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How To Restrict Hotspot Data Usage For Specific Apps (Windows/Mac)

This must-have app will restrict background data on your laptop by allowing you to choose which apps can access the internet, which will help you cut down your mobile data costs.

Take control of your tethering background data usage and save money with this hotspot data usage calculator + firewall hybrid for Windows/Mac.

hotspot data usage calculator

Restrict Background Data to Apps You Choose

Even though I already use a Little Snitch alternative called Radio Silence with the intention of preventing apps from “phoning home” in the background, I was blown away by travel-centric TripMode; an app that serves as both a personal hotspot data usage calculator and a firewall that allows you to block specific apps from accessing the internet and using up your precious mobile data bandwidth while tethering (or on WiFi).

Blocking specific apps or restricting background data from using your internet connection is ideal for allocating bandwidth where you need it –like speeding up a slow download, video buffering, improving audio quality of a coaching call, or preventing, say, Windows 10 hogging bandwidth with its “don’t ask, don’t tell” auto-updates.

Restricting background data from any app or system process is as easy as un-checking a box beside the name and icon of the app.

Limit background data on a personal hotspot

Personal Hotspot Data Usage Calculator

WiFi in the Philippines is always improving, but when I have a need for speed I always turn to my LTE mobile hotspot so I can have an internet connection all to myself. At our apartment in Palawan, we share WiFi access with other Airbnb guests and eachother. Even though we’ve got fiber, LTE usually delivers more reliable internet connection speeds and it’s great during a blackout.

Why I Dig the Hotspot Data Usage Calculator Feature

Without a personal hotspot data usage calculator, tethering from my smartphone means constantly watching the little blue bar at the top of my phone screen which lets me know how much data usage I’m gobbling up. It’s just a flat number, and I’ve typically got no idea which app is doing what.

That means that if Chrome or Opera or any other app is downloading an update in the background, I’ve often got little indication. And then there’s Mega, Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, and other cloud-based software that could be syncing in the background, too.

After recently picking up a GoPro with a GoPro Plus subscription, all of my photos and videos are automatically synced to the cloud when I dump what’s on my camera. Traditionally I’d have to wait until I am on our shared WiFi connection to transfer files which can be a bit of a pain in the ass. I’d like my data synced with the cloud, sure. But I don’t want to wait to make a drop.

With TripMode’s hotspot data usage calculator feature, data usage is presented right beside each app so I know what’s going on –and I can uncheck said app to restrict it’s background data usage.

restrict background data

Laptops Aren’t Optimized for Tethering Background Data Usage

Android and iOS are great at providing options for users to restrict background data, but out of the box, laptops typically don’t. Neither MacOS, Ubuntu, or Windows have tools in their OEM operating system that tackle their appetite for data consumption.

Fully-featured computers are data hogs, full stop. And if you’re a digital nomad looking for ways to figure out how to reduce mobile data usage on Windows or Mac while you’re traveling, TripMode is a great solution that will pay for itself quickly.

TripMode is currently on sale via their website for $7.99 USD.

Looking for another way to speed up internet?

Nomad living Blog - Michael Hulleman

tethering background data usage

Thanks goes to Alex Napier Holland for recommending TripMode to help us manage tethering background data usage.

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