International Settings

The last thing you want to do when traveling internationally is come home to find that you have a thousand-dollar phone bill. Sadly, this has already happened to many a careless traveler that didn't realize they were incurring international roaming charges.

Before you travel, it's important to call your carrier and ask them if they have international data plans and how to arrange them. Theoretically, you can avoid data-roaming charges by turning roaming off before you go. Unless your data plan covers roaming, it's a good idea to turn it off at home, too.

Turn roaming off by going to your Home screen, pressing the Menu button, and then going to Settings > Wireless & Networks > "Mobile networks." Uncheck the box by "Data roaming."

However, other users have reported that they were charged for data access even after doing this. This is because third-party apps can override your data settings. If you have an irresponsible app in the background checking for new tweets, you could find yourself with a hefty long-distance bill. You could keep your phone in airplane mode for the entire trip or just leave it at home, but then you won't be able to check for messages or use free Wi-Fi when you are away.

NOTE: APNdroid is a free app that simply turns your data access off by renaming all of your APNs (access point names). This is a simple fix for a vexing problem, and it can even save battery life for times when you're not traveling. Double-check your phone compatibility before installing it. APNdroid does not work with Motorola DROID, and if you choose to uninstall it, make sure you do so when data is enabled, or you'll leave yourself stranded with renamed APNs.

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