Difficult to know which telephone plan is the most suitable for your data consumption. Here are some tricks to no longer exceed the allowed limit. You may have a mobile subscription with a much higher data consumption limit than you need to surf the Internet or listen to music occasionally. But you may not be aware that browsing Facebook can consume a lot of data.

Surfing for one hour on social networks can consume up to 90 MB, which is twice the amount of data needed to listen to music in “normal” Over the same period of time. If you spend one hour a day on social networks via an Internet connection outside Wi-Fi, you use 2.7GB of data per month. 30 minutes will make you consume 1.35GB of data.

Much of this consumption is probably due to the automatic video playback feature that Facebook has integrated into its application. Videos do not appear the same way for each user. They meet several criteria that make up the algorithm of the Facebook news feed.

It is possible to disable this auto-play option when connected to a cellular data network. Open the Facebook application and select Options (the three horizontal lines placed one above the other) in the lower-right corner of the screen for the iOS version and in the upper-right corner for the Android version.

Then open Account Settings> Videos and Photos> Autoplay> Turn off auto-play and check only on Wi-Fi connections. Obviously, this aspect is not unique to Facebook. All social networking applications that display images and/or videos also consume a large amount of data.

Listening to music in normal quality for one hour will consume 43MB of data. This amount may seem insignificant but this is 1.3GB per month if you listen to music one hour every day via the cellular network. Some services offer to listen to music at 64 kbps, which limits the data consumption. If you prefer to listen to high definition music (at 320 kbps) when you are not connected to Wi-Fi, you consume 144MB per hour, that is to say, 4.32GB per month.

Here is the amount of data consumed by Spotify based on the quality of listening: 

          

  • Normal (96 Kbps): 0.72 MB / minute, 43.2 MB / hour
  • High (160 Kbps): 1.2 MB / minute, 72 MB / hour
  • Exceptional (320 Kbps): 2.4 MB / minute, 144 MB / hour
  • Watching HD videos on applications like Netflix can deplete a subscription of 2GB / month in an hour. There is no way to change the resolution on the mobile application, it will adjust according to the connection speed of the network.

  • Low: 5MB / minute, 300MB / hour
  • Average: 11.6 MB / minute, 686 MB / hour
  • High: up to 50 MB / minute, 3 GB / hour (about 30 MB / minute based on my own tests, 1.8 GB / hour)

YouTube automatically adjusts the bit rate according to your connection, but you can also manage the settings yourself by opening the three-point column in the upper right corner of the video you are watching and then selecting Quality and By defining the desired resolution.

Here is the data consumption according to the resolution of the video:

  • 360p: 5.625 MB / minute, 337.5 MB / hour
  • 480p: 7.5 MB / minute, 450 MB / hour
  • 720p: 18.75 MB / minute, 1125 MB / hour
  • 1080p: 33.75 MB / minute, 2025 MB / hour

Apple iPhone

Fortunately, iOS, Android and Windows Phones have built-in features that allow you to control which applications consume the most data.

Go to Settings> Network and scroll down to the list of applications and the data they have been consuming since you purchased your device. The list provided is not automatically updated at the end of each month. You will have to reset the statistics manually. In addition, applications are arranged in alphabetical order and not in descending order of data consumption. It will give you an idea of the most demanding applications in cellular data.

Data consumption statistics are not stored in the same place according to Android phone brands. Generally, you can find them in the Settings section by searching for Data Consumption. The interface is much more optimal than the iPhone because the applications are classified according to their data consumption and the statistics are updated every new billing period. Some Android phones like Nexus and HTC allow you to set an alert that will trigger when your consumption reaches a certain threshold.

Windows Phone

Open the Data Sense application and swipe right to open Consumption. You will get a list of applications that consumed the most data.

Data Sense also allows you to set a threshold in order to avoid unreasonably exceeding your authorized limit. Who knows maybe you have always paid for data that you do not use. It might be time to change your subscription and so pay less.