How to keep your cell phone apps from eating up all your data

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By Kelsey Sheehy

Our love affair with data is growing stronger. So strong, in fact, that many people burn through the data in their cell phone plan, then wonder where their data went.
Understanding how much data your favorite apps use, and how to track and adjust that usage, can help you avoid costly overage or painfully slow speeds, depending on your carrier. Verizon and AT&T, for example, charge $15 for an extra gigabyte when you go over your plan, whereas T-Mobile and Sprint bump you down to 2G speeds — a noticeable difference when you’re used to lightning-fast 4G.
Where does all your data go? 
Where your data goes depends on how you use your phone. Streaming music or video will gobble up your data in a hurry. So will uploading photos or downloading large email attachments.
Here’s an example: Streaming 30 minutes of video a day via apps such as Facebook, YouTube or Netflix will use more than 5GB of data in a month. And streaming an hour of music a day will add up to almost 2GB over 30 days, according to Verizon Wireless’s Data Calculator.
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