Spending for unlimited mobile data in the Philippines can be pricey. So, we try our best to conserve our data consumption. But it will also be helpful to know how to maximize our data plans — like knowing which online activity takes up most of your data and knowing where your network has the fastest internet speed. This will help get rid of those pesky data fees or those unsettling moments when you just don’t have any data left.

Let’s talk about how to save mobile data in Metro Manila.

8 Mobile Data Saving Tips for When You’re in Metro Manila

how to save mobile data
Photo by Jonah Pettrich on Unsplash

1. Disable Push Notifications

Those automatic pop-up notifications from your social networking accounts and mobile games are eating up your data allowance. If you want to save data, disable them unless you’re using a Wi-Fi connection. You can always see or check them as you launch the apps yourself.

This applies to app updates, too. Game and app updates can take up to 100 MB of data for each update. So, enable that “Update over Wi-Fi” option instead.

2. Cache Your Data

There are apps like Spotify and Google Maps that allow users to cache data or save them for offline browsing. Take advantage of this feature and avoid loading heavy files on the go.

3. Know Which Apps You Frequently Use and Get the Appropriate Data Plan

Knowing your online behaviour will help you determine how much data you need on a daily basis.

  • Do you like to listen to curated online playlists?
  • Do you like to stream videos?
  • Is regularly posting photos your thing?
  • Do you like browsing online artworks?
  • Are you into mobile games?
  • Do you like browsing photos?
  • Do you use ride-hailing apps frequently?

Considering these questions can start you off on your selection of a suitable data plan for you.

It is also good to know that there are websites and apps which are frequently bundled as “freebies” in data plans. Such apps may include:

  • Music Streaming Apps
  • Chat Apps
  • YouTube
  • Some Mobile Games
  • Facebook
  • Facebook Messenger (excluding calls)

4. Reduce Bandwidth

Utilize your phone’s Reduce Data Usage feature to minimize the size of the images and other large files present in browsers such as Chrome. This will also help limit background data usage.

You can also consider setting a notification whenever you reach a certain limit of data each month.

5. Monitor and Control Your Mobile Data Usage

This makes a lot of sense, especially when you’re on a limited budget and data allowance.

Use your phone’s data usage warning function. Subscribe to your network provider’s regular data usage updates so you know when you’ve hit your cap.

And, most importantly, turn off your mobile data when you’re not using it.

6. Lower the Quality of the Videos You Stream

HD viewing demands higher data consumption. If it doesn’t hinder a good browsing experience, only watch in HD when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

You can lower the resolution of the video you’re watching by clicking the settings sign or the 3 vertical dots. Choose any of the standard resolutions or lower quality pixels. In YouTube, the lowest is 144p.

7. Know Where Your Data Connection Is the Fastest

You can check your internet speed using applications like:

  • MySpeedCheck by 4GMark
  • Speedtest by Ookla

Opt for 3G or 4G instead of LTE when you know your connection isn’t so impressive. The control should be available in the Settings of your phone. Though, what follows may vary depending on your smartphone brand and model. But it’s usually in Connections, then Mobile Network, and lastly, Network Mode.

Choose one from the modes in your list — GSM/WCDMA auto will enable a 3G connection, while GSM/WCDMA/LTE auto will enable a 4G connection.

8. Familiarize Yourself with Places Where There Is Good Wi-Fi Connection

Image credit: Bernard Hermant | Unsplash

The malls in the Philippines are homes of pretty much anything and everything, including Wi-Fi. You might be competing with thousands of users for a connection, though.

  • The ever famous always traffic-jammed EDSA is, surprisingly, a good spot for Wi-Fi.
  • In 2017, the Department of Information and Communications partnered with Smart and Globe to provide free Wi-Fi on all MRT-3 stations. Speed is at a decent 200 to 300 megabits per second.

Other no-doubt go-to spots for free Wi-Fi across the globe are cafes and restaurants. Here are some places which got the thumbs up from patrons:

Good Wi-Fi Places in Manila

Starbucks everywhere (duh!)

Xocolat in Katipunan


Bo’s Coffee all around Metro Manila


Wildflour in Makati


Habitual Coffee in Makati and BGC


Milky and Sunny in Makati


UCC Clockwork all around Metro Manila


8065 Bagnet in Makati


The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf branches


Stockwell Café + Lounge in Tomas Morato


Hineleban Café in Makati

Refinery in Makati


Unlimited mobile data is still relatively costly in the Philippines. Knowing how to maximize data usage and having some self-control will help you enjoy internet time longer.

Don’t overspend on data usage anymore. Use these mobile data saving tips, make the best of your time online.

How do you save on mobile data? Do you know other good free Wi-Fi spots in Metro Manila? Share some tips with us in the comments section below!