At the border, entering the "country" of Transnistria. Photo taken December 8, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Cellular data use

Because of our lifestyle, we're almost always on cellular internet. And because cellular data is expensive, we've grown accustomed to being careful with our usage.

I mentioned a while ago that I thought our iPhone was using a lot of data. And, the internet in general has become more geared towards high data use. All you have to do is look at the amount of video and HD graphics that  are used on a lot of websites now and you'll understand. All of that data adds up quickly.

We now have a hard time getting by on 10 GB per month. It was only a couple of years ago that we could easily manage on 6 GB per month. And we've read stories where people use upwards of 20 GB per month on a regular basis.

Here, we pay $115 plus 10% tax for up to 15 GB. Every GB over that is another $10 plus tax. So we have to be very careful.

Here's an example. The apps on your phone use a lot of data just updating. I bring our iPhone into town once per week and update the apps there using the free Walmart internet. Every week there are two or three apps that say that updates are needed. Those updates use a lot of data...

A screenshot from our iPhone yesterday.

As you can see, three of the apps needed to do an update. If you have these app updates set to automatic, then you don't see the amount of data they use up. Yesterday, the Messenger update was 63.2 MB, Google maps was 26.9, and Ultimate Campgrounds was 16.7.

For a total of 106.8 MB.

Do this four times per month, and that's a half a GB. Then, there's iTunes on top of that, and other updates.

And if you have your iPhone set to cloud storage or something like that, it'll upload any photos to the cloud automatically and then you'll really see your usage jump.

So, you need to turn off all of this automatic updating stuff, and make sure that you're on a free wi-fi connection when you do let  it update. I'm still learning this iPhone stuff and I'm sure there's a lot that I don't have figured out yet. I even had to ask our daughter how to take that screen shot picture! (Hold  the button at the bottom, and at the same time press the on/off button).

But, I am learning, and that's what counts.

A great little camera on sale today only at Amazon.com. All of the pics on this blog from 2011 to late 2013 were taken with our Olympus SZ-12...the updated version SZ-17 is on sale at a great price today only. This is a good point and shoot with a versatile optical zoom, great for carrying around when you don't want your heavier camera gear...


And here in Canada, the top rated Jackery mini phone charger is on sale again. This time, its the smaller "toss in your purse" version. Never let your smartphone battery die unexpectedly again!





17 comments:

  1. Like you, we have trouble staying under 10 gb, but with 2 computers, I-phone and and I-pad mini we actually do pretty good.

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    1. It used to be easy enough but now it is getting harder to do it. We don't stream, we try not to load blogs or websites that have lots of pictures that are high in resolution but it is still hard.We don't have the iPhone turned on at the park either. There isn't much else that we can do to try and keep it down other than not go on the computers as much or pay the price.

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  2. Holy moley -- what a cool thing to know. Thanks for the info.

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    1. Hope the info helps you out Barbara!

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  3. I have averaged over 23GB/mo the last two months, and I'm not even a blogger! Ridiculous how much data those updates require---Android's the same way.

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    1. Yep, you have to be really careful if you want to keep the usage down. That's why Kevin does all the updates to the phone when we have access to free WiFi.

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  4. I love that header photo. Those ostriches are a hoot.

    Paul gets so mad with all the updates on his iPhone and Windows. We have 30G but we have both daughters on our plan. We average about 20-23G/ month. When we hit the 20's, I tell the girls to back off streaming.

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    1. Thanks Paul and Marsha, they are pretty fun to watch.

      The usage we have is pretty much all from our computers. Kevin had the phone on for the first few weeks but when we saw our usage going up faster that we thought it should be he turned it off. So now any usage is strictly from our computers, and cellular is the only way we can access the internet from the campground because we are in the middle of nowhere.

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  5. I read that clothing can now be ordered through Amazon in the U.S.!

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    1. Clothing has been widely available on Amazon.com in the U.S. for well over five years. However at Amazon.ca here in Canada, it is expanding it's clothing lineup, with a lot of items having free shipping and free returns!

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  6. Why don't you look into no contract talk text and web here in the US there are tons of companies that do this each one varies to the amount of Internet they give you
    your iPhone can do everything that you need to,,, some of the things are simple and some of them are a little bit more complicated
    Now with my AT&T hotspot(. Pay as I go )I could tether everything off of that( that was two laptops and 2 4G phones)

    Now I can only speak for what I got in the US ( Florida )and that is MetroPCS $40 a month talk text and web 2.5 gb
    I have an LG 4G phone I use Google map very heavily I use gas buddy and I read newspapers along with five or six apps running in the background get up load data from my phone not my home link
    Although if I need to I can tap into my home Internet
    My highest phone data usage averages under one gb
    I all so use standard home Internet is bright house there costs are high there $60 a month. However AT&T is a little cheaper
    When I'm on the road I use the hotspot AT&T that's $30 for three gb. It's $10 a gb after that
    Can you not get seasonal home Internet standalone in the Park that you're in and then shut it off in September when you leave
    Joy your day



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    1. I just looked up Internet service in the province that you're in there at least 4 biggies

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    2. We can only get cellular (or satellite, or dial up) internet here at the park. With cellular, the tower that we have access to is only serviced with a Bell Mobility or Sasktel connection. Their plans are very similar.

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    3. You're right it looks very sparse doesn't seem like you have much out there in the middle of the boondocks
      It also seems like you don't have talk text and web data plans as good as what they have in the U.S.
      Well we know Bells A subsidiary of AT&T but it doesn't look like it Doesn't leave much options
      It was a good try anyways

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    4. Our phone is only used for data anyways, we don't use it for talk or text, strictly just the internet and only when we have free WiFi.

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  7. I love the birds from Africa...such a colorful variety. I buy clothes on-line all the time...it's way cheaper than at retail stores....even REI...bought a rain slicker last week to take with me to Alaska. Eye glasses no, shoes yes, batteries, and much more.

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    1. We saw so many amazing birds in Namiba and Africa, it has almost turned us into "birders", lol!

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