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Data Expose - What Are You Paying For?

When you buy data for your phone using an AT&T GoPhone refill or another method, what exactly are you paying for? Understanding how data is used and measured can help you wisely manage your cell phone costs. When you’re choosing a prepaid phone plan, having an accurate feel for how data works will help you choose the right data limit for you.

Data Usage

Data is used for a variety of tasks on a smartphone. It’s used to install apps and games as well as using maps, online browsers, music streaming, podcasts, and video. Social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, tend to be the bulk of everyone’s data usage.

Different apps use data at different rates. Snapchat and streaming video or audio services use a lot of data. Visiting an average website or sending a plain text email uses much less. You can use the data usage tracking on your mobile device to help you monitor and manage how much data each app is using.

If you find that an app is using more data than you care for, you can uninstall it from your device. Knowing what software is using your data and how “data hungry” these activities are is essential to managing your data and financial budgets.

Data Speed

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Data speed is measured in how long it takes to download a file. Downloading a one Megabyte (MB) file in one second requires a speed of eight Megabits (Mbit) per second. Notations like 3G, HSPA, 4G, and LTE are all inklings of your smartphone’s data speed.

3G means at least 0.2Mbit/second, and 15Mbit/s at best. 4G can be as fast as 1Gbit/s with LTE and HSPA being 4G technologies as well. However, those speed ceilings are rarely seen by consumers. They only apply if you’re the only one on the network and nothing else is using the data at all - which is almost impossible to reach.

Speeds are affected by the number of users, weather conditions, and physical obstacles. That’s why your phone seems slower indoors or during a storm. The various features of your phone can also impact data speed. Improved technology means that current smartphones use less data than older phones when performing the same tasks.

If you can connect to Wi-Fi at home, in public, or at the office, you can use data without using up the data allowance on your phone. The speed of the data on Wi-Fi may be faster or slower than your usual data plan, but that will depend on the Internet service provider behind the Wi-Fi, and it also depends on how strong your data connection is.

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How to Control Your Data Costs

Traditional phone plans have you sign up for a multi-year contract that includes a specific amount of data each month. You pay a monthly fee for that data, whether you use all of it or not. Although, when you go over your limit, the overage fees can be outrageous.

The good news is that there’s a better way to ensure you’re not wasting money. Prepaid phone plans give you the ability to choose how much data is available on your phone. If you need more, you can always buy a refill. If you don’t, there’s no need to spend more of your hard-earned money. With an AT&T GoPhone, you have 90 days to use your data and minutes on most refill packages. That’s a far cry from paying a new, set amount every month no matter your circumstances.

Tracking your data usage is an important step, as is connecting to Wi-Fi when it’s available. If you know you’re planning a trip where you will be using online maps or music streaming, you’ll want to plan for extra data during that time. If you underestimate, don’t panic. Another refill is easy to obtain. You don’t have to live in fear of overage charges or being stranded without data.

Helping Kids Manage Data

Teens and tweens are often unaware of how much data their favorite activities consume. If your child has a cell phone with a set data amount on a traditional contract plan, you may end up with an overage charge month after month.

Prepaid phone plans make it easy to take control and guide your kids to learn how to budget their data usage. By getting them a prepaid phone plan, you can set a limit of how much data is available. Once they use it, it’s gone. They can’t keep going online and cost you enormous amounts of money and overages.

You can encourage financial responsibility by creating rules where they can buy additional data refills with their own money. When they are paying, rather than you, they will be more conscious of what they need. You may then find that they are quite responsible with their data usage!

Data can seem confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a variety of functions on your phone that use data, but USA Prepaid’s phone plans make it easy to track and manage your usage. An AT&T GoPhone refill is available if you run out. And if you don’t use it, you don’t have to worry about those monthly charges.

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USA Prepaid is required to inform the customer prior to their purchase that the right of withdrawal expires at the moment the digital content is dispatched by email or through RTR. A checkbox is included within the purchasing process, in the last step; before the customer clicks on the “Checkout” button. For more information click here or contact us.