It is not uncommon for ISPs to set a cap on the amount of data provided to home users as a way to get them to pay more for more data.
If you find yourself within these artificial restrictions put in place by your ISP, you should carefully monitor what you do online. And explore the proper ways to keep that limited internet package from running out. Here are some tips to avoid running out of your home internet package prematurely and will help you complete the month without having to purchase additional internet packages or renew before the usual monthly date.
1 – Understand what data is being used for
The first step to keeping your internet package usage in check is to understand what is using a lot of data and what is not. For example, checking your email even if you check it all day will not make an impact on the data packet. But streaming YouTube videos all day will be, of course.
For example, if you scroll through Facebook and see every auto-playing video on your page, you’ll likely be pulling a large amount of data when doing so. The same goes for Instagram.
So, the rule here is about what uses the most access to the least data when it comes to popular social networks: video is used the most, by far. The music falls in the middle, and the pictures will be the smallest. text only of course least,
2 – YouTube videos
Whether you’re on a computer or a phone, YouTube automatically determines the quality of your displayed video based on three factors: it analyzes the speed of your Internet connection, it explores the resolution of the screen you’re watching, and it takes into account the original video quality.
If your internet connection is fast, and you are watching the video on a high definition screen, and the original video quality is also high, you will automatically have an excellent video viewing experience, but with a lot of consumption on your internet package.
In order to prevent YouTube from this consumption, you will have to sacrifice that quality and watch at a lower quality, and you will have to do this manually by stopping the video at its beginning and pressing the “gear” sign at the bottom of the video player to choose the quality that suits you.
As for the YouTube application on the phone, unfortunately, there will be no add-ons and you will have to do this manually, but there are some settings that will help you to avoid consuming the Internet package as much as possible, and you can access them by clicking on your account picture and then choosing Settings.
When you click on General you will find an option called Limit mobile data storage, activate it as it will not allow videos to be played in HD quality or higher while you are using your mobile plan.
In the Autoplay option, you can disable the autoplay of videos after the end of the clip you’re watching, and also prevent the new autoplay feature on the app’s home page that automatically plays videos without sound while you’re browsing.
3 – Facebook Videos
In the same vein as before, we will do the same with Facebook videos, make their default playback quality SD quality, and turn off autoplay for them.
To do this on Facebook on the computer, you will go to Settings, from which we go to the Videos tab, then choose Video Default Quality to be SD Only, and Auto-Play Videos to be Off.
On the phone, it is much easier, because the Facebook application has the Data Saver feature, which you will find at the end of the side menu of the application, and you will enter it and activate it so that the application will automatically reduce the sizes of the displayed images and stop the automatic playback of videos.
But if you want to control everything yourself in the application, you have to go to the settings, and after going down you will find Media and Contacts, click on it, and there you will turn off everything that can consume your limited Internet package.
4 – Instagram data saving mode
Since the Instagram application relies mainly on photos and videos, it is difficult to put many options to control their consumption of the Internet, so it has borrowed the idea of the Data Saver mode from Facebook, which automatically does this task.
To access it, you will go to your profile tab on the Instagram application, then click Open the side menu, and choose Settings, from inside it click on Account, and from it enter Cellular Data Use, then activate Data Saver mode, and set High Resolution Media to Never.
Unfortunately, this mode is limited to the mobile application only and there is no equivalent on the website.
5 – Metered Connection
When you’re connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi, any operating system you’re working on “takes comfort” in consuming data because it depends on the size of your home internet packages, which are usually enough to do a lot.
But when your home Internet package is limited, or your device is connected to Wi-Fi via Hotspot from a phone plan, the operating system in that case will not know this on its own in order to disable automatic updates and excessive consumption, and you must know this or it will ruin your home.
To do this, you will go to the name of the network your device is connected to, go to its settings, and then choose Set as metered connection.
This command can be easily implemented on Windows, but in Android it is supported but not all phone makers make it available for use, you may find it in your phone and you may have to search for a complex way to implement it, while in iPhone it is still under beta in iOS 13 version.
6 – Automatic update of applications
Whether you are using Windows, Android or iPhone, one of the factors they have in common and influencing this topic is the availability of applications for each platform on their App Store, and this store is always set to take advantage of any Wi-Fi connection to automatically update the applications installed on your device .
That’s why you have to go to the store settings to prevent automatic updates of the apps completely, and the update will be manually when you want to.
In the Microsoft Store settings on Windows 10, you can also disable the autoplay of videos.
7 – Limit live broadcasting and video calling services
Video calls and live streaming are some of the most data consuming things. This is why try to avoid it when using the Internet. You should reduce the video streaming quality to reduce the consumption of Internet data. And make sure to lower the video resolution while using mobile data on your Android device.
8- Data Compression in Chrome Browser
Google Chrome has a feature that can significantly reduce data consumption on Android devices, which is the Data Saver data compression feature.
With this feature enabled, all website visits are passed through a proxy server run by Google to compress and optimize your data before sending it to your phone, thus lowering data consumption and faster page loading with a noticeable change in web content.
To use data compression, open Chrome browser and click on the menu in the top left
Click to open Settings then scroll down and select Data Saver.
9 – Restrict background data for mobile apps
Some apps running in the background consume a large portion of data when the phone is not in use.
Go to phone settings, then data usage, and see how much data each of these apps consumes.
Tap to open the app and then choose Restrict app data in the background.
This step ensures that the app will only consume data when the phone is in use and therefore use less data.
10 – Caching and using Google Maps offline
Saving maps in Google Maps for offline use saves a lot of time and data consumption. Once the map is loaded, you can navigate using your GPS even if the phone is offline. This is well suited for daily travel or when there is no network in some areas and it is a good idea to download a map of your area and the areas you travel to frequently.
Open Google Maps when you are connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi.
Go to the application menu and then choose “Offline Maps”.
You can choose “Your Map” and zoom in and out until you reach the desired area.
Once you have selected the region, choose download
11 – Games that use the Internet
Video games are the biggest source of data consumption when you play them using the internet, and when you download them, if you are a gamer either on console or on PC, you already know how hard it can be to download a new game. Even if you buy the physical disk, you will end up using several gigabytes of data just for updates. It’s too bad. That is why try to reduce their internet use.
12 – Backup copies of the device
Backup services are in abundance these days, and while you may not have a dedicated backup service, you can still use some type of storage like Google Drive.
These types of services can be a real data burden, especially when you’re constantly syncing data. For example, almost any service that synchronizes all folders in its path, but can also bet that photos and videos will be uploaded automatically. If you don’t care what happens when you set up these services, you can tell them to automatically upload all your photos and videos to your computer,
13 – Surveillance cameras connected to the Internet
If you have security cameras the best solution here is to keep monitoring to an absolute minimum. Set your cameras to only record when you’re not at home, set to record only when they detect motion (not sound), and limit camera quality from the settings.
14 – Monitor your network for devices that use a lot of data
See, sometimes gadgets crash. Apps get malicious, downloads get corrupted, and other kinds of things. The end result could be something that is using more data than it should, and the only way to find out is to monitor your network.
15 – Monitor data usage of individual devices on your network
If you’re lucky, your router has built-in network management settings that let you know what’s going on. If it doesn’t, you can probably monitor some devices individually like computers and phones but not all. Your ISP should have some kind of graph that lets you see how much data all devices connected to the internet use daily.