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Are you, like me, teetering close to the edge of exceeding the limits of your data plan? I don’t want to give my big-telecom company anymore money, so I’ve done some research into preventing this from happening. 500 MB of data/month seemed like a reasonable amount, but I guess it’s not!

How to use less data:

  1. Use Wi-Fi whenever possible (duh). In fact, I’ve turned off my data and 3G connectivity for now and only turn them on when I really need to connect to the inter-webs on the go (Settings>General>Cellular>select OFF for cellular data and 3G)
  2. Use the computer to download media, apps, and videos and then sync them with my iPhone
  3. Close as many programs as possible that are running in the background (if you use an iPhone 4 or newer, you can double-press the home button at the bottom and the icons of all programs running will appear at the bottom scrolling left to right. Press and hold an icon until it starts wiggling, then press the red circle with the line trough the centre to turn it off)
  4. Adjust/reduce app notifications (this is in the Settings; I choose to manage those manually, app by app)
  5. Turn off location services (not sure how to do this except by turning of the maps or other programs that are set to use your current location)
  6. Turn off pushing or fetching new mail, contacts, and calendars (this, too, is in the Settings)
  7. I don’t have my iPhone tethered with my computer, but if I did, I’d stop because that, too, uses data

Now, I don’t know how best to monitor my data usage without always going into my iPhone carrier’s app. Ironically that app doesn’t work when I’m using Wi-Fi.

It does seem rather silly that one has to manually reset the phone’s internal data usage calculator (also located in the Settings) with one’s monthly billing cycle. Why can’t my wireless carrier talk to my phone and say: hey, it’s a new month–time to reset? My next billing cycle begins on February 17th, so until then it’s no more data.

I have NO IDEA what are the overage charges for exceeding my allotted 500MB of data per month. The warning text message from my carrier just says “additional charges,” and after 10 min of clicking all over our account page I still have NO IDEA what is the overage charge.