When we think of consumption, one of the first things that comes to mind is resources. Often this refers to natural resources such as minerals, water and land. While these are all physical things, most people are still blinded from their depletion as they use these items every day. But no doubt, they are still depleting by the second, whether we can see them decreasing in volume or not.
So when it comes to data usage, we are all even more blinded by its volume as we can never really see it to begin with. Data is not a physical thing. Data is information that we upload to our personal computers and phones or download to other destinations. And phone and internet companies like to put a cap on how much of it we can access. But when you can’t see an item that you are supposed to be limited on using, sometimes it is hard to stay within the recommended, or mandated, perimeters. There are, however, ways in which you can curb your data usage to make sure that you and your family don’t run out before each month is over.
Data usage is relative. Some Internet providers allot you 10GB a month while others provide what seems like endless usage. While some people never hit their 10GB ceiling, others are having to check their usage daily to make sure they stay under their 100GB limit. But there are ways to smartly use and manage your data as to not adversely impact any of your usual uploading or downloading through your internet provider. By starting with these tips, you will be able to monitor your data usage and use it wisely so at the end of the month, there is not a panic for running out of data or paying high fees to go over your limit.
- Be aware of your data usage. The first step in managing your data usage is being aware of it. Check your usage daily and weekly to see where the spikes are in usage. You may find that video chatting with your friends who live nearby every day for long periods of time is taking up 50 percent of your data. Streaming can be another huge data consumer. Be aware of your streaming habits so you can make better decisions on using your data for what you really can’t live without.
- Turn off automatic updates. Software can often come along with massive amounts of updates that eat away at your data at the most inopportune time. This doesn’t mean you should forego updates. Go to your settings and turn off the automatic updates, but leave on the alert for when updates are available. This puts you in charge of your updates, and in charge of more of your data.
- Set limits. If you know you and your family are tight on your data each month, make sure to have each member be aware of their usage. Sometimes it is best to allocate portions of available data to each family member, setting aside a small amount to tap into if everybody reaches their limits before the month is up.
- Use free WiFi connections. If you are not at home and there is a free WiFi signal available, use it! It is basically free data. Take this time to run updates on your laptop or phone, back up large files and even get in a video call or two to family members.
There are other ways to obtain data that set you free from limits as well. Not only do coffee shops and friendly neighbors have free WiFi streaming for everyone to use, but apartment buildings, college campuses, business offices and luxury condominium complexes may offer unlimited data usage as a premium benefit or amenity. If you are moving into a new residence, especially an exclusive one in New York City like Inkwell, make sure to ask the concierge for the password to your free data usage line, granting you the freedom to forego monitoring your resources to data.