Save money by reducing mobile bandwidth

I decided to save money by downgrading my mobile description to the bare minimum, abandon my unlimited data plan on my mobile and use limited 4 GB per month plan. Here I will list the steps that I took to make my android device and user experience less bandwidth demanding.

Start by adjusting “Data usage” settings

Most important thing is to set limits, this will prevent you from using more data than your plan has. In Android, there is an option in settings to limit data usage and adjust a warning level. These settings can be found from Settings > Data usage. I’ve set 4 GB for data limit and 3 GB for warning limit.

Under data usage menu there is also a Data saver to limit background data usage for the apps. It’s also possible to limit certain apps and whitelist others. The only risk included here is that messaging apps like WhatsApp may not work when the screen is turned off. It’s good to whitelist all the messaging apps.

No HD-YouTube when on mobile

Video services like YouTube and Netflix consume a lot of bandwidth and it’s good to use video streaming services only in Wifi connections. In YouTube app settings you can limit the HD-playback only for Wifi connections.

Get rid of ads by using AdAway (Rooting required)

A study made by Simon Fraser shows that ads can take up to 25 percent of the bandwidth. Google makes money from ads, so ad-blockers are not allowed in the Play Store. There are some browsers with built-in ad-block capabilities like Opera mini. I use AdAway, it’s available only for rooted android phones.

Compress those web pages

Google Chrome and Opera have been offering a possibility to compress pages and images before downloading them to the device. Opera also has a stand alone app Opera Max that can compress all data by routing the connection through a compression proxy. To enable compression in Google Chrome go to Settings > Data Saver.

Navigate using Google Maps offline

Google Maps uses the data connection to make the map data to be up to date. To make data usage as small as possible store maps using a wifi connection and use Google Maps in offline mode.

Consume less mobile data by using services offline

I try to look ahead. If there is an interesting article or a podcast, I take it with me by storing it on my phone using Wifi connection and consume it later. For articles I use Pocket. Pocket strips off all the ads and makes the web article in a simpler form. After prosessing the content, the article looks more like a newspaper article. Finally the article is stored on the phone and in the cloud.

I like to listen to radio. If I’m on my way to somewhere I use a WiFi connection and download the radio show as a podcast. This way I can listen to my favorite radio shows without using mobile data. The app I’m using is Podcast Addict.

Use public wifi connections whenever it’s possible.

There are a lot of public open WiFi connections available. Today I went to Ikea and used Ikea’s customer WiFi, I also visited the local library and there was also a public WiFi available, same with the Mac Donalds. To find public networks around you, use WADA Wifi Maps.


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