- 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 instantly check your account status.
Third party programs to monitor usage
There are also some programs out in the marketplace that can help monitor your Internet traffic. AnalogX Netstat live is a freeware program that can give you a guide on how much you are downloading. However, it is always best to check directly with your Internet Service Provider, since their information is guaranteed to be the most accurate.
Under the Member Services page, there is a ‘My Account’ section. Simply click on the mobile broadband link, and log in to view 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, but for convenience sake it is also available on Telstra mobile phones and even via SMS.
All Vodafone users can check their data usage by logging in the the “My Vodafone” section on their home page. However, Vodafone also have a piece of software called “Vodafone Mobile connect”, which can be loaded on to your computer. This software contains a usage meter which can also give an estimate of data usage.
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.
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.