We asked our Facebook24x7 community to give us their number one tip to manage mobile data usage, and these are the results - now with two bonus tips to help you get the most out of the data in your plan.
Use Wi-Fi whenever possible
Data that you use through a Wi-Fi network comes from that network’s internet account, so it has no impact on your data allowance.
Avoid streaming video while using cellular data
Streaming video from sites such as YouTube and Vine will use up much more data than normal web browsing. To conserve your data allowance, do the smart thing and only stream video through Wi-Fi.
Use an app to monitor your data use
There are plenty of apps available to download that can monitor your data use and manage your tasks. Find one that suits you and check it daily to stay in control of how much data is used between the different tasks and apps on your phone.
Shut down your apps when they’re not in use
Some apps keep pulling data in the background even though you’re not actively using them. You can prevent unnecessary waste by making sure they’re well and truly switched off, such as with a task manager app.
Let your cellular data sleep when you do – switch it off at night
If you’re definitely not using cellular data (like when you’re asleep), go into your device’s options and switch off cellular data. That way, you can wake up knowing there hasn’t been any surprise downloads overnight.
Text “USE” via SMS to 176 to find out how much data you’ve used
If you’re not sure about how much data you’ve used, this SMS service will give you the most up-to-date measurement of how much data you’ve used for this billing month.
Check your data usage regularly
Make a habit of checking your data use daily. It’s impossible to predict exactly how much data will be used across all of your phone’s activities, but you can monitor how much data you’re using and regulate your activities accordingly. Try the Telstra 24x7 app.
Reset the cellular data usage meter on your iPhone every month
If you have an iPhone, you already have a data usage meter built-in, which you can monitor against your monthly data allowance. Just go to Settings > General > Usage > Cellular Usage, and make sure you reset it every month.
Ask yourself if your data allowance is enough
If you’re still going over your data allowance, it’s possible you just don’t have enough. Consider buying a data pack or going on a different plan to avoid those extra fees and charges. Check out our the plans and data packs.
Mobile gaming is great, but avoid it on cellular data
Like streaming video, mobile games with an online component (such as multiplayer) can consume a lot more data than average. Online games are best played only when Wi-Fi is available.
Set up an early warning system
Some devices and apps will let you set a usage limit. Create a monthly data cycle and set your usage limit to 80% of your data allowance. That way, you can prevent going over your limit and even ration that last 20% of data.
Switch off automated app and software updates
You never know if a software update is going to need 5MB or 50MB, and the last thing you want is to accidentally go over your allowance because it automatically downloaded to your device. Do the smart thing and switch off automatic updates in your settings menu. Update your software only when you’re good and ready at a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Skype and Facetime are awesome, but save them for Wi-Fi
What consumes more data than streaming video to your mobile device? Streaming video out at the same time. Skype and Facetime on iPhone will send you over your data allowance in no time, so make sure you only use it when Wi-Fi is available.
Data usage with the Telstra 24x4 App is updated every 15 minutes
The Telstra 24x7 App is the best app around for managing your services with us. The app used to have a much longer lag time when updating you on data usage, but now the data use information is current as of 15 minutes ago! Considering some networks can take around 2 days to get you up-to-date info, that's a pretty good turnaround.
Don’t stream your music... unless you’re using MOG
MOG with BigPond is perfect for streaming music, especially because the data is unmetered. If you’re not using MOG, however, remember that music files are data-intensive and can use up your monthly allowance very quickly. In such cases, limit music streaming to where Wi-Fi is available. Better still, download the music to your desktop computer first before transferring the files to your phone.
Switch off social media notifications – they’re killing your data
You might feel the need to know if someone has ‘liked’ your status or retweeted you each and every time it happens, but those notifications are slowly chipping away at your monthly allowance. Be smart, switch notifications off, and manually retrieve your updates.
Switch off cellular data before giving your mobile to someone who isn’t versed in data etiquette
Sometimes, a friend or relative will ask check out your phone. But let’s face it: some people just aren’t aware that certain functions use up a lot of data. To prevent unexpected data use, consider switching off cellular data on your phone before handing it to someone who doesn’t know better - particularly your younger family members.
Set your data monitoring app on the home screen
It’s easy to forget to check how much data you’ve used, so give yourself a constant reminder by keeping your data monitoring app on the home screen where you’ll see it.
Turn off location settings
Unless you’re lost, there’s no need for you to have location settings switched on. Triangulating your exact position consumes a lot of data, so switch it off when you can.
Get your emails manually
Most of the time, you don’t need to automatically receive an email right away. Email can be data intensive, so switch off automatic “pulls” and consider manually downloading your emails when Wi-Fi is available.
Keep your iCloud back-ups to Wi-Fi only
iCloud back-ups can involve a large amount of data that will easily take you over your data allowance. Keep this activity strictly limited to where Wi-Fi is available.
Going overseas? Get an international roaming pack
International data packs are different from the standard data packs, and you’ll need them if you plan to use data while travelling overseas. Check out our available options.
Get up and personal with your apps
Not every app goes online. Make it a point to familiarise yourself with the apps on your phone so that you know which ones you can use while you’re on the go.
Want to know what the weather is? Look out the window
Some weather apps rely on location information drawn from your phone, which can use up a lot of data. It might be easier to simply look out the window to see what the day holds.
Using a Windows Phone? Use Data Sense
Pin this nifty app to Start, and you’ll be able to monitor your phone’s data use. It’ll even help you conserve data by saving certain tasks until you have a Wi-Fi connection.
Use a free Telstra Wi-Fi Hotspot
Telstra Wi-Fi Hotspots have upcycled old phone booths to offer people free Wi-Fi when they most need it. If you're on the go and desperately need some Wi-Fi, take a look here to find your nearest Hotspot.
Check out if you’re eligible to receive the benefits from the changes Telstra has made to how we deal with data
From May 2015, a new feature called Extra Data will be available. If you have an existing eligible plan, or when you sign up to a new one, you will be able to opt in to Extra Data
When you have chosen to opt in to Extra Data, if you go over your data allowance in a month, we will top your data up automatically at a rate of $10 for 1GB. At the end of your bill period your allowance goes back to normal
Super Mega Value Fixed Broadband
You may get anywhere between 50GB and 500GB a month at no extra cost. If you’re awarded the top up, we’ll add it to your monthly data allowance. Check for the top up on MyAccount or the Telstra 24x7 app
The upgrade is yours for as long as you stay on the plan
Pop over here and here to watch the videos for all the information or click here to check out plan information.
If you have any other tips or suggestions, feel free to post them below