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Top Apps for Monitoring Online Data Usage

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Many mobile devices are attached to service plans that restrict the amount of data they can transfer online. To help avoid exceeding these limits, you can monitor data usage of a smartphone or tablet using these apps. Some of these apps are free while others charge varying prices.

For more information on how to most effectively use these apps, see: How to Check and Manage Network Data Usage of Mobile Devices

Onavo Count

Onavo Count
Onavo
The app allows configuring alerts that trigger when detecting data hogging apps or when usage over the past 30 days approaches set limits. A Live Data Usage section lists the apps currently transferring data and their usage over the most recent time interval. The company Onavo also produces a separate app called Extend that utilizes data compression technology during network transfers to reduce data usage. See Onavo Count for Android and Onavo Count for iOS

Data Usage

This app for iOS devices includes all of the essential features of a data monitoring system – easy install, ability to track over time periods that match a user's billing cycles, separate tracking for cellular and Wi-Fi data, historical usage reports, and the ability to set thresholds and receive notifications for exceeded limits. An available Pro version includes more options for configuring customized trackers that might appeal to techies. See Data Usage for iOS

3G Watchdog

This popular usage manager for Android devices provides a helpful option to automatically turn off cellular network access if usage exceeds defined thresholds. Some users have stated that the app significantly undercounts data usage, however, possibly ignoring data sources like email attachments. The Pro version additionally supports reporting usage per application, historical charting, and the ability to ignore uploads (to match how some providers do billing). See 3G Watchdog for Android and 3G Watchdog Pro for Android

DataMan

This app reports usage not only for a device's cellular communication but also for Wi-Fi connections. Some key features like tracking data usage on per-app basis are limited to the Pro version. See DataMan for iOS and DataMan Pro for iPad (iOS)

My Data Manager

Per-app usage monitoring supported in older versions of the iOS app was removed starting with 2.5.1. Conversely, Android versions of the app receive consistently high reviews from users. See My Data Manager for Android and My Data Manager for iOS

myAT&T

AT&T subscribers can try using this app to view official data usage reports for their accounts (along with other account administration functions). However, some users have noted that the usage statistics reported lag those on AT&T's customer Web site or otherwise don't work . See myAT&T for Android and myAT&T for iOS 5+

My Verizon Mobile

Verizon Wireless subscribers can use this app to check official data usage against plan limits. It offers only very basic data monitoring capability compared to other apps in this category. See My Verizon Mobile for Android and My Verizon Mobile for iOS

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