Managing Data Usage on your Mobile

Smart phones want to deliver as much information to us as possible to “enhance our user experience”. The problem with this is the information we receive is often delivered over our mobile network which eats into our data allowance. Minute by minute weather updates are great for our user experience but not-so-great on our wallets.

Tips to Tame the Data Hungry Beast

  • Always use Wi-Fi when in range. Make sure you connect to the Wi-Fi networks at work, at home and when in range of a free public Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Use mobile versions of websites where possible as they use much less data than their full-site equivalents.
  • Steer clear of software & app updates while away from Wi-Fi. By default many smart phones will be set to update your apps automatically. Make sure you look for these settings in your phone and set software & apps to only automatically update over Wi-Fi. It would only take a few minutes for 5 apps to update and chew through 50MB of your data allowance.
  • Disable or uninstall apps that use unnecessary data. Most smart phone operating systems will show you data usage by application.
  • Avoid data hungry apps when not connected to Wi-Fi. Apps or websites that have video, music or lots of pictures will quickly eat their way into your data allowance. Examples- Skype, YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud & Foxtel Go.
  • Use data compressing apps that help to reduce usage. Example – Onavo
  • Avoid tethering your Laptop, PC or tablet to you mobile. These devices are not designed to minimise data usage and will use data very quickly as soon as they have a data connection. This is ok when connected to fixed broadband connections with high data allowances but will quickly get through your mobile plan’s data allowance.