How to manage your mobile data


With iiNet’s awesome deal to double your data when you bundle your broadband service with a 4G mobile data plan, you’re going to want to get the most out of all that extra data.

That’s why we’ve put together this nifty little guide on the best ways to manage your mobile data.

Close your apps

We’re all guilty of it. It’s so easy to open 100 apps or browser windows and forget they also need to be turned off. When left open, some apps and pages will continue to munch through your data. To stop wasting that valuable data, remember to shut down pages after you’ve used them.

It is also good practice to completely delete apps you no longer use to prevent them bogging down your data with updates.

Use mobile-friendly sites

Mobile sites aren’t just designed to provide you with a bite-sized view that looks better on a smaller device and utilise touch-screen features: they are also designed to use less data.

The shrunk-down mobile site will have less features to load which means less data sapped. Many websites will have a mobile version, so if you suspect you’ve loaded the desktop site, just check for a link to the mobile version.

Know the data drainers

Different activities will use different amounts of data, so it’s wise to be across which activities are the worst offenders when it comes to data draining. For example, a minute of streaming video will use more than triple the data of a minute on Skype. Worse still, if the video you stream is HD it may gobble up a whole gigabyte of data in just an hour! Online games and their addictive nature can also turn into a sinkhole for data.

When you’re planning to engage in a data exhaustive activity, it’s best to connect to WiFi. Especially if you’d like to watch Netflix at home quota-free!

Choose a better browser

If you’re big into your browsing, you may be unwittingly surrendering your data to a browser that is not optimised for mobile use. The good news is there are browsers, such as Opera Mini, which compress web pages for you, saving you valuable megabytes.

Googlers can rejoice as Google Chrome has also incorporated a compression feature for iOS handsets and tablets, which saves data (and may even gain speed) when it is switched on.

The catch with “free” apps

It sounds like a great deal: why pay for an app when you can get a similar one free*?

Unfortunately, that initial saving could cost you later in data usage. “Free” apps generally have more advertising than their paid counterparts and those ads will be eating away at your data every time you open the app. Ads may not only affect your data usage: they are also a big drain on battery life.

Monitor your use

As they say: the best offense is a good defense, and the smartest way to manage your data is simply to keep an eye on your usage.

If you need a hand monitoring your data, check out iiNet’s support app. This handy app allows you to see how much data you’ve used and even provides graphs that break it down into daily, weekly and monthly use. The app needs time to update (24-48 hours), but if you need to check your data use immediately, most Android and iOS devices will also have an in-built feature to monitor data use.

Get more data!

If you are a smartphone fiend and cannot control your data guzzling ways, you always have the last resort of getting a new plan with a larger data allowance.

And remember when you bundle your broadband service with a 4G mobile data plan, you’ll get double the mobile data!

Following these tips will let you browse, stream, upload and play to your heart’s content while also remaining thrifty with your data.

Do you have any data management tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments below!

*Note: Although some are free to download, data charges may apply. For example, when downloading photos or watching video content.

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  1. Ben Mason says:

    #1 tip for avoiding data charges

    Put your phone down, go outside, breathe in the fresh air and discover something beautfiul in the world.

  2. Peter says:

    Great article, I know that I’m guilty of keeping multiple browser windows open – I had no idea that this was a constant drain on my data.

    Thanks for the tips!

  3. Tony Ryan says:

    Another potentially huge gobbler is connecting a laptop to the internet through a smart phone via its mobile hotspot. This is sometimes my only option when away from home and a suitable Wi-Fi. If I have forgotten to switch off Windows update and the regular updates of my anti-virus before connecting, I can easily use up half a gigabyte in a few minutes via the auto updating of these two data munchers.