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30/04/2012

How to minimize data usage when on limited data plan

Hello folks,I'm back with another tip that you may find useful especially if you are on an limited data plan,as is the case with most Internet users.

Use chrome and Firefox extensions namely Adblock,Flash Block and Image block,Play youtube videos in low quality,Turn Images off,Don't download unnecessary items,Use a personal firewall on your PC and Android,use data monitoring apps

So,let's get rolling.


First of all,what is a limited data plan? Most of the data plans come with a data usage limit of a few Gigabytes.Every internet plan that implies such limits is a limited data plan.Almost all of the Internet packs currently provided by Indian mobile networks are limited.That's where this tip become suddenly more important for you.

If you cross your data limit,you may be charged very heavily by your internet service provider,and the most annoying part is,they seldom remind you that the limit of the data plan you are using is going to be crossed.
So,here goes your first and quite important lesson: Use data monitoring Apps on your PC/Android/iPhone.While installing these apps,at some point,they will ask you about your data plan.Fill in the details and they will keep you reminding how much of data is left and even block data once a specified limit is reached.You won't need to install one on your PC if you surf the web on your PC by tethering your Android device (like me),in that case,installing Onavo on your Android will be enough.

Coming to second point,Use a web bowser that compresses web pages for you (Best example being Opera web for PC and Opera Mini for Android and iPhone.The data savings can be tremendous if you are using such browser sometimes ranging upto above 90%.The tip,however backfires when you are trying to surf some javascript enabled page on opera mini on your device as javascript is not supported by opera mini,as of yet.How it works?Whenever you request a web page,you are provided with compressed copies of the web pages on such browsers thus saving you a hefty lot of data.One plus point here is,SPEED: Opera mini is the fastest ever browser I've ever used on any mobile.FOr data savings on Opera Web on PC,make sure to tur opera turbo on from the settings,It will provide you with compressed copies and will also increase the page loading speed if you're on a slow connection (like me)  :(

Third important addition to this article is,Turn Images off in your browser settings.I know an image is better than a thousand words but the data an image consumes is even more.So,unless you require it,you should turn it off,especially during the last days of your plan when you're already running short of data.I will write a post later on How to turn off images in various browsers to keep this article somewhat short.As of now,if you want to know how to do it in a particular one,Post a comment below and I shall tell you how.
I would love to mention an add on,called Image Block for Firefox to toggle images with just one click.

Fourth point is Blocking Ads.You will want to block them even if you don't want to save some data,right? Blocking ads while browsing websites on PC can be done by installing AdBlock plus extension for Firefox and AdBlock extension for Chrome.Blocking ads while surfing is not possible in Android,as far as I know,but you can surely block almost all the annoying ads some free games and apps show.which will save you some data and will also provide you a bit relief from those creepy things.T o do so, install ADfree on your rooted Android device.

Fifth and Final point: Block Flash. This could save you tons of data as websites these days are loaded with flash ads(some ads might skip past adblock) and other flash content which are data heavy elements and thus eats up lot of your data.Installing Flash block for Chrome and for Firefox will help you save this.After enabling the add-on,you can click on any flash content you want to view which otherwise would be downloaded automatically.
Another add on that requires a mention is Flash render quality for Chrome,setting it to low will help you to save a few megabytes when you decide to load any flash content.

For any queries,your comments are always welcomed.Bye,and have a G00d day !!!
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