Mobile data is expensive, and when you use too much data (over and above your allowance), you might get a shock when your bill comes in. If your phone is connected to Wi-Fi, it’s not using mobile data and anything you do won’t count against your data allowance; that’s an obvious one. But, when you’re not using Wi-Fi and your phone is connected, you’re eating away at that data. So, we think it’s our responsibility to tell you not just why your data is running out each month, but also how much data some of your daily activities use.
Where’s all my data going?
Downloading films or TV shows generally eats the most data. However, sending and receiving emails with large attachments can use just as much. Here are a few examples, to give you a rough idea:
Email – Without attachments, the average email uses between 10 and 30KB of data. With attachments, it can be anything from 500KB for one photo, to several MB for large documents.
Social media – Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can quickly burn through your data. Tweeting a message uses about 500KB, but if you’re uploading lots of photos, it’ll eat up more.
Apps and games – Downloading a game uses around 30MB. Playing games online may drain your data quickly. It could be anything up to 60MB an hour, or more.
Music – Downloading one song uses around 3 to 10MB.
How can I reduce my data usage?
Your smartphone can be eating into your data usage allowance without you realising. You might think since you aren’t browsing the internet or scrolling through Facebook that you aren’t using any data, but don’t be fooled. Here are some suggestions on how to conserve that data and stay within your allowance every month:
Apps running in the background are one of the most common causes of data usage. One way to ensure these apps are closed down is to double tap the home button on your device and swipe them away (iPhone).
Do videos play automatically when you scroll through your latest posts on Facebook or Twitter? You can stop this happening by switching auto-play to ‘Wi-Fi only’ in the app settings on your device.
Listen to your favourite songs through the offline mode on common apps like Spotify.
Do you have an Apple iPhone? The relatively new Wi-Fi Assist feature automatically switches between Wi-Fi and data depending on the strongest signal. To stay in control, go to Settings and turn off Wi-Fi Assist.
Love sending emojis to all your closest friends and family? If you’re not sending an Apple iMessage or Whatsapp, then a message containing an emoji could be sent as an MMS and come at an extra cost. Double check you’re sending via Wi-Fi to save your data.