to any WiFi signal nearby. Whether that be your Frontier WiFi at home, office or favorite coffee shop, once you connect to a source you trust, your phone will automatically pick it up next time you’re in that location.
- Download an app that monitors your data usage, so you don’t have to. Some phones keep track of data usage, but those numbers often aren’t customized to your billing cycle, so you have to manually reset the count every month. Apps like My Data Manager track data use based on your personal service plan and send you alerts when you reach certain levels, like 50 or 75 percent.
- Restrict specific apps to use only WiFi. If you know your data troubles are coming largely from specific apps (we’re looking at you, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram), you often have an option within those apps’ settings to only allow them to operate if a WiFi signal is available. That way, you won’t accidentally start perusing data-gobbling videos or photos before realizing you aren’t connected to a signal.
- Disable background app refresh. Within the past year, updates have gone into effect that allow apps to automatically update, which a.) Drains your battery and b.) Drains your data supply. Within your operating system settings there should be an option to disable this. Sure, it might be less convenient to manually update your apps a couple of times a week, but it’s better than paying the extra data fees.
- Use a Web browser that allows data compression. Web browser apps like Chrome and Opera have data compression proxys, which route Web data through alternate servers, compress it into smaller data packets then send the information to your phone. This means less data is being used to see the same content online.
Bonus: Try preloading and caching data-heavy content before you leave home. Like we said, the key to saving data is doing as much with your Frontier home WiFi as possible. Apps like YouTube, Google Maps and Spotify allow you to download or cache content like videos (under the “Watch Later” feature), roadmaps and playlists before leaving home.
Despite what smartphone ads tell you, the key to avoiding data fees isn’t shelling out more money for an unlimited data plan. It’s maximizing your option to use as much of your Frontier broadband WiFi at home as you want, with no extra costs. By being a little more mindful about your usage and following the tips above – including maximizing the use of your home WiFi from Frontier, you‘ll save a lot of money and frustration.