How to monitor and reduce your mobile data usage

How to monitor and reduce your mobile data usage

Our need for mobile internet has grown with the advancements in smartphone technology and, where before you would pay a higher price for calls and texts, data is now the most expensive part of a mobile contract. As technology has developed mobile phones have become more useful and taken on a bigger role in our day-to-day lives. Our need for mobile internet has increased and, with the introduction of super-speedy 5G it is easier than ever to eat through your mobile data allowance.  

The good news is it’s not necessary to pay out for bigger allowances on your SIM plan because there are plenty of ways to monitor your data throughout the month and limit your use if you need to. We’ve compiled a list of our favourites.

We take a look at the different ways you can manage your data to get the most from your phone and avoid hefty bills, including practical ways to reduce your usage without changing your mobile phone habits. 

Monitor using your network account

All of the networks provide apps or online accounts that let you see how much data you are using. Simply log into your account via your provider’s website or if they have an app simply download and install this on your smartphone to check your call, text and data usage throughout the month. Use the links below to visit your network account.

Look out for Text alerts from your network provider

As part of the Euro Tariff your netork provider has to send you a warning when you use 80% of your data allowance and again when you reach 100%. Although this is a good way to make you aware of your usage it doesn’t stop your data and if you continue using online services you will be charged at off plan rates

Tips to reduce your mobile usage

Use WiFi to browse

Use your home or work WiFi when you can and opt for WiFi hotspots when you’re out to save your mobile data. Apps like OpenSignal and WiFi Finder can help you find public WiFi hotspots or the O2 WiFi app is free for anyone to use and provides free WiFi at thousands of high street retailers. If you’re in London and you’re a customer of O2, EE, Three, Virgin Media or Vodafone then you can also make use of free WiFi on the London Underground.

Update and sync apps over WiFi

Save some Megabytes by setting your apps to update and sync only when connected to WiFi. This is usually managed via your phones settings and means your apps and any push notifications, such as email, won’t update until you connect to a WiFi signal. You can manage your apps individually if there are some things that you need to keep on. 

Download over WiFi

Plan ahead and save your data by downloading the things you need, such Google Maps or Spotify Playlists, over your home WiFi before you head out. 

Use mobile versions of websites

Most companies have a mobile version of their website. These are optimised for smartphones and tablets so use less data than desktop versions of the same site. 

Keep your cached data

Deleting cached data frees up space and can speed up your phone but it means you have to download pages, images and text from your favourite websites all over again. If you want to reduce your data usage, and your phone isn’t a slug, then keep your browser cache intact. 

Reduce the quality of streamed video

Reducing the quality of videos played on a mobile phone screen won’t impact your enjoyment but it will save you some Megabytes by compressing the file and making it smaller.