These tips and methods are ranked, and while this one is extremely effective, it involves spending money, so it gets the #10 spot.
Most smartphone plans offer a paltry couple of gigabytes of data as part of their so-called ‘included value’. For the average net-addict though, 1.5GB isn’t enough to get through a month.
We had a look at our usage while researching this article: on our home broadband, with very little file downloading or gaming, we still chewed through nearly 20GB of data mostly on streaming video.
So buying a ‘data pack’ that attaches on to your existing plan is a way to get the less-restrictive data usage you want. Unfortunately, the packs are expensive – $10 per GB, typically. And if you do go through all that data, you’ll still be charged 10 cents a megabyte for any excess usage.
9. Disable mobile data
This is a fairly draconian measure, but it does have a 100% success rate. Depending on which smartphone you own, you can dig through handset settings and actually switch off access to mobile data networks.
Your mobile will still work as a phone, and you’ll still be able to get internet on it via any WiFi network, but the phone will simply ignore the data capabilities of the mobile towers.
This is actually a very important setting if you’re using an ultra-budget calls-only SIM in your phone. These SIMs don’t include a data allowance, but they’re still capable of giving a smartphone access to the net. And on some networks, you’ll be charged a stratospheric $2 a megabyte. That will teach you for not signing up to a 24 month contract!
8. Use a different browser
This is a little bit technical. The default web browser included with the major smartphones is, in most respects, the same as the browser on your computer. Your phone will request a web page from a server. If there’s a mobile version of that site, you’ll get that, but otherwise you’ll get all the data you’d receive on a full-size PC.
This is wasteful, because your phone actually compresses the page down to fit on the display (more modern phones with computer-like screen resolutions do this to a lesser extent). What would be better is a browser that does all the compression before pulling the data down over the mobile network.
There are third-party browsers – such a Opera – available for both iOS and Android that compress sites. Unfortunately, basic text-and-image websites don’t account for that much of your data usage, so the savings here are modest at best. But hey, they’re also free!