Reduce your mobile data bill

Reduce your mobile data

Smartphone usage is exploding everywhere but many people have to rely on limited data plans or prepaid billing to get their Internet fix. Make sure that you are using your mobile data as economically as possible to squeeze every bit of benefit from it that you can.

Block Ads

The fact that apps are free but they are free for a reason. Many developers release these free apps and then use ads to generate revenue. When an app keeps downloading and refreshing ads it is using data in the background that you may not be aware of. An easy solution to prevent this is downloading one of the many apps available that block ads. For example, Adblock Plus is always a winner for Android phones and laptop browsing, and Readability can be used by most operating systems whether they be on a mobile, tablet or laptop.

Choose a Smaller Browser

When we buy a smartphone, some of us simply use the pre-installed internet browser provided. A better option would be to download a lighter, more data-efficient browser such as Opera Mini or TextOnly (the name says it all – image-free browsing). The lighter browsers compress sites before allowing them to be viewed by you and unlike the other built-in browsers, they cater more specifically to browsing on your smartphone or tablet.

Use Offline Maps

Making use of GPS and online maps is useful for everyone, even those who do not travel frequently or extensively. Unfortunately using this type of navigation instead of the old-fashioned method of a map book will use up to 5 megabytes of data per hour. To save about 100 megabytes of data a month rather store maps offline of places you visit often. Next time when you want to navigate (using Google Maps as an example) open your settings, navigate to labs and switch on the pre-cache map area. From here on you will be able to choose an area encompassing a 16 kilometer radius and then download it for future reference.

Cache Clearing and Task-Killer Apps

Clearing your cache may seem like a good idea but in fact it may be causing you to use more data than you should. If you clear your cache too obsessively, you need to redownload information over and over again from sites that you visit on a regular basis. You can clear it occasionally but there is no need to do it every week. Another thing to take a look at is what task-killer apps are doing to your phone’s data. They may promise to speed up your phone and improve your battery life but they either do more harm than good or worsen any problems you may be having. Check your phone to see whether there are pre-installed task-killer apps that you may not know about.

Make Use of WiFi

Making use of free WiFi at every possible moment is a trick that may seem obvious but it is not always possible to find an unsecured connection and it involves you actively searching for the strongest one. There are apps that can help you with this. WeFi Pro is an app that automatically connects you with a WiFi network in your area when you are close enough to it and when it is an appropriate strength. This app does not require permission to connect which may be disconcerting for some but it relieves you from actively looking for networks. Otherwise, simply use WiFi Manager that will show you the strength of certain networks and how congested a channel is, and then you make the choice to connect.

The Little Things

There are other little tricks that you can use to save even more data. Avoid checking your social networks on a too regular basis even though it may seem to use little data. The cascade of new images involved with social networking increase data usage. Choose one or two that you absolutely have to check and then do so once in a while when within reach of an open WiFi connection.

Try not to stream videos or music. Rather make use of the offline playback modes on sites like Spotify and when you want to view videos make use of the free Tubemate app to download videos to view later. Also, when you come across a link that you might want to read later rather save it so that you can read it when a WiFi connection is available. Lastly, for those who really need to save data, pull your e-mail rather than pushing it. This involves manually fetching your e-mail. It may save only a few kilobytes at a time but when you are already nearing your data usage limit, it will be of great help.

There is no need to change your ways entirely just to save a few bytes here and there as most of these tips you can make a habitual process. The apps mentioned here will do the job you want in the background and you can then easily forget it is there. Simply stay on top of your data usage and make use of built-in task managers to see what applications may be using too much of your data without your knowledge.