Making the Most of Your Data – Tips & Tricks

Making the Most of Your Data – Tips & Tricks

If you’re new to satellite broadband or are used to a completely unlimited package, suddenly having a system with a data cap can cause problems! We’ve already aimed to eradicate this with our new Tooway Konnect Unlimited data tariffs, but you still want to get the best from your connection and priority data allowance.

Below is some really useful info for ANYONE with an internet connection on how best to monitor and maintain your gigabyte usage.

Data Usage & Monitors:

Our broadband products and tariffs are mainly differentiated by the monthly data allowance. We think this makes the tariffs fair because everyone can select a tariff that suits their level of internet usage.

This data allowance can be broken down into upload and download traffic.

When your computer, tablet or phone uses the Internet to upload and download things, it uses data. Uploading is when you send an email, upload a photo or video, or log on for a video chat with a client in the US or a relative Down Under. Downloading includes retrieving information when you visit a web page, opening your emails and attachments, streaming web radio or videos from YouTube or using Google Maps to work out exactly where that American client is based.

The amount of data you use depends on what you are doing. Video streaming or downloading a movie, for instance, uses more data than sending an email or uploading a photo. To help you make the most of data, whatever your allowance, we’ve put together some facts, tips, tricks and expert advice on data consumption.

 

Data usage guidelines

The table below outlines some typical uses for your broadband connection and defines the rough data consumption of each. This is a guideline only as the exact amounts likely to be consumed will depend on your operating system, your browser and the thing that you are downloading or uploading.

Low definition Movie Download

0.75GB Per movie

Medium

High definition Movie Download

3.5-4.5GB Per movie

Very High

Spotify

1GB Per 7.25 hours

Medium

Streaming TV Standard definition

0.75GB Per hour

High

Streaming TV High definition

2.75GB Per hour

High


Making the most of your insomniac data

All of our satellite broadband plans come with an unlimited night-time allowance that’s included free. This is excellent for scheduling data-heavy activities like downloading catch-up TV programs or HD movies. You can find download schedulers online such as PlayOn, BBC iPlayer and Netflix also have schedulings tool for doing just this.

You should also turn off automatic software updates on all your devices to stop them working their magic during peak hours make sure you do them overnight.

Exhausted apps constantly running in the background

Many smartphone apps and bits of software (even websites) consume data in the background even if you don’t think you’re using them or viewing them.  Developers are dreaming up new, dynamic and innovative apps every day and trying them is all part of the fun of using the Internet, but some of them are very data-intensive. If you feel you’re using too much data, or your data allowance goes quicker than you think it should, take time to look at what apps are live on your phone and could be using up your allowance even when you think your phone or tablet is in standby mode.

Stick like glue to your data consumption

If you’re concerned about your data consumption or want to see how your data allowance is being consumed, there’s a number of ways you can do this:

  • Data monitor apps
    You can download the GlassWire data monitor app from the Google Play store free of charge for Android devices or the My Data Manager & Security app from iTunes if you have an iPhone or iPad. These apps allow you to monitor the usage of data on the device as a whole as well as breaking it down by application. It can, for example, display the quantity of data each app (like Facebook or YouTube) may be using.
  • Laptops or desktop computers
    You can download GlassWire for your personal computers too. GlassWire is a free, open-source, bandwidth monitor that works on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. GlassWire keeps track of how much you use your internet/network connection and allows you to view this information either via a web browser or by using the command-line tools.
  • Security & local networks
    If you’re concerned about your data consumption and feel that your data allowance disappears more quickly than expected, we would recommend ensuring that your Wi-Fi network is totally secure. Otherwise, you might find your neighbours or passing vehicles are using your network. Our key advice here is don’t use simple or easy to guess passwords, or worse still, no password at all. This will prevent any rogue devices or users from automatically, even accidentally, joining your network; this is quite common if you live in a location where multiple visitors might pass through.

 

For Windows Users

If you’re a Windows 10 user, we have good news for you. Their April 2018 system update (version 1803) provides you with some great tools to make sure your broadband doesn’t grind to halt mid-BBC iPlayer documentary or cut-out on that Skype call to your nest-flown kids.

As well as being able to check and reset your data stats, there’s even better news for those of us on capped data plans. Now we can set data limits and background data restrictions when using a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection, which is a great way to reduce unnecessary usage and stay under your data limit for the month.

The right side of the tracks

This isn’t too complicated to set up

  • In the ‘Search’ box at the bottom of your screen, type ‘settings’;
  • Click on the cogwheel icon that comes up to open the ‘Settings’ page;
  • Click on Network & Internet to open up that section;
  • Click on Data Usage to open up that section (this is where the magic happens);
  • Use the “Show settings for” drop-down menu, and select the wireless or wired network you want to restrict;
  • Under “Data limit,” click the Set limit button; and
  • Then you can choose your limit type (monthly), your reset date (1st) and your limit (GB).

You can limit unnecessary usage by restricting what apps and features will use up data in the background and set up notifications to let you know when you’re close to hitting your limit.

The really important thing to take note of is that this Windows 10 data system will only monitor the data usage on that particular device and not every device in the network. So, if you’ve got a wife or husband or partner or kids or grandkids, you’ll have to keep an eye on their data usage too when calculating your monthly consumption.

For iPhone or Android

If you or someone in your broadband-connected household has got either a MacBook, an iPhone, an iPad, an Android device or uses Windows 7 or 8, you can look at My Data Manager. You can download this knee-knockingly smart app from either Apple’s App Store or Google Play for Android users.

When you first download the app to your device, it will ask you to enter your data plan details, including your billing cycle and data cap. Enter your tariff information at this point and you can use the Wi-Fi tracker to stay right on top of your month’s usage. You can then set up alerts to be notified when you have reached a certain point in your monthly limit (say, 50 or 80%).

One of the best things about My Data Manager is that after a few weeks of use, you’ll really get an accurate sense of what apps and actions are gobbling through your data, which will allow you to start making smarter better-informed broadband choices. Two of the other great things about My Data Manager is that it can track data usage across all the members of your data plan, whether there’s just the two of you or a whole big old barn-storming family; and it can manage your data across the different devices that make use of your broadband plan.

 
Comments

No comments yet.