Carriers talk a big game about their ultra-fast data networks. But some clamp down and restrict your usage. Forget about streaming lots of high-definition video; even web browsing or sending photos to Facebook could send you over the limit during any given month. The actual caps vary by carrier; throttling, where the carrier slows down your data speeds after you exceed the cap, is obviously preferable to actual overage charges. This is what T-Mobile does.
Either way, it’s helpful to keep tabs on your data consumption. As they say, the best defense is a good offense. Here are the best ways to track your data usage so you don’t go over your monthly cap.
DataMan Pro checks your data usage every 10 minutes and sends alerts the moment you exceed preset usage thresholds. It tracks daily, weekly, and monthly data usage over both cellular and Wi-Fi networks. You can set four levels of data usage thresholds, plus daily, weekly, and monthly allowances. DataMan even offers a mapping function to show you where you use the most data, not just when.
Similar to what the carriers offer, this app sends notifications whenever you approach preset levels of your data limit each month. Like DataMan, Download Meter checks every 10 minutes in the background. It works on the iPhone and iPad, and it also lets you set counters for specific time periods, applications, and locations. Download Meter also distinguishes between incoming and outgoing traffic, as well as Wi-Fi and cellular data usage.
Stats Free lets you set daily, weekly, and monthly counters, and automatically delivers warning notifications as you approach usage limits. It also tracks calls and text messages in addition to cellular data. The free version shows ads; the $1.32 Stats Donate eliminates them.
NetSentry is more of a network traffic-monitoring app than a data usage tracker, but it essentially accomplishes the same thing. NetSentry tracks data transmitted across both Wi-Fi and cellular networks, sends notifications about medium and high network usage, and lets you set transmission limits.