If you are traveling and relying on cellular and/or satellite based Internet for your communications needs, there are a several easy things you can do to reduce how much data your devices use on a day-to-day basis.  If you implement the following changes, you can drastically reduce the amount of bandwidth you use over cellular and satellite connections, decreasing the cost, and in many cases improving the speed as well.   Take a look at these 9 ways to reduce your bandwidth here.


Data Saver Features

  • To reduce how much data your phones and tablets use when connected to your boat’s Cellular/WiFi network enable bandwidth saving features that are built in to your devices.
    • For iPhone/iPad – Disable “Background Refresh
      1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen.
      2. Tap on General.
      3. Tap Background App Refresh.
      4. Toggle Background App Refresh switch to the right of the app for which you wish to disable it to off.  Or disable it entirely.
    • For Android 7+ – Enable “Data Saver
      1. Go to settings in your Oreo devices
      2. Tap Network & Internet settings
      3. Tap data usage
      4. Tap data saver
      5. Turn on toggle button of data saver
    • For Windows 10 – Enable “Metered Network” in your WiFi settings
      1. Select Start Windows logo Start button > Settings Gear-shaped Settings icon > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi Expanding curves Wi-Fi icon > Manage known networks.
      2. Select the Wi-Fi network > Properties > turn on Set as metered connection.

Bandwidth Management Tools

  • To further reduce how much data your laptops use, you can install an app called TripMode which costs about $8.  It works on Mac’s and PCs.   It allows you to enable and disable access to the Internet for individual programs running on your computer.  It even remembers the settings you choose for each WiFi network you connect to, so it can be wide open at home, and restricted on the boat.  For Mac users there is also the more powerful Little Snitch and for PC users there is NetLimiter.  Both of these more powerful apps are also more expensive than TripMode.

Streaming Video

  • To reduce the amount of data Netflix uses, you can log in to your Netflix profile from a web browser and set the maximum resolution to something other than full HD.   Then when you stream shows on the boat it will use less data since it needs less for the lower resolution picture.

Email and Social Media

  • Considering using an optimized Email service (Such as Xgate) to limit and control email data usage resulting from managing large amounts of email, especially when you receive many and/or large attachments.

Navigation and Weather

  • Considering using a weather forecast service or app that is designed for satellite (Such as PredictWind Offshore) to limit and control the data usage involved in downloading weather forecast data.
  • If you use Google Maps on your Phone or Tablet to navigate, eliminate data used for street navigation by pre-downloading the maps for the area you are travelling in while on WiFi.  Google Maps will use that downloaded data so it does not have to access the Internet while you are actually travelling.

General Web Browsing

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