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UGM expert shares tips on conserving internet data during pandemic

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta  /  Fri, November 13, 2020  /  03:04 pm
UGM expert shares tips on conserving internet data during pandemic

A 7-year-old student squats near a tombstone while doing her school assignment via online learning during the epidemic in Padurenan cemetery in Bekasi, West Java, on Oct. 15. She read the questions on her mother’s phone and wrote down the answers in her notebook. (JP/P.J. Leo)

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to engage in new habits, including learning, working and conducting other activities online from home, causing a surge in the use of internet data.

To help conserve internet data, Gadjah Mada University (UGM) information technology expert Ridi Ferdiana has shared some tips on how to operate gadgets efficiently to avoid spending extra money.

“Savings can be made through two approaches: gadget and application approaches,” Ridi said as quoted in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post recently.

He said the gadget approach was related to the available default features that were already active or could be activated on computers and smartphones — the two gadgets that most students use to access online teaching and learning activities.

Saving internet data on smartphones, he added, could be done by activating data-saving features, namely data limit and billing cycle, then turning off the auto-sync feature, auto download feature and background data feature.

He also suggested internet users update applications manually and selectively.

“Stream less or watch at a low resolution of 5 Mbps,” said Ridi, who is also head of the undergraduate information technology study program at the university's School of Technical Engineering.

He continued that on a computer, saving internet data could be done by activating the metered connection while tethering, then set the data limit, restrict background data and turn off automatic updates and the auto-sync facility.

Data saving through an application approach, he said, could be done by using data compression while using browser applications. Then, when in a video conference/meeting, turn off the video and audio facilities, and turn them on only when needed.

“Reduce the video resolution to 720 pixels, because high-resolution video/HD is relatively data consuming,” he said.

He added that turning off auto-upload and notification facilities on social media and using only data-saving applications also help conserve internet data consumption. 

For example, for WhatsApp, users can choose WhatsApp Lite instead, or for Skype they can pick Skype Lite.

Salsabila Ramadhani, a student of UGM’s School of Engineering majoring in geodetic engineering, said the online lecturing activities that she had been engaging in for the last two semesters had indeed forced her to spend more money on internet data packages.

“Alhamdulillah [Thank God], since last month I have been receiving 50 GB of free internet data per month from the Education and Culture Ministry’s learning quota program,” said Salsabila, referring to the free internet data provided by the ministry, which she received after registering for it through the university’s website. (swa)


Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.

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