'Twas the holiday season, and smart phones were on,
Not a byte was remaining, the data was gone.
On Facebook, on Youtube, on Twitter and Skype.
There's just so much to do in this digital life.
It's easy to burn through the 2GB (that’s 2,000 megabytes) monthly allowance of typical data plans. That’s especially true during the holiday season, when there are so many things to see, share, and buy on mobile devices. And some activities you might think are data hogs usually use less than a megabyte of data per minute: surfing the Web, using maps and navigation, and sending e-mail (without attachments). Here are seven things you can do—and not do—to get the most out of your data allowance and avoid overage charges.
1. Use Wi-Fi. The best way to stretch your data allowance is by using Wi-Fi whenever it's available, especially for the biggest data hogs. (Just don’t use a public network for banking or other sensitive transactions.)
2. Keep track of your data usage. Most smart phones have an app installed by the carrier, typically called something like "My Verizon Mobile" or "My AT&T,” that lets you manage your account. Use it often to monitor data usage. Most carriers will send you a text alert when you're running low.
3. Watch video streams. An HD-quality video stream consumes almost 6MB per minute. Streaming one video a day from YouTube for a month, or a single HD movie, could eat up 700MB of data—or more than a third of a 2GB budget. It's best to watch video over Wi-Fi. But if you can't wait till Wi-Fi is available, use the phone's settings to reduce the resolution of videos you watch.