Looking to keep your data usage in check when you travel the world? Want to make sure that those megabytes are for your Instagram posts and not spent accidentally downloading a week’s worth of emails?
At KnowRoaming, we know how important data is to travelers. Whether you are keeping in touch with business back home, or enjoying the latest from your Twitter feed, making the most out of your data, and saving money while you roam, is easy if you follow these tips.
*image via Wikipedia Commons
Tip 1: Set your apps to automatically update only over Wi-Fi.
Apps are constantly updated by their developers to ensure the best possible user experience; efficient for customers, but possibly murderous to your data rates. In some cases these updates could be costing you upwards of 100mb in precious data.
Avoid balance drain by setting your apps to update only over Wi-Fi, and try and take advantage of hotspots or hotel Wi-Fi. Here are a 10 cities that offer the best free Wi-Fi in the world.
Android users go into Google Play Store > Select Google Play Store Settings > Select Auto-update apps > Select Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only.
iPhone users go into iPhone settings > Select iTunes & App Store > Disable Use Cellular Data. Also, Music, Apps, Books, and Updates can be disabled under Automatic Downloads.
Tip 2: Narrow down apps that absolutely need cellular data
Not all apps are created equal, at least not while you’re traveling. It’s likely you’ll use messaging, e-mail, maps, and social media apps, but take a moment before you leave to limit some of the less-essential background apps, and instruct them not to use cellular data when they are open.
Take a look at some of the best new travel apps, from packing, to private planes, these apps accommodate even the most eccentric traveler – just be sure to check your settings.
Android users go into Settings > Select Data Usage > Click on the app that you want to instruct not to use cellular data > Check the box that says “Restrict background data.”
For iPhone users this can be done by going to your iPhone Settings > Click on Cellular > Scroll down to “Use Cellular Data For:” > Disable the appropriate apps.
Tip 3: Close apps running in the background.
Many smartphone users are unaware that merely pressing the Home button on your phone does not close the app properly. Apps will run in the background of your phone’s operating system the same way that minimizing your Internet browser while running a YouTube video won’t stop the video. The “background apps” may pull data so that they are up to date when you re-open them. In order to ensure you are closing your apps correctly, and preventing unwanted “background apps” from using data, follow these steps:
Android users hold Home button for more than 1 second. All your opened apps will be displayed. You can choose specific apps by swiping the app to the right or you can close all the apps by clicking on the ‘x’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
iPhone users double click the Home button. All the “background apps” will appear. Swipe left and right across the screen to view all the apps, and swipe up over the specific app to close it.
Tip 4: Manually check your e-mails.
E-mails can use a lot of data if they contain files with big attachments. Usually, your e-mail settings are set to automatically check for, and download, new e-mails. If you want to change these settings so that you can check e-mails at a time that’s best for you, maybe in a hotspot or Wi-Fi enabled area, for example, all you have to do is set your e-mail settings to “check manually”.
Android users – every email client is a little different when it comes to manual versus automatic syncing of your emails. Look in the settings of your email for an option to disable push notifications, switch to manual syncing or manual updating, or for a switch to turn off auto-syncing or auto-updating.
iPhone users go to iPhone Settings > Select Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Under Accounts select Fetch New Data > Disable Push > Scroll down to “Fetch” > Select Manually. Then click on your email accounts that you want to be checked manually.
Tip 5: Take advantage of KnowRoaming’s unlimited plan.
Don’t want to worry about running up a data tab while traveling? Check out KnowRoaming Unlimited; an unlimited data package that provides KnowRoaming customers with unlimited data in 55 countries for $7.99 a day.