9 tips to save data traffic on Android

We all know more or less the sad reality of Internet in Italy: areas with poor coverage, promotions with metered megabytes, but even worse it seems that these megabytes are sold for gold. Promotions that always lead us to check the data traffic residue, a scrounge continually search for WiFi connections or - worse still - limit yourself to using our favorite apps.

how to save Internet data traffic on Android

Fortunately, however, there is a solution to everything and today we see 9 great tips to maximize every MB and consume less data traffic. We will see the various possible means to compress and save as much as possible the data traffic used by our applications, especially with Facebook and Youtube, or during simple Internet browsing.

1. Limit app data in the background

restrict app data in the Android background

Let's start quickly with a very simple, the most trivial, step that does not require the installation of any app, since it is a native Android feature present on all devices: ie limit app data in the background.

It is an option that, when activated, limits internet access to applications not in use and it is not applicable globally, but individually to the various apps used, both under WiFi and under data network

Let me explain: if I start the Play Store to make updates, but at the same time I go to use another application, the Play Store is using the network in the background (also called background). It comes by itself that it is not wise set this limit to all apps, as they may stop working.

In the example above, the Play Store would instantly stop updates until the new login and the same applies to browsers in case we were downloading a file and all the other apps that need to use the data in the background (Spotify to take another example).

Restricting the data of a particular app is very simple:

  • enter the Settings
  • select Data network, where you will find all the apps with their megabyte consumption
  • choose the app to which you want to limit the data in the background
  • enable the limit via the switch and give it theOK to the warning message

From the same menu, as you can see in the images, you can set a limit to be notified after reaching - or exceeding - the set threshold.

2. Play Store updates

The Play Store offers various options to update the apps installed on the Smartphone and one of these gives permission to carry out the various updates automatically, even under the data network.

Updates are important, but it is always recommended to make them via WiFi.

In addition to the option that automatically starts updates, we can decide that these are carried out automatically only if connected to a WiFi network or, better still, to download them manually when we prefer, all together or one by one the app we are interested in updating.

Changing this option takes a few steps, here's how:

  • start the Play Store
  • access to Settings
  • select the item Automatic app update
  • select one of the two items as desired
    • Do not automatically update apps
    • Automatic update app only via WiFi

      save data traffic on Android

      Click the image to enlarge

So the first voice will notify you of new updates and you will be the one to choose when to do them; the second will make the updates available when your Android smartphone is connected to a WiFi network.

3. Facebook

One of the apps that most of all weighs on our data connection (not to mention the battery) is definitely Facebook, probably because it is the most used, but also because in the home we find a myriad of images and videos.

What, on the Internet, consumes precious megabytes more than a video?

The videos you find on your Facebook home play automatically; dozens and dozens of videos run under your eyes every day and promptly start automatically. Probably more than half of these videos are not even to your liking, so the first advice is to disable the automatic playback, on the other hand just a simple tap to play a video you want to watch.

Here the solution to remove the automatic reproduction: How to disable the automatic playback of videos on Facebook

However the problem of data usage is not completely solved and, although FB uses compressed images, our precious mega quickly goes away. The best solution in this case is to use an alternative to the official application, which in addition to internet data will also do you save battery,

For some time now, some browsers like Chrome and Opera have been able to receive Facebook notifications, plus they offer good data compression, but we'll see it later. One solution therefore may be to use Facebook as a browser.

However, for a better experience, I suggest you try one of the many unofficial applications: they are lighter, consume less data, have less impact on RAM and, finally, you will notice better battery life.

You can find them here: best alternatives to the official Facebook application

4. YouTube

save data connection on Android

Click on the image to enlarge

Remaining in the theme videoOf course, YouTube is also an application that greatly reduces your Internet promotion. The first advice - however trivial - is to reduce the quality of the video being played to the acceptable limit when using 3G and 4G networks. For a more effective solution we can instead rely on the use of an excellent application: Opera Max.

5. What is Opera Max

Opera Max, for those who don't know it yet, is an application free that does not require ROOT, useful for compressing the data transmitted when using certain applications.

Unfortunately it is excellent only for a very limited number of apps (which will be verified at the first access to the app); in my case, for example, the app is only useful for YouTube and some games; but it is not to be underestimated given that a video is compressed up to 50%.

While Opera Max is great for saving precious megabytes, it can turn out to be among the worst apps when it comes to battery consumption. Therefore it is advisable to start it just before launching one of the applications on which it can freely act and to terminate it immediately afterwards.

Read also: how to optimize Android battery

Usage is very simple and creates one to work VPN connection. It also provides several options to deny internet access for certain apps, also taking into account the data consumed.

6. Navigation

As already mentioned, there are some browsers that reduce the weight of megabytes transmitted. I'm talking about Chrome of Opera Mini. If you use Chrome and you don't know this option, just go to the settings, scroll to Data saving and activate it.

Google Chrome: fast and secure
Google Chrome: fast and secure

Opera Mini's Internet data saving, on the other hand, is more complete and customizable; saves about from 40 a 80% of the transmitted data. It has two compression levels: ExtremeAlto.

The first is the one that will save you more data, but at the same time with a navigation that leaves something to be desired due to many files not downloaded during page loading. The second level of compression, on the other hand, guarantees a perfect browsing experience, with options for image and video quality.

Finally, Opera Mini has an option to save pages offline, so you can consult them often without the need to have the Internet turned on. Just press the "+" symbol at the top left and choose the item to view the page even offline.

Opera Mini Browser
Opera Mini Browser
Developer: Opera
Price: Free

7. Offline browsers

Do you often use your Android smartphone as a navigator, perhaps with Google Maps? The constant updating of the indications causes a consumption of Internet data, so a good solution could be to try an offline browser, such as the good Maps HERE.

HERE WeGo: city navigator
HERE WeGo: city navigator
Developer: HERE Apps LLC
Price: Free

8. Synchronization

Most applications with Internet access require constant synchronization for various reasons: send push notifications, synchronize data, contacts, e-mail, etc. Although this function is fundamental for some apps so that notifications arrive instantly (see Whatsapp and the like), it is not entirely important for less used apps and services.

Depending on the smartphone, there are various methods to manage the synchronization: the most drastic is to completely disable the synchronization through quick toggles; another method is to activate (and customize - when allowed) synchronization for each individual app via Settings -> Accounts; finally, through Settings -> Data usage you can choose whether to enable synchronization only via WiFi or even in 3G and - on some ROMs - specify for each app which connection to use and which not!

9. Useful applications to keep data under control

My Data Manager is probably the best data management application. It has an alarm system if the set threshold has been exceeded, and an option for automatically disable the data Internet. Two general and one daily alarms can be set.

Another very interesting function is to accurately monitor the data used by each application; in this regard it is important to enable them one by one after installation, otherwise - by default - My Data Manager will deny the data connection to all.

To do this, move from the app through these menus: My Plans -> More Options -> Set up apps for free -> choose all the apps you want to use with your SIM's internet data by simply putting the check mark

By setting the total data and those already consumed, this app will show us how many MBs we can use per day without breaking. In short, with this application you will no longer end the data before the promotion expires!

Did you know these tricks to save data or do you know any other? Let me know 🙂

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