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How to use less data on your mobile

How to use less data on your mobile

Using Wi-Fi and disabling background apps saves mobile data for when you really need it.

Most of us have a monthly data allowance for our mobile phones, and its easy to go over – especially if you’re using your phone for all kinds of things from streaming Spotify to watching YouTube videos.

Unfortunately exceeding your allowance can mean a slower connection or hefty charges, and if you’re using your phone abroad data use can be very expensive.

Here are five ways to use less data on your mobile.


Use Wi-Fi instead

Many mobile data plans also include bundled free Wi-Fi, and other products may offer it if your phone plan doesn’t – so for example, our Virgin broadband gives us access to free Wi-Fi too.

If you don’t have a bundle don’t despair, because free Wi-Fi is everywhere: it’s in Tesco and ASDA, in buses and trains, in coffee shops and fast food outlets and pretty much anywhere else you go.

Data you transfer over Wi-Fi doesn’t count towards your mobile data allowance so it makes sense to use Wi-Fi whenever possible.

Tell your apps to behave themselves


Many apps automatically update themselves in the background.

You can stop them from doing that by changing your phone’s settings, so for example on an iPhone you can go into Settings > Background App Refresh and turn off background updating for individual apps.

Disable automatic uploads

Some apps, especially photography apps, can automatically upload every photo you take. That’s handy, but it can seriously damage your data allowance if you’re taking stacks of snaps. You can change that in the app settings.

Use offline mode

Apps such as Spotify Premium enable you to store playlists on your phone instead of streaming them., and you can even do the same with YouTube if you use the app rather than just run it in your phone’s browser.

That’s also handy if you’re going to be in an area with patchy data coverage. Offline access doesn’t just work with entertainment apps, though: you can use it for things such as Google Maps too.

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Try another browser

The excellent Opera Mobile web browser has an ‘off road’ mode that compresses data before it’s sent to your phone, and it really does reduce the amount of data you use when you’re browsing the web.

That compression also has the happy side-effect of speeding things up a small amount, and it’s particularly noticeable on poor quality data connections.

We hope you find these tips useful and reduce your monthly bills by at least a little bit.

Photo by Plann on Unsplash


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