Jan 10, 2023

What is Cellular Data?

What is Cellular Data?

So, you’re paying your cell phone bill and frankly, can’t believe the balance. How did you go 5GB over your monthly allowance? Yikes. That overage fee! In the back of your mind, you realize that cellular data is connected to using the Internet via your cell phone, but you are really unsure how. Let’s help you understand what cellular data is and what activities use it up and help you avoid overage fees in the future.

Cellular data defined

A cell phone connects to the Internet in one of two ways: either by using a WiFi network or by using the cellular data network offered by your wireless provider. Following are the specifics:

WiFi uses radio frequencies to wirelessly transmit the Internet to your devices.

Range: Limited.

Fee: Free. Because your home WiFi uses radio frequencies and not the towers your cellular provider uses, you can use it as much as you want and never face overage charges.

Cellular data uses the same network provided by the cell towers that allow you to make cell phone calls.

Range: As long as you are within your provider’s coverage area, your range is almost unlimited.

Fee: With cellular data, you pay for a monthly cellular data allowance so, if you exceed that allowance you’re charged an overage fee. If you think you might exceed your allowance, it’s wise to monitor your usage over the course of the month.

What activities use cellular data?

The short answer: Any activity you do on your cell phone that requires access to the Internet uses cellular data if you are not connected to a WiFi network.

That’s it in a nutshell. No WiFi? You’re using your allowance of cellular data.

The more detailed answer: Some activities, like streaming video or making a FaceTime video call, use more cellular data than others. Activities that do not use up as much data include: checking and sending text-based emails, browsing articles on the web, and using turn-by-turn navigation. Activities that do not use any data at all include: making phone calls and sending text messages.

How to manage your cellular data via your cellular provider

If you receive a paper bill from your provider, the data usage information is most likely on the second or third page of your invoice. If your provider doesn’t include it, you can call or go online to request a more detailed bill. You can also do the following:

· Log into your account from your computer and check the Usage tab.

·Download your provider’s app and check the Usage tab.

·         Call your provider from your wireless phone:

AT&T: Dial *3282#

T-Mobile: Dial #web#

Verizon: Dial #DATA

How to manage your cellular data via settings


If you’re always on top of how much data you’re using, there’s less opportunity to be surprised by overages. Once or twice a month, check in and see how you’re doing. To see how much cellular data you’ve used on your iPhone, do the following:


Go to Settings. Tap Cellular then scroll to Cellular Data.


With Android, you can avoid surprises by limiting your data to a certain amount. Here’s how:

Open Settings. Go to Network & Internet, then Data Usage, and Data Warning & Limit. Here you can set the amount of data you want to use for the month.

Smart ways to save on data:

Turn on data saver or low data mode

When you’re not connected to the Internet via a Wi-Fi network, you’re using your data. To save on using it, you can pause certain functions like background data refresh and data syncs by turning on the Data Saver if you use an Android phone, or Low Data Mode if you use an iPhone. It is easy to do and you’ll be glad you learned how to do it!

On iPhone, select your plan and do the following:

LTE/4G Cellular

Go to Settings. Tap Cellular

Tap Cellular Data Options, then turn on Low Data Mode. 

5G Cellular

Go to Settings. Tap Cellular.

Tap Cellular Data Options, select Data Mode, then turn on Low Data Mode.

Dual SIM

Go to Settings. Tap Cellular or Mobile Data.

Tap one of your numbers.

Turn on Low Data Mode.

On Android:

Open Settings.

Go to SIM card and Mobile Data tab.

Tap Data Usage option.

Go to Data Saving option.

Turn on Data Saving.

Stop your apps from “refreshing” themselves

If you’re not on Wi-Fi and you don’t turn on your data saver or low data mode, your apps will keep working in the background collecting information and refreshing themselves while using your data. To prevent this, do the following:

On iPhone:

Go to Settings. Tap general. Tap Background App Refresh. Here, you can choose to have this feature off, available only when you’re on Wi-Fi, or available when you’re on Wi-Fi and cellular data. (Not recommended when you’re trying to use less data!) You can also toggle this on or off for each individual app on your phone.

On Android:

Open Settings. Tap Data Usage. Here you’ll be able to see which apps are using the most data. Decide which app or apps you’d like to restrict, and tap on it.

When you’re home, be on your Wi-Fi

If you’re reading this on your phone in your home, it’s most likely that you are connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network. But if you’re not sure, or you’re sure you are not connected to it, turn it on now. Right now. Here’s how:

  • Go into Settings. You’ll see options like Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Cellular, etc. Click on Wi-Fi. Then select the name of your network. When you’re done, tap Settings again and return to its main menu. If Cellular or Bluetooth are on, turn them off. Now that you are on your home’s Wi-Fi network, you don’t need them and having them on will drain the battery in your phone.

Connecting to your home’s Wi-Fi network can significantly reduce the amount of cellular data you use. And once you’ve connected to it as described above, whenever you’re home your device will recognize your Wi-Fi network and connect to it.


Cellular Data: Best Practices

The best way to stop gong over your data limit is to be sure your phone is always connected to WiFi. On WiFi, there’s no need to worry about overage charges and, because smart phones remember networks they’ve been connected to previously, you don’t need to remember passwords because your phone will automatically connect to those networks when you are in range. For example, you connected to your best friend’s WiFi when visiting last year. When you return for another visit, your phone will automatically recognize and connect to your friend’s WiFi network.

Take your data management one step further: switch cell phone carriers and save

If you’re using one of the pricy wireless providers – Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile – you could save yourself a bundle on plan prices and overage fees by switching to PureTalk.

Pure Talk is proud to offer you plans starting as low as $20 a month for unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data.

Get the perfect, low cost wireless plan for your family’s needs with PureTalk’s Mix & Match Family Plans

No matter what your family's wireless needs are, PureTalk's Mix & Match Family Plans let you choose the right plan for each family member's needs.  You can have any number of lines and choose the perfect wireless plan for each one.  Your family members get exactly what they need, and you never pay for anything they don't.  In fact, families of four who switch to PureTalk save $75 a month on average, for a savings of $900 a year!  Whatever your family's size or wireless needs may be, you're sure to save a bundle!

Shopping for a phone plan for a senior?

Did you know that most seniors use less than 2GB of data per month?  PureTalk offers great plans for seniors that let you pay only for what you actually want – and nothing you don’t. And with PureTalk you get the same great service and blazing fast coverage while saving money each month. 

At PureTalk, we don’t think you should pay for data you don’t need and aren’t going to use. Switch today and receive great service and blazing fast coverage while saving money each month.

Choose from PureTalk’s most popular plans! 

$20/month: Unlimited Talk & Text; 2GB Data* Learn More

$25/month: Unlimited Talk & Text; 4GB Data*   Learn More

$30/month: Unlimited Talk & Text; 6GB Data*  Learn More

Need more data one month?

Simply go into your account portal and add more. When next month rolls around, if you need less data, you can go right back into your portal and reduce it. Simply log onto PureTalk.com, click on My Account, and select Manage My Data. Make your changes, save them, and log out. It’s that simple.

Traveling to Canada or Mexico? PureTalk offers the best cell phone coverage in both countries.

Think of PureTalk as your travel partner. Get the best cellphone coverage in Canada and Mexico with PureTalk International Roaming for just $10.

It’s really a great deal.

Plus, there’s no setup. No additional wireless roaming charges. And no need to run out and purchase a local SIM card. Your phone simply works when you arrive. No hassles and not a moment of disconnection.

To add International Roaming:

Simply log in to your PureTalk account and click the “Add-Ons” tab. Then, select International Roaming as a one-time purchase. The service will be added immediately to your cellular phone package and you’re good to go.

When to add International Roaming as a recurring charge:

If you travel to Canada or Mexico frequently, add International Roaming as a recurring monthly charge. Set it up once and it’s one less thing to think about when you’re headed out of town.

PureTalk’s International Roaming means:

  • Constant connectivity.
  • No pricey roaming charges.
  • No additional devices to lug around.

In addition to our no contract, low cost, unlimited talk and text cell phone plans, PureTalk offers Canada- and Mexico-bound customers great value and something even more important: peace of mind.

PureTalk’s International Roaming is the best $10 you’ll ever spend. Add it with one click, and stay connected.

And that’s not all…

PureTalk has the best referral program

At PureTalk, when you refer your friends, you reward yourself.

When you join PureTalk, you’re given a unique referral link you can share with friends and family. For each friend who signs up through your unique link, you receive a $20 bill credit applied to your account, and your friend receives a $20 credit applied to their account. Best of all, there are no limits. You can refer as many friends as you want, and you will get a $20 credit for every single one of them.

Everything you need to know about the PureTalk Customer Referral Program:

1. Each customer has a unique referral link to share with friends. For each friend who signs up through your unique link, you will receive a $20 bill credit applied to your account, and your friend will receive a $20 credit applied to their account.

2. There are no limits to how many friends you can refer with PureTalk's Customer Referral Program. Refer all of your friends and get a $20 credit for every single one of them.

3. Your $20 credit will post to your account after your friend completes their second active month of service.

4. To see which of your friends you have referred to PureTalk, log in to MY ACCOUNT and click the "Referrals" tab at the top of the page. You will see all of your referrals listed in the "Referral Credits" table at the bottom of the page.

5. You can post your referral link anywhere you want. On your social media channels, your blog, in emails, etc. You can grab your unique referral link by logging in to My Account and clicking the Referrals tab.

6. There are two ways you can earn referral credits. Your friend can use your unique referral link or enter your phone number at checkout when asked if a friend referred him.

Don’t forget: Remind those you are referring to PureTalk to enter your phone number at checkout IF they’ve forgotten to sign up through your referral link.

With the PureTalk referral program you can earn as many credits as you have friends and save even more on the plan of your choice!

PureTalk’s Money-back, 30-Day Money Back Guarantee makes it easy to give us a try

With PureTalk’s risk-free, thirty-day money back guarantee you have absolutely nothing to lose. Sign up and give us a try for one month. We know you’ll love us. But if you don’t, simply call to cancel your service within thirty-days and we’ll return your money. No penalties. No hassles.

Why choose PureTalk?

When you choose PureTalk, you’re choosing to support a company whose values align with your own. You’re choosing to support a company whose CEO is a U.S. veteran. And you’re also choosing to support American jobs: 100% of our customer service is based right here in the United States.

Plus, with PureTalk, you can bring your phone and keep your phone number or choose from our terrific selection of the latest iPhones and Androids.

Don’t wait. Pick a plan now that meets your needs, suits your lifestyle, and helps you save!

What Our Customers Are Saying

Great customer service

“Your people are courteous, knowledgeable, efficient, and friendly. They fix my issues, port my numbers, and always sound happy to help. They speak American English and they are clear and easy to understand. Thank you all and don’t change.” Robert Z., FL

Great Experience

 “It was very efficient to contact and set up the service with PureTalk. The website is easy to navigate, so one can both stay informed and keep their account information up to date. The price is much better than the larger carriers (I had T-Mobile for almost 20 years) and the voice and data services are at least as good as any others. Looking forward to many great years of excellent service.” Michael S., PA



*After you have used your plan’s high-speed data allowance, we will not turn off your data. Your speed will be throttled to 256 kbps. Typically, you can expect to experience download speeds of 4-35Mbps and upload speeds of 1-5Mbps with an average device to network edge round-trip latency of less than 60ms. The average speed and latency of our 4G LTE network is suitable for video and audio streaming, web browsing and other general Internet usage consistent with PureTalk terms and conditions. **After 60GB of data usage you will experience slower speeds.






Posted 2 months ago