With most cellular providers, data plans are mandatory with the purchase of any smartphone. Unfortunately, most data plans cost quite a bit and don't get you as much data as you would hope for. Go over your limit and rack up unwanted charges, or even more frustrating, run into speed throttling on an unlimited plan. It can be a nightmare!
Text messages, Facebook videos and streaming music services are just a few of the things that require lots of your data. Throw in a few rogue apps and your data is done in days. Simply put, there are just too many factors that make it easy to accidentally go over your limits, which, depending on your plan, could mean huge overage fees and an even bigger headache.
Luckily, one company has created an app that can help you get up to five times more data out of your current mobile plan, and helps keep you under your limit.
Onavo Extend stays on in the background and routes your Internet activity through its own servers so it can compress the data. The app also "balances image quality and data savings" by not downloading photos on a webpage that you won't scroll down to see. You would be surprised what little things can save you big data.
Onavo will give you a monthly report of your usage, so you can see which of your apps is using the most data - and where you are saving those hard-earned dollars.
The app will even work outside of the country, so you can be sure you don't go over your roaming data plan while traveling abroad.
Of course, there are a few caveats you should know:
- Because Onavo routes your surfing through an extra set of servers, your Internet speeds may slow down. It might be a little or it might be a lot depending on where you are, what you're doing and how many people are using Onavo.
- Onavo does keep track of the information you send and receive through its servers and uses this data for internal analytics. It can also share your anonymized information with third parties. This is worrying for some people because as of late 2013, Onavo is owned by Facebook. However, you can opt out of most data tracking at Onavo's Data Choices page.