Wireless Service

Why is My Data So Slow? All Your Questions About Your Data Plan Answered

Sara Nuss
October 13, 2022

Data is something that everyone uses if they own a smartphone, and for many major phone providers, it’s something that you have to get in order to have a smartphone. There are a lot of reasons why people need data, such as for browsing the internet, scrolling through social media, and for iPhone users, you need it to use iMessage with other iPhone users. Data has become extremely important nowadays for many reasons, but have you ever thought about why data slows down after a while?

There is nothing worse than when you’re trying to look something up on the internet super quick when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi and it seems like your data slowed down dramatically, but why does that happen? There are plenty of reasons why your data would slow down, and as annoying as it is, it’s important to know why and even how to prevent it. 

Are you looking to know more about why data slows down sometimes the more that you use it? Here are all of your questions answered!

Not only are we going to be talking about data and diving more into the realm of it, but we’ll also be covering topics such as:

  • What uses up your data?
  • Why is your data slowing down?
  • How to preserve your data

What Uses Up Your Data?

Knowing more about your data, what it is, and what uses it up is essential for having a smartphone!

Data usage and knowing what apps and more can eat up is essential to ensure you don’t have to deal with it slowing down on you! Image courtesy of Which Magazine.

Have you ever thought about what uses up your data on your smartphone? We’re sure that you know streaming videos, social media apps, and a lot of other apps like that use up a lot of data, but it’s important to consider what other apps use it up and how much too. It’s also important to understand what data is and how your smartphone is able to use it whenever you’re not hooked up to a local Wi-Fi connection at home or at a business.

Your questions deserve to be answered, so why not discuss further what data is and what kinds of apps and more use it the most!

What Exactly is Data?

This may seem like a simple question to most people, but it’s sometimes something that needs to be discussed, so what is data? Data is a form of internet content that is delivered over a wireless connection directly to your smartphone so you are able to do the same things you normally can on your phone using Wi-Fi with data. 

Everybody who owns a smartphone has to get a data plan, which has a limit to how much they can use. Each major phone provider has limited and unlimited phone plans to choose from and choosing one that best suits you and how much data you use every month. The only catch is that with unlimited plans, there is usually a cut off for high-speed data after a certain amount of GBs of data is used.

What Apps or Features Use Up Your Data?

Are you someone who doesn’t realize just how much data you use every month and find it slowing down more often? If so, you may not be aware of all of the apps and other features your smartphone has that could be using up your data. There are tons of features your phone has that can eat up your data like it’s nothing, so halfway through the month you’re struggling to do a quick Google search.

Here are some apps and more that can quickly use up your data causing it to slow down over time!

Social Media Apps

Are you addicted to social media and scrolling through your feed to see what your friends and family are up to, or do you love posting a lot on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook? Whatever your reasoning is, just know that social media apps are one of the biggest reasons why your data may be slowing down. 

To put it into perspective, a half an hour of browsing social media every day using data could be using up to 1.35 GBs, and auto-play on videos on social media apps is a big cause for why your data is being used up so quickly.

Streaming Apps

Streaming services have become quite popular over the years. There are video streaming platforms such as Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and then there are also music streaming ones like Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and more. Constantly streaming videos or music can be another cause for going over on your data, or slowing it down.

Have you ever thought about how much data streaming videos or music uses? For normal music streaming purposes, you can use up to 0.35 GBs per hour and for streaming videos, it can be up to 1GB per hour, which really adds up the longer you use these services a day.

Web Browsing

Browsing the web is also something else that a lot of people tend to do whenever they’re out and about. Whether it’s to look up how late a restaurant is open till, or even just to do something such as reading the news, it can use up your data if you’re not careful with how much you use.

If you are someone who browses the web whenever you’re out and about using your data, you should be aware of how much data this can use up. For example, for an hour’s worth of searching the web, you can use up to 60MBs an hour. While this is very low, it is still something to consider whenever you’re using your data and how much is on your plan. 

Why is Your Data Slowing Down?

Getting to know the possible reasons why data is slowing down can help you to save data and use it more wisely!

Does your data seem to be slowing down? There are a lot of possible reasons why it may be happening to you. Image courtesy of Tech News Today. 

Slow data can seem like a snail moving across the pavement. It takes forever and you feel like you’ll never get to the webpage, or profile that you are trying to look at. This can be a big inconvenience, and it can be extremely irritating to deal with slow data, but there are a lot of reasons why this could be happening to you. 

From something as simple as a bad connection, to exceeding the data on your plan, there are a ton of reasons why your data can be slowing down. Let’s get to it and discuss why your data can be extremely slow and more!

Exceeding Your Data Cap

Are you someone who has a limited data plan with a set limit of how much data you can use every month? If you notice that your data is slowing down, then it may be because you exceeded your data cap for the month. This can depend on the phone provider you have your cell phone plan through, but a lot of companies tend to not charge you for going over your data plan and instead slow down your data dramatically, or you could be getting the same speeds, but paying for each GB that you go over.

This even applies to unlimited data plans as well. While you may think that you have unlimited high-speed data no matter where you are or what you’re doing, it may start slowing down after a certain amount of GBs that you use. What many phone providers don’t tell you about unlimited plans is that they have high-speed data for a set amount of data and then afterwards, it starts to slow down dramatically. 

Looking into your phone plan and how many GBs of data you have and how much high-speed data you have on an unlimited plan is important so you can avoid going over your data, or just dealing with slow data speeds. 

Data-Hogging Apps 

Did you know that certain apps can cause your data to slow down very rapidly? It’s important to know what apps cause this and why this is also an issue for many smart phones too. Many apps can hog your data and clog the network bandwidth, which also causes a reduction in your connection speed.

Some of the apps that do this include Netflix, Spotify, and other forms of video or music streaming, downloading large files or apps, updating all of your apps at the same time, and more can slow down your connection speeds and more.

Bad Connection Depending on Your Location

Sometimes it’s not your fault as to why your data speeds may be slowed down. Something as simple as a bad connection can cause your data speeds to slow down dramatically and most of the time, it’s because of the location that you are in. In many rural areas, the data speeds can be a lot slower because you’re not close enough to a cell tower.

You may just come across dead spots that cause you to have a bad connection and slow data speeds and this is a very common thing that can happen. Since there’s really nothing you can do about this, if you’re able to connect to a local Wi-Fi- connection, this can help you to be able to use your phone like normally, or you may just have to move to a different location. 

Disable Low Power or Battery-Saver Mode

While we all want to preserve our battery, sometimes it can be the reason why we have slow data. Doing something as simple as turning off low power mode on Apple phones and battery-saver mode on Samsung and Google phones can greatly help to give you faster data speeds if you’re okay with using up more of your battery in the process.

Low Power and Battery-Saver modes are great if you have a limited amount of data that you are allowed to use every month, but if you need to use your data when you’re out and about, you may not get the fast speeds that you normally would if you weren’t using these features. While this feature is extremely helpful if you have an older phone where your battery runs out faster, you won’t be able to do as much using data with slowed down speeds. 

Restart Your Phone

Are you just not really sure why your data speeds are so slow? Sometimes something as simple as restarting your phone can greatly help to speed up your data so it doesn’t feel like you’re waiting an eternity just to check your email, or look something up on the internet. In a lot of cases, this may be something you will overlook and once you do it, then you will get access to all of the high-speed data that you had before it started to slow down.

It’s important to restart your phone every once in a while, or turn it off for a short period of time. Restarting your device regularly is something that you should consider doing every once in a while because it helps to keep your phone from getting buggy. It is recommended to restart your phone at least once a week to help keep it on track and prevent it from having any issues. 

How to Preserve Your Data

If you have a limited or unlimited plan, it is important to know how to preserve your data to access the high speeds when you need it!

Using cell phones has become second nature to us and learning how to preserve data is just as important to know. Image courtesy of The Indian Express. 

Everybody uses their cell phones when they’re out and about in public. It has become something that we see so often that it can be hard for people to preserve their data for when they need it most. Lots of young adults tend to use their phone in awkward social situations, and many other people are constantly making phone calls, texting, or just scrolling through social media on it.

Preserving your data is important so you don’t have to deal with annoyingly slow speeds that can feel like they’re taking forever to load anything. If you want to know how to preserve your data speeds, here are some tips we have to offer!

Use Wi-Fi Whenever Possible

If you are trying to preserve your data as much as possible, there are a few different tips to consider so you don’t go over your data plan, or have to ensure slow speeds. The easiest thing to do is to just stick to using Wi-Fi whenever you possibly can and avoid using your data when you can.

Using a local Wi-Fi connection doesn’t use any data at all and you can enjoy the same speeds that you normally would using your data. Connecting to your own local Wi-Fi that you pay for every month, or even hooking up to a Wi-Fi connection through a business, such as a local coffee shop, gym, or more can also help you to save and preserve your precious data. 

Turn Off Auto-Play

Auto-play is something that can play a key role in how much data you use whenever you’re out and about scrolling through social media. A lot of social media apps, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all have an auto-play feature that you can easily turn off in the setting to avoid wasting more of your data.

Auto-play applies to videos on social media apps where as you’re scrolling through, it will start to play the video, which uses up data and fast. If you are looking to preserve your data every month, you can go into the settings and turn this off to avoid wasting your data and load certain videos that you want instead. 

Upgrade Your Data Plan

If you find yourself going over your data plan way too often and even though you’ve changed your cell phone habits to try and reduce your data usage, sometimes it can seem impossible to do. If worst comes to worst, you can upgrade your data plan to the next plan up, or even shoot for the unlimited data plan if you want to. 

Sometimes upgrading your data plan can help you save money instead of going over and paying excessively for each GB that you use. Just use a data tracker to see how much data you use every month and see what plan works for you!

There is nothing worse than your data slowing down, and it’s important to know how to preserve the data that you do have and what could be the underlying issues to your data working so slowly. 

Make sure you try out some of our tips and tricks and see if it helps to speed up your data today!

Sara Nuss
Sara Nuss is a journalist from Pittsburgh, PA that specializes in wireless, dewi, phone plan advice & blockchain.