Tips to avoid international iPhone data charges

Christmas is almost here, and some of you have probably already left for holidays. If you’re lucky enough, you may even spend your holidays somewhere abroad: a sky trip in a country with lots of snow, or an exotic retreat. Wherever you go, I’m sure that you’ll take your mobile phone with you. And I’m pretty sure that you’ll want to use the internet (at least to check your email occasionally, find some useful information, or update your Facebook page). When travelling abroad, as you don’t use the data network belonging to your network carrier anymore, your iPhone will enter the data roaming mode. In this situation, you have to be aware that you’ll pay for each amount of data your phone sends or receives. Here are some tips for iPhone users who want to stay connected while traveling and at the same time, to avoid big data charges. 1. Disable the Data Roaming and all network/cellular data

Go to Settings -> General (if you use iOS 7, skip this) -> tap Network (or Cellular on iOS 7) -> Turn Off the Data Roaming. In order to turn off all the network/cellular data, you need to follow the same steps and turn Off the Mobile data and 3G.

Thus, your phone won’t be able to connect to any 3G/ 4G network abroad, but you’ll be able to make calls and send messages. And you’ll avoid unwanted international data bills. It’s safer to disable your cellular network connection completely, but it’s up to you if you decide to do so, or to disable the Data Roaming only. I usually keep the network data off when using Wifi. Indeed, using 3G/4G loads data faster, but your battery life will run out quicker. This is one useful tip to increase your iPhone’s battery life. For more tips, read our article on ‘How to increase your iPhone battery lifespan’. 2. Control Cellular Data App by App (for iOS 7 and up) If you updated to iOS 7, you can choose to use some apps, and turn off the others. Be careful though, even just using one or two apps too many times can bring you a large bill.

Go to Settings -> Cellular -> scroll down to Use Cellular Data For -> turn off the apps you don’t want to use data. You can see under each app the amount of data it uses when on Cellular connection. Tap Reset Statistics in the Cellular section if you want to monitor and control how much data you’re using while you’re away. 3. Use Wifi connection Whenever possible, use Wifi connection. There are plenty of places nowadays all over the world where Free Wifi is available. 3. Contact your network supplier If you need to to use the internet regularly and you can’t rely just on finding places with Free Wifi, contact your network supplier before you go away. Sometimes you might find quite a good offer, especially designed for your holiday abroad. I spent this summer holiday in Croatia, and I was able to pay £4/day for using the mobile internet data on my iPhone. The great thing was that I didn't have to pay for every day of my trip abroad, but only if/when I used the mobile internet data. This means that, for the days when I didn’t activate the mobile data at all, I didn’t pay anything. For me, it was much better that facing big data roaming costs, and I wouldn’t have managed without internet. I hope this article will help you to make the best decision when it comes to iPhone mobile data usage abroad, and to cut some unwanted expenses. Let us know if you have any other useful tips to avoid international data charges!
Published
May 07, 2014