How to Consider Dropping Your Data Plan
The idea of having instant access to the web from anywhere at any time has gone from being a luxury affordable by only the wealthy to a necessity to the modern person. To some, having constant and uninterrupted coverage is vital to their business and having the premium coverage makes a good investment. For others, it’s a handy plus but you might be surprised to find just how easy it is to get by without it.
By day, I work in an environment requiring me to be on my toes and ready to schedule guests, check the web for information, and research. Having the ability to use the web from wherever I might be is a major help. Taking the move away from paying a premium for 3G or 4G coverage took some thought.
Here’s a couple things to consider when determining if a life without constant 3G coverage will work for you:
Do you spend most of your time in a location with accessible WiFi connections? Believe it or not, you probably do and just don’t know it. Chances are you have an alternative solution already worked out for home and work. You might be using an inexpensive or included wireless router with your primary connection at home. Your workplace may have its own WiFi set up for employees and guests especially if you work in a place that would require you to be on the web most of the time.
Many establishments made with the lunch crowd in mind offer free WiFi to their customers. Passwords are given by request or with a small fee. If they have an open access point, remember that you have absolutely zero security. Even with a protected WiFi connection, remember that you’re only protected from people that don’t have the password to the access point. This is especially important to consider when you’re connected at a popular coffee shop.
Do you really need to be connected while driving from point A to point B? This is the question so many people lured in by the brilliant glow of the iPhone overlook when making their purchase decision. Forgetting that the iPod Touch does pretty much everything the iPhone can do minus the phone calls, we willingly sign two-year contracts requiring us to pay an extra $30-60 bucks a month for the benefit of staying connected during our commute.
GPS is a major factor a lot of people consider when choosing the constant connectivity. Right now, a dedicated GPS device with no monthly fee can be purchased for as little as $80.00 and will probably work better than the one built in to the phone. They also typically come with a mount and screen that is less distracting to drivers while allowing them an easier view of the data.
3G and 4G coverage no matter where you go is a brilliant idea and one that a lot of people have based their lifestyles and careers around. Dropping it from your phone plan may not always be an option (iPhone), but where an old-school phone might satisfy your communication needs, an iPod Touch, iPad, or other PDA / tablet device might suit your needs just fine without the solid punch to the pocketbook.