5 Tricks to Get More Cellphone Data for Less Money

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How to Save 50 Percent on Your Cell Bill

By Karla Bowsher

Before the decade is out, 5G wireless technology is expected to become available, CNNMoney reports.

It's also expected to be up to 40 times faster than 4G, allowing a 3-D movie to be downloaded in six seconds instead of six minutes.

There's just one problem: Getting all that data so fast is bound to cost you when your cellphone bill arrives. For example, CNNMoney reports:

A typical standard-definition streaming video that you watch on your phone uses up to 0.7 gigabytes of data per hour, according to Netflix ... 3-D video uses up 4.7 gigabytes, and 4K video uses 7 gigabytes of data. That's more than three times the average monthly data plan, gone in a single hour.

Meanwhile, USA Today recently reported on how to reduce cellphone plan data usage regardless of your connection speed. The tips suggest that just because you can do something on a phone doesn't mean that you should.

To cut back on data usage:
  1. Postpone data-draining activities. Wait to stream videos until you can access a Wi-Fi network or a computer. Just be careful not to transmit sensitive information over a public Wi-Fi connection. (See "Public Wi-Fi: Are You Getting a Side of Identity Theft With Your Latte?")
  2. Properly close apps when you're done using them. Otherwise, they could continue running in the background, draining your data or battery. USA Today reports that iPhone apps can be closed by double-tapping the Home button and swiping apps up. With Android apps, press and hold the Home button and swipe apps to the right or, for newer models, tap the lower-left icon.
  3. Limit use of apps that regularly push new content. This includes stock quotes, weather updates and sports scores. "The more apps you have that look for online updates, the more data you'll consume," USA Today states.
  4. Adjust push or sync settings. Do you really need the phone to beep the moment you receive an email, or that a "friend" posts on your Facebook wall? If not, adjust the push or sync settings on email and social media apps accordingly.
  5. Change your email app's options or settings to "view only." This will save you data compared to downloading attachments.
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