How to monitor your data usage so you don’t exceed your data cap
Ever been in a situation where all you wanted to do was watch your favorite TV show or check out goals.com for update on your favorite team or even upload the picture of that lovely aso-oke you wore on your best friend’s wedding the day before on instagram but your ISP won’t let you probably because of all the videos you streamed the night before? and it’s not even end of the month yet!
Well, sadly Internet data caps by ISPs are becoming a reality and can really get on your nerves. If you can’t break the limitation, the best you can do is to monitor your data usage to avoid overage charges. Here are some ways which could be very helpful in monitoring your data usage
Check your ISP’s web interface
If your Internet service provider is tracking your bandwidth usage and holding you to a cap, they probably provide a page on their website where they display how much data you’ve used in the last month.
Your ISP’s tool is the best way to stay up-to-date on how much data you’re using. Even with your vast monitoring tools and skills and how well you think you monitor your usage, your ISP will always use their own monitoring system to decide how much data you upload and download.The disadvantage of your ISP’s tool is that it may not be updated frequently.
Monitor Data usage on your PC
Windows has a built-in tracking utility that allows you to track your data usage without installing any third-party programs. So you can activate the utility on any network connection in the Networks bar and track your data usage in real-time. The utility displays the data usage statistics under the name of the network connection (windows 8 and above only). For mac users, the Mac Book comes with its own Activity monitor which has a network tab that’ll give you a breakdown of how much data your apps have used since the last time your system was booted. If you are looking for more efficient ways to monitor, then there is an option of getting bandwidth monitoring apps from the store.
There is a wide range of apps to choose from such as
- SurplusMeter – available at http://www.skoobysoft.com/utilities/utilities.html
- istat Menus – available at http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/25230/istat-menus
- Net Monitor- available at http://net-monitor.en.softonic.com/mac
Track Data usage on your mobile device
Android added a built-in data monitor into Android 4.0. It can be accessed through Settings -> Data Usage and will show you how data has been used per-app and overall.Tapping on an app in this menu will open its data usage settings if there are any available.
Apple’s iOS provides a less detailed breakdown under Settings -> General -> Usage -> Cellular Usage. You can see how much data has been sent and received overall, but not per-app.