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Smartphones & gadgets

Easy change to use up less smartphone data every month

Do you think that the cost of mobile data in the U.S. is too high? Well, you might be right. A recent study found that the U.S. has the fourth most-expensive mobile data in the world. While Israel, Finland, and Denmark charge less than $2 for 1 GB, the U.S. on average charges $12.30.

But having the cheapest mobile data comes at a price. Think your mobile data is anonymous? Think again, according to a new study. Israel, according to a 2020 study by U.K.-based research firm BusinessFibre, is also the slowest. The U.S. ranked second by the sheer number of mobile data providers but landed in the middle in average speed.

For most countries, it seems to be a compromise between speed, price and the number of mobile providers. By having expensive data, you might be wondering how you can stretch every megabyte. Keep reading for a simple trick to cut down on data usage.

Restrict background data use

Having a smartphone opens your world dramatically. But browsing the internet, downloading apps and conducting everyday business can cost you tons of valuable data. Sometimes you don’t even know the culprit.

RELATED: Cheaper unlimited mobile data plans now available for seniors

There is a neat trick on Android phones that restricts what certain apps can do when using mobile data. By cutting off their data usage when not needed, you will lower data usage and potential overage fees. Turning off Background Data keeps apps from using data when not in use.

Here’s how:

  • Tap Apps & Notifications.
  • To see all the apps installed on your device, tap See all apps.
  • Scroll down until you find the app that you want to restrict and tap it.
  • From the selection, tap Mobile Data & Wi-Fi.
  • Toggle off the switch for Background Data.

It will cut internet access to the specific app by turning background data off until you open it. It won’t use any data to update for activities, be aware that some notifications might not be displayed.

RELATED: Tech how-to: Set up a mobile hotspot

Deny mobile data use

In some cases, you might want to take the restrictions one step further. Disabling Background Data still allows the app to work when you open it, but sometimes you might want to deny it access to data outright. This can be handy when you have children who use your phone. It also prevents an app from updating if you accidentally open it.

  • Swipe down from the top of your phone’s screen.
  • Tap the gear icon to open the Settings menu.
  • Tap Mobile Data.
  • Scroll down and tap Data Usage.
  • Below the chart of your data usage, tap on Network Access.

Here you will see a list of all the apps installed and what data connection they can use. By ticking or unticking the Mobile Data and/or Wi-Fi options, you can set what connection that app has access to.

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