Control data usage

When you are on an internet or mobile phone plan with a specific amount of data, it becomes important to save and manage data wherever possible. This page provides you with some suggestions on ways to reduce unexpected and excessive data use.

Some tips on saving data

WARNING: Do not click on any links or programs that promise to speed up your computer or internet connection.

These are almost certainly a scam, and often contain malicious software. These links or ads are especially common on many popular speed testing websites.

Small changes in your online behaviour can make a big difference to how much data you use.

If you want to save data on your home broadband connection, consider:

  • Watching videos on Netflix and YouTube on a lower resolution (around 480p).
  • Cloud (web-based) accounting software (for example, Xero) uses data by synchronising your local computer files with the remote ones – this is called “syncing”, and can occur as often as every 20 minutes. Change how often it syncs, or work offline and sync once a day. In one month you can use up to 40Gb of data if you are syncing often.
  • Video game consoles can use a lot of data for game play and updates. For example, Xbox Live uses 50-100mb an hour. You also need to check the settings if you are connecting to the internet, to make sure updates don’t automatically download. A game update could be 15Gb to 20Gb in size, or even larger.
  • Use a download manager program to schedule big downloads to occur during “off-peak” times. On nbn™ Sky Muster™ satellite services this is 1am – 7am, and your plan likely has extra “bonus” data during these times. Download managers include Free Download Manager and Ninja Internet Download Manager.


To control your mobile phone data usage, consider:

  • Even if you have mobile access to your property, consider connecting your mobile phone to your home or property Wi-Fi network, as this internet connection most likely has more included data.
  • Turning off “push notifications” for emails, social media and GPS apps. In an iPhone, do this as follows:
    • Go to Settings > Notifications > Select the app, for example Facebook > Switch Allow Notifications off.
  • Turning off video autoplay for social media. Change your settings in apps like Facebook and Instagram so videos do not automatically start playing.
  • Using SMS messages rather than iMessages (iPhone) or apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. These apps use data to send text messages.


Need more information?

Have a look at the list of data-saving tips on the BIRRR website.

Contact our Helpdesk directly.