Data is the new text message

How to monitor data usage

Telephone and cellular companies have limited your minutes; they have limited your text messages, and now, data is limited—even in your smart office!

Data overages can be troublesome for users in rural areas who may rely on smaller providers with strict data limits. With the emergence of the internet of things keeping you and multiple devices connected, it is important to know your data limits and to know how to monitor your data usage. The good news is that you can monitor your usage.

What’s your data limit? Check with your wireless carrier or internet service provider. Sometimes these details are readily available through your account online, but a customer service representative can help you as well. Providers also offer mobile applications to monitor usage and services on your smartphone. It is important to know your limit and to check the status—because of recent competition between wireless providers; you may notice that there are more affordable wireless plan that allows for more data.

What devices, applications or websites consume most data? On Android smartphones or the iPhone, you may see some data usage data in your settings, but for a better view of your overall usage, try the My Data Manager app available on iTunes and the Google Play Store. At your farm office, the administrator interface for your internet service provider account or your router may have details with IP addresses or websites that are using the most data. If your router’s existing software does not provide you with all of the information you need, consider a third-party software like DD-WRT. If additional router software is not an option, there are also tools available on Windows 8.1 for metered Internet connections. For monitoring individual usage on a Mac, try Bandwidth+.

How do you prevent overages? In addition to monitoring usage, you can disable cellular access for applications on your smartphone through your cellular settings. At your smart office, you can block websites that are using large amounts of data from your router—video streaming cat videos may not be the most productive use of work time anyway!

Do you have tips to monitor and manage data usage? Tell me about it in the comments below, on Twitter @nerdsquawk or via email at [email protected].

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