Tips to Reduce your Data Usage Posted June 29th, 2012 and last modified January 11th, 2013
Broadband users in Australia are coming to realise that there is no such thing as an unlimited data plan that will allow you to browse the internet to your heart’s content. If you were already on a limited data plan you know how costly it can be to exceed your monthly data limit. However, if you are on an unlimited data plan, you need to know that your usage is capped as per fair usage policies too. Therefore, in order to avoid high broadband bills and to avoid capping by your ISP, you need to reduce your broadband data usage.
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How to reduce broadband data usage
Here are some tips, with the help of which it is possible to lower your broadband data consumption:
- Monitor your usage carefully: In order to know how much data usage you need to reduce, consumers have to first be aware of the amount of data that they are currently using. Therefore, it is important to monitor data usage on a regular basis. You can do this by downloading different data monitoring tools on your computer or laptops. Mobile broadband users can monitor their data usage by downloading appropriate monitoring apps on their mobile phones.
- Increase Wi-Fi usage: If you have access to free Wi-Fi at your work place or at any public place that you visit often, then using the wireless connections available to you is a great way to bring down your broadband data consumption. In fact, if you go out to cafes and restaurants quite a bit, you should try and patronise those locations that offer free Wi-Fi to their customers. Even if you do have to eat or drink something in order to connect to the wireless network; that should not be a problem as that is exactly why you went to the cafe to begin with. Yes, you may not be able to do heavy downloading in such locations, but you can easily send emails and browse the internet comfortably, thereby saving a lot of your broadband data.
- Change the settings for auto-updates: Many people have settings on their devices that allow auto-updates of important software such as antivirus software, Operating System updates or firewall updates. While there is no doubt that such updates are important for your computer, they can use up a lot of your allocated broadband data. In fact, some auto-updates run into several MBs and can amount to a lot of data if these updates are being downloaded on multiple devices. Thus, turning off your auto-update settings will definitely help to lower your broadband data usage. Instead of auto-updating, you can download these updates manually. That way at least you will only have to download them on one device and can then copy the updates to the other devices that are using your broadband connection.
- Do you really need to watch videos in HD: Most people have the tendency of downloading videos in High Definition format as they want to enjoy the great quality of HD videos. However, such videos are much higher in terms of MBs than the same video in a lower definition. Hence, if you are really worried about your data usage and need to reduce it considerably, you should avoid downloading HD videos. Rather than stopping your video download altogether, wouldn’t it be better to simply choose a lower definition? And since you will be monitoring your data usage closely, you can return to HD videos towards the end of the month if you have enough data left over for that month.
- Avoid using file synchronization software: Many people love using file synchronisation software as it enables them to synchronise files between multiple devices in their homes. In fact, such software also enables syncing between devices at home as well as the office. While this is a big advantage for users, you need to be aware that such software uses up considerable broadband data. You will you be using your bandwidth whenever you save a file in your sync folder. Hence, if you save multiple times while working on the file, your broadband data gets used up every time you save! Therefore, avoid using file synchronisation software as much as possible. If you simply have to use it, make sure you save the file in your sync folder only once you have finished working on it. While the file is a work-in-progress file, save it in your documents folder instead.
- Stop sharing your wireless broadband: How often have you given the password of your wireless connection to friends and family members who may be visiting your home? While this may be the courteous thing to do, it can lead to a lot of data being used up. Therefore, if you want to reduce your broadband data usage, you need to stop sharing your wireless connection with others.