Don't get stung by phone bills, monitor your mobile data usage with free iPhone apps

Your mobile phone plan has a monthly or daily data allowance. Use these three free apps for the iPhone to monitor your cellular data usage and alert you when you near the limit. Avoid bills!

How much data do you get on your mobile phone plan? 1GB, 2GB, more? Whatever it is, it is never enough and it is all too easy to go over the limit. That might result in extra charges on your phone bill and no-one likes that.

The apps here will monitor the amount of cellular data that the phone is using and they show you how much has been used and the amount remaining this billing cycle. They can also warn you if you have used too much. One can even tell you which apps are using data.

Don’t get stung by extra bills, get one of these apps and monitor the iPhone data used.


DataFlow - Track network data usage

Price: Free | By: Feng Mi | Size: 47MB | iOS: 8.0 or later

Data Flow is a straightforward app that keeps track of the amount of data used on both mobile and Wi-Fi networks. There is rarely any need to monitor Wi-Fi usage, but the figure is there if you are interested.

In the app settings you can set your data plan, such as monthly, weekly, every 30 days and so on. The amount of data allowed on your plan and the day of the month it is reset can be entered.

 Dat Flow app for iPhone monitors mobile data usage DataFlow for iPhone tracks cellular data used

Once this is done, the app shows the percentage of mobile data used on the home screen. It could not be easier to read or understand.

Detailed information is also available and it shows a day by day list of the amount of cellular and Wi-Fi data used. Once again this is clear and easy to read.

There are several colour themes to choose from and many more if you upgrade to the Pro version ($1.99). There are two Today widgets to choose from and nine more in the Pro version. Some of the Pro widgets look great and the upgrade is really cheap.

This is a useful app that offers easy data tracking.


My Data Manager - Track data usage and save money

Price: Free | By: Mobidia Technology | Size: 53MB | iOS: 8.0 or later

If Data Flow is too simple, My Data Manager offers a lot more information and tracking options to keep on top of your data usage. For example, it tracks mobile data roaming data and Wi-Fi usage.

You can set the data allowance and the billing period and date. There are the usual weekly, monthly, 30 day and custom plan options. It has some extra options you might not expect, such as shared plans, which might be used by families. You can also set the hour a plan starts and ends, and select the countries your plan covers.

Swiping left and right over the home screen switches from mobile data to Wi-Fi data to roaming data. You can see the amount used, the daily budget, the amount remaining and a forecast of your usage.

 My Data Manager app for the iPhone monitors data usage My Data Manager app for the iPhone monitors data usage

A History screen shows a chart with your data usage for today, this month, your plan or since the app was installed. There is a very useful feature that tracks apps and shows which apps are using data and how much they use. You can easily see if any apps are using too much.

The app has an option to track location-based usage and you can see data usage on a map. There are also light and dark themes to choose from. A Today widget can be displayed and this shows the percentage mobile data used and Wi-Fi data used.

This is a great app and it is both free and ad-free. It is recommended.


Traffic Monitor - Mobile Speed Test & Usage Widget

Price: Free | By: RadioOpt GmbH | Size: 16MB | iOS: 8.0 or later

Traffic Monitor offers more detailed tracking than the other two apps and more tools and extra functions. It monitors data usage on your phone, but it also provides related items that may be useful too.

The billing date can be entered in the app settings and you can set monthly and daily limits for cellular data. It does not have the variety of plans or custom options of the other apps, but the majority of people will be on monthly plans anyway.

You can also set monthly and daily Wi-Fi limits too, but is this needed? For most people Wi-Fi is unlimited.

The data usage history can be exported as a .csv file to the usual sharing options, like iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, email and so on.

The data usage is displayed in text format. There is a lot of information on the screen and you need to look carefully, whereas with Data Flow you can see your usage at a glance.

 Traffic Monitor app for iPhone tracks cellular data usage Traffic Monitor app for iPhone measures the connection speed

Monthly and daily traffic reports are displayed and it shows mobile and Wi-Fi usage. It goes further and shows the amount of data uploaded and downloaded, the total, the percentage used and the percentage estimated.

Tap the monthly usage and it lists the daily usage - cellular, and Wi-Fi, upload and download. Tap the daily usage and it shows an hour by hour breakdown of the data usage. The usage logs are the most detailed.

The Device tab shows a variety of network information, such as the IP address, the Wi-Fi SSID, uptime, boot time, memory and CPU usage, and battery status. It will delight the geeky type who wants to know what is happening under the iOS interface.

An internet speed tester measures the connection speed and it also shows your download, upload and ping speeds compared to other people in your area. It saves the results each time the test is run, so you can compare it over time, or at different locations.

It also shows mobile network coverage for your operator and others on a map of the area.


Today widgets

Here are the three data monitoring apps on the Today screen. Data Flow has multiple widgets and you can choose the one you want.

Today widgets on the iPhone

Get all these apps for free in the iOS App Store. Just search the name. My favourite is My Data Manager, although Traffic Monitor appeals to the geek in me.