Your Data Plan: 3 Tips to Save Money
About the Author

Director, Consumer Marketing | Chris is the ring leader for the SanDisk mobile lifestyle blog. Chris has led marketing for industry leading products in personal cloud storage, peripherals, video games and apps. He has a passion for live music, coaching and tv dramas – Game of Thrones is his favorite. He’ll make sure the content is fresh and relevant.

If your cellular carrier charges you for every megabyte beyond your contract limit, or in the worst case flags your account or demands that you move to another data plan, there are positive steps you can take to save money and avoid those extra charges and major annoyances.

1. Avoid Data Hogs

Begin by avoiding rich media that uses up your monthly allotment quickly and costs you money.

  • Video. HD streaming video consumes 5-6MB per minute. If you watched a three minute video every day, you would consume nearly 500MB each month. Uploading videos to YouTube or Vimeo comes at a similar cost. Apple’s Facetime and other live video chat apps uses 2-3MB per minute.
  • Music. Streaming music or other audio to your phone costs about 1MB per minute. Just ten minutes of music each day will consume around 300MB of your monthly allotment.

2. Get Apps that Save Money

Data can often be compressed with only a slight loss of quality. Certain apps automatically compress the data entering your phone, thereby reducing your overall consumption.

  • Onavo Extend (Android only) is a smart app that runs continuously in the background. It routes your email and web browsing data through its servers where it is compressed. Users claim downloads have been reduced by 50 percent and greater.
  • Google Chrome and Opera Turbo browsers (for both Android and IOS) also use technology that reduces the volume of data returned to the browser.

3. Use Wi-Fi and Avoid the Cloud

  • Set up your phone to use Wi-Fi whenever possible. Many apps have settings that only allow downloads via Wi-Fi. For example, Google Settings allows you to specify whether your phone should update using your cellular connection, or only through Wi-Fi. Setting it to use Wi-Fi will save airtime when you sync your email, contact lists and other Google services.
  • If your phone doesn’t allow you to make voice calls via Wi-Fi, download an app such as Talkatone (Android and IOS) or GrooveIP (Android only). These each allow you to make calls throughout the U.S. using Wi-Fi, thereby saving your airtime minutes.
  • While Skype charges for voice and video conversations, their rates are as low as $2.99 per month. If you’re in a Wi-Fi hotspot or have Wi-Fi at home, you can make calls using Skype on both Android and IOS phones.

With cloud services so popular (iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.), it’s easy to use up most of your monthly allotment when you transfer data to and from those servers. Consider using local storage such as an iXpand Flash Drive for iOS devices, a Ultra Dual Drive for Android users or a Connect Wireless Stick that works with both.


The iXpand Flash Drive, Ultra Dual Drive, and Connect Wireless Stick are available at Amazon.

Photo credit: Stephanie Heald



About the Author

Director, Consumer Marketing | Chris is the ring leader for the SanDisk mobile lifestyle blog. Chris has led marketing for industry leading products in personal cloud storage, peripherals, video games and apps. He has a passion for live music, coaching and tv dramas – Game of Thrones is his favorite. He’ll make sure the content is fresh and relevant.



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