Keep track of your monthly mobile data use

Posted by amcink November 7, 2015 0 Comment 9551 views

Unlimited data plans are quickly becoming a thing of the past in North America. In Canada, they’re pretty well gone already. No carrier with a network that’s worth talking about offers unlimited data anymore. The big three are shifting people away from their grandfathered unlimited plans as soon as they possibly can.

All that is to say that counting data use to make sure you’re not going over is a fact of life. Even for people that pay for a full mobile plan as opposed to looking at the alternatives.

Here are a few simple ways to keep tabs on how much of your data allotment you’ve burned through. This can help to ensure you don’t get stuck paying through the nose for a bunch of data you perhaps didn’t even realize you were using, or that could easily have been offloaded to Wi-Fi.

Dig into your smartphone settings

Monitoring and even setting a limit on your data use is easy on Android. Just open the Settings menu and tap Data usage. Drag the black bar to set a monthly data usage level where you’d like to be warned. If you’re using the Bell Share Plan for Tablets that we’ve talked about in some depth, you’ll want to set a warning when you’re nearing the 1 GB level that is the cut-over point between the up to 1 GB for $20 level and the up to 5 GB for $40 levels.

Tap Set cellular data limit and drag the red bar to set a point at which your phone will automatically disable data unless you specifically choose to turn it back on. Right below Set cellular data limit, tap the date range to change to tell your phone when your billing cycle begins and ends. This way, your Android phone knows when to reset the counter.

If you reach the trigger level and your cellular data is turned off, you can easily come back into the Settings > Data usage menu and tap to turn Cellular data back on if you’re OK with going over.

On iPhone, your cellular data use is a little more buried. Dig into the Settings app and you’ll the cellular data use listed. The catch here is that this is lifetime data use, tabulated from when you first connected your iPhone to the network. You can reset the counter in this menu, but you’ll need to remember to come back in at the beginning of each month to start the counter anew.

In iOS, there is no native option to turn off cellular data when you hit a certain level. No big deal, you just need to get an app.

Download Onavo Count

Android | iPhone

This cross-platform app is very easy to setup and use. It keeps tabs on your cellular data use and can cut you off when you reach a monthly allowance, which you set.

When you first install and run the app, you’ll be taken through a simple setup process. Tell the app how much monthly data you’re afforded, tell it when your billing cycle begins each month and it’ll take care of the rest.

Onavo Count can send notifications when you reach a certain percentage of your monthly data allotment and can even turn data off to save you paying overages. What’s more, on some platforms at least, you can drop a widget on your homescreen to have information on how much data you’ve used, how much you have remaining for the month before you start paying overages and how long until your billing cycle—and the data counter—reset.

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