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Why should I turn off mobile data? That is a question we have been asked a few times. Perhaps you have also wondered why some people turn off cellular data and are unreachable online for certain periods.

Other questions you may be seeking answers to include, Under what circumstances should I turn off cellular data? Why should I should I turn off mobile data when abroad or when travelling internationally? We have answers to help you.

Should cellular data be on or off?
Why should I turn off mobile data?

What is mobile data?

Cellular data (also called mobile data mostly outside the United States) is the Internet service from your network operator or carrier. It can be 2G (GPRS and EDGE), 3G (UMTS, WCDMA, HSDPA, HSPA, etc), 4G (LTE), or 5G. All of these work through your SIM card, so you can use cellular data every where you go, so long as your network operator has service or coverage.

Should cellular data be on or off?

If you want to use cellular data from your carrier – T-Mobile, Verizon, ATT, or any of the smaller carriers, you need to turn it on on your phone. If cellular data is off, even with an active data subscription, you will not be able to use mobile Internet from your carrier on your phone. The only reason why cellular data should be off on your cell phone is if you do not want to use your carrier’s data service.

If you choose not to use cellular data (perhaps you have WiFi access at home and at work), you can simply turn the feature off on your smartphone and not bother with a subscription from your carrier.

How To Turn Off Mobile Data On Your iPhone

Over 50% of the population of mobile users in the United States use an Apple iPhone. To turn off cellular or mobile data on your iPhone, open Settings > Cellular. If the toggle next to Cellular Data is green, that means data is enabled. Toggle it to grey to turn it off. To turn it back on, go back to the same menu and toggle it green. Note that if your data is toggled off, your phone will be unable to connect to the Internet via your carrier; you will require a WiFi connection in order to have Internet access.

How To Turn Off Mobile Data On Your Samsung Smartphone

Samsung is the second most popular smartphone brand in the US. To turn off data on your Samsung phone, open Settings Connections > Data usage. Tap the switch to turn it off. To turn it back on, return to the same menu and tap the switch to enable it.

How To Turn Off Mobile Data On Other Android Phones

To enable or disable data on Google Pixel, Nokia, OnePlus, Motorola, or other Android phone, got to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile Network. Tap on the switch next to Mobile data, to turn it off. Note that the exact names of these menus may vary, depending on the customization made by the phone manufacturer.

Why Should You Turn Off Mobile Data?

1. To Preserve Battery Power

One of the major reasons why mobile users turn off mobile data is to preserve battery power. Whenever your data is on, your phone does more work to keep the connection alive. This is why sometimes your smartphone gets hot if you browse or chat with it for extended periods.

Cellular data drains the phone’s battery faster than if it is not turned on. So, if you are in a situation where you are away from a charger and your battery is running out, one of the ways to preserve the little battery power you have left is to turn off your mobile data.

iPhone users are familiar with poor battery life. If ever stranded and running out of power, you can turn off your iPhone’s cellular data to preserve the battery and make your smartphone stay alive for longer. If you are expecting an important message in such a situation, it is a good idea to keep the data off and turn it on at intervals to check your messages.

2. Money/Cash/Budget Constraints

Why should I turn off mobile data? To cut down your internet bills, perhaps?
Why should I turn off mobile data? To cut down your internet bills, perhaps?

Modern smartphones, like Apple iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones, Google Pixels, and others, are designed to be always on. That means when there is a data connection, it is persistently on. As long as that persistent connection is available, your Android smartphone or iPhone is constantly transmitting and receiving data.

Back in the early days of smartphones, phones would stay offline even when mobile data is turned on, and they would only connect to the Internet when you initiate usage e.g. load a webpage, send an email, etc, or at intervals that you set.

Android and iOS devices, however, are designed to be always on – once you turn data on, the device stays connected, synchronising information and backing up data in the background. This often means that your smartphone is burning data even when you are not actively using it.

As long as cellular data is enabled, your smartphone is burning data, whether you are asleep, or you are awake and have it tucked away in your bag or pocket. Turning off mobile data can help you keep data costs low, especially if you are on a budget.

Should I turn off mobile data when abroad and roaming?

Should I turn off mobile data when roaming?

Speaking of mobile data costs, should you turn off mobile data when travelling internationally? Yes; you should, if you are roaming. Why should I should I turn off mobile data when abroad? This is because roaming costs are much higher than what you pay in your home country.

You don’t want to end up burning holes in your pocket on a trip abroad. You are better off buying and using a local SIM when you arrive at your destination country than roaming data on your line. Please, turn off cellular data when roaming abroad.

3. To Get Rid Of Distractions

While modern smartphones have a “Do Not Disturb” feature that, when enabled, silences notifications. Still, an effective way to avoid distractions from Internet-based smartphone notifications is to just turn off your cellular or mobile data.

Voila! No more pesky notifications from social media, email and instant messaging apps. This is great for when you need alone time to relax, or you are in a meeting, or you are driving.

Cellular Data Not Working On Your Phone?

For help with fixing cellular data issues, see: Cellular Data Not Working On Android and Cellular Data not Working on iPhone.

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