How to Reduce Your Cellular Data Usage

man watching streaming service on his computer

With unlimited, unthrottled cellular data plans going away, many travelers are turning to more reliable options. Depending on usage habits, this can be anything from a minor inconvenience to practically impossible. Fortunately, the team at MobilSat Cellular is here to help you reduce your cellular data usage! We’ve been keeping people connected since the mid 1990’s and have picked up a few tricks along the way.

Check your connected devices

Even devices that aren’t in use may be consuming data. Most smart TVs, game consoles, cell phones, and other connected devices use data while they are off. This can cause both an unneeded strain to your cellular data speeds and a notable increase in the amount of data you consume. Though each device may not use much data to update, all of them together may add up. We recommend going through your list of connected devices monthly and removing any that don’t need to be constantly updating.

InControl will show which applications are connected and taking up bandwidth.

Reduce your stream quality

We get it, you want to watch your shows with the best quality possible. Unfortunately, this is not always a good idea if you need to reduce cellular data usage or if you have multiple people using data at once. If you have our 500 gigabyte data plan and want to watch one movie per night, go ahead! You can even stream it in 4K if you have a strong enough cellular connection. The problem is when you want to watch multiple movies or TV shows while also scrolling Facebook or playing games. Little by little, a large data limit can be dwindled away.

Simply lowering your streaming quality can reduce your overall data usage. A 4K stream will use up about 13 gigabytes per movie, while a standard definition stream and a high definition stream only use up around 1.5 gigabytes and 5.5 gigabytes per movie, respectively. Over the course of a dozen movies, you could save over 60 gigabytes of data by streaming in HD instead of 4K! That is a very significant difference, and an easy change to make for all our customers.

Turn off automatic video play on social media sites

Across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media sites, video posts are set to automatically load and start playing by default. That is a lot of data being used for videos that are not even being watched! Most of the time, this is an easy fix. For Facebook, follow the following instructions. Go to your Facebook profile, click on your main menu, then Settings and Privacy. Next, click on Data Usage. Choose between Less, Normal, and More. ‘More’ is the default, but changing it to ‘Normal’ will have a big impact! If you frequently use other social media platforms that feature automatically loaded and played videos, we recommend going to their support pages to find out how to turn that functionality off.

To sum it up

Cellular internet is just not as easy to use as a home fiber connection. You must accept speeds that are usually much slower and a limit to the amount of data you can use. Fortunately, most of our customers can work within the confines of our 500-gigabyte plan with few changes to their streaming, gaming, and scrolling habits. As is the case with most things in the cellular internet world, it is a matter of education and knowing how to get the most out of what you have.

If these tips don’t seem to be working for you or you have a unique circumstance that may require other steps, our team is here to help! Simply call our technical support team if you are already a MobilSat customer. If you are curious whether the MobilSat Cellular 500 gigabyte data plan will be enough for your needs, give our sales team a call so they can learn a bit more about your situation.

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