How can I use less data?

Screenshot of the App showing the Data Breakdown screenCheck out Data Breakdown

Data Breakdown in the My Account App lets you see where your data has been going!

Data Breakdown will show you the top 5 places your data is being spent and will show you your approximate data usage from as far back as 2 bill cycles.

See the Data Breakdown How-To's for more info.

Turn off background syncing

Make sure your phone isn’t using data when your back is turned.

Background synching (when an app like Facebook grabs an update or an app left open when you change tasks) can be a drain on your battery life and data.

You can prevent this using up too much data by reducing the frequency of push notifications or set your apps to update manually so they only update themselves once you open them.

To manage your app synching you need to go the settings menu of the app in question, or via the phone

Android: Settings > App Manager > Select App in Question

iPhone: Settings > Notifications

Alternatively you can manage your app updates to happen only over WiFi, this will help you to keep your apps up to date whilst keeping your data usage under control.

Stream dream... or nightmare?

Use a lower quality stream to get the best value from your data.

Video, music or game streaming can use data fast.

If you’re a big fan of sites like YouTube, Spotify and Rdio, just be aware that high quality music streaming (256kbps) can use over 100MB per hour, and HD video can chew through 1GB in an hour!

Interactive online games can also plough through your download limits, using anywhere between 10MB and 80MB an hour.

Don't push it

Turn off push notifications & background data for apps.

You may not realise, but many apps use data even when you're not actively 'using' them. After you download an app, say no to push notifications or use of location data and you'll be keeping their background data usage to a minimum. Then you can manually switch them on when using the app.

Video Autoplay

Social media sites are moving towards playing video content automatically.

Facebook uses autoplay on videos in your newsfeed which can quickly chew through data. It’s easy enough to turn this off by following the instructions below

For iPhone: Within the app tap on More > Account Settings > Videos and Photos > Auto-play on WiFi only

For Android: Within the app go to App Settings > Autoplay > WiFi only

For Twitter: Within the app go to Settings > Data > Video Autoplay > WiFi Only.

WiFi Assist

WiFi Assist is a feature in iOS that automatically switches you from WiFi to cellular data if that connection is stronger. This is particularly useful should your WiFi stop working or slow down as you’ll get the best possible internet connection. It’s important to note that once you’re switched over to a cellular data connection, any data usage will be deducted from your mobile plan.

WiFi Assist is automatically turned on. To turn WiFi Assist off go to Settings > Mobile > WiFi assist.

Software updates

Check your settings whenever you update your phone.

Sometimes software updates change your user settings. A great example of this would be some of the iOS updates, which currently include a patch to automatically switch Bluetooth ‘on’. It’s a good idea when you update your software to check your default settings as they may change.

Turn off data roaming when overseas

Travel light, Travel right!

By turning off data roaming when travelling overseas, email and data used by background apps won’t cause nasty bill-shock when you return to Oz. To turn off Data Roaming:

For Android: Settings > Wireless & Networks > Mobile Networks > Data Roaming

For iPhones: Settings > General > Network > Data Roaming

Back up on wifi only

Avoid data strain by using WiFi instead.

Back-up services like iCloud and photo stream have automatic settings which will sync information with an online account. If you’re quite the photographer, this can quickly impact your data usage. Ensure that your back-up services are on the preference you want, rather than the default. Maybe only back-up when you’re connected to WiFi.

Why pay when you can Wi-Fi?

Avoid mobile internet data by using WiFi whenever you can.

If you have broadband in your home you can set up a wireless network and get your phone to use that instead of mobile internet data. When you’re out and about, look out for the many free WiFi spots now available in restaurants, cafes, libraries and other public spaces.

My Account is your friend

Log into My Account anytime to check data usage or download the app.

One of the many useful things you can do in My Account is keep tabs of your data usage so you know where you're at in relation to your monthly allowance. Just log in and head to the "Data“ tab in the Dashboard to see how you're doing.

Please note though that this tool is an estimate only and may not include the last 2 days usage. We also send auto-alerts to let you know when you reach 50%, 85% and 100% of your included value and included mobile data. More info on auto-alerts is here

Manage your emails

Delete unsent emails, they can be a data drain!

If there are unsent emails in your email outbox, they may be trying to resend themselves over and over, which can use a lot of data (especially if they have large attachments). Your phone should also have a setting to download emails without images and attachments, which can save more data.

Just browsing?

Use  a browser that offers a built in data compression feature like Google Chrome or Opera.Data compression keeps file sizes low by compressing web data and images before being delivered to your phone. Opera says it offers data savings of up to 90%. We say it works a treat!

Just got a brand new phone?

We know how it is. You get a new phone and you go a little app-download-crazy pimping out your phone. All our new eligible rate plans have Auto Data which automatically tops up with an extra 1GB for $10 if you exceed your included data. We'll send you an SMS once we apply the 1GB to your service. Plus, any unused Auto Data will roll over to the next month, so you don't lose what you don't use.

You may also consider getting a month-to-month Data Pack and you can cancel it anytime when your usage goes down to a lower, steady amount each month. You can also check which apps are using your data from your phone to better manage your data usage.

Spring clean your phone

Remove unused apps from your phone.

Apart from taking up valuable memory space, some of your unused apps may be sending and receiving data, so why not take a broom to that 'Learn the Banjo in 400 Easy Lessons' app and all the rest that seemed like a good idea at the time.

Bookmark this

Use the mobile-friendly version of your fave sites.

Because mobile browsing is growing fast, most popular websites now have mobile-friendly versions that strip out data-heavy elements such as animated ads and large images. You can tell you’re on a mobile-friendly website if the web address has “m.” at the beginning. Save these sites to your home screen for easy access to data-friendly browsing.

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