Manage data usage on your phone

Tags: Mobile internet services

Keeping your data usage under control

If you’re trying to avoid burning through your data, wondering where it all went or what to know what options you’ve got if you need a bit more, check out the info below.

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Ways to manage your usage

Keep an eye on your usage


How to get more data
Tips to keep usage down

Keep an eye on your usage

Vodafone Alerts

Want us to send you a TXT when you’ve used 50%, 85% and 100% of your included data? If you’re on a monthly billed plan, you can set up Vodafone Alerts through My Vodafone.

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My Vodafone

Log in to My Vodafone through your phone, tablet or computer to keep track of your usage.

There’s also the My Vodafone app for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone which makes it even easier to quickly see how much data you’ve used and got left.

You can also free call or TXT 1512 at any time to check how much you’ve used.

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App data monitoring

Many smartphones have inbuilt features or apps to track data usage in real time. Some can even break down how much data a particular app or phone feature is using.

Check out our support page for more info.

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How to get more data

Boosters and Add-ons

If you’re on a plan and just need a bit more data to get you through the current month, check out our one-off Data Boosters. If you want more data every month, then a Data Add-on is a good idea.

If you’re on prepaid, check out Mobile Internet Add-ons which you can buy with a credit card or recharge voucher.

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Change plans or recharges

If what you’re on just isn’t cutting it, it might be time to change.

If you’re on a plan, check out the plans page to see what’s available and if there’s something better, change to it through My Vodafone.

If you’re on prepaid, you can change to a different recharge offer next time you top up. See our support page if you need help.

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Tips to keep usage down

Wi-Fi

If you’ve got access to a free Wi-Fi connection at home, work or elsewhere, connecting your phone to it means you can keep using data services and not use the data included in your plan or recharge.

Keep in mind that your phone may switch from Wi-Fi to mobile data (your data allowance) without notifying you. Phones are designed this way so that your data services aren’t interrupted.This often happens when you’re on the edge of the Wi-Fi network’s range where the signal is weak, or if the signal is interrupted.

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Setting up a new phone

When you set up a new phone for the first time, it’ll ask you to enter account info so it can sync things like your contacts, email, calendar, applications, pictures and files from cloud services. This first sync can use a fair bit of data so it’s a good idea to connect your phone to Wi-Fi where available.

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Watch out on 4G

The faster you’re able to send and receive data, the more you’re likely to use. You’re still doing all the same things you usually would. Emails, watching a little YouTube, uploading your photos to Facebook, the usual. But you can do a lot more of it in the same amount of time when it’s delivered lightning fast.

Some apps and sites also notice when you’re on 4G and deliver higher quality content which means you’ll use your included data faster too.

If your phone is connected to 4G and you're finding your plan or recharge just isn’t cutting it, check out the solutions above.

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Limit things that use lots of data

Different apps and types of usage have different data needs. Apps that stream or download video (like YouTube and Facebook) will use more data than apps that don't.

 

If you’re trying to work out what apps are using the most data, check out our support page about real-time data monitoring solutions.

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Video and music

When streaming or downloading video or music, choosing higher quality content means you’ll use more data. In some cases, choosing the highest quality content can use two or more times the amount of data than the lower quality options.

Remember that when opening online videos, your phone may download the whole thing even if you stop watching part way through. Most streamed content isn’t saved on your device either so if you go to watch the same clip at another time, it’ll probably be re-downloaded too.

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Background data usage

Even when you’re not doing stuff like browsing the web, sending emails or streaming videos, your phone can still be using data in the background. A few things to watch out for include:

  • Auto upload of content to Dropbox, Flickr, Google Drive, etc.
  • Software updates
  • App updates

To save data, it’s good idea to turn these things off or make sure they’re set to Wi-Fi only.

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Turn off location services

Location services allow your phone to collect info on your geographical location so that apps and other features can use that data to provide you with stuff that’s relevant e.g. the weather where you are.

As they often run in the background and keep using data, you might want to switch them off to keep your usage down. Here’s how to find instructions:

  1. Find your phone in the interactive user guides
  2. Search 'location' in the search box provided
  3. Select the 'Choose GPS settings' hyperlink from the search results and follow the step-by-step instructions
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Email settings

Your email app has the ability to check for new emails at different intervals. You can define how often this is (e.g. every 10 minutes or automatically as they arrive) or you can set it so you have to manually check.

To change the frequency your phone checks for emails:

  1. Find your phone in our interactive user guides 
  2. Search 'email' in the search box provided
  3. Choose the type of email you use (i.e. POP3, IMAP, Exchange)
  4. Follow the step that’s about data retrieval frequency and change the setting in your email app to the one you want. 'Manual' is the best for conserving data

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Hotspots and tethering

Hotspots and tethering let other devices use your phone’s mobile data connection either through Wi-Fi or a USB cable. Some connected devices such as laptops can be quite data hungry so make sure you’re keeping track of how much data they’re using. We’ve also got a support page with some additional data management tips.

If you’re using the hotspot feature on your phone a lot, getting a Pocket WiFi on a plan or prepaid might be a cheaper option.

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Avoid too many speed tests

While it’s great to know how fast your Vodafone internet connection is, speed tests are capable of using a large chunk of your data, especially if you’re on our 4G network. Check out our support page to see how they work.

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Switch mobile data off

You’ve also got the ability to switch off mobile data anytime you don’t want to use it. You’ll still be able to call and TXT (not iMessage or picture message) with it off.

As most smartphones simply aren’t the same without data, this is a pretty extreme measure so check out the solutions above if your plan or recharge needs a boost.

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International roaming - using data overseas

If international roaming is switched on for your account, your data services will continue to work while you’re overseas.

If you’re on an eligible plan and activate $5 Roaming before you go, you can continue to use your plan’s data allowance and add-ons in selected countries for a small daily fee. Check out the $5 Roaming FAQs for more info.

If you’re on any other plan or recharge, Pay-As-You-Go rates apply and they can be quite expensive. If you’re on a monthly plan and want to move to an eligible plan to switch on $5 Roaming, call us on +61414141414 from anywhere in the world.

If you don’t want to use roaming data while you’re overseas, find out how to switch it off.

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