What you should know about your devices and how they impact your services

Transcript

(Voiceover, Mou the cat)
“Life is heavenly when you’re the top dog … or in my case, the top CAT of the family. But the day they bring home that new PET … is the worst day of my nine lives. And what a show off! It answers questions and turns on the TV. That THING can even predict the weather. AND it can sing. The whole family loves it. How can a poor cat compete? But then they find out their new SMART device has been using their internet data! AHAH! I don’t use data … and no one gives cuddles like me.”

As technology continues to evolve, so does our need for data. Smartphones, tablets and smart speakers, all use data one way or another. It's important to understand how these devices impact our monthly consumption.

Does my smart speaker use a lot of my monthly data allotment?

Smart speakers are the new hip, techno toy du jour. While everyone is having fun asking these little cylinder shaped assistants questions, it’s easy to forget that they are connected to our home networks and are using data. While the devices themselves use minimal data, the connected video and music can spike your usage.

If you are on a monthly plan with a limited amount of gigabytes, you may want to monitor your usage to avoid any overage surprises.

How can I save data on my cellphone?

Games, movie and music streaming services or social media apps, they’re all part of our daily smartphone usage. Most of us don’t realize they use data to keep us up-to-date. However, there are ways of saving your megabytes and restricting certain functions to Wi-Fi only.

These tips will help you save some data and – more importantly – overage fees:

  • Limit your background data. Various apps constantly refresh themselves in the background to keep you up-to-date on new social media posts, the weather, new emails, etc. Even when you are not using these apps, they are using data.
  • You can limit these background features by:
    • Turning off the Background data option in the respective app’s settings on your Android smartphone
    • Toggling off each app’s Background App Refresh option or by allowing it to refresh the content via Wi-Fi only by clicking on your iPhone’s Settings, followed by General and Background App Refresh
  • Use Wi-Fi for updates. Updates are massive data hoggers. If you’re not careful, updates can drain a significant amount of your monthly allotment.
  • You can limit your iPhone’s operating system and applications’ updates to Wi-Fi by going into your:
    • iTunes and App Store’s settings and turn off the Use Cellular Data control
    • As for the iOS update, you’re in luck; you absolutely need to be connected to Wi-Fi otherwise you can’t proceed
  • If you are using an Android device, you can limit the updates to your operating system and apps by:
    • making sure the Download updates automatically when connected to Wi-Fi option is turned on in your device’s settings
    •  restricting the updates to Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only in your device’s    Google Play Store’s settings
  • Set alerts and limits. You can check and limit your usage and set alerts to better monitor your monthly data allotment from your device’s settings page with your provider’s app or through a third-party data saver app like Google’s Datally or My Data Manager.
  • Choose a different browser. Opt for a more data efficient browser like Opera Mini or Google Chrome. Some of these browsers have data saving modes that compress webpage images and videos, which in turn help reduce the amount of data being used.
  • Listen to your music and watch your TV shows OFFLINE. Download your music/podcast/movie/TV show from your streaming services directly into your phone’s storage (do it via WiFi!). While this may remove storage space from your phone, it will limit data overage damage. Should you choose to stream, make sure you lower the movie or music’s stream quality to low.

Related information

Data Plans, Data Usage and Overage Charges

What you should know about Internet speeds

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