If you are travelling with your laptop (or iPhone) and your data is limited, here are a few simple ways to make sure you don’t use too much data.
I’m on holidays so I’ve tethered my laptop to my iPhone for internet access. Last time I did this I used up my entire month’s iPhone data allowance in under a day! A security update was released while I was away and my laptop downloaded it. So this time I made sure I turned off all the non-essential data hungry applications that I could think of. Here’s a summary of the main ways to reduce internet data use:
Apple will try to update any Applications on your computer when a new version is released, plus there are regular System Updates from Apple for OS X. These can gobble up internet bandwidth. Here’s how to disable them when you are travelling. Go to System Preferences, then App Store. You’ll see a window like this. Uncheck all software updates.
Don’t forget to turn these on again when you finish travelling as there are important security updates you don’t want to miss. If you want to be cautious, you can leave the ‘Install system data files and security updates’ checked, but be warned, this could result in some huge downloads.
It’s possible you have iPhoto syncing turned on. This syncs photos across all your computers and iOS devices. To turn this off, go to ‘System Preferences’ then ‘Internet Accounts’ and for each internet account make sure you have iPhoto iCloud sync turned off.
If you don’t need access to any new dropbox files, you can pause syncing of dropbox. This will keep all your dropbox files that are on your laptop. But it won’t download or upload any new changes or files until you unease the syncing again.
To do this go to the dropbox icon in your menu bar, click on the settings icon (the cog) and select ‘Pause Syncing’.
If you do need to use dropbox when travelling, make sure you turn on your laptop and do a sync just before you leave home. This will make sure your dropbox is up to date.
You can also turn off automatic downloading of email attachments. This means when you open an email, it won’t download the attachment unless you click on it.
These four steps should keep data usage to a minimum. If there’s anything I’ve forgotten let me know. And don’t forget to turn it all on again when you get back home!