5 data-saving hacks every South African should know

PHOTO: Unsplash

PHOTO: Unsplash



Whether it’s on your phone or your home Wi-Fi network, data doesn’t come cheap. Let’s look at what munches your megs – and what you can do about it.

1. Be app savvy

Apps such as Facebook and Instagram are media-rich and data-hungry so try to use them only when connected to Wi-Fi. But if you can’t go without seeing the latest updates, turn off autoplaying videos. In Facebook go to Settings > Newsfeed Preferences. In Instagram tap the settings symbol, select Cellular Data Use then turn on Use Less Data.

2. Turn off automatic updates

Apps that update when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi munch data in the background so change your settings to update only manually or when connected to Wi-Fi. On an iOS device go to Settings > iTunes & App Store and turn off Cellular Data. On Android go to the Google Play Store, tap the menu button on the top left of the screen, go to Settings > Auto-Update Apps and pick the option you prefer.

Read more: Everything you need to know about fibre

3. Say no to background app refresh

If you have to browse the net when not connected to Wi-Fi, download Google’s web browser Chrome (many Android phones come with it installed) and use the Data Saver option. Once installed, tap the three dots on the top right corner then go to Settings > Data Saver on Android. In the Chrome app in iOS go to Settings > Bandwidth > Preload Pages and choose Only On Wi-Fi.

4. Push those push notifications off

Apps can be so pushy with their notifications. Turn yours off and you’ll save data when those pesky third parties are no longer “pushing” alerts to your phone. Usually apps ask for permission when installing but if you’ve mistakenly activated pop-ups you can turn them off. On an iOS device go to Settings > Notifications > app name and turn off Allow Notifications. On Android navigate to Apps > Settings > app name > Notifications.

5. Sort out your settings

For the various data-saving options available on your device go to Settings > Connections > Data Usage on Android, or Settings > Cellular (or Mobile Date) > Cellular Data Usage on iOS.

BONUS tips on saving your precious data at home 

MWEB‘s Head of Product Rihana Hoosain recommends:

  • Disable video auto-play on Instagram, Facebook and other social media. You’ll find the option in the settings menu.
  • If your data package has available, use night time data to download bigger files.
  • Stream low definition video.
  • Avoid streaming movies in the background when you’re not watching.
  • Don’t download unnecessary software.
  • Ensure your Wi-Fi password is strong — you don’t want other people using your data!
  • Ensure you have the right data package for your needs. A gamer will have different usage needs to a person who only uses the Internet for emails