Big carriers like Verizon and AT&T have dropped their unlimited data plans, but have allowed existing customers to stay grandfathered in. However, in some cases these “unlimited” plans are being throttled heavily to sway users into paying for the much pricier limited packages.
Fortunately, iPhone and Android users have an easy way to keep track of the amount of data they are chewing up so they can change their habits accordingly to not go over their limits and get hit by extra fees.
For Android users, check out My Data Manager Free on the Android market. My Data Manager runs in the background on your smartphone and keeps track of the apps that require data. You can get plenty of nice charts depicting which apps are hogging the most bandwidth. You can even enter in your data plan limits and My Data Manager will start to alert you when you get close to reaching your monthly capacity. My Data Manager is free, however, there is a $4 premium version that removes the ads from the bottom of the application.
For iPhone users, you can find DataMan Free on the iTunes app store. This simple, precise app will track the amount of data used with your 3g connection as well as your Wi-Fi, and will give you usage alerts based on a monthly allowance you can set up in the app. The free version of DataMan isn’t very robust but it gets the job done, but for $1.99 you get much more detailed reporting and a view that displays a map showing where you’ve used the most data.
These simple apps can save you a lot of annoying overage fees and some data plan customers have even used them to dispute bills that were higher than they should have been. It’s always nice when a couple bucks can save you hundreds in the long term.
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