Data Saving Tips - How to Reduce Your Data Consumption While Doing The Same Activities

By Haseeb Awan

The world we live in today demands constant connectivity. We are expected to stay online by our workplaces, teachers, peers, and even our families. And this is easy when you have wifi wherever you settle down, but every time you are away, you need to rely on cellular data. If your wifi is down and you have an important meeting to get to, you still rely on cellular data. Therefore, data-saving tips are of the utmost importance in our tech-heavy world. 

How Much Data Do People Regularly Use?

The amount of cellular data a person uses on average can vary widely. It usually depends on the person's location, device, and individual usage habits. However, in general, most people tend to use between 1GB and 5GB of data per month.

In the United States, the average person uses around 3GB of data per month, according to a 2020 survey by OpenSignal. However, this number can be much higher for those who use their devices frequently and for activities that require a lot of data, such as streaming video or music, playing online games, or using navigation apps. So data use can vary quite a bit.

People who use their devices primarily for text and voice communication, as well as basic web browsing, are likely to use fewer data, on the other hand, with usage in the range of 500MB to 1GB per month.

That said, data usage is increasing every year, with the rise of smartphones, 4G & 5G networks, and the increasing popularity of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. The average data consumption for streaming services is around 3-4 GB per hour of High-definition video and around 1 GB per hour for standard-definition video.

Additionally, people who travel internationally should know of the roaming charges for data usage. They can be much higher than domestic rates. In many cases, purchasing a local SIM card or using a portable wifi device may be more cost-effective than using cellular data abroad.

It's also worth noting that you can use many data-saving tips. Many smartphones and mobile devices have built-in tools that allow you to track your data usage and set limits. Many mobile carriers offer plans with varying data allowances or options to add more data if needed. Most people who use data heavily rely on data-saving tips. Android and iPhones both have specifications for different models.

Therefore, you should take a look at different data-saving tips. iPhone and Android users alike can save many GBs of data (and in turn some money too!) if they are cautious about data use. 

Data Saving Tips

We should be well aware of the data-saving tips that our internet browsers and devices have allowed us. They might affect streaming quality, but they have many other benefits. Here are some of the most common data-saving tips we can use:

Use WIFI whenever possible: 

The best tip to save data is to use WIFI whenever possible. Most people have WIFI available at home, school, offices, and other public places too. Now, you should avoid sharing sensitive information over a public wifi network. But other than that, for streaming videos or scrolling through reels on Instagram and TikTok, try to use any WIFI network that is available to you. You can check out data-saving tips for iPhones and Androids other than that if you want to use data but are concerned about its consumption. 

Use data compression: 

Some browsers and apps, such as Google Chrome and Opera, have data compression features that can help reduce the amount of data you use. This compresses data before it's sent to your device, making web pages and apps load faster while using less data. However, it would be best if you remember that data compression also affects the quality of your internet browsing. You might not be able to view specific photos or videos, which will also compromise the overall experience. 

Limit background data usage: 

Many apps continue to run in the background, even when you're not actively using them. To conserve data, you can limit background data usage for specific apps by going to your device's settings and adjusting the app's data usage settings. You can also make it a habit to close all background apps when you are done using the phone.

Use offline features: 

Many apps and services offer offline features that allow you to access content without an internet connection. For example, Google Maps allows you to download maps for offline use, and Spotify and Apple Music allow you to download playlists for offline listening. You can even download videos and movies on Netflix and YouTube and view them offline as well. 

Only Use WIFI for Updates: 

App updates can be large, and downloading them over cellular data can quickly use a lot of data. To avoid this, update your apps only when connected to WIFI. In fact, you can even use other data-saving tips. Android and iPhones have built-in features that prevent downloads and updates unless the device uses WIFI. Updates often happen in the background, and it isn't easy to always keep track of them. So it is essential that you automate this process to prevent losing data.

Set Limits for data usage: 

Many smartphones and mobile devices have built-in tools that allow you to track your data usage and set limits. You can also check with your mobile carrier if they offer plans that allow you to monitor your data usage or add more data if needed. This makes the data-saving process much easier, and you have to be less active about it. 

Use lower-quality streaming options: 

Streaming video and music can be a significant drain on your data plan. To save data, you can lower the streaming quality on services like Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify. If you are watching videos on your phone, the low-quality videos will have a smaller impact than it would on a bigger screen. So this is an excellent way to save data. However, the best streaming data-saving tip is watching videos over wifi or downloading them over wifi. 

Monitor your apps: 

Keep an eye on which apps are using the most data. If you find an app that uses excessive data, consider uninstalling it or finding an alternative that uses less data. You can check in your phone's app settings how much data an app is consuming and how much of your device's RAM is taking up. 

Be mindful of location services: 

Some apps use your device's GPS to determine your location, which can use a lot of data. To save data, you can disable location services for specific apps or turn off location services altogether when not in use. If an app asks to turn your location on and you don’t feel the need for that immediately, you should not allow it to use your location. 

Use a VPN: 

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can help save data by encrypting your internet connection and compressing data before sending it to your device. This can make web pages and apps load faster and use less data. However, you usually have to customize your VPN of choice to consume less data, so look into those settings. Otherwise, you might end up consuming more data than you intended to in the first place.

Turn off automatic video playbacks: 

One of our favorite past times these days is scrolling through social media. Social media apps like Facebook and Twitter play videos automatically, which can consume a lot of data, and before you know it, you will have used up most of your plan. When you are using cellular data and scrolling, you might forget to pay attention to the data used and scroll away like you would over a WIFI network. Turning off automatic video playbacks will prevent the app from loading videos automatically, thus saving data. And you will not have to constantly be conscious about stopping videos either. 

Use data-saving apps: 

Several apps in the Play store can help you save data by compressing images and videos, blocking ads, and even identifying and disabling data-hungry apps. You can do your own research or check the top ones on the Play Store. Using an app will automate the entire process. 

Data Saving Tips: Netflix

Netflix is a platform most of us are addicted to, yet we want to save data if we are ever using it without WIFI. It is also important since you often want to finish a show while on a commute or watch your favorite movie and will need to consume your data. So, here are some data-saving tips for Netflix:

  • Adjust video quality: Netflix allows you to adjust the video quality of your streaming to help save data. Lowering the video quality will reduce the amount of data you use while streaming. Everyone wants to stream their favorite shows in HD, but it's wise to do so only when WIFI is available. 
  • Download shows and movies: Netflix allows you to download shows and movies to your device for offline viewing. This way, you can watch them later without using any data. Netflix does have a maximum download limit for each account, so you will have to clear up the downloads once you are done watching them. 
  • Close other apps: Make sure to close any other apps that are running on your device while streaming on Netflix to prevent them from using data in the background.
  • Check your subscription plan: Different subscription plans have different data usage limits. Check your plan and consider switching to a lower-tier plan if you are concerned about data usage. If you have an HD subscription plan, try using WIFI as much as possible to use Netflix.  
  • Use browser instead of App: If you are on the move or using mobile data to stream, it may be better to stream from Netflix via browser instead of the app. It generally results in less data consumption than the app

Data Saving Tips: YouTube

Streaming data-saving tips are of the utmost benefit to us. Sometimes we want to watch a video but cannot wait for WIFI, all this while we are concerned about data usage. While you cannot stop data usage while streaming, you can certainly reduce it to a great extent using these data-saving tips:

  • Adjust video quality: YouTube allows you to adjust the video quality of your streaming to help save data. Lowering the video quality will reduce the amount of data you use while streaming.
  • Use offline mode: YouTube allows you to save videos for offline viewing, which can be an excellent way to save data if you plan to watch the videos later when you do not have an internet connection. Simply download the video using WIFI and view it offline whenever you have to.
  • Do not use background apps: Make sure to close any other apps that are running on your device while streaming on YouTube to prevent them from using data in the background.
  • Disable Autoplay: Autoplay feature that automatically plays the next video can consume a lot of data. People often fall asleep watching YouTube, and the autoplay feature continues to play videos regardless! Disable it by going to Settings > General > Autoplay and turning it off.
  • Use YouTube's Data Saver Mode: YouTube has a Data Saver mode, which can be enabled to reduce the amount of data used while streaming.
  • Use browser instead of the App: If you are on the move or using mobile data to stream, it may be better to stream from YouTube via browser instead of the app. It generally results in less data consumption than the app

Benefits of Data Saving

So what exactly is the benefit of saving data? What are all these data-saving tips preparing you for? There are many benefits to saving data, many of which go beyond cost benefits. Here are some of them:

Cost savings: 

One of the most obvious benefits of saving data is the potential to save money on your mobile phone bill. You can avoid overage charges and move to a lower-cost data plan by reducing your data usage. This can be especially beneficial for those with a limited budget or people who use a lot of data and want to avoid expensive overage charges.

Better device performance: 

When your device uses less data, it can run more efficiently and smoothly. This can lead to faster browsing, app loading times, and improved battery life. Using data-saving tips for better performance is ideal for traveling since you do not want to run out of battery in the middle of nowhere. 

Improved network performance: 

By reducing the amount of data being used on a network, there is less strain on the network infrastructure. This can lead to a faster and more reliable connection with less lags. If other people using the network also use data-saving tips, everyone will have a better experience. 

Greater flexibility: 

Saving data allows you to use your device in more places without needing a constant internet connection. This can be especially beneficial for people who travel frequently or for those who live in areas with spotty coverage.

Better security: 

Some data-saving apps and tools can help to encrypt your internet connection and protect your personal information from hackers. This can keep your personal and financial information secure and make you feel more secure while using your device.

Increased productivity: 

By reducing the amount of data you use, you can stay connected to the internet while working, traveling, or when you're out of your office or home. This allows you to be productive and stay on top of your work no matter where you are since there is a much smaller chance of you running out of data.

Better user experience: 

With data savings, the device is faster and more responsive. Videos and images load faster, and no buffering or freezing occurs during the streaming or video calls. All of these things result in an overall better user experience.

Good for the environment: 

Saving data can also have a positive impact on the environment. By reducing the amount of data that needs to be transmitted, you can help reduce the energy needed to run data centers and networks. Yes, the overall impact on the environment from one device will be small, but if everyone used data-saving tips whenever possible, the impact would reduce significantly. 

Better monitoring: 

Data-saving tips help you monitor your usage and identify which apps or activities use the most data. This can help you identify which apps you should use less or which apps you should delete altogether and make more informed decisions about your data usage.

To Sum It Up

Utilizing data-saving tips has a myriad of benefits, including cost savings, improved device performance, better network performance, greater flexibility, better security, increased productivity, better user experience, better monitoring, and even environmental benefits. With the advancement of technology, it has become essential to be mindful of data usage and the tools and apps available to track and limit it. By being strategic with your data usage, you can make the most of your device and enjoy the benefits of staying connected without breaking the bank.

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