We have been SO impressed with Verizon’s 4G service this summer! As I write this, we are in the small town of Celina in northeastern Ohio. There are NO major metropolitan areas anywhere near us, and we have blazing fast 4G LTE from Verizon.
Earlier this summer, we were parked in a Thousand Trails campground called Carolina Landings, near the mountains in S Carolina. When we first arrived we had a good 3G connection and since these Thousand Trails parks pride themselves on being in natural surroundings far from big cities, we counted ourselves lucky to get online at all. While we were there, Verizon ‘flipped the switch’ on 4G in the area. Wow! Instead of clicking on a Youtube video and watching it painfully start and stop, the whole video would be loaded before I even decided whether or not I wanted to watch it!
Fast Speeds = More Data Used
With those kind of speeds, you can go thru a lot of data in a short time. Luckily, we have an unlimited data plan, so we don’t worry, but if you have a 2GB, or even a 5GB plan, you need to keep a watch on it. Every phone will have some way to check your data usage. On my Motorola Droid Razr Maxx from Verizon, there is a Verizon widget right on my home screen that displays my current usage. Your phone also has an app from your Provider (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.) that gives you a way to see your overall usage.
You may also want to dig a little deeper to see exactly what is using the data. On the Android 4 system, you can visit your System Settings, Wireless and Networks, Data Usage, and see the screen pictured above. It sorts your data-using apps by the greatest usage. You can see that Google+ is on the top of my list. That’s because I have it set to automatically upload all pictures taken by my phone. You may also have that feature turned on – it’s a wonderful feature!
Use Wi-Fi When Available
If you have data limits, you can also change a setting so that Google+ only performs these uploads if you’re connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot and therefore, not using the limited data from your provider.
The screen at left shows what you see when you touch Google+ on your data usage screen. At the very bottom is the option to ‘Restrict background data.’ You check the box for ‘Disable background data on mobile data network only. Wi-Fi will be used if available. To use Wi-Fi, you must be in a Wi-Fi hotspot, then go to your Wireless and Network Settings, Turn Wi-Fi on, and choose the name of the Wi-Fi hotspot that you have available to you.
Check your plan to see what you’re allowed and how much you pay for overages. It’s not as bad as it used to be. Most Verizon plans charge $10 for each Gigabyte of data over your limit. So, even if you go 5GB over, that’s only $50. It used to be hundreds of dollars for that kind of overages.