In the digital age that we’re living in, using mobile data is inevitable. Whether you’re a light or a heavy data user, being aware of how much data you use can be useful for a number of reasons. Although it may vary from month to month, tracking your data usage can help you understand what your average use is. This information can be used to determine how much more data you need, if you find that you’re running out before your new allowance comes in or maybe you need to downgrade your data plan, which can help you save money if you’re not fully utilising the amount of data you’re given. With all that said, here are three of the top apps to help you track your data usage.
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1. My Data Manager
With over 14 million users, My Data Manager is the best app to help you keep track of your data usage and help you save money. It’s a incredibly good app because not only does it let you track your mobile data usage but it also lets you track your data usage when connected to Wi-Fi or when roaming.
Setting up the app is very simple; you set up your plan by logging the amount of data you get in your monthly allowance and the day it renews. The app then automatically calculates how much data you could use per day to even out your usage throughout the entire month. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from going over this but it can help you control your usage. As the day goes on, the app is continuously calculating your usage and the app will show how much you’ve used so far as well as how much data you have left for the current day. It also calculates your usage in the current cycle and the remaining data allowance. In addition to this, the app provides a usage forecast, which is an estimate based on your current usage. All of this information is essentially everything you need to keep track of and control your data usage; it’s extremely handy.
The features don’t just stop there. The app allows you to view a bar graph of your usage for the current month, under the History tab. It’s a good and clear way to see how your data usage fluctuates day by day or maybe you use equal amounts of data daily.
Knowing how much data you use is definitely beneficial, but what you probably want to know alongside that is what apps are eating your data. My Data Manager offers this exact information and you can view a breakdown per hour, per day, per week or per month. To retrieve this information for you, the app requires VPN to be enabled.
There’s also a location-based usage tracker, where you can view your usage on a map but I’ve personally not had the need to use this particular feature.
2. My Data Usage
Download for iOS
This is another great app for tracking your data usage. As with My Data Manager, this app requires you to log your data cycle (start date and allowance) and then it gets to work. You’ll see your total data and used data on the initial screen off the app, which is also combined with the app settings. This may seem rather strange but the app’s primary feature is the widget.
Adding the widget to your notification center allows you to see how much data you’ve used, how much is remaining, the network speed as well as a memory, CPU and disk space monitor, without having to open the app. It’s very convenient and worth adding the widget for quick access. You can also change the colour settings for the widget so the colours for progress and warnings differ.
To add to the apps features, there is a network speed test that you can run, which is based on the network type you’re currently connected to (mobile data or Wi-Fi). The app also consists of some utility tools, including a QR scanner, a contacts cleaner that removes duplicates and a contacts backup. These seem rather random for a data usage tracking app but they are additional features and could prove to be handy for some.
Overall, it makes a great widget and, best of all, it’s free to use. It does display an ad when you open the app (not every time) but it only shows for a maximum of 3 seconds so it’s not a big deal. Especially when you’ll never really have to open the app since the widget is its main function.
Download for iOS
DataFlow is an extremely simple app with a single interface but it does exactly what you need it to do. It keeps track of your network usage in real-time and does this for mobile data as well as Wi-Fi data usage, soon after you log your plan allowance and the date it renews.
Opening the app will take you to a single-page interface where you will see the percentage of data you have used so far. This is in a large font, placed in the center of the screen so it’s very much in focus. The top-right hand corner displays the number of days left for the current allowance and the month and date of when your next allowance starts. Moving to the bottom of the screen and you’ll see two stats; one showing your current mobile data usage and the other showing your current Wi-Fi data usage. Nice and simple.
To top it off, the app comes with a widget you can add to your notification center so you can see how much data you’ve used, how much data is remaining as well as how many days left until your new allowance starts and if you really want to, there’s also a setting to change the colour theme of the app.
With every day being different, the amount of time we spend on our smartphones will vary and the apps we use may differ too. All these factors will contribute to our data usage and the impact could be very small or quite the opposite. Some apps will use up more data than others, so being able to track them with one or more of the top three apps is beneficial. Not only will it show you what apps you’re using the most but also what apps are using up most of your data allowance. If you feel like you’re using up your allowance before it is renewed then this information could help you cut down on some of your usage to ensure you have data right until the moment your new allowance is refreshed. If you’re on the opposite end and not using a lot of your allowance then you may want to change your data plan to one that offers less data and that way you’ll save some money. Either way, it’s beneficial to know.
If you’re wondering how much data do you need, I’ve got just the tool for you. This Data Calculator can help you decide which goodybags will give you the right amount of data for your monthly needs.
If you feel like you need more data or maybe less then be sure to check out giffgaff’s SIM plans as there are a number of plans to suit the data allowance you require at reasonable prices. I personally love the 20GB one as it gives me plenty of data and saves me from worrying about running out, as I tend to use my mobile data quite a lot. What about you? Are you a light data user or a heavy data user and do you think using one of the apps above would help you control your usage?
Thanks for reading :)