Every device connected to your network uses data. In the world of connectivity, it might seem like you constantly need to upgrade your internet package to accommodate all your devices, perhaps you even considered getting the unlimited data plan. But do you really need it or are you just not following the right tricks to prevent unnecessary data usage?
Although you may think your internet bundle is only used for your home appliances such as your PC or TV, it is important to recognize that as soon as you or your relatives step into your house, new devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets are usually automatically connected.
While smartphones and tablets use considerably fewer data than bigger screen devices, it still adds up to your monthly quota as they are more frequently used for social media, music, games, and entertainment which use a lot of data.
Background data is also a culprit when it comes to unnecessary usage. Some apps still run in the background even after they have been closed. This is usually due to synchronization and updates among other uses. Here's how you can limit your background data.
You can easily save up on your data bandwidth by closing unnecessary applications or by turning off your devices when not in use. If you are not necessarily into switching off your phone and tablet, then be sure to activate the ‘data saver’ setting on the devices. This option helps cut down on your data usage by preventing apps from using data in the background.
For once, optimal quality does not necessarily mean the highest resolution. While having the best quality to watch the latest action movie is probably the goal if you bought a 4K Smart TV, understand that a regular HD television set does not require a 4K quality video. If you are streaming a video from the internet, then the larger the video size, the greater the data usage.
While most browsing sites such as Netflix allow you to select the resolution of your movie, picking a higher definition than necessary for your device (e.g. 4K for an HDTV) will not necessarily improve your viewing experience as the video will be compressed to fit your monitor. Similarly, streaming a high-quality video from a laptop will not actually make such a big difference in comparison to a regular-definition video due to its small monitor.
However, learning to select the optimal quality settings for your devices while streaming may mean a significant improvement in your data usage.
While scrolling through social media or the web, you will find it difficult to control your data usage when coming across multiple videos which automatically start playing. While this may not seem like much, apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like display a staggering amount of video content daily which is instantly loaded and played as you scroll. Similarly, websites and news pages often have content playing in the background or at the side to capture the reader’s attention.
One way to overcome this is simply to disable the ‘Auto-play’ option in your application settings. This might defer for every app, but here's how to do it for the more popular such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. By doing this, you will ensure you are only using data on videos or content that you actually want to see.
Yes, whether they are interrupting your streaming and games or flashing on the side of the content you are checking out online, most people find ads annoying, but what they may not know is that these short promotional videos and pictures are also part of the reason they always blow the roof off their internet allowances.
Depending on the amount of time you spend online, you will be exposed to huge amounts of advertising attached to your favorite websites, online shopping sites, social media, and games which all add their grain of sand to your data.
Ad-blockers have now become increasingly popular to hold off ads that may be offensive or unpleasant but also to help have better control over data usage. Studies on mobile data usage have attributed up to 48% of monthly data to ads, downloading an ad-blocker software or extension is thus an easy way to save on your internet plan. You could also opt to use Brave Browser, a new entrant in the market that comes with built-in adblocking.
As obvious as it may seem, using proper security for your router is a good way of ensuring your neighbors are not tapping into your data. Yes, it does still happen. If you have suspicions, simply using a strong password may actually make quite a difference in your monthly usage.
If followed correctly, these few simple tips may make a significant difference in how you spend your internet bundle. While it is clear that your data package should realistically reflect your needs, learning how to control your usage to stay in a smaller plan may even help you save a few bucks.