Tip of the Day: How to Track Your Data Usage

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Most of us have no idea how to figure out how much data we’re using, but there are a lot of reasons why that knowledge might be helpful to know. Whether you pay for extra data that you never end up using, or don't pay for enough only to end up exceeding your limit and costing yourself more money, the fact is that keeping track of your data usage could save you a whole lot of money in the long run. Lucky for you, there's an app for just that (or rather, a few apps).

DataMan Next ($1.99)

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Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

This app keeps track of your data usage and allows you to set parameters for your usage just in case you’re on a family plan (for example, you can tell the app you should only use 2 GB of your family plan, and it will account for that). You have to keep it running in the background (which will impact your battery life), but it doesn’t use extra data to run! It connects with the carrier settings in your iPhone to paint a complete data picture.

You can also add a widget in the Notification Center for quick access to your usage. If you’re curious about how much data a video takes to load, or how much data it takes to read this article, using the DataMan Stopwatch widget allows you to track your data usage over a specific time period.

  

Getting DataMan running is simple – just download the app and open it up. Change some settings if you wish, but otherwise, it’s working already!

 My Verizon Mobile (Free)

Anther option is to go straight to your carrier. I have Verizon, and when I sign into my account on the Verizon Mobile app, I can see how much data my family has used or how much I have used myself. Verizon also has a widget, so you can see your family's data usage in real time.

Below, you can see the widgets in the Notification Center. 

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Abbey Dufoe's picture

Abbey Dufoe is a freelance writer and a web producer at a nonprofit based in Princeton, NJ. She's always itching for the newest iOS gadget (current favorite - the Apple Watch). She tweets and blogs about the earth and the Internet on Twitter at @abbeydufoe and at abbeydufoe.com.