Thursday, August 14, 2014

Save data on mobile hotspots on your Android

Wouldn't it be good if you could use internet at will on your mobile devices without worrying about hefty extra charges? Luckily most mobile devices have learned the difference between costly mobile data and "unlimited" WiFi traffic, and allow us to postpone big data transfers (or all mobile data) for when we get WiFi. The problem is... what if that WiFi is actually a mobile hotspot still constrained by a limited allotment of data? Thankfully Android can help you with that.

You may never have delved deep into your system settings, but if you head into the menu in the Data Usage settings you'll find a Mobile Hotspots section. This section allows you to pick any WiFi networks that are actually mobile hotspots with limited data traffic (such a mobile router or a tablet/smartphone acting as portable hotspot).

This way your Android device will know better than to use all your monthly data on a whim, by uploading or downloading gigabytes of "non-critical" data that could be left to be done when on a real unlimited WiFi access.

Just keep in mind that although well behaved apps like Google Drive and Dropbox respect this setting, nothing stops other apps from completely ignoring it and use all your data. If that's the case, nothing like dropping a line to the app developer so he can't fix that and begin take this option into account.

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