Unlimited data plans are expensive. Too expensive for most of us, who are reduced to living in fear of using up the whole of our 2GB before the end of the month.
Fear no more: there are ways to reduce your data usage, so you don’t receive that soul-crushing “You have used up 80% of your monthly data allowance” text ever again. Or at least, not when you’re only a week into March.
How much data do you really need? Try our mobile data calculator to find out.
This may sound obvious, but there are more free Wi-Fi hotspots around you than you might think. It helps to regularly check if you could connect to one of them instead of using your precious, paid-for data.
Many train stations, pubs and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi through The Cloud. Create a free account, log in and enjoy an hour of unlimited, free Internet.
If you still struggle, maybe you should check out our collection of SIM only deals.
If you primarily use Chrome for your web traffic, you can compress web pages before they load in your browser. It does slow down loading a little, so only use this tip if you can handle the wait.
You simply need to launch Chrome, go to Settings, and then to Data Saver to turn it on.
We know, we know: it’s heart-breaking. But the Facebook app has been shown to use up to 50KB of data each time you open it. It’s also constantly running in the background to update its streams, draining your data as well as your battery.
So ditch the app, and simply open Facebook in your web browser. You can create a shortcut to add to your apps menu, so it’s still accessible with one tap of your thumb.
On iPhone, simply go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. This will stop apps from refreshing their content in the background (like emails, feeds, etc.)
You can do the same on Android: go to Settings > Data Usage > Restrict Background Data, and turn on the feature.
Any music or video streaming apps or websites will drain your data like nothing else, so be careful to only use Spotify and the rest when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.
Instead, load your phone with your favourite albums and playlists to listen to offline. If your phone doesn’t have enough storage space as it is, you can always add a micro-SD card.
Apps like Pocket (free, iOS and Android) allow you to open web pages when you’re connected to Wi-Fi and save them to access offline later – perfect for that morning commute.
Google Maps also offers a similar feature. When connected to the app, open the map you’d like to save for later and tap Menu > Make Available Offline. To find it later, simply go to Maps > My Places > Offline.
So there you go: you should now be able to save up at least just a little bit more data, so you can take those GB to the end of the month. Just make sure you do use them up - unless you’re one of the lucky few to benefit from data rollover.
Want all the news on the latest smartphones? Sign up to our newsletter to stay on top of the trends!