By Juliet Umeh

Smartphone makes keeping in touch with family, friends and associates easier. But staying connected means more data usage obviously.

Sometimes, it could be frustrating when you open your phone and all you get is-‘you have no internet connection.’ Certain factors are responsible for this. It is important you  set up limits and alerts to keep an eye on your data usage and maximize your data plans. Here are the tips.

*How much data do you need?

Most times, you may overestimate the data you need, so use cold hard facts to make the decision on which data allotment is best for you. Log in to your carrier’s website and review your data usage over the past few months. Select a plan that is higher than the amount of data you used during this period.

*Set data alerts and limits

You can check your data usage on iOS devices  by going to  Settings > Cellular  or  Mobile data. These data stats do not reset each billing period automatically, so you have to remember to do it yourself. My Data Manager  keeps track of your usage  and even allows you to set custom alarms when you exceed a certain amount of data in a month.

*Use Wi-Fi wherever possible

There is a fundamental rule for saving cellular data: If there’s Wi-Fi, use it. Chances are at both home and work; you’ll have some type of Wi-Fi access to connect. Even in many public places including parks, supermarkets, department stores, public Wi-Fi is there for your use. Get in the habit of checking when you’re somewhere new, and this will lead to a substantial drop in cellular data usage.

* Avoid using push email

When you use push email, your device is constantly looking for new messages.

*Take your maps offline

Navigation apps can be a surprisingly large hog on your data. If you’re using them all the time to find specific shops, restaurants, new city, maybe you should look at downloading the area map ahead of time. If you’re an Android user, this is simple. Just boot up Google Maps, search for the area you want to download, and then tap  More info, followed by  Download.

*Change your browsing habits

It’s always better to browse the mobile version of the website on a mobile device, so avoid using the desktop versions of a site if you can. Also, despite taking up a fair amount of storage on your phone, the browser cache is actually a good thing here.  By preserving your cache, you won’t have to download images from frequently visited websites every time you visit them.

*Subscribe to streaming services with offline options

Videos are by far the biggest drain on your data, so if you stream a lot of YouTube content, then consider  YouTube Red. In addition to the option of saving videos onto your device, you also have their music service built in. With other streaming subscriptions, you will want to check where they offer offline content too. Apps like Apple Music, Google Play Music allow you to create playlists for offline listening.

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