Remember the days when mobile plans were all about call minutes and SMS? Well, those days are numbered if not at all gone. Presently, people are using more data than ever, thanks to social media, mobile web browsing, streaming, and other apps.
When carriers became aware of that trend, they started to act like the revenue-hungry monsters that they are and put data caps on almost every mobile subscription plan existing. So what?s a tech-savvy, social media fanatic, and hard working person such as yourself got to do? We?ve got that covered ? here are four handy tips on how to reduce data usage and stay below your tiered plan.
Monitor data consumption
Before heeding tips to reduce data consumption, it?s a prudent move to monitor how much data you?re actually using. You may be surprised to know that even when not in use, our smart devices can still hog up a chunk of our data plan (thank you, background data!) An easy way to monitor data on an Android device is to navigate to Settings > Wireless and Networks > then tap Data Usage. On iOS 6 and up, just go to General > Usage > Cellular Data Usage.
Apart from that, there are also a huge collection of third party apps out there to monitor your usage. However, it may still be better to use carrier-specific monitoring apps like Verizon?s My Verizon Mobile App or AT&T?s MyAT&T app. The main advantage of using these is that you?ll be able to have an almost accurate estimate on how much data your carrier thinks you?ve used up.
Reap the benefits of caching and preloading
As people become more and more frugal about their cellular data consumption, more apps are starting to offer preloading or caching options. This allows users to download content while connected to Wi-Fi then view it at a later time. YouTube now offers to preload videos on your Watch Later list and Spotify also lets users download playlists to their local storage for offline use. If you like reading a lot of articles from the internet, an app called ?Pocket? can be of great use to you. This app lets you save articles and webpages and access them later without the need for an Internet connection.
Use Data Compression
In this age of smartphones and tablets, it?s unfortunate to know that some websites are still not optimized for mobile browsing. Some are even eating up precious data by displaying bulky ads. A simple tip to reduce data usage from these pesky inconveniences is to use data compression. This works by compressing a web page in the cloud before it is sent to your mobile device. This is a practical feature not only for people in limited data plans but also for those with slow connection. One way to do it is by using a browser like Opera Mini which offers compressed web browsing as its core feature. If you can?t resist using the Chrome browser, just head to the settings menu, click on Bandwidth Management and tap on Reduce Data Usage.
Always use Wi-Fi wherever possible
This particular tip speaks for itself. Whenever possible, connect to a Wi-Fi Network if there?s one available. There?s always a good chance that a free and open network is available when you?re in the office, coffee shop, or even in a mall. This unassuming habit can make significant savings on your data consumption. However, take extra precaution while you?re connected to these public networks; never engage in online banking transactions while linked to an open Wi-Fi connection. Unless extremely necessary, refrain from downloading large files like videos or songs when you?re on cellular network.
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