Mobile Data Compression Tools pt. 1

Austin Haedicke bio photo By Austin Haedicke Comment

Since switching to Project Fi with my Nexus 6p, I’ve been looking for ways to save data and ultimately put more cash in my pocket. We all know the big data hogs like streaming services and prolific downloads. Usually it helps to be mindful, if not outright restrictive, of these things.
However, what’s the point of having a high end device if you’re not using it?

Enter data compression. There are some handy VPN apps out there that stand between your device and wherever you’re downloading / streaming / browsing content from. They work by routing your content request through their servers which compress the content before delivering it to your device.
There are some limitations, but you can read more about the specifics of reducing mobile data consumption here on MakeUseOf.

The frist app I checked was the highly recommended Opera Max.
The set up is pretty easy and I left all the options stock, only turning off WiFi compression. Over the course of an 8 day trial I found that Opera Max saved me about 2% data use.

The 8 day trial should have been enough to level out variance in use. For example, Opera Max did great at compressiong Instagram, but doesn’t work on encrypted servers (such as email or https).

I suppose 2% is worth taking advantage of since the app is free and takes virtually no effort to set up. The only draw back though seemed to be that it’s a bit of a battery hog. Though the Nexus 6p gets fantastic battery life, you’ll have to weight whether or not the nock to battery life is worth the 2% data savings. How close is your charger vs. how much data do you use (or need to save)?

To review of this information and more, see my Project Fi Spreadsheet on Google Drive which has a lot of data I’ve collected about Project Fi and my Nexus 6p.

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