Hi Lifehacker, I have an unlimited plan with my ISP. As such they don't have any usage stats on their customer portal. Can you recommend a good monitoring solution? Thanks, Inquiring Mind
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Monitoring your data usage is a good idea even with unlimited plans, as you might want evidence in the event of an 'acceptable usage' dispute. In addition, it will allow you to keep tabs on the data consumption of other household members and monitor against unauthorised downloads.
We've written about how to monitor your internet usage in the past -- this article contains some helpful tips that are applicable to Mac, Windows and Linux PCs. The accompanying video provides step-by-step instructions on how to set things up.
Net Usage Item is also worth checking out -- this adds a meter to your Chrome or Firefox browser which monitors your internet data usage. It works by fetching numbers from an XML feed and is compatible with most Australian internet service providers. Another option that we've heard good things about is ShaPlus Bandwidth Meter; a freeware solution that does exactly what it says on the tin. The meter displays the bandwidth usage in current session, day and month.
There are also plenty of data usage trackers available for portable devices. One of the best trackers for iOS is the aptly named Data Usage. This app helps keep you on top of all the data you’re using, alerts you as much or as little as you want, and provides in-depth statistics. It's priced at $0.99. DataMan is another good iPhone option if you don't want to pay anything and are just after the basics. You can download it here.
For Android, our go-to data usage tracker is Onavo Count. It provides home screen widgets that show how much data you’ve used for the month, displays live data usage by apps running, and your apps that use the most data.
If any of our readers have a better solution, let IM know in the comments section below.
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