Everyday, you use your mobile to do more and more stuff, such as – rich browsing, audio and video streaming, cloud storage, turn-by-turn navigation and so on, which can put a heavy demand on your mobile data connection.
Mobile data, either as part of a mobile/cellular plan or on pay-as-you-go, costs money, so it is sensible to try to reduce the amount of mobile data you use whenever possible. Even if a certain amount of data is included with your plan, there is usually a limit. And unlimited data plans are increasingly rare, and if you go beyond limited data plan, the charges start to mount up.
However, it’s easy to save mobile data usage and mobile bills without hindering your mobile experience, through few easy steps:
1. Estimate current Mobile Usage
Before you take steps to limit your data usage, take some time to determine current mobile usage. In fact, most mobile users overestimate how much data they use each month, prompting them to shell out for expensive extended data plans they don’t need. Most phone carriers allow you to track your data usage via their websites. Based on the mobile data usage estimation, you might use less data than you think.
Android and iPhone handsets also allow users to check out their past and current data usage via the settings menu. Simply select time frames to observe how much data you use each week or month, and use that information to estimate your average usage.
Android added a built-in data monitor. Check data usage through Settings -> Data Usage
2. Use Wi-Fi connection
Your phone will not consume any data when you’re on Wi-Fi, and it’s easy to set your phone to automatically connect to the network at home or work. Simply access the Wi-Fi options via your smartphone’s settings menu and adjust your preferences. If you’re on a business trip, look for hotels or cafes that offer free Wi-Fi. That way you’ll have plenty of data left to use when you’re off the grid.
Also see: How to Improve Internet Speed
3. Disable unnecessary Push Notifications
Push notifications can lead to higher data use, especially if you use a lot of interactive apps such as social network clients and messaging services. A number of apps also push promotional content that is not relevant to you. Modern Android devices and iPhone offer ways to disable push notifications through the system settings. You should also set your email to fetch mode and disable push unless you receive critical, time sensitive messages.
4. Use Mobile Version of Website
Mobile version will almost always include far fewer images and be much lighter and faster to open. Many websites are set up to detect if you are viewing on a mobile device and will display the mobile version automatically. If you think you are viewing a desktop version on your phone, it is worth checking to see if there is a link to switch to a mobile version (usually at the bottom of the main page). Stick to the mobile version whenever possible and your data usage will be reduced.
5. Use Text-only Browsers
There are several third-party browsers, such as Text Only, available for smartphones which will strip out the images from a website and only display the text. By not downloading the images, which are the largest things on any web page, less data is used.
6. Use Data Compression
If you read a lot of online articles on your phone, it’s a good idea to enable compression on your mobile browser. Google Chrome offers a ‘Reduce data usage’ setting to make the size of the web pages you visit smaller using Google servers. Opera also offers Max, a free, data-savings and data-management app that compresses videos, images and media from apps and websites to reduce data use.
7. Offline Viewing/Listening
Do you watch a lot of videos on the go? Or stream music? It’s a good idea to sync your songs when connected to Wi-Fi. YouTube also lets you temporarily download music videos, which is valid for a period of 48 hours.
8. Change your Data Plan
If you’re always hitting up against the upper limits of your data plan despite your efforts to cut back, purchasing an extended data plan might be your best option.