In a perfect world, everyone would have unlimited Wi-Fi. But this is not the case. Mobile devices often prefer that you use Wi-Fi, but you can set up a measured Wi-Fi connection on Android for better control over your data usage. You can set this on a single Wi-Fi network on multiple networks.
How Android manages measured Wi-Fi
Usually big updates use Wi-Fi on Android by default. The moment you log in, apps and even the system itself may try to update itself. This can quickly consume your data, especially with larger updates and system applications. To help you avoid exorbitant charges, you can ask Android to treat Wi-Fi in the same way as mobile data.
When you are connected to a measured Wi-Fi connection on Android, nothing is downloaded without your authorization. Sometimes a critical security update may still be installed, but this should be rare. Google sometimes pushes these updates despite the connection you’re on to keep users safe. I think it has only happened twice in the past eight years.
However, individual apps are still an issue. For example, social media apps don’t care if your Wi-Fi plan is limited or not. There are settings in most social media apps to reduce usage, such as not playing videos automatically.
Set a measured Wi-Fi connection
The process varies depending on the version of Android you are currently using. Since I am currently using Android 9, I will start with Android 9 and earlier. This takes a few more steps, as Android hides the setting in Data Usage instead of making it more obvious by including it in Wi-Fi settings.
Open Settings on your Android device and tap “Network and Internet”.
Make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi. You can only set up a limited connection when you are connected to Wi-Fi. You can edit all registered networks, regardless of which network you are currently connected to. Press on “Use of data”.
Tap the menu in the upper right corner and select “Wi-Fi networks with meter”.
You can also check “Show Wi-Fi usage” in this menu if you want to display your Wi-Fi usage in the Data usage window next to mobile data. Enabling it is a good idea to quickly see which applications are using the most data so that you can find an alternative or restrict the use of data for the application if possible.
Activate the network you want to restrict on, and you’re done.
For Android 10, connect to WiFi and access the settings. Press “Network and Internet”. Select Wi-Fi.
Tap the network you’re currently connected to, tap Advanced and select Measured. Choose “Treat as measured”.
As you can see, it’s easier to find the setting naturally in Android 10.
Back up your Wi-Fi data
While there are several ways to reduce data usage on mobile, many of these same methods also work for limited Wi-Fi plans. Here are some additional tips for recording even more data over a measured Wi-Fi connection on Android:
- Use mobile data as much as possible if you have an unlimited data plan
- Avoid streaming and / or use streaming services with offline options
- Restrict the use of background data on applications. (Settings -> Applications and notifications -> Application information. Choose the application and press “Data usage”. Deactivate “Background data” and make sure that “Unrestricted use of data” is disabled.)
- Play games that offer offline play to avoid data-intensive ads
The most important step is to monitor your Wi-Fi usage and pay close attention to high usage applications. Best of all, keep it from turning on automatically. This helps you avoid costly overruns every month.
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