Whether you’re catching up on your emails or checking up on your friends on Facebook, you’re probably using more mobile data than ever before. Unfortunately, a lot of mobile networks are still a bit stingy with the amount of free data they include with your contract. This means it’s vital to keep track of how much data you’re using to prevent getting charged for excess usage.
To help you with this, Agent Hall is here with a quick guide to checking your data usage, as well as a few tips to help you reduce the amount you’re using.
MONITORING YOUR USAGE
Most mobile operating systems now include a way of monitoring your data without having to worry about using 3rd party apps. Here’s how to do it:
Apple iOS 7
To monitor your data usage on an iPhone, go to Settings and then Mobile. For some reason, this is sometimes listed as Cellular but either way it will be just below Bluetooth. From here, scroll down to Mobile Data Usage.
Here you can see how much data you have use and also keep track of any roaming data usage. Roaming data is data usage when you’re abroad and can be very expensive, so it’s great to be able to track this separately.
You can also see all the apps that have used mobile data and see exactly how much each app has used. If you notice that an app is using too much, you can even turn off data usage for each app individually.
You can also turn off data for apps that you think may not need to access the internet.
Most versions of Android now contain a data usage monitor. To access this, go to Settings and then Data Usage.
This will show you a graph of your data usage over a specified time and you can scroll down to see data usage by each individual application.
Another great feature in the Android data usage app is that you can set a data warning and a data limit.
You can use the orange and red bars on the graph (see right image) to set these. When you hit the data limit, the phone will automatically disable data usage to prevent you from getting charged extra by your mobile network.
If you regularly download apps or browse the internet, then mark our words: you’ll soon find this data usage monitor invaluable!
Windows Phone 8
Data Sense can now be found on newer versions of Windows Phone 8. To access it, swipe across from the home screen to access the list of apps and find Data Sense in the list. They should be in alphabetical order.
Data Sense has similar functionality to the other apps we’ve talked about, as it allows you to see total usage, individual app usage (swipe to the right to see these) and also set data limits.
To set a data limit, tap the settings icon along the bottom of the screen and enter the data limit and the date of the month that the contract resets. The phone will then automatically keep track of the data usage for you.
Again, whether you simply want to keep tabs on how much data you’re using, or you’re actively looking to reduce it, Data Sense won’t disappoint.
MOBILE NETWORK APPS
All the apps we have talked about so far are built into the operating system on your phone so they allow you to quickly and easily monitor your data usage. However, this may not be 100% accurate and the data usage actually recorded by your mobile network may be different.
If you want to make sure you know exactly how much data you’re using then you will need to get the information directly from your mobile network. Fortunately, most mobile networks have their own apps that you can install on your smartphone that will tell you exactly how many minutes, texts and megabytes you’ve used.
To download the correct app for your network, just go the normal app store on your phone and search for the name of your mobile network. The app you need will normally be the first one in the list.
That should be all you need to know about monitoring your data on your smartphone. If you have any other questions, leave them below and we’ll try and answer as many as possible!