Reduce your mobile phone bill : Save money on data usage

If you are on a mobile data plan with say a limit of 1GB/month or want to save on home Wi-Fi because of monthly quotas (ex: BSNL) then here are some tips guaranteed to save you data usage without taking the fun out. The tips here apply mostly to Android phones but iPhone users can also use most of them

Tip #1: Enable “Reduce Data Usage” on Google Chrome.

This will compress web pages you browse so it consumes less data. I experienced 25% savings last month.

Chrome browser > Settings (under the 3 vertical dots near address bar) > Reduce Data Usage

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Tip #2:  Restrict background data

Some apps like to keep pushing data to your phone to announce new features, product upgrades etc. Restricting this means you will get them when you are next on Wi-Fi

Settings > Data Usage > Restrict background data (under 3 vertical dots on right side of screen)

Note: I’ve noticed that a phone restart resets this setting back.

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Tip #3: App Store: Update apps only on wifi

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Tip #4: Use Google Maps without data

Whenever I have to drive someplace needing directions, I load it up on Google Maps on Wi-Fi at home. Then when I’m driving MAGIC of MAGIC: Google Maps will cache that route map so you don’t need mobile data even for “turn-by-turn” directions!

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Tip #5: Stream songs and videos on low quality

If you listen to Gaana, Spotify, Youtube etc go to the settings page and change the streaming quality to low. 99% of the time you will not notice the difference in song quality.

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Tip #6: Save news articles on Wi-Fi for reading offline

I have the “Pocket” app on my phone. Using the “Save to Pocket” Google Chrome extension, I save interesting articles to Pocket over Wi-Fi. In the background Pocket will sync it with the app on my phone.

So when I’m on the metro or waiting I don’t need data to read the articles plus the app neatly formats the article for readability on mobile phone.

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Bonus Tip:  Turn off mobile data when you are not on a home or work Wi-Fi

2 thoughts on “Reduce your mobile phone bill : Save money on data usage

  1. Also some more tips can be :

    – be aware of latest packs introduced by your service providers including the surprise offers, to downgrade your plans with same benefits.
    – you can opt for service providers like Airtel which has the provision of carry forward of unused data to the next bill cycle
    – browse and watch youtube videos in 360p on mobile by changing the settings whenever you open one because by default it is set to Auto and it tries to go for the highest resolution based on your wifi bandwidth.

    1. thanks Sahil. The youtube tip is especially valuable. With Jio having a daily limit we still need to be smart about managing data usage. We don’t yet have true “unlimited” high-speed data yet except for BSNL which is what we use for watching videos.

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