Did You Know About These Handy Data Protection Tools?

No Data Remaining Red Bar

At some point in your relationship with Republic Wireless, you may have received this dreaded email: “you’ve used 100% of your cellular data”. It’s one of my least favorite emails to receive, especially when I have no idea where all that data was spent! Fortunately, one time data adds make it easy to add more data when I need it. But, it doesn’t answer the question – where did all my data go? Data protection tools in the Republic Wireless app are here to help.

There are many reasons your data may seem like it’s disappearing. Perhaps you turned off your WiFi for a time and forgot to re-enable it. Maybe you have apps running in the background that you aren’t even aware use data.

Fortunately, we’ve built the necessary tools to help you understand how much data you’re using and where all of it’s going. Here’s a few tips to help you stay within your personal data limit.

Monitor Your Usage

Pro tip #1: Check the app periodically throughout the month to ensure you’re using data at the rate you expect. 

The Republic Wireless app was designed to help make it easy for you to monitor and control your data usage. Immediately upon opening the app, your remaining data amount will show in the circle on the screen. This makes it super easy to keep a close eye on your usage and have time to investigate if you think it’s being used too quickly. Republic Wireless App Screeshot
Republic Wireless App Screen - You've Got Plenty of Data LeftDid you know you can tap the icon below your remaining usage? (For me it’s the thumbs up in the green circle.) Try it! This handy tool tracks your data usage rate and lets you know if you may be at risk of running out before your next bill cycle date.

The ability to quickly assess if I’ll need another GB of data by seeing how many days are left in my billing cycle on the same screen as my usage is extremely convenient. I typically use only 1GB per month. If I see that I only have about 100 MB left and still have 10 days in my billing cycle, I can decide if I want to make a one-time data purchase for another GB.  Or I can choose if it’s better for me to ration that data over the next 10 days. This transparent view of my data usage gives me the opportunity to plan ahead and change my usage accordingly.

Manage App Permissions

Pro tip #2: Check which apps are using your data and turn off the permission for data usage within the app itself.

One of my favorite things about the Republic Wireless app is that I can see exactly which apps are using most of my data. Many apps use data in the background unless you specifically tell it not to. This is a great built-in tool for making sure I’m not wasting unnecessary data on apps that I don’t use when not on WiFi. I can simply tap into “see where your data is going” and from there determine if I need to go into an app’s settings and turn off its access to data.

 

Turn On Data Freeze

Pro tip #3: Pause the usage of data on your phone straight from your app to prevent overuse.

Republic’s data freeze option is an extremely helpful feature – it allows me to toggle my data off completely through a few easy taps.

The data freeze option is available by tapping the cog in the upper right-hand corner of your screen and then tapping data tools. Data freeze is the first option and can be extremely useful if you find yourself frequently over-using your data.

My favorite time to use this feature is when I’m at home or in a location where I have a strong WiFi connection. Because I prefer my apps to only use WiFi, I will turn on data freeze to prevent unwanted background usage. (Just remember to turn it back on when you leave your WiFi connection).

Use The WiFi Reminder Tool

Pro tip #4: Turn on the WiFi reminder and set it for a short time to limit data usage.

Have you ever forgotten to turn your WiFi back on after disabling it for a short period of time? I have – and my data usage didn’t thank me for it. I was in a location where my WiFi connection was spotty, so to get the best coverage I had to rely on cellular data. Once I turned my WiFi off I forgot to turn it back on. This is where the WiFi Reminder tool really came in handy!

The WiFi Reminder option is available by tapping the cog in the upper right-hand corner of your screen and then tapping data tools. It is the third option on the screen and has been a lifesaver on many occasions.

Simply toggle on “Turn on WiFi reminder” and it will send you a push notification to remind you to turn it back on after the time you select. I have mine set to remind me after 30 minutes to make sure I limit the amount of time my data is being strictly relied on, but you can choose to be reminded anywhere from 5 minutes to 60 minutes after WiFi has been turned off.

I hope these data protection tools will help you monitor and control your data usage moving forward and that you’ll find them as useful as I do! Now, you can finally answer the question of where did all my data go and take action to make sure you’re using your data at a pace you’re comfortable with.

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Notable Replies

  1. It’s disappointing that you can’t totally disable (“freeze”) data for individual apps like you could on older versions. Turning off background data is fine, but sometimes large foreground projects carry over from wifi to data (e.g. a YouTube upload), chewing away at your data. Then you’re stuck with either cancelling a potentially hours long upload/download, or turning off ALL data, or biting the bullet and paying an extra $5-10 to finish up what you were doing. I assume Republic doesn’t have any control over this feature anymore, and it’s more of an Android issue. I don’t get why Android wouldn’t provide for the ability to manage data app by app- I guess they assume everyone’s on unlimited plans??

  2. 2 things when checking “Cell data used: See where your data is going,” 1) the bar graph only shows back to the beginning of the monthly billing cycle. Early in a cycle, that is not very helpful. It should show a constant/rolling past 30 days.
    2) My phone indicates that “Google Play Services” uses more data than any other. I didn’t know what Google Play Services was or involved. Only today I looked into “Settings: Apps” and found Google Play Services listed, even though there is no icon for it among the apps showing in the basic apps window. Tapping it to see further, and then again on “Permissions” it lists “Body Sensors,” “Calendar,” “Camera,” “Phone,” “SMS,” and others. When I try to switch any of them off, a message appears saying, “If you deny this permission, basic features of your device may no longer function as intended.” I don’t understand what allowing or denying these permissions mean or how it involves data usage; but I would like to know how to keep Google Play Services from using so much of my monthly data without my even knowing it.

  3. How about giving us some widgets? It takes a ton of clicks to dig down to the data freeze button. I’d love a 1x1 widget that would toggle this.

  4. Your presumption is correct. Google used to offer an app called Datally but I’m no longer finding evidence of it at Google’s Play Store. Anyway, it was essentially a more convenient way to restrict background cell data use.

    There are other third party apps that use a local firewall on the phone (the same method used by Republic’s app for Data Freeze) that allow for restricting cell data on an app-by-app basis. This one is popular:

    Reinventing that wheel probably isn’t the best use of Republic’s limited app development resources.

    As an aside, Apple’s iOS builds in app-by-app cell data restrictions much like Republic’s old app did. Google could do so for Android were it sufficiently motivated.

  5. kat says:

    I can’t find a “cog” what’s a cog in right upper corner?
    How do I stop the WIFI from turning off? I burned through .75 GB of data one night at home thinking I’m connected to WIFI, after all, I’d made no changes I was aware of.

  6. Hi @kat and welcome to the Member Community. If you are trying to find the Data Freeze setting in the RW 3.0 app here is a series of pictures that should help.

    Open the RW App – RW App Small-1

    Tap Cog in upper right

    Tap Data tools

    Data Freeze Slider –

    Here’s a link to the RW 3.0 App guide with other useful information –

    Does WiFi automatically disconnect after about an hour or so if you let the phone sit? Do you manually have to reconnect to WiFi after it disconnects or does WiFi reconnect when you tap or unlock the display?

  7. I’d like to know this too. I often don’t get msg’s for hours, sometimes days, and it’s very frustrating. Even with my phone sitting next to me, on wifi only in airplane mode because I don’t get cellular signal where I live, msg’s still don’t get through. Unacceptable!

  8. Hi @laurieu.ikvteu and welcome back to the Member Community. Not to get too far from the original topic of data protection tools, but it sounds like you might be experiencing issues caused by the Android DOZE mode. There are several threads in the Community regarding DOZE. Here’s a link to a Tips & Tricks article about Managing Doze Mode - (phone is on WiFi) calls via cell | calls go to voicemail | calls are missed.

    One quick and easy troubleshooting step is to see if the issue continues when the phone is left plugged into a charger. I am not suggesting you leave the phone continually plugged in as the solution, just a troubleshooting step. If the issue goes away when the phone is plugged into a charger it might be time to consider some of the items discussed in the DOZE Tips & Tricks article. Hope this helps!

  9. This is not what I was asking. I want an RW widget with the functionality of the RW app’s data freeze feature. It takes a zillion clicks to access in the app. Isn’t the widget a feature of the app?

  10. I understand what you’re asking for and agree with you, which is why I was among those who liked your post. That said, it’s unclear to me why you are responding to me as though I liked your post, my earlier response was to someone else rather than you.

    It would be if such a feature existed. It does, however, not yet exist. Again, I agree with you in that I’d like to see Republic add it.

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