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10 Data-Conserving Tips from Road-Warrior Victor Lund

July 25 2011

We just love Victor Lund, our CEO. Even if he's on a trip to Italy, the man makes himself available to his team at all times. That's good for us, but bad for his phone bill. That's why, on his most recent trip, he decided to compromise on his international data plan. He thought this compromise would give him enough wiggle room; instead, it gave him enough rope to hang himself with.

Needless to say, Victor went over his data plan in dramatic fashion. But he decided to give it a positive spin. "It's a learning opportunity!" Okay, so let's learn from it. Here are a few quick tips for data conservation.

1) If you need to socialize, choose Twitter. "I really enjoy Facebook," Victor says, "But viewing all those high-res photos really drained my data plan. I found it was much safer for me to use Twitter. Fewer photos, less temptation."

2) Don't view mail attachments unless they're urgent. "If an email has an attachment, only open it if it requires immediate action," Victor suggests. "If you can, put it off until you're on your laptop, not on your phone."

3) Avoid maps. The biggest problem with maps is that they stream data to your phone. The data-drain is even more significant in large cities where Google has 3D maps.

4) Watch accounts that automatically sync. Change settings on email accounts (and other accounts, i.e. social media accounts) so that they only sync when you choose do it manually. If they're syncing automatically, it's a waste of data if there's nothing there.

5) Avoid YouTube. This goes for anything else streaming – such as online games or Pandora, for example

6) Use Wi-Fi as much as possible. It does not count toward your 3G or 4G data plan. If you're in a restaurant, a hotel, or any other public space – ask someone to see if Wi-Fi is available. It never hurts to ask.

7) Don't tether your computer to your phone. Chris, our IT/Development guru brought this one to our attention. "Yes, it's nice to have your computer connected to your phone, but it uses exponentially more data."

8) Get off the app store. Chris explains, "It's not a huge deal usually, but once you start downloading large apps or downloading a lot of them, you're going to feel the pain."

9) Text to your heart's content. But MMS (multimedia i.e. picture messages) can drain your data plan - depending on your service provider.

10) Turn your data off at night. "It's wonderfully simple, but many people never think of doing it," says Chris. If you're sleeping, you don't need to be wasting your data.

As a last resort, if you are considerably over your data limit, you may want to talk to your provider to see if you can upgrade your plan retroactively to avoid overages.