Cut down on your phone and internet bill with 5 apps and services

Let’s be real, we have oddly close relationships with our devices. We rely on them to keep in touch, to keep tabs on exes… the list goes on.

But it’s a good relationship! That is, until the monthly bill comes… and you consider a reclusive life in the woods.

Before you sign off, check out these 5 apps and services to get more from your devices (and more freedom from your carrier).

1. Onavo Extend
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Each month it’s the same thing: You start off blissfully unaware of how much data you’re using, and then you end up rationing each byte for that last week of your billing cycle. Ouch. Try Onavo Extend, which routes your data through its servers and compresses it so you stay within your limit.

2. Ting – Mobile
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Freedom is calling. And by that we mean freedom from your overpriced service provider. Ditch your contract and check out mobile service provider Ting. With Ting, you just pay for the service you use each month. No penalties or overage fees. Get $25 toward a new device, or in credit if you bring your own, here.

3. Kibo
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Who’s snooping around your phone? Your carrier? The NSA? The neighbor kid who’s always in your front yard? Keep your messages on lockdown with Kibo, an app that integrates with iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and more, and lets you send decoy messages that your recipient can decode.

4. My Data Manager
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Another good way to save is to actually figure out what you’re being charged for before the bill arrives. For that, try My Data Manager, which tracks your data usage and allows you to sync it with your billing period and other phones on your plan, so you can see how much leeway you have in your monthly limit.

Hola
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But let’s not forget web browsing on your computer. If your web-surfing tastes are a little eclectic (French new wave cinema, anyone?), or if you’re traveling, install Hola—it’s a VPN Chrome extension that lets you access sites like Netflix that might be blocked or altered in your current location.

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