Keeping a lid on Mobile data

Published: 2011-07-17

How to configure your Android phone to automatically turn off the mobile data connection once your mobile data limit is reached.


Why bother?

In New Zealand we have what amounts to a telecommunications duopoly with mobile data charges that make your eyes water — Vodafone charges me $1 NZD (0.84 USD) for every megabyte over my capped limit of 10MB per day (yes you read correctly 10 megabytes!) with no facility to limit overruns.

Here’s how

  1. Go to the Android Market and install the 3G Watchdog and APNdroid applications (both are great apps).
  2. Configure 3G Watchdog with your data limit and configure it to use APNdroid to turn off.
    3g-watchdog-config.png

3G Watchdog will now use APNdroid to automatically turn off your mobile data connection when the preset level is reached, What’s nice is that it will automatically reenable data atically at your next data period.

I also set the 3G Watchdog update frequency to the shortest possible (30s) because in 30s you can consume a lot of data (relative to my measly limit).

Lastly, a word of warning: Android phones consume mobile data even when you’re not using them — this is why I manually turn off mobile data (using APNdroid) when I’m not using it (most of the time I’m on WiFi so I don’t need to have mobile data enabled).

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