Activate this Google feature to lower your cell phone bill

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Activate this Google feature to lower your cell phone bill
Image Credit: Mike Timmermann
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The “Big Four” wireless providers have been pushing unlimited data plans lately, but millions of cell phone users are still paying for high-speed data by the gigabyte.

For those who can limit their cellular data usage, paying for just 1 GB or 2 GB of data per month can be much cheaper.

RELATED: How I lowered my cell phone bill to $12 per month

How Google’s Data Saver can lower your cell phone bill

I recently switched from Sprint’s unlimited plan to Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile, a new service that combines the power of Verizon’s 4G LTE network and Xfinity’s 18 million Wi-Fi hotspots.

I was able to lower my bill to just $12 by using Wi-Fi whenever possible, which doesn’t add to cellular data usage.

In addition to those Wi-Fi hotspots, I used only 0.4 GB of data for an entire billing cycle by activating Google’s Data Saver, a free tool that reduces the amount of data the Chrome browser uses.

Here’s how Google explains the feature on its website:

“When you use Data Saver, most of your web traffic goes through Google servers before being downloaded to your device. Less data gets downloaded to your device, because Google servers will compress it.”

There are some limitations. Data Saver won’t work if you’re on secure pages (addresses that start with https://) or if you’re browsing in private with Incognito mode.

Here are four other things you need to know: 

  • Some websites might have trouble finding your location
  • Some images might look fuzzy
  • Websites that are restricted to certain groups might not load
  • You might not be able to sign in to your mobile carrier’s website

If your connection is slow, Data Saver will simplify the page to save data and make it load faster.

In the short time that I’ve been using the feature, I’ve already experienced 18% data savings. Here’s how to turn on Chrome’s Data Saver:

  1. Open the Chrome app from an Android phone or tablet
  2. Tap the three dots and click “Settings”
  3. Select “Data Saver” and switch the setting on

Google said Data Saver isn’t available for iPhones or iPads due to “platform constraints.”

Saving data = Saving money

Paying for an unlimited plan when you only use 1 GB or 2 GB of data per month is like going to an all-you-can-eat buffet on a full stomach. There are better cell phone deals for light data users!

Try to use Data Saver for a month and rely more on Wi-Fi to see if it makes a difference for you!

RELATED: Best cell phone plans and deals for 2017

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Mike Timmermann About the author:
Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, Save on Almost Everything.
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