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Best apps for monitoring data usage

Best apps for monitoring data usage

Not only can these apps tell when you are reaching your mobile internet’s data limit, they can also tell which apps on your phone are using most of your data, helping you plan better.

If you tend to use up your data plan before the month ends, you would know that pay-as-you-go data can be very expensive on your monthly plans. But switching off your data plan after reaching your limit is certainly not the best option. Many apps run updates and work in the background using up data even when you are not actively using them. Certain apps like the ones which stream videos use up a lot more data compared to text-loaded applications on your phone. Data monitoring apps let you see which apps are using the most data on your phone and can even help you budget download limits for individual apps, alerting you when you are on the verge of overusing that data plan. Here are some of the best apps available:

Onavo Count
The app offers reports on data usage and a comparative data analysis. It divides your data usage amongst the apps that you have on your phone. It also tells whether you use a particular app far more than what other average smartphone users do across the globe. Onavo Count also provides an app guide, which tells you whether the app you want to download will fit into your data plan. It also alerts you before you exceed your data plan limit and you can also create restrictions, allowing certain apps to only run on Wi-Fi. It can also give you warnings when an app starts using abnormal amounts of data in the background.
Supported platforms Android, iOS and Windows

My Data Manager
A robust app which gives you plenty of ways to track your data usage, My Data Manager offers one standout feature: it gives you advice on whether you need to slow down or use the internet as usual, as it forecasts your data usage for the coming month. The app also has a feature where you can allocate data on a day-to-day basis. A favourite amongst users, My Data Manager provides you with a widget which you can place in your notifications. This gives you the ability to check your data usage every time you check your notifications, giving you an indication on how close you are to your data limit. It also gives you pie charts which show which apps on your phone use up most of your data.
Supported platforms Android and iOS

3G Watchdog
The app has been popular since some of the first Android versions and continues to be based on its simplicity and effectiveness. The user interface may not match up to some of the other apps on this list, but what works in its favour is that it’s very lightweight and takes a small amount of your CPU’s usage. 3G Watchdog constantly monitors other apps and gives you a live status bar alerting you as to how much data you are using. It can also shut off your mobile data plan when you reach your limits to avoid any overage charges. A feature which sets 3G Watchdog apart is that it can effectively segregate how much data your phone has sent and received. You can use this data to analyze whether you have downloaded more files like updates or uploaded more like pictures.
Supported platform Android

Data Usage Defender
This app gives you a wide range of features in addition to monitoring your data usage. Data Usage Defender turns into a great toolbox once you get into the finer details of monitoring your apps. You can view how much data each app is using and whether it’s being used for upload or download. It also gives you a report saying which time of the day the most data was used by your phone or an app. Other functions like giving access to particular apps to run only on Wi-Fi or mobile data plan is also possible with this app. The app gives you a floating speed widget which can be placed on the screen. This comes in handy when the widget shows high data usage even when you are not using any apps. It gives you a good indication that an app is overusing a lot of data in the background. A built-in speed testing app lets you find out how fast your networks are performing.
Supported platforms Android and iOS*

*Known as Data Usage Monitor on iTunes

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