How-to Save Money On Your (Android) Hotspot

My Verizon Jetpack hotspot is fast, real fast. I use it all the time. Because when I’m driving I want to know the fastest route, and I need access to my email 24/7. So fast, and it works when I’m in the middle of nowhere.

I connect to the hotspot through a normal WIFI connection. Problem is, all the apps in my phone think, “Ohhh he’s on WIFI! Let’s download more updates, more random pictures and videos, and cache everything under the sun.” That can get expensive real quick.

Just updating Google Maps can cost $20/month (~500mb x 2 maps x 2 weeks) and that’s just one app–not including all the voice instructions that get rendered on Google’s servers. I only watched a couple of music videos and a few tutorials this month and that cost me (3 Gigs) $30. Thanks Youtube! Now that my phone has a 1080p screen, the data consumption is huge.

A lot of data is consumed in the background, even when you’re not using your phone. If you have 20 or 30 apps in your phone, this can get outrageous real fast.

I may have found a couple of things to help:

1. Go to Settings / Data usage / Network restrictions — turn on “Metered Wi-Fi” for your hotspot.

2. Go to Settings / Data usage — turn on “Data Saver”

The data saver is tricky, because you obviously want some apps to have full access to WIFI, like your email app and your SMS app.

Hopefully next month my hotspot bill is more reasonable :-)



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PJ Brunet


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