Mobile Data Copmression Tools (pt.2)

Austin Haedicke bio photo By Austin Haedicke Comment

See also Part One

Continuing with second of three apps I’m testing to sess how they size up in saving you mobile data. I test these apps for about a week at a time to compensate for daily variance in data usage. You can read Part One (featuring Opera Max) here.

Today’s app is Onavo. Onavo is very simple to set up and configure. A plus for some, and a minus for others, it lacks the granular control that similar apps offer. But, the purpose is to save you data, so let’s see how things stack up.

The Good:

Like most data compression apps, Onavo does great with things like Instagram. As you can see, the savings were close to 40%. Battery usage was slightly less than Opera Max (13% versus 18%).

The Bad:

Onavo can notify you when it’s not running, which you’ll need because I found that it crashes about once every other day on my Nexus 6p.
Secondly, I know that data compression / VPN services cannot compress encrypted data, but according to Onavo’s reporting, the only thing it had an effect on was Instagram… really?

The Ugly:

Here is a screenshot of my phone’s reported data usage over the past few weeks. As you can see Onavo uses more data than it saves(!).
Even if you divide the number in the screenshot down to a daily figure, it still saps more background data than it save in daily usage.

Verdict:

Not worth it. The app is supposed to save you data and, in fact, costs you data. Perhaps this is a sly maneuver by it’s parent company, Facebook (correction: please read part three for more information on this data), to leech more personal data from folks.

See also Part Three

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