What the Tech? Travel tips to save data and money
Lessons from the road that weren't important 3 years ago are important now. Here are a few things you can do before you leave home to make your vacation better, and save a few bucks
Using your wireless data plan is a necessity when using your smartphone or device when you travel, but that data can be expensive, especially if you go over the amount your carrier offers.
Most wireless carriers will charge an extra $15 or more for every gigabyte of data that exceeds your plan. As more people stream music, watch video or use the phone's GPS, the monthly allotment of data is often not enough.
Here are ways to manage the data your using when you're away from your home's wifi network:
- Turn off your phone's LTE option. LTE is fast but it uses more data. Turn it off and use the 3g network. It's a little slower loading programs, but it will reduce the amount of data you and your family uses.
- Turn off 'background app refresh'. That is found under settings. Many apps, including Facebook and Twitter will refresh the feed even when you're not using the app. By turning this feature off, the apps will only refresh the latest content when you have the app opened. Not only will it reduce the amount of data you use, it'll also save on your battery.
- If your phone plan includes a wireless hotspot, use this when more than one person is accessing the internet. A Sprint specialist confirms that by turning off LTE, multiple phones with cellular turned off and connected to the wifi hotspot will save on data.
Other tips while traveling:
- If you use your smartphone's camera to take photos, upload them to Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox or Google Photos. This will allow you to delete the photos from your phone while saving them to the cloud. This will make more room for other photos without taking up all of the space on your phone. Do this over wifi.
- If you or someone else listens to music on Spotify or another streaming service, download the music over wifi. This allows you to listen to your favorite songs without connecting to the internet. Do this over wifi before you leave home. Spotify offers this feature only to Premium users.
- Once you get home change your passwords. You may have connected to a public wifi in an airport, restaurant or hotel. Hackers are increasingly using wifi hotspots to steal information from people using it.
- Be very cautious of public wifi. Ask someone who works there for the official guest wifi service so you don't connect to a wifi network run by a hacker.