[Tips] Four Ways To Reduce Data Cost/Usage On Android Phones

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Tips To Reduce Android Data Usage

Android can offer everything you ever wanted, easy customizations, smooth interface, best user experience, high performance and flexibility just to mention few. But when it comes to data consumption and management, Android do lack some resource over that. Though much has been corrected and filtered out in latest Android version, but you can still gauge the level of your internet connection and reduce your Android phone data usage by 50% following the tips below.

1.) Disabling Background Data and Auto Synchronization: The most effective way to reduce smartphone data usage is to disable these two services. They are enabled by default, but disabling them won't hurt your phone but will rather increase its battery life as well as reduce data consumption. Background data and auto sync can be access under phone settings.

What is Background Data in Android?

Background data is a service that allows applications running on phone to establish data connection after it has been quit, exit or when not in use. It simply connect and runs its service in background without you being aware of it. Most applications use it for analytic purpose while some use it for running ads and accessing channels. Enabling background data is like saying "apps, use my data as you want".

What is Auto Synchronization in Android?

Auto synchronization works much like background data. It enables an application to establish a connection to its server and send data to and fro on the Android device. Weather apps/widgets, News app and social network apps requires auto synchronization to be enabled before they can fully function. However, disabling this feature doesn't affect your phone as you can manually synchronize these apps from their settings.

Note: Google Play requires background data to be enabled before it can work, simply enable it when in use and disable when not in use.

2.) Using Firewall: If you happens to be a root user then you need to install firewall app on your phone. Firewall prevent apps from illegally accessing phone data connection. While some apps can be restrict by disabling background data, others have a way of bypassing this barrier and that is where firewall comes in. There are lots of firewall apps in Play Store, but the most popular is DroidWall. It allows you to handpick and ban app accessing data connection without your permission. DroidWall requires root access, you can download it from here.

3.) Using Light Browsers: The browser you use do have a great impact on your data consumption. Built-in Android browser consumes lots of data, but there are many alternatives available for Android that can further reduce data usage and yet produce same result. Currently, the most popular alternative browsers for Android are Dolphin browser, Opera, Google Chrome, UC Browser, Mozilla, Opera Mini, and UC Mini.

These browsers can be categorize into two:

(i) Heavy browsers: These are browsers that can fully renders a webpage and runs every script as PC browser does. Mozilla, Google Chrome, Opera Beta, UC Browser, and Dolphin falls under this category. They consumes little less data when compares with Android built-in browser and are satisfying when it comes to getting task easily done on a webpage.

(ii) Light Browsers: Unlike heavy browsers, light browsers renders a webpage mostly in mobile view. These can't fully render scripts such as Ajax and Javascript on a page. They are light in size and hardly consume data during usage, Opera Mini and UC Mini belongs to this group.

We recommend using heavy browsers during heavy workload and light browsers during light workload. If you are a facebook fanatic, Facebook Lite for Android app can ease your data cost as well.

4.) Using Android Data Managing Apps: Knowing the rate of data consume every second can put you on guard and helps you know the exact amount of data a specific app is using. Our favorite is Traffic Counter and Net Speed Meter.

Traffic Counter analyze and monitor incoming and outgoing data transfer rate. You can even set a limit which it will gladly reminds you via notification when the level is reached. It also has widgets that can be place on homescreen, which shows input and output data flow. Traffic Counter is light in size (1.2MB) and doesn't consumes RAM. On the other hand, Net Speed Meter display a tiny mini horizontal widget at the top of the screen which shows the rate of data being transfer in real-time when data is enabled. It supports Wifi, 2G, 3G, and 4G data connection.

Download Internet Speed Meter Lite

Hope you found this post helpful. Do you have something else to add? Tell us via comment.
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