Monitoring your data usage on your mobile.

Last updated: 26 November 2015

Monitoring your data usage on your mobile.

Being able to socialise, play, watch, stream and basically organise your life when you’re out and about will never lose its appeal. Although truly making the most of your smartphone or tablet relies totally on your data plan; and having enough megabytes.

Just like running out of battery power, running out of data sucks, but worse than that, it can cost you a fortune if you’re not clued up on the fine print.

With Three, you can get All-you-can-eat data on Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go, which is great news if you go online a lot. You can also use data abroad in 18 destinations without worrying about roaming charges, because it all comes out of your normal UK data allowance with Feel At Home.

And you don't need to worry about going over your allowance accidentally if you're on one of our new plans with a limited data allowance. Once you've used up your allowance, you can’t use the internet without buying an Add-on or changing your price plan. So you’ll never spend more on data than you intended to.

We'll send you texts when you've used up 80% and 100% of your data allowance, so you won’t run out unexpectedly. Just another thing that Three does to #makeitright.

Usage tracking apps.

Basically, no matter what network you’re with, the first thing to do is check whether they have their own data usage tracking app or website. And if you’re on Three, you’ll be pleased to know that we have…

My3 account.

You can always check how much data you’ve got left by going to your My3 account on your phone or computer.

If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad or an Android phone, we recommend that you download the Three App to keep track of your mobile data usage even more easily. Then you can just tap on My3 account on the app’s homescreen to see your balance instantly.

If you’re on Windows Phone or Nokia you can access My3 via the Planet 3 icon, or by typing into your phone’s browser and selecting My3 account.

Setting data limits on your device.

With Android you can also set individual data caps on your device by going to ‘Data usage’ in the Settings menu.

You can also tap the settings icon in the upper right and choose to ‘Restrict background data’ to save even more bandwidth. You’ll be able to see which apps on your phone use the most data, or to change the warning threshold. When you reach your limit, mobile data will cut off completely until you re-enable it, but Wi-Fi will still work normally.

Apple devices don’t let you set a data cut-off, but you can check how much data you’re using at any time in Settings > General > Usage > Cellular Usage. Here you’ll see how much 3G or 4G data you’re using, but you’ll have to rely on network alerts to warn you when you’re about to hit your data cap.

Alternatively, you can pick up one of the following third party data management apps that will do the rest of the job for you:

Third party data management apps.

  • My Data Manager

    My Data ManagerAndroid, iPhone (free)

    This app tracks exactly how much data you use, so you don’t accidentally run out in the middle of a month and get charged for it. It works by tracking how much data comes and goes from your phone in the background and compiles stats for you to check throughout the month. It also budgets out your data usage for you, which is really useful.

  • Data Usage

    Data Usage Android, iPhone (from 79p)

    With this app you can set data usage limits by the month, week, and day; separately track and monitor your network and Wi-Fi data usage; and receive notifications when certain percentages of your data plan have been used up during a billing cycle.

    You also get an ‘ideal data usage’ that’s calculated based on your current consumption. You get an iPhone and iPad version in one purchase which is great if you’ve got more than one Apple device. Just remember that in order for data usage to work properly, you have to open it up every time you restart your phone to make sure background tasks are active.

Three top tips for data management on your mobile:

  1. Be aware that smartphones are permanently connected to the internet, so you could use data without realising it. If you want switch this off, you'll need to change your phone's settings. You can find out how to do this here.
  2. If you're on Three and you’re worried about data charges, we recommend that you get All-you-can-eat data or an Internet Add-on if one is available on your plan.
  3. We don’t recommend that you use actual data saving apps, as they can change your phone’s settings and stop you being able to access your My3 account on your phone, even if you’ve already deleted the app. Find out more about using data saving apps on our network.