Top 5 Apps for Monitoring Mobile Data Usage

Avoid excess data usage charges on your smartphone or tablet

Unless you have an unlimited data plan for your smartphone or tablet, your service plan limits the amount of data you can use every billing cycle. To avoid exceeding these limits and incurring excess billing charges, monitor data usage on a smartphone or tablet using one of these popular apps.

Some of the apps are free, while others charge a small fee. Some are available for iOS and Android, while others are available only for iOS.

Illustration of a person holding a smartphone and looking at a data usage app
Lifewire / Kaley McKean

Data Usage

Screenshot of Data Usage data usage monitoring app
What We Like
  • Clean user interface.

  • Align the app to your service contract.

  • Notification system for overage risk.

What We Don't Like
  • No recent updates.

  • Device requirements for the Android app.

  • Manufacturer contact information is unclear.

The Data Usage app is easy to install and uses theme colors that change to reflect current usage status. The app includes all the essential features of a data-monitoring system, including the ability to track over time periods that match a user's billing cycles. It monitors mobile data and Wi-Fi in real time and lets you set usage alerts. Data Usage can help you set daily quotas and will predict when you'll go over your limits.

A Data Usage Pro app for iOS includes additional options for custom usage counters.

The iOS app is 99 cents and requires iOS 9.0 or later. It works with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The Android app requirements vary by device.

DataMan

Screenshot of DataMan data usage monitoring app
What We Like
  • Easy-to-visualize alerts about potential overages.

  • Hour-by-hour grid helps you visualize usage patterns.

  • App for watchOS.

What We Don't Like
  • App instructions are sometimes confusing.

  • A blend of simplicity and in-depth reporting makes for a mixed metaphor of an app.

The DataMan app for iOS devices reports usage not only for a device's cellular communication but also for Wi-Fi connections.

It tracks cellular (LTE, 4G, 3G) and Wi-Fi in real-time and has a "smart forecast" feature that predicts if you'll stay within your data cap. DataMan has a handy widget to instantly check your usage at a glance; the app alerts you before you hit your data cap.

DataMan is 99 cents and is available only for iOS (a Pro subscription is also available with more functionality).

My Data Manager VPN Security

Screenshot of My Data Manager data usage monitoring app
What We Like
  • Good reports and detailed, if boring, user interface.

  • Checks account-level, not just device-level, usage.

What We Don't Like
  • Embedded VPN on a free product is a warning sign for potential data and privacy risks.

  • User complaints in the App Store about the VPN.

Take control of your data with the free My Data Manager app on your mobile device. Use the app every day to track how much data you are using and to receive alerts before you fly past your data limit. 

The iOS version of the app is called My Data Manager VPN (also free), and says it "secures your internet traffic with VPN technology, encrypts your unprotected data and tracks how much data you use per app." The Android version sticks to monitoring data usage.

Usage-monitoring features of both apps include the ability to monitor mobile, roaming, and Wi-Fi connections. It supports custom usage alarms to avoid overage charges and offers shared and family plans with tracking across all members' devices.

myAT&T

Screenshot of myATT app data usage information
What We Like
  • Works with AT&T to assess usage against the carrier's own stats and account-level information.

  • Looks at the whole account, not just the device, to assess overages.

  • Combines entire AT&T portfolio, including DSL and DirecTV.

What We Don't Like
  • Recent user complaints say the app is significantly inaccurate.

  • Clunky card-based app design.

AT&T subscribers can use the myAT&T app to stay on top of their accounts, view official data usage reports, and perform other account administration functions. Information for all accounts is available on the main screen of the app.

Use the app to monitor your usage, manage your wireless account, view billing details, pay your bill, upgrade your phone or plan, and make changes to your plan.

Text the word myATT to 556699 from any device, and the company will send a link so you can download the app.

My Verizon

Screenshot of My Verizon Mobile app for monitoring data usage
What We Like
  • Clean, crisp design.

  • Account-level view into your Verizon relationship.

  • For a carrier-designed app, it gets good ratings.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited usage reporting.

  • Emphasis on upsells.

Verizon Wireless subscribers can use the free My Verizon app to check official data usage against plan limits. It works best with recent or unlimited plans.

The My Verizon app offers basic data-monitoring capabilities as well as additional services such as reviewing and managing your plan, viewing and paying your bill, getting on-demand support, and shopping for new devices and accessories.