RE­DUCE YOUR DATA US­AGE

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Re­duce your data with Opera

Opera Max was an ex­cel­lent data-sav­ing app for An­droid that man­aged to speed up your brows­ing over both wire­less and mo­bile net­works by com­press­ing con­tent before it reached your phone, which meant you down­loaded less data. Un­for­tu­nately, Opera re­cently made the de­ci­sion to kill the app in or­der to fo­cus more on its browsers.

Still, it’s not all bad news. The Opera Browser for An­droid ( bit.ly/op­erab433) blocks ads, which re­duces some of your data us­age, and it also com­presses videos (you can dis­able this fea­ture if you don’t like the re­sults). The browser has a built-in data-sav­ing mode, too, that uses com­pres­sion to load pages faster on slug­gish net­works.

Opera Mini ( www.opera.com/mo­bile) is another browser from the same de­vel­oper that claims to re­duce your data needs by up to 90%. It also comes with an ad blocker, a built-in video down­loader (which, an­noy­ingly, doesn’t work with Youtube) and an in­tel­li­gent down­load man­ager for get­ting files faster. You can check your data sav­ings in the Set­tings menu.

Un­like the Opera Browser, Opera Mini is avail­able for both An­droid and IOS.

Re­duce data us­ing Data­eye

Data­eye ( bit.ly/data­eye433) also sig­nif­i­cantly trims your mo­bile data us­age, al­beit in a more ba­sic way than the old Opera Max. It sim­ply al­lows you to choose which of your apps can use your mo­bile con­nec­tion, pri­ori­tis­ing your down­load so you don’t have to wait while an unim­por­tant app clogs up the con­nec­tion to pull inessen­tial data from the web.

You can view the data sav­ings you’ve made as a re­sult of this stream­lin­ing, and dis­cover which apps con­sume the most data over time. Use­fully, Data­eye lets you un­block any apps for 10 min­utes at a time (or per­ma­nently), and the app has spe­cial of­fers that re­ward you with ex­tra data for free – al­though these don’t yet seem to be avail­able in the UK.

Use less data on An­droid

The lat­est ver­sions of An­droid, Nougat and Oreo have a handy Data Saver fea­ture that stops your smart­phone from con­sum­ing too much mo­bile data in the back­ground. Once en­abled, it en­sures that apps and ser­vices can only get their back­ground data via Wi-fi. Not only does this pre­vent you from go­ing over your us­age cap, it also has the ben­e­fit of speed­ing up brows­ing and down­load­ing, be­cause the avail­able band­width doesn’t have to be shared with apps per­form­ing ac­tions in the back­ground. Ad­di­tion­ally, it asks apps to use less data in the fore­ground.

To ac­ti­vate Data Saver, open Set­tings and go to Network & In­ter­net, Data Us­age (the ex­act lo­ca­tion will vary depend­ing on your phone). Se­lect Data Saver and turn it on. Not all apps work with this fea­ture, so if you find one that can’t han­dle be­ing blocked from ac­cess to back­ground data, you can add it as an ex­cep­tion. Open Set­tings, go to Network & In­ter­net, Data Us­age and se­lect Data Saver. Se­lect Un­re­stricted Data Ac­cess, then en­able the app or ser­vice that you want to al­low to have ac­cess to mo­bile data while this mode is ac­tive.

Use a mo­bile down­load man­ager

Thanks to su­per­fast broad­band con­nec­tions, down­load man­agers aren’t as es­sen­tial on PCS as they once were. How­ever, they can come in handy on mo­bile de­vices, where they ac­cel­er­ate down­loads and let you re­sume any that fail.

For An­droid de­vices, you can in­stall Ad­vanced Down­load Man­ager ( bit.ly/ ad­man­ager433) which can use­fully fetch up to three files si­mul­ta­ne­ously. As with PC down­load man­agers, it breaks each file into mul­ti­ple pieces for down­load­ing con­cur­rently, sav­ing you a lot of time when on the move. The app is free to in­stall, but con­tains ad­verts.

On IOS, you can try To­tal Down­loader ( bit.ly/to­tal433) which lets you start mul­ti­ple down­loads, and pause and restart them. It’s also ad-sup­ported, and some re­view­ers have com­plained that these get in the way, ru­in­ing what is an oth­er­wise ex­cel­lent ex­pe­ri­ence – so bear that in mind.

Another app worth try­ing is Off­line ( bit.ly/off­line433), which pro­vides re­sum­able down­loads, queues, progress de­tails and er­ror re­ports. It also au­tore­names files, mak­ing them easy to find and man­age.

The app de­scrip­tion claims that “only non-au­dio­vi­sual files are sup­ported for down­load­ing due to store guide­lines”, but we found it hap­pily grabbed videos from most pop­u­lar video-shar­ing sites, in­clud­ing Youtube. It, too, con­tains ad­verts.

Opera Mini po­ten­tially re­duces your data us­age by up to 90%

Data­eye lets you con­trol which of your apps get pri­or­ity ac­cess to data

An­droid’s Data Saver fea­ture stops apps hog­ging your mo­bile con­nec­tion

Grab files faster on the go us­ing the mo­bile down­load man­ager Off­line

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