Prepaid plans generally do not carry overage fees but require one to use data top-ups to continue using the internet. Whereas for postpaid plans, the user buys for a specific high-speed data limit. If one uses that data within a given period, one either pays overage charges for the additional data or continues using the internet at reduced speeds. Buying unlimited data plans, using the internet judiciously, and changing some phone settings can help prevent data overuse.
Here are some ways of managing data usage wisely so that one can stay within purchased limits:
1. Get a data plan that covers the family needs
Make a rough assessment of the monthly data required based on the number of family members and devices. On average, one requires around 1.5GB of data if one uses it only for browsing, reading news, texting, or sending and receiving emails. Others would need about 2 to 2.5GB of data for streaming apps, watching videos and movies, listening to podcasts, or playing games. Choose a plan that can provide the bandwidth for all the family members, considering if they would use Wi-Fi or other broadband at school, college, or workspace. One can find many carriers that offer plans offering 100GB and more.
2. Know the plan
After finding a plan that comes with sufficient data, it’s important to understand how it works. Does it enable one to track data usage for each device or for the entire family account? Additionally, make sure to research and find out what the consequences or penalties are if one goes over the data limit outlined in the plan.
3. Choose unlimited plans
Unlimited plans are one of the best ways to avoid data overuse and overage charges. After determining the data usage requirements, one can look for plans from the current carrier or carrier supporting the phone.
4. Use public Wi-Fi
Use secure Wi-Fi at schools, colleges, workplaces, and other community places offering these services to users. Set up auto-connect to places one visits regularly to reduce data usage.
5. Track data usage
One can track the amount of data used in the plan by following any of these options.
- Go to Connections on the phone and check Mobile data usage for a single device.
- Download the carrier app and link the numbers under the plan.
- Download a data monitoring app.
- Set usage alerts from the carrier through text or email.
6. Download content only using Wi-Fi
Downloading movies and music consumes a lot of cellular data. Whenever possible, download them using Wi-Fi to save data and additional costs.
7. Work offline in apps
Many apps, like GPS and gaming apps, allow one to work offline. Use them offline and turn on data only when real-time statistics or information is required.
8. Disable data-guzzling features
Disable features like location tracking, default and automatic downloads, and automatic updates and set them to manual downloads and updates so that they do not use cell phone data.
9. Enable the data save option
Check phone settings and enable the data save option to close background apps, data fetching, and toggle off auto downloads of apps and photos.
10. Share large files only through Wi-Fi
Unless urgent, do not transfer or share large images, videos, or documents through text or email using cellular data. Use a Wi-Fi connection while uploading images and videos on social media and sharing large files or images with friends/family.
Data plans for multiple lines from different carriers
AT&T – Unlimited Premium Plans for four lines (up to 200GB data)
For $50 a month, the Unlimited Premium Plan is one of the best data plans without overage charges. AT&T offers unlimited data, text, and talk time without any overage charge or slowing down speed. One can utilize 50GB of monthly data for each of the four lines. The plan supports 4K UHD streaming and features mobile security and identity monitoring.
Sprint Max at $85 per month
Users can get unlimited data, text, and calls with 40GB of high-speed internet with a Mobile Hotspot from Sprit. One can get Hulu access, unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi, up to 4k UHD video streaming, and global roaming. Additionally, the cost includes taxes and fees.
Verizon – Unlimited Ultimate at $65 per line
Get the Unlimited Ultimate plan at $65 for one and $30 for four lines for 5G Ultra Wideband Internet. Users can get an additional 60GB mobile hotspot and 1080p HD video streaming. Upon adding a new smartphone line with the Bring Your Own Device tool, users can receive up to $540 in promotional credit. In addition, one can get a 50% discount on two-device plans.
US Cellular – Even Better Unlimited Plans
Get unlimited text, call, and data with the Even Better plan from US Cellular at $50 per line for four lines. Users can get unlimited priority data and full HD streaming. Other benefits from US Cellular include the Call Guardian app, which filters spam calls, and a price protection guarantee.