How to Save Data: 4 Tried and True Tactics

In many respects, our phones are only as good as long we have data—or at least as good as we want them to be. No matter whether you’re trying to send work emails, watch a movie or share photos with friends, if you run out of data for the month, you’re either out of luck or stuck footing potentially costly overage fees, unless you have an unlimited plan. If you’re trying to figure out how to save data and avoid the hit to your wallet, turn to these top strategies for conserving your data over the course of each month.

Stay informed: Set alerts and limits

Any approach you take to saving data should begin with setting yourself up to be informed about both just how much of your monthly data you’ve used and precisely when you’ve hit your limit. iPhone users can access usage information each month by opening the Mobile Data menu within their settings. To set and receive customizable alerts when you’ve reached certain usage benchmarks, however, you’ll have to use a third-party app like My Data Manager, which is free from the App Store. Things are a little simpler for Android users, who can set similar alerts and even set a hard limit on their data usage by navigating to Settings → Wireless & Networks → Data usage.

Use Wi-Fi whenever possible

The next simple tactic for how to conserve data is to connect to Wi-Fi whenever possible. While it can occasionally be difficult to find a reliable Wi-Fi connection while you’re on the move, you can typically expect to find Wi-Fi at most retail stores, grocery stores, restaurants and other common destinations. Better yet, once you connect to one of these networks for the first time, you will automatically connect the next time you visit. Those adamant on cutting down on their data usage should also check with their provider to see whether or not they provide free mobile hotspots that make for an easy way to save data while you’re out and about.

Eliminate unnecessary background data

Another basic way to save data is to cut out unwanted background usage. Apps syncing up or otherwise updating behind the scenes can be a big drain on your monthly data. Whether it’s your preferred email app or your favorite social media platform, many apps by default are permitted to check for updates while you’re not connected to Wi-Fi and even, sometimes, while they are not open. By opening your settings in the same data-related menus mentioned above, you can find out which apps are responsible for how much of your data usage. Once you’ve identified the culprits and decided which up-to-the-minute updates you don’t need, you can open the individual apps’ settings to disallow background usage.

Download before you go

And once you’ve calibrated your settings to optimally conserve data, all that’s left is a little bit of forethought and planning that can sure go a long way. Two common needs that are also common data drainers are entertainment and navigation. Luckily, if you stay on top of it, you can often find a way to download what you need ahead of time while you’re still on Wi-Fi.

When it comes to navigation, you can use Google Maps to download the maps you’ll need before a vacation or long drive. Not only will this help you save on data, you’ll also have them available offline in the event that you lose reception. As far as entertainment goes, there are many options available to you. The Google Chrome app, for example, allows you to download webpages for later use just as Safari’s “Save for Later” feature. Ultimately, though, there is no other data-intensive activity that quite compares to streaming video. Fortunately, many streaming services, aware of the potential issues this can cause for those without unlimited data plans, now enable subscribers to download their favorite shows and movies. Simply download the newest season of your go-to sitcom before you head out of the range of your trusted Wi-Fi hotspots.

Remember these four tips and you’ll be an expert on how to save your data. Now just remember to check back with Trademore for more advice on making the most of your data usage and much more.

Trademore has no connections, affiliations, partnerships or sponsorship agreements with the companies, entities, services and/or products mentioned in this blog post. The opinions, thoughts, views and expressions made within this blog post are independently created by and attributable to Trademore authors and/or contributors.