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Tips on using data wisely while working from home

House & Home

Posted on Saturday, May 2, 2020

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From remote working to virtual dates and online classes, most of our everyday activities have gone digital, all of which is fuelled by mobile data or Wi-Fi connections. And while Wi-Fi options such as fibre, LTE and ADSL are cost-effective, there may be a drop-in speed with everyone being at home.


Fortunately, there are a few measures you can put in place to limit and reduce your data usage. Here are a few of our tips on how to use less data.


Check automatic updates

While small updates on your phone, laptop or PC may use minimal data, big updates could take a hefty chunk. This is particularly true if multiple updates are processed unnoticed. Check your devices for any upcoming updates and change the settings to only update when Wi-Fi is available. You can also schedule certain updates for a time that suits you, such as when you are at home and haven’t popped out for essential goods.


Watch video settings

While conference video calls and streaming videos make remote working convenient, they’re also data-intensive activities. What’s more, it sometimes occurs without you knowing, for instance when a video is automatically launched when you visit a website.

Adjust the settings to slow the pace of data consumption when making video calls or streaming videos on YouTube, for example. When using applications such as Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams for video calling, use audio and video only when necessary. Disable the autoplay feature for video on your social media accounts too, including WhatsApp.


Delete unused apps


You may think that there’s no harm in leaving unused apps on your phone, but they are likely to be downloading data in the background, being updated and connecting online. Not only does this eat at your data, but it may drain your battery life too.

Give your phone and data a breather by deleting those apps, and while you’re at it, ensure you’re closing your apps correctly. Do this by checking for running or recent apps. ‘Network connections’ usually does real-time monitoring of your app’s mobile data consumption to.


Tag team

Working remotely from home means you’re likely to be sharing data or Wi-Fi with your family, partner or housemates.This means that your data usage could skyrocket in no time. What’s more, even if you have uncapped Wi-Fi, your connection may slow down because of the number of people using it at the same time. Set up a family meeting to get everyone on the same page about data usage. Explain that data is limited and that everyone should be mindful of using it responsibly. Designate a portion of data to each person if possible and keep track. Ask those who aren’t working during the day to skip bandwidth-intensive activities (e.g. gaming and video streaming) while others are working.


Use a data-saver app

Besides taking various measures to save data, you can take a load off by letting a data-saver app do some of the work for you. These nifty apps help you to save data by blocking unnecessary uses. Some of these apps can even show you an analysis of your data usage, including how it’s being used and settings for daily data limits. Some free options include:

  • Datally
  • My Data Manager
  • Data Usage Monitor
  • DataEye

Extra data-saving tips

  • Monitor which devices connect to your router so that you can find out which ones are draining your connectivity. Your service provider will be able to assist you with this.
  • Make sure your Wi-Fi router has a password so you can control access.
  • Reduce the connectivity on your home network by using your mobile data package when possible.
  • Reduce the number of tabs you have open in your browser.
  • Download content instead of streaming it.