Monitor your internet data usage to avoid penalties

The amount of data transferred by the computer when it is connected to the internet is important for several reasons. Although some people are lucky and have unlimited data with their internet service provider, others do not. They have a data limit and possibly an hourly limit during peak times of the day. Exceed these limits and you will be penalised, which may cost you money for the extra data used, or you might suffer slow speeds as the ISO throttles your bandwidth.

Both these situations can be avoided by monitoring your internet usage and Data Usage from smart_Apps. This is a Windows 8 app that is free from the Windows Store. To get it, open the Store app on the Start screen, click in the search box in the top right corner of the screen, and enter Data Usage. Click the button to install it.

If the app does not create a tile on the Start screen, click the arrow in the bottom left corner of Start to show all the apps. Find Data Usage, right click it and select Pin to Start. The tile then appears and it can be dragged to whatever position you want.

Click the app to open it and it asks permission to run in the background. You should allow this because it needs to monitor the internet in the background while you are browsing the web, downloading, watching online video and so on.

Monitor internet usage with Data Usage

The Data Usage app shows your internet usage straight away and it does not need to monitor your internet connection for a week before it displays anything. Presumably Windows is logging this information and the app simply reads it and displays it.

In the Current Connection column it shows the computer name, IP address, Wi-Fi name, and other information. The Network Billing Details column shows the current billing period, data uploaded and downloaded, total data usage, number of days left and the amount per day you can use.

Clicking the gear icon at the top of the screen enables you to set the data plan allowance, the billing start date and other details. Scrolling the screen sideways shows a charts that plots the daily data downloaded and uploaded and you can easily see on which days you used the most data.

Monitor internet data usage in Windows

Scroll a bit further and there is a Network Usage Report that shows the data usage each day in a table. It can be exported if you want to save it or analyse it in another program, such as a spreadsheet.

There are adverts in the app that might annoy some people, but it is free and there is a Pro version if you want to buy an ad-free version.

I like this app. It displays lots of useful information for people that need to monitor their internet connection. Not everyone does though, and those that don’t might not find it so necessary.

Title: Data Usage (Windows Store)
Price: Free
Developer: smart_Apps
Size: 0.6MB
Requirements: Windows 8
Rating: 4/5

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