With a recent overhaul that brings a focus to Android tablet users, Opera Max is the app to use if you need to cut down on your data usage, but don’t want to cut down on your device usage. Opera Max is free and can save you as much as 50% of your data consumption.
For those with a SIM equipped tablet, or just tether their tablet to their phone, the prospect of reducing data consumption can save a lot of money for heavy users. We went for a little road trip ourselves to test out Opera Max on the go, we were not disappointed.
Opera Max is a standalone app that takes control of your internet traffic on your device. In short, all of your non-encrypted web usage is routed through Opera’s servers, which compresses things like images and video before delivering it to you.
The result, as you might expect, is that you get all of that content for a fraction of the overall data use on your tablet.
Opera Max will attempt to reduce your consumption on any traffic that is not secured or encrypted, allowing you to view twice as many websites for the same amount of data. But the savings go beyond the browser, with Opera Max saving you data on your favorite social media and video consumption apps as well. Netflix, YouTube, Instagram and more have seen more than a 50 percent reduction in overall data usage, allowing you to stream twice as much for your dollar.
In addition to saving you data, Opera Max keeps tabs on all of your data hungry apps, allowing you to view a daily breakdown of all apps and what data they’ve used. Taking that to the next level, you can even choose to use Opera Max to block background data usage on a per app basis, turning this into a one-stop shop for taking control of your data needs.
How do I use Opera Max?
Using Opera Max is really quite simple, in the basics of it all, just install the app, fire it up at least once and begin enjoying the savings. You have the option to turn on notifications and control exclusions, but the default settings should work well for most users.
Keep in mind that Opera Max only affects your unencrypted traffic, is you notice an app or two that are not benefiting from savings, try using the mobile website instead.
What we like
Opera Max is a unique approach to data savings, and with many service providers still charging a premium for mobile data, any savings are welcome.
Saving up to 50 percent of our total network traffic saved us almost $15 on our last road trip. Not half bad for a long weekend on the go.
The ability to block apps from using background data does more than just save you money on the go, use it at home to improve device performance and reduce strain on your network, if needed.
Super easy to use. As mentioned, just install Opera Max, enable it and enjoy the savings.
The running log of data usage on a per app basis is very handy to have. Even when Opera Max is unable to save on your data usage, there are few better ways to see what apps and services are connecting to the web.
What we don’t really like
We are fans of Opera Max, but there are a few little things that we think could be better.
Confusion. In one specific incident, Opera Max attempted to save us data, but instead it ended up preventing the Google Play Store from installing a new app and updating older apps. Eventually we had to force stop Opera Max to get our apps in order, thankfully, the problem has not returned.
Performance. While things are great overall, there is no doubt that the extra time required for web data to travel to Opera servers for compression is calculable.
Quality. Please do keep in mind that compression of files in itself produces a reduction in file quality. This may or may not change what you see and hear, but if you find your music doesn’t sound as good, your videos keep playing in really low resolution or your friends’ photos on Social Media are too blurry to see, try turning off Opera Max for a moment, see if that helps. This is not a complaint, it is just how the service saves you data, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth it.
Privacy. Finally, if you did not get this already, Opera Max plays the middleman in all of your unsecured data transactions. They promise to do no harm, but if this is the sort of thing that makes you uncomfortable, sorry, there’s no way around it. We obviously would not promote this app and service if we thought you were at risk, but let there be no mistake what’s going on.
Until unlimited data is a thing, apps like Opera Max are a crucial tool to getting the most out of your mobile devices, and as it sits, there really aren’t many apps like it, leaving us both impressed and excited to share this app with you today.
You can find data saving tools within browsers like Chrome on Android, but these truly only work within the Browser. Opera Max, even without using the data saving tools, proves itself a very useful tool, allowing you to block background data on a per app basis, as opposed to the all or nothing approach in the main system settings.
With Opera Max stepping up their official support for tablets, there’s no better time to check out this free app in the Google Play Store.