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All about mobile data

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More and more people are using smartphones and tablets to access the internet on the go. Whether you're checking the news, updating your Facebook status or shopping online, you'll be using data. But what is data, how much does it cost and how can you control it?  

We want you to enjoy going online with your phone or tablet without getting any unexpected charges on your TalkTalk Mobile bill, so here are some expert tips.

 

 

All about mobile data

 

All our plans include a data allowance, which is the amount of data you can use without being charged extra. If you exceed that allowance, you'll have to pay for “out of bundle” data use.

 

How much does it cost?

You'll pay £2 per 50MB per day if you go beyond your data allowance.

tt_icon-pdf The rate works on a daily basis, so each 50MB extra you use before midnight will cost £2.
If you use some but not all of that 50MB, you won't be able to carry over the unused data to the next day.

 

How will the charge display on my bill? Your data usage is broken down into 2.86mb chunks on your bill.

 

Need more data?

If you're regularly going over your allowance, you should add a Boost to give yourself more data. All our boosts have flexible 30-day terms, so you can turn them on and off each month as you please. 

 

Wi-Fi is a way of connecting to the internet without wires and without using your mobile data. You can connect your phone, tablet and computer all at the same time, anywhere in your home, and you can use free Wi-Fi in cafés, airports, hotels and many other public places. 

 

Why use Wi-Fi?

It's normally quicker than mobile data and it doesn’t use your Mobile Data allowance, so you can save that for when you're out and about and Wi-Fi isn’t available. 

 

What is mobile data?

Data is the information you're either sending or receiving while you’re online. If you’re browsing the internet, watching a video or checking your emails and you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, you're using mobile data.
Your TalkTalk plan includes a limited amount of free data. If you’re not careful, you could quickly use it up and that could cost you money, because once it’s gone, you'll start incurring out of bundle charges.

Please see Mobile pricing for more information about charges you may see on your bill, described as 'Mobile Data (MB)'.

 

When should I use Mobile Data?

Basically, mobile data is there when Wi-Fi isn’t. So you can send and receive emails, browse the internet or even check the news and weather when you're away from home. As long as you’ve got a strong phone signal, you can get online. 

 

What is Data?

Let's start with the jargon: what is a KB, MB and GB? While all three are units of data usage, a kilobyte (KB) is smaller than a megabyte (MB) and a megabyte (MB) is smaller than a gigabyte (GB).

What is data?

Almost anything you do online will use data, including browsing the internet, sending e-mails, checking Facebook, sharing photos, downloading apps and watching videos on YouTube.

 

How much data will I use?

Here’s an idea of how much you can do with different amounts of data. The numbers are based on average internet use from our network partner.

Data
Total
View multi-media
web page
Or Send email
with attachments
Or  Video
streaming 
Or Music
streaming 
Or Download
songs
 200MB 200
pages 
   400
emails
  24
minutes 
   140
minutes
  40
songs
250MB  250
pages 
  500
emails 
  30
minutes 
  175
minutes 
  50
songs 
300MB  300
pages 
  600
emails 
  36
minutes 
  210
minutes 
  60
songs 
700MB  700
pages 
  1400
emails 
  84
minutes 
  490
minutes 
  140
songs 
1GB  1000
pages 
  2000
emails 
  120
minutes 
  718
minutes 
  200
songs 
1.4GB  1400
pages 
  2800
emails 
  168
minutes 
  980
minutes 
  280
songs 
2GB  2000
pages 
  4000
emails 
  240
minutes 
  1440
minutes 
  400
songs 
4GB  4000
pages 
  8000
emails 
  480
minutes 
  2870
minutes 
  800
songs 

 

How can I control my usage?

If you use an Android phone or tablet, you can set a warning to tell you when you're close to your maximum data allowance. You can also set a usage limit to automatically turn off mobile data when you reach a certain level.

Our advice is to set the data usage cycle so it’s the same as your bill period. That’s when your allowance is refreshed. You can check this date in My Account or on your mobile bill. It's clearly displayed in the top right-hand corner on the first page of your bill. 

Controlling data on an Android

A lot of apps use mobile data. Switching some of them off will help you stay in control. Here’s an example how app data usage is shown on your Android.
If you're nervous about going over your mobile data allowance, turn off the ‘auto sync data’ and turn on the ‘restrict background data’ functions. You’ll find them in the data settings menu of your Android device. That way, your device will only update apps and software when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

Apps that use data on AndroidYou’ll find more information about controlling data usage on the Android Native Data App

Each app on your smartphone will use data differently, and some will continue to run in the background even when they're not displayed on your screen. Here are some examples.

  • Skype, YouTube, Spotify, and Google Plus Photos  are just some popular Apps that can use your data allowance quicker than you may think if you're not connected to Wi-Fi
  • Email applications may automatically check for new messages unless you tell them not to
  • Automatic updates of apps or your operating system (OS)   may use mobile data if you have this option turned on. We recommend updating your apps and operating system over Wi-Fi. They can be large files and it'll be quicker as well as preserving your mobile data allowance
  • Facebook auto-play will silently play videos in your News Feed that will use additional mobile data if the auto-play option is turned on. Please see Facebook support to find out how to turn the auto-play option off

How can I control my usage?

It’s easy to keep an eye on how much data you're using on your Apple device. Visit the Settings menu and select one of the following: Cellular, Mobile or Mobile Data.

Our advice is to get in the habit of tapping on Reset Statistics at the start of your bill period when your data allowance is refreshed. This option is right at the bottom, below the list of Apps. You can find your bill period dates in  My Account or in the top right hand corner on page 1 of your mobile bill.

Controlling usage on an iPhoneApps that use data

Many apps and phone features are designed to automatically “fetch” information in the background as a convenience. This is called background data and you can control it. Visit the Settings menu and select Cellular or Mobile or Mobile Data. Here you can turn off which apps and features use mobile data by moving the slider to the “off” position. Now the app will only fetch information when you're connected to Wi-Fi.
Here’s an example of how your Apple device might display the data usage of your apps

Apps that use data on an iPhoneFor more information on controlling data usage please see the Apple Data Usage guide

 

About Wi-Fi Assist

The Wi-Fi Assist feature in iOS9 and above is designed to switch your phone to mobile data if your Wi-Fi connection drops or isn’t strong enough. For example, if you’re sat in the garden streaming music or on Facebook and the connection to your home Wi-Fi is weak, your device will automatically switch to your mobile data connection instead. This could eat into your data allowance without your knowledge and you could end up with large data charges on your mobile bill.
If you want to switch off this feature, visit the Settingsmenu and under Cellular or Mobile or Mobile Data you'll find the feature under the list of apps. Slide it to the left to turn it off.

Wi-Fi Assist on an iPhoneApps that use data in the background

Each app on your smartphone will use data differently, and some will continue to run in the background even when they're not displayed on your screen. Here are some examples.

  • Skype, YouTube, Spotify, Google Plus Photos and iCloud are some popular apps that can quickly use up your data allowance if you're not connected to Wi-Fi
  • Apple iMessages use data to send text, picture, and video message over the mobile network (when not connected to Wi-Fi) rather than through a traditional SMS and MMS. If you're not connected to Wi-Fi and use iMessages you'll be using your mobile data allowance or will receive additional data charges. Please see Apple Support for further information
  • Email applications may automatically check for new messages unless you tell them not to
  • Automatic updates of apps or your operating system (OS) may use mobile data if you have this option turned on. We recommend updating your apps and your operating system over Wi-Fi. They can be large files and it'll be quicker as well as preserving your mobile data allowance
  • Facebook auto-play will silently play videos in your News Feed, using up precious mobile data. Please see Facebook support to find out how to turn the auto-play option off

How can I control my usage?

You can set a warning on your Windows device to tell you when you've nearly used up your data allowance. You can also make sure that data-intensive tasks are only carried out when you're connected to Wi-Fi.

Our advice is to go into the Data Sense App and select Set limit. When you’re asked when your allowance is refreshed, enter your bill period dates. You can find them in My Account or on your mobile bill, clearly displayed in the top right hand corner of page 1. 

Controlling usage on a Windows phone

Apps that use data

Many apps and phone features are designed to automatically “fetch” information in the background as a convenience. This is called background data, and you can control it with Data Sense.
If you're nervous about going over your mobile data allowance, turn on the ‘restrict background data’ functions in the Data Sense app.

Apps that use data on a Windows phoneFor more information on controlling data usage please see the Windows Data Sense

Each app on your smartphone will use data differently, and some will continue to run in the background even when they're not displayed on your screen. Here are some examples.

  • Skype, YouTube, Spotify and Google Plus Photos are some popular apps that can quickly use up your data allowance if you're not connected to Wi-Fi
  • Email applications may automatically check for new messages unless you tell them not to
  • Automatic updates of apps or your operating system (OS) may use mobile data if you have this option turned on. We recommend updating your apps and your operating system over Wi-Fi. They can be large files and it'll be quicker as well as preserving your mobile data allowance
  • Facebook auto-play will silently play videos in your News Feed, using up precious mobile data. Please see Facebook support to find out how to turn the auto-play option off

My Account

Here's how to see how much data, texts and minutes you're using:

  1. Log into My Account
  2. From the Mobile tab, select the Mobile usage & plan details section
  3. Your bundle usage will be displayed on the screen. To view “out of bundle” usage – data that isn’t included in your plan – select View Itemised Usage

 

Mobile usage alerts

We'll send you an SMS reminder when you exceed 80% of your data allowance and another when you get to 100%. Please see Mobile usage alerts for more information.

 

How much data is included in my plan?

You can see how much data is included in your plan on your order confirmation email, in My Account or in the My TalkTalk App. For out-of-bundle charges, please see Mobile Pricing. If you need more data you can also add a Data Boost onto your account.  

 

Mobile internet abroad

The data that’s included in our mobile data packages only applies when you’re using data in the UK or in Zone 1 abroad. For more information – including a list of which countries are in which zones – please see Using TalkTalk Mobile abroad. If you’re travelling to zones 2, 3 or 4, it’s safest to switch off mobile data. You can usually do this in the Settings menu.  
You’ll still be able to make calls and send texts while you’re abroad – they’ll be charged at the international roaming rate. Remember to use Wi-Fi whenever you can. It’s the best way to avoid charges. Remember, you'll still need to contact us before you leave the UK to make sure your phone is set up to use abroad.

If you do not limit your data usage while abroad, you could be looking at a hugely expensive mobile phone bill when you return home.

 

 

Mike
Hi, I’m Mike did you find my article useful?

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