- Check how much data you've used
- Avoid being slowed down or getting charged extra
- Learn how to access your account
It’s one of the pitfalls of modern mobile broadband usage. You’ll be in the middle of downloading a file or chatting on skype, and BANG! Your Internet connection slows down to a crawl. Yep – you’ve been speed-rated again.
Or, worse, your speed will continue unchecked, but behind the scenes, you’ll be getting charged for each megabyte of excess data you download over your cap. Even loading a page on Facebook, or checking out your online banking, can eat up around 500kb from your data limit.
Thankfully, Internet Service Providers all have account toolbox information you can access on their website that will give you a fairly accurate picture (usually within a 24-hour time frame) of where you sit with your broadband downloads. Some even have smartphone and iPad apps that allow you to check your account status instantly.
How to Check Broadband Usage per Internet Provider
There are a couple of ways on how you will be able to track your mobile broadband usage with Optus. One is through the My Optus app and another is by accessing the My Account menu in your dashboard. With the former, you simply need to open the app and log in (if you are not currently signed in to your account). Clicking the service menu and logging into My Account will show you your data usage meter. Further clicking into the Breakdown tab will reveal a breakdown of your usage.
Telstra has introduced a new mobile data usage meter that allows you to view an estimate of your current mobile data usage before your bill even arrives. It is available on the Telstra website as well as on Telstra mobile phones. To see your remaining balance, you just need to select the Services tab and choose which service you want to check.
All Vodafone users can check their data usage by logging in to the “My Vodafone” section on their home page. However, Vodafone also has a piece of software called “Vodafone Mobile Connect”, which can be loaded onto your computer. This software contains a usage meter which can also give an estimate of data usage. The best part is that you can opt to activate Vodafone alerts to notify you if you already reach 50%, 85%, or 100% of the allowable data included in your plan. This will make tracking your usage more effortless.
iPrimus users can log in to the account toolbox on the home page. Within this is their usage meter, which is updated every 24 hours. iPrimus also sends data usage alerts that will allow you to be aware if you have already reached a certain limit of your plan within the current billing period. As soon as you receive the 100% data usage alert, expect that you will already be billed with excess usage charges. Just keep in mind that the information about your data usage may already be up to two days old.
Ways to Reduce Your Data Usage
You can do several things to reduce your data usage and stay within the limit of your plan. For instance, you can opt to use WiFi instead whenever possible. There is also the option for you to steer clear of accessing apps and websites that tend to use up most data. You can also turn off these apps manually whenever you are not using them to ensure that they don’t eat up any more of your data.
The most important part of this whole process is to be aware of your usage parameters. If you are being slammed by data charges every month, it is clear that your current plan is not suiting your core internet needs. Call your internet service provider and ask about plans with higher data limits, and keep an eye on your usage to see if it’s suitable.