If you are one of the lucky ones who recently switched to a new smartphone, you might have noticed that your cell data usage has increased without any significant changes in your habits. The truth is that the more advanced cellphones get, the more data they require to operate. Newer devices come with improved cameras that capture fantastic quality content that not only take more space on your device but also drains your data when you upload it to social media. The bigger screens and higher resolutions often used in new smartphone models also negatively impact the data usage.

Using too much data could end up being costly too as mobile carriers here in the US do not make your life easier. They want you to use more data, Verizon Wireless even created an app called go90 so they can encourage users to use more data. Even though mobile carriers claim that they offer unlimited data plans, those plans are never genuinely unlimited. In most cases, there is a cutoff limit which varies depending on the wireless carrier of your choice and when you reach it – you get to experience something you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy – the modern day nightmare of 3G internet speeds.

Whatever the reason – avoiding high bills or slow internet – our suggestions will help you decrease the data usage on your smartphone.

How to decrease the data usage on your smartphone

Perform app updates only when connected to a Wi-Fi network

One of the best ways to decrease your data usage is to make sure that you always download updates for apps when you are connected to a Wi-Fi. On average, people tend to have about 30 apps on their smartphone. App updates are issued more often than we want and quite regularly updates end up more than 100mb.

If every app receives an update once a month, and the update is about 100mb, you will end up using nearly 3GB of data to simply keep your phone running. Go to settings and switch off the app updating when not connected to a Wi-Fi, spare yourself those 3GB for something more refreshing such as watching a few episodes on The Big Bang Theory on your way to work.

Turn Off Wi-Fi Assist or Smart Network Switch

Both iOS’ Wi-Fi Assist and Android’s Smart Network Switch were put in place for people who cannot afford to have a lousy internet connection on their smartphones. However, both have proven to be controversial as sometimes those functions may overuse your cellphone data while you think you are connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Avoid disappointment by switching them off. Unless you need them all the time, the best option would be to keep the functions turned off and take advantage of them only when a stable connection is necessary.

Stop autoplay

This is starting to be one of the biggest reasons for the increase in data consumption. More and more apps are bombarding us with oddly satisfying video content. While apps such as FOX Sports and Comedy are in place to entertain us and autoplay is generally expected there, non-video apps are integrating this feature starting the videos as soon as you scroll over them.

Once the video has begun the chances of you continuing to watch are increasing hand in hand with your chances of getting a data overage on your next monthly cell phone bill. To be on the safe side, go ahead and turn off autoplay on every app.

Terminate all unneeded background processes

Those are the little pieces of software that continuously transmit data to their mothership – you need to find a way to stop them from doing so. And as we all know, sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming to have to dig in settings and terminate processes manually.

This is why there are user-friendly task killers that can do the job for you. With a task killer app, you are only a few clicks away from terminating all these background processes that drain your data usage and battery life.

Most reputable antivirus software solutions include such features in their flagship mobile internet security products.

Download Google Maps

If you’ve been looking for a reason to ditch Waze or Apple Maps, this might be a good one for you. We are getting more and more dependent on our mobile devices, especially on their GPS functions. Sadly, even though GPS usage is not one of the main reasons for generating a significant increase in data usage, it is indeed worth mentioning that Google Maps have the option to use the maps offline.

Open Google Maps, go up in the menu and then hit the offline ‘maps button’ and download the area you need. Make sure you are connected to a Wi-Fi! This is how you can save on GPS data usage, and you will have the much-needed piece of mind that you will be able always to find your way back home when you’ve used all your data, and your carrier has switched you to an unusable 3G connection.

We are confident that you now have what is needed to switch to a lower tier data plan and decrease your monthly cell phone bill, or to avoid reaching the cutoff limit wireless carriers impose on you. Whatever your goal is, make sure your precious connected device is protected with antivirus software – this is the one task you cannot afford to kill.

Download Panda Mobile Security