A major area that users of mobile phones get caught out is the mobile internet costs. Many unwittingly run up huge bills by letting their phone connect to websites without them knowing. In Australia, mobile data rates are very expensive so here are some tips and hacks to stop Optus, Three, Virgin, Vodafone and Telstra from robbing you blind. Many of these tips will also apply to users in other parts of the world.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Unplug your internet. If you have a phone but just dont want to ever accidentally or deliberately use the mobile internet, go to MENU --> TOOLS / SETTINGS --> CONNECTION --> DESTINATIONS/ACCESS POINTS --> Internet. Delete all the access points.
Take out Mobile Data Usage insurance. There is no such thing but many of the phone providers have options to add $8 or $5 to get say 25mb data allowance. This means that if your phone accidentally connects to the internet, you have 25MB of free data allowance to "use up". Considering the potential cost of not having such a bolt-on feature added to your plan, this is one way of insuring yourself against data costs.
Complain. Tell your mobile phone provider that you are not happy with their taking advantage of your inability to stop accidental connections to the internet with your phone.
Be careful how your mobile applications connect to the internet. One example is GMAIL. It can be programmed to only connect to the internet using, say, your WIFI at home. Search on the right for more about this.
Watch out for the SIM Swap. When you turn off your phone and switch sim cards, sometimes the "default" settings of your phone provider will be reinstated. So if you deleted say an Optus Internet access point, it may suddenly appear again and next time you are using Google Maps, you realise you are boring a hole through your wallet. So when you swap your sim cards around, check your access points.
Delete internet "shortcuts". Hutchinson 3 are notorious for this. When you get a phone from 3 Australia, you end up with so many keys and shortcuts programmed to take you to an internet website. Reconfigure your shortcuts and keypad shortcuts to make sure your phone doesn't connect to the internet "accidentally".
Use your free WIFI If you are at home and you have a wireless router, why are you using the mobile internet??? Use your free access points as much as possible. There are plenty of free wifi hotspots around - look up the search on the right with "free wifi" and you will find a google map of some in Australia.
Download, don't stream When you have access to free internet, download what you want to watch or listen to on your phone and take it with you rather than wait till you are bored on the bus and surf youtube.
Hope those help you curb your mobile internet bill..