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5 things you can do to reduce your mobile data consumption

5 things you can do to reduce your mobile data consumption
Seriously, did you think that unlimited data was going to be around for much longer? As we’ve seen over the course of the last year, wireless carriers are seemingly becoming more stringent when it comes to data plans – especially now that more people are forging ahead with 4G enabled devices. Ultimately, we saw many carriers pulling the plug on unlimited data entirely, and instead, they’ve adopted the method of offering tiered data. Still, the price structures we’re seeing with these tiered data plans pale into comparison to the all-you-can-eat offering available with unlimited data plans of the past.

This week alone, we heard about AT&T going forward with its new data plans that will go into effect starting tomorrow, January 22nd. Specifically, their new smartphone data plans are consist of three specific options: $20/month for 300MB, $30/month for 3GB, and $50/month for 5GB. Now, if you were an AT&T customer a couple of years ago, then you know all too well that $30 per month would’ve blessed you with an unlimited data plan – so yeah, the times are surely changing!

Besides AT&T, we also found out that Virgin Mobile is planning on saying goodbye to truly unlimited data too – well, they’re actually taking a different route with the new policy. Technically, customers will still be able to eat down as much data as they want, however, starting on March 23rd, they’ll throttle data speeds down to 256kbps for customers that exceed the 2.5GB mark within their billing cycle.

Conversely, we still happen to see some good when it comes to mobile data – case in point, T-Mobile’s Family Service plan. Previously, $45/month provided customers with unlimited talk and text for the first line in the account, but now they’re including unlimited data for the same price. Certainly, it’s a win for customers right? Not necessarily, that’s because they’ll be throttled after hitting the 250MB mark!

So what does this all mean? Obviously, we simply have to be more conscious about how we use our data on our evolving devices. Simply, every megabyte now counts at this point, especially when everyone seems to be adopting tiered plans or throttling data speeds. With that, here are five things you can do to reduce your mobile data consumption.

Go on Wi-Fi

You heard that right folks! Nowadays, pretty much every single smartphone out there offers Wi-Fi connectivity as an alternative source. Whether you’re at home or at a café of some sort, don’t hesitate to turn on the Wi-Fi on your smartphone because it can seriously aid in reducing your consumption. And on top of that, depending on the connection, you might be treated to speeds that are many times better than any 3G or 4G connection.

User a server assisted web browser

Using the default web browser on your smartphone is a great thing considering most browsers are equipped in providing a near desktop-like experience. However, the compromise is made in the fact that they download the full context of every single item, which can lead to not only hefty downloads, but also long and drawn out load times too. Rather than using the stock browser, you ought to check out server assisted ones, like Opera or SkyFire, that minimize the amount of data being exchanged seeing they normally use server-side preprocessing to reduce consumption and load times.

Set a longer fetch time for emails

When we first set up our devices, we sometimes forget about our finite data consumption and set our phones to fetch emails nearly all the time – even as much as every 5 minutes or more. Although there might not be a whole lot of data transmitted if there are no unread emails, it will eventually accumulate to something larger. So instead, don’t be scared to set it to fetch emails every few hours!

Don’t watch HQ YouTube videos

We all love watching videos on our devices to kill some time, but if there’s one thing that kills off data more than anything else, it has to be watching YouTube videos. Depending on your settings, it might actually be set to play videos in high quality – especially if you happen to be connected via 4G. And when you consider that these HQ videos are shot in 720p or 1080p even, your data usage can go through the roof! Therefore, just double check on your settings so that they play in the lowest quality possible – trust us, it might not look pretty, but at least watch more videos.

Manually update applications

Sometimes, whenever we get notifications to update preloaded software, we normally have a tendency to do it right away. Even more, the hassle about getting notifications might bring some people to set their device to automatically download them – albeit, the file size might prevent them from doing it. Well, if you can, we’d suggest holding off and waiting until you can connect to a Wi-Fi network to download them, or possibly using your computer to get them. Taking into account that certain software updates can be substantial in size, even as much as 1GB, you know that you’ll benefit by manually downloading them later on.

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