Knowledge Base

Tip: 8 way Extend your limited (internet) data usage on Android or iOS

Started by: shadzyy
On: 17/03/2014 | 13:21
Replies: 20

by: shadzyy
on: 17/03/2014 | 13:21
Here some tips of how to reduce internet charges if you have limited data allowance

1. How much data do you need?

People generally overestimate how much data they need and that can mean paying more money each month than you really have to. You can check up on how much data you have been using by referring to your bill on . You can also use something like online Data Calculator to get a rough estimate of what your data usage is likely to be over the course of a month.

2. Set data alerts and limits

On an iPhone running iOS 7 you can check your data usage by going to Settings > Cellular and taking a look under Cellular Data Usage.

If you’re running iOS 6, or an earlier version of the platform, then you’ll find the same figure under Settings > General > Usage > Cellular Usage. You do have to remember to reset the tracker at the start of each month for this to be useful.

On an Android smartphone running version 4.0 or later you can check your data usage and set alerts and limits. Go to Settings and under Wireless & Networks tap on Data usage. You’ll see a table showing your data usage for a specific period of time. You can tap to tick the Set mobile data limit box and then move the orange and red lines to set an alert usage amount (so you’ll get a warning when you’re closing in on your limit), and a hard limit (which will prevent you from going over your allowance).

My Data Manager (Android, iOS) is a free and easy-to-use app to keep track of your data and set alerts up.

3. Use Wi-Fi wherever possible

Whenever you’re in the house, or at the office, there’s a good chance you can switch from your mobile data connection to Wi-Fi. Make sure you get into the habit of doing it and you can make huge savings on the data you’re using. It’s as simple as tapping Wi-Fi in your Settings menu. Access it on a newer phone by pulling down your notification tray with two fingers instead of one, then tap the Settings button.

Many carriers also offer Wi-Fi hotspots that you can connect to when you’re out and about, so take advantage of them. For example; BT have BT WiFi Hotspots, Sky has The Cloud Hotspots and Virgin has Virgin WiFi. If you’re in a city then you can probably save a fair bit of data by learning where your carrier’s hotspots are and taking advantage.

It’s also worth checking around you for free Wi-Fi. The free app Wi-Fi Finder (Android, iOS) takes all the pain out of finding Wi-Fi spots near you.

4. Limit background data

One of the main drains on your data is probably going to be background syncing, when an app like Facebook grabs an update, or your phone checks to see if there’s any new email on your server. Think about what you actually need updated in real-time. Can you reduce the frequency of push notifications, or just set apps to update manually so they only grab new stuff when you actually open them?

This can save you a lot of data, not to mention battery life. You’ll generally need to do it via the Settings menu of the app in question, but you can also check in Settings > Notifications on iOS,

and take a look under Settings > Wireless & Networks > Data usage on Android.

You should set some things to only update via Wi-Fi, such as app updates. This is an important one because app updates can be huge and if you’ve set them to update automatically then you could end up using a surprising amount of data.

5. Change your browser

You should only browse mobile versions of websites where possible, as they tend to be simpler versions that will load faster and use less data. You should also avoid deleting your Internet cache (which is a common way to free up some space on your phone). By preserving your cache you won’t have to download images from frequently visited websites every time you visit them.

You might also consider using a browser like Opera Mini (Android, iOS) as it’s designed to compress data and dramatically reduce your usage when browsing. There are also options, like TextOnly Browser on Android, that strip out all the images and just serve up the text, which is also a major data saving.

6. Cache or preload data

A little organization can save you a whole lot of data. Why not save yourself a batch of interesting articles to read on the commute by preselecting them when you’re at home and connected to Wi-Fi? You can use an app like Pocket (Android, iOS) to save interesting web pages and access them later anytime you like without needing an Internet connection.

How about saving an area in Google Maps for offline use? Fire up the Google Maps app when you’re connected to Wi-Fi and select the area you want to save then tap Menu > Make available offline or go to Maps > My Places > Offline and tap New offline map before selecting the area you want. You can also review your offline maps via Maps > My Places > Offline.

Videos are by far the biggest drain on your data, so if you stream a lot of YouTube content then think about doing it differently. take Advantage of the ability to save videos offline on YouTube’s mobile apps. think ahead Search online and you’ll find a wide selection of free software tools to download and convert YouTube videos. You could compile a selection and preload them before you leave the house. If you must stream video, then consider reducing the quality – it can make a huge difference to the amount of data you use.

With any streaming app you use check to see if there’s an offline mode. Apps like Spotify and Google Music allow you to create playlists for listening to offline, but you will need some space to store them.

8. Compress your data

Check out the Onavo Extend app (Android, iOS). It is designed to compress your data and potentially extend your data plan by up to five times. It doesn’t work with streaming audio or video apps, and it doesn’t work with VoIP apps, but it will help reduce the impact of images and text. It gives you a breakdown of which apps are using your data, lets you create a universal cache, and helps you choose the balance you want between image quality and data savings. It’s free, so it’s worth giving it a try if you find yourself running out of data all the time.

7. Get rid of ads

Not only are they annoying, ads are also eating your data. This is a good reason to consider splashing out on the ad-free version of an app, especially if you use it a lot. You can also just turn Airplane mode on or turn mobile data off before you fire the app up and avoid ads that way. And Next time Adds won't annoy you and eat up ur precious limited internet data


I hope these tips helps you and hopefully you won't find yourself in a tricky situation of out of Internet data service when you need the most. Good luck

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Message 1 of 21
by: antonio75
on: 17/03/2014 | 13:25
Good post
Message 2 of 21
by: huminahut
on: 17/03/2014 | 13:26
I suggest using chrome with the bandwidth management turned on ( settings> bandwidth management).
It helps by minimising preloading and actively compresses internet data when browsing, as an added bonus it also encrypts it
Message 3 of 21
by: yahiroz
on: 08/04/2014 | 11:07

Alternatively, if you don't like using Chrome on Android, you can use Opera Max:


This will compress all your mobile data for all apps, and using this I averagely save ~30% data (mostly web browsing). Will be very handy when 4G is released for giffgaff.

HTC One M7 - Sense 6.0, Android 4.4.3
Google Nexus 10 - Android 4.4.4
Message 4 of 21
by: chamansingh
on: 20/11/2014 | 03:49
Good info ...very much needed for me Smiley Happy
Message 6 of 21
by: kevincunno
on: 20/11/2014 | 06:10
Great information there shadzzy awesome
Get a free giffgaff Simdon't judge my path if you haven't walk my journey kevin
Message 7 of 21
by: mrfosta
on: 21/11/2014 | 02:26
Turn off apps access to net on iOS, plus background refresh and location services id say
Message 8 of 21
by: shadzyy
on: 16/12/2014 | 19:08
Glad to hear and you're welcome Smiley Very Happy
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Message 9 of 21
by: computekbrain
on: 17/12/2014 | 13:52
Some very nice tips here, there will be plenty of members that fine this useful Smiley Happy
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Message 10 of 21