Avoiding Data Hog Disasters
One of my clients let out a cry of dismay over the weekend. Her data plan was gone and she needed to renew over two weeks early. Her sin? Watching too many “quick” real estate video home walk-throughs. The Wall Street Journal also wrote about data plans and videos in “Live Video is a New Data Hog.”
Let’s say that you use only 5 minutes of live video a day for a month. That’s 2.1 gigabytes of data against your data plan! How about averaging a more reasonable 10 minutes a day? (This is easy to reach by watching a handful of those “quick” 2-3 minute videos.) Now you’ve blown through 4.2 gigs.
It doesn’t matter if you’re lucky like I am with a very grandfathered Verizon unlimited data plan. (They’ve been praying for me to leave for a few years.) But what if you didn’t enroll in and continue renewing an unlimited plan 14 years ago like I did?
First, watch your device’s app usage. The Wall Street Journal calls out Periscope, Meerkat, Rhinobird.tv, and a few others. But how about Hulu, YouTube, and Netflix? Do videos start up automatically in your Facebook? What about real estate sites with home videos and drone footage?
Second, do you really need to watch that video? I don’t think I’m saying anything groundbreaking when I say that there’s a lot of junk on the Internet. If you do need to watch the video, do you really need to watch it right now? Or can it wait for a Wi-Fi connection?
Finally, Wi-Fi is your friend. Be careful of security; don’t give out credit card numbers, login and password information, etc., on public networks. But remember that your cellular data plan doesn’t charge for Wi-Fi usage. Make the most of it!