How to Control Your Data Usage While Binge Watching Your Favorite Shows
With the awards season upon us, it is almost impossible to resist the urge to binge watch the most buzzed about movies and television shows of the past year. Instead of surpassing your data limit and getting stuck with overage fees, keep these tips in mind the next time you start video streaming. Whether you choose to download a data-saving app to keep you in line or stick to using Wi-Fi exclusively, you do not need to curtail your binge watching habits to stay within your savings plan.
Track Your Data Usage with Apps
Nowadays there really is an app for everything, including conserving data usage. Opera Max is a free app that you can download onto your iPhone or Android to reduce the amount of data that is used when you stream videos with any app on your phone. For YouTube and Netflix, Opera Max can help you save up to 60% of your data and even keep track of how many megabytes of data you have remaining. While you will not notice the difference in regard to video quality, you will certainly take note of, and appreciate, a lower cell phone bill at the end of the month. Additionally, Netflix and Amazon have recently created offline modes which allow you to view content without using data.
Always Choose WiFi
When it comes to reducing the amount of data you use, turning to Wi-Fi is really your best bet. Whenever possible, make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi, even if that means asking for the password at a local coffee shop or switching to your own network when you are at home. If you are struggling to find networks that you can connect to, consider turning to an app once again. Free programs such as Wi-Fi Finder and Wifi Analyzer will help you track down the network closest to you. While free networks are great for occasional Facebook stalking, refrain from doing online banking or shopping while using a public network because they might not be as safe.
Skimp on Quality
Generally, when you are catching up on your favorite television show by watching it on your phone, you do not need high resolution. Most video apps like YouTube, HBO GO and Netflix allow you to change the video quality level under their settings section: the lower you make it, the more data you will save. Generally, even on low quality, you will be able to see what is happening quite clearly so do not be afraid to start at the lowest level and adjust only if needed.
Know Your Limits
If you are a die-hard video-binger and know that you might run the risk of surpassing your data limit, consider putting a cap on your data usage to keep from going over it. Most phones have an option under Settings for alerts about data usage. If you choose to use them you will know exactly how much you are consuming with each streaming binge. There are also wireless providers that offer you the option to receive alerts in regards to your data usage.
With the help of these data-saving tips, you will be able to watch your favorite shows without running up your monthly phone bill.