How to avoid excessive data roaming charges

Angela Symons on 12 December 2014

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It’s that time of year again when the work grinds to a halt as the masses head out on holiday. However, for those heading oversees, data roaming charges are a genuine concern.

Before boarding that plane, take a look at what software expert Opera Software’s top ten tips for saving on data roaming charges.

1. Before you leave, check with your regular mobile operator to see if they offer international roaming packages, which can give you huge savings on data.

2. Switch to a browser that shrinks down webpages. If you load fewer megabytes, you'll save money, plus browse faster when you have poor reception.

3. When you touch down at your holiday destination, read in detail the welcome SMS from the mobile operator whose network you’ve roamed on to. It will outline the costs for calls, SMS and web data during your stay.

4. Many networks will send you updates on your data spending throughout your trip to help you keep track. So, pay attention to any operator messages.

5. Activate data roaming when you need to check something online and toggle it off when you finish your browsing tasks. Turn off notifications and close down non-essential apps to avoid them consuming large amounts of data in the background.

6. Skip the data-roaming drama by browsing via WiFi, typically available in hotels, airports and cafés. Apps like WiFi Finder can locate your nearest hotspot. Browsers that shrink data are also handy in slow, crowded WiFi zones.

7. Download a compression app like Opera Max that can shrink data, images and videos across most apps on your phone. Opera Max reminds you when you’re roaming, and even lets you block particular apps from using mobile data and restricts them to using WiFi only. Opera Max is currently available to most Samsung subscribers.

8. Rethink your getaway browsing priorities. Holiday roaming is not the best time for streaming videos, downloading files or adding new apps to your collection. Save this surfing for when you're browsing with compression or WiFi.

9. You already prepare your music playlists and movies for your travels, so why not pre-load your webpages? Some browsers, like Opera Mini, have a feature that enables you to save an Internet page for offline use so that you can read it later without activating roaming or having to enable WiFi.

10. If you’ve set up Dropbox, Facebook or Google Drive to automatically upload the photos taken on your phone, disable the syncing of these apps in the settings to curb data consumption. Alternatively, adjust your settings so that your holiday snaps upload only when you are connected to WiFi.

(Thank you to the eTNW who have allowed me to republish this article)

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