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HomeTutorial - Protect Your Cellular Data Plan

updated 08/04/16

How to conserve your cellular data usage on Windows computers

#1  Set Hotspot Connections to Metered (Windows 8 and 10)

#2  Disable Internet Peer-To-Peer! (Windows 10)
#3  Lower resolution/bandwidth settings while streaming

#4  Turn off "Auto play" on YouTube (and other) videos

 



Set Hotspot Connections to “Metered”


A metered Internet connection is when a service provider charges by the amount of data sent and received by your PC.  By default, WiFi connections from your computer to the internet source you are connected to are set to non-metered.  If you are using your Jetpack hotspot (or your smart phone with its hotspot featured turned on) as your internet source, it’s extremely important to change those connection settings to “metered” on Windows 8, 8.1, and 10

 

Setting the WiFi connection to “metered” tells Windows , “Hey, my data usage is being “metered” so don’t download any updates until I give you permission!” (when you're connected to free WiFi)

 

If you don’t do this, Windows will treat the connection as unlimited and will download even huge updates without asking permission first.

 

To change this setting, you should mark your hotspot or Jetpack’s Wi-Fi connection as "metered"  

  • On Windows 10 – From the "Start" menu
    • Open the “Settings” Menu
    • "Network & Internet"
    • "WiFi”
    • "Advanced Options"
    • You can then click on each cellular-powered WiFi network and toggle "Metered Connection" on and off as desired
  • On Windows 8 or 8.1 (See Details Here)
    • Click on the network connection icon in the lower right hand corner of the task bar
    • A list of available networks will be displayed
    • Right click on the cellular powered connection (your Jetpack or Hotspot) you are using
    • Click “Metered”

  • On earlier versions of Windows, simply turn off auto updates until you are connected to a free WiFi, then do the update. Earlier versions of Windows would let you opt out of updates, or defer updates until later. Windows 10 takes away those choices.

How to tell what version of Windows you are using: Windows Version

 


 


Disable Internet Peer-to-Peer (Windows 10 P2P)

Peer-to-Peer internet sharing allows YOUR bandwidth (data consumption) to be shared by other people on the internet without your consent!  It can also eat into your upload bandwidth and slow down your network connection.  This "feature" can spell disaster for RVers using limited cellular data plans.  Be sure to check this setting after all Windows 10 upgrades as it is reportedly being reset back to its original "share my connection" status during the latest update. Shame on you Microsoft!
  • Open the start menu and select "Settings"
    • Click "Updates and Security"
    • Highlight "Windows Update" (first time default)
    • Click "Advanced Options"
    • Select "How Updates are Delivered"
    • Either turn "Updates from more than one place" OFF OR change the selection TO "PCs on my local network" if you have multiple Windows 10 PCs connected to your hotspot

  • For details with screen shots, Click Here



Lower resolution/bandwidth settings while streaming (more coming soon)
 
Netflix : Details Here 

Adjusting the data usage settings for your account is the easiest way to reduce the amount of bandwidth used while watching Netflix. There are four data usage settings to choose from. Each estimate below is per stream:

  • Low (0.3 GB per hour)
  • Medium (SD: 0.7 GB per hour)
  • High (Best video quality, up to 3 GB per hour for HD and 7 GB per hour for Ultra HD)
  • Auto (Adjusts automatically to deliver the highest possible quality, based on your current Internet connection speed)
 
YouTube :  Change the video quality by going to the gear icon in the corner of the video player, and selecting your preferred quality. If you’re signed in to YouTube on your computer, you can set default video quality preferences for all videos. Note that default settings won’t apply to YouTube on mobile.
  1. Go to your Settings page
  2. Select I have a slow connection. Never play higher-quality video
  3. Click the Save button
 
Roku:

If you wish to set the speed of your connection for video streaming manually on the Roku video player, there is a code you can enter to access the speed override settings.

  1. With the Roku remote, go to the Home screen.
  2. Use the following sequence to access the “Select a speed…” screen:
    • Home 5 times
    • Rewind 3 times
    • Fast Forward 2 times.
  3. A screen will appear where you can set the speed you desire.

You may want to start by trying the 3.5Mbps setting, test playback, then try a different setting for best results.

The “Enable playback debugging” option turns on a feature that will display the speed you are getting while playing video. This setting only works with streaming set to “automatic
 
 
Check the FAQs in other services to see how to (or if you can) adjust their download settings.
 
 
 



Disable "auto play" on YouTube, Facebook and other videos (more coming soon)
 
YouTube
  1. Click the gear  in the corner of the video player
  2. Select Off next to the Autoplay option

Alternatively, you can use the toggle  above the Up Next section on the video page to turn off autoplay.

Note that autoplay will remain turned off until you turn it back on again.

 
On mobile devices, adjust quality settings by touching the  menu icon, then the gear. This option isn’t available on all devices (e.g. TV/game consoles), or connections (e.g. iOS on a cellular network).
 
 
 
Facebook
  • For computers:
    • Go to your options drop-down menu in the top right.
    • Click "Settings"
    • Select the "Videos" link on the left.
    • Turn the "Auto-Play Videos" from "ON" to "OFF"

  • Android Facebook App
    • Open the Facebook app
    • Tap your phone's menu button
    • Tap Settings
    • Scroll down and tap Video Auto-play
    • Choose an option
     
  •  iPhone, iPad
    • Open Facebook app
    • Tap on More ( Three bars on the bottom right corner )
    • Select Settings from the settings section on the bottom
    • Select Videos and Photos
    • Select Auto-Play
    • Turn off smart Auto-Play, then you can set your own auto-play setting
Browsers :  There are too many browser/operating system combinations to cover in this tutorial.  Google to learn how to turn off "Video Auto Play" in the browsers that you use.   Many browsers have settings or support browser add ons that will allow you to disable ads and videos as you surf various sites that are not mentioned here.