Best Mobile Data Usage Tracking and Monitoring Apps for Android

tracking Internet traffic

by Alex Gustman

Updated: July 10, 2021

If your monthly mobile Internet usage is not unlimited, and you notice that your traffic is running out quickly, then don’t rush to buy a more expensive data plan. Perhaps you can simply reduce your monthly mobile Internet traffic usage. To find out which apps on your phone are using up a lot of expensive internet traffic, use free apps to track and monitor mobile data usage on your Android phone or tablet.

We’ve installed, tested and verified the most popular mobile data tracking and monitoring apps. From our review you will learn how effectively they work, the system requirements, the advantages and disadvantages of each application.

Why do I need a data usage app for an android phone?

Mobile operators offer Internet traffic more often in the form of a package with a fixed amount of data. After the packet MB is exhausted, you need to buy additional traffic. This usually happens automatically and at inflated prices. Therefore, in order to avoid such an unpleasant situation, it is rational to limit the traffic consumption in order to stretch the allocated data package for a given period – a week or a month.

The Android OS allows you to view traffic consumption statistics and set a limit. At the same time, regular features are not distinguished by functionality. Therefore, it is rational to use appropriate apps that can record the traffic consumption of applications, as well as set limits on data consumption.

My Data Manager

The app allows you to control the consumption of traffic on the Internet and applications, as well as set a limit on consumption. The installation requires Android 4.0 or higher. There are no ads or in-app purchases. The maximum RAM consumption is 229 MB.

My Data Manager app.

The utility automatically calculates the traffic consumption in applications and signals when the specified limit is reached. If a fixed data package is allocated under the terms of the tariff plan, you shall specify the volume, type of plan, repeat cycle, and start date. In addition to recording the traffic consumption, My Data Manager calculates the consumption of minutes and messages.

The home screen contains 3 tabs for tracking traffic consumption: mobile, Wi-Fi, and roaming. The hidden panel on the left opens access to additional parameters:

Total traffic costs.

  • Log – View daily consumption statistics.
  • Map – Display of the user data on the terrain.
  • Applications – Amount of traffic spent by games and apps – per hour, day, week, or month.
  • Tariff plans – Tracking and regulating traffic expenses according to the specified tariff.
  • Notifications – Warnings about the limit used or reached.

The settings allow you to change the light design to dark, use constant notifications about the amount of traffic spent, and display a widget with the expense in the status bar. The application also allows you to store the history of traffic consumption, permanently or for a certain period.

Main advantages

  1. Free of charge, no ads or in-app purchases.
  2. Tracking the consumption of mobile traffic, Wi-Fi or roaming.
  3. View the traffic used by applications for a specific period.
  4. Setting the internet limit, messages, or minutes.
  5. Individual traffic counting and regular, according to the tariff plan.
  6. Fine-tuning the notification.
  7. History storage.
  8. Switch to the dark design.
  9. Correct localization.

Main disadvantages

  1. Not detected.

Download My Data Manager from Google Play

My Data Manager Review

Traffic monitor

The application measures the consumption of Internet traffic and sets a limit on consumption. Disabling ads, activating the widget and displaying the traffic flow in the status bar will cost 2 USD. At the same time, you can purchase three functions for 5 USD, as well as short-term premium privileges for installing partner programs and viewing ads. The minimum Android version to install is 4.1. The maximum RAM consumption is up to 328 MB.

Traffic monitor.

At the first launch, the app offers to set a traffic limit for a month, a week, a day, and/or 3 days. Also specify the amount of data consumed for the correct calculation.

The home page is divided into two tabs – with general information about the traffic consumed and with the application consumption.

The first tab allows you to review statistics for previous periods of Internet use yesterday, in the current week, month, etc. It also allows viewing the total consumption of mobile and Wi-Fi connections, the used limit of mobile traffic: by the hour, in the form of a graph and diagram.

The second tab shows the detailed traffic consumption of the applications. When you click on a program from the list, the amount of outgoing and incoming traffic is displayed. Hourly statistics for the previous days are also available.

In the settings, you can set limits and additional parameters for limiting traffic. There is also a choice of dark design, display of consumption in the status bar, and disable Wi-Fi statistics on the graph of the first tab.

Main advantages

  1. Tracking the consumption of mobile traffic and Wi-Fi.
  2. View hourly statistics and for previous periods.
  3. Setting the traffic limit for a month, week, or day.
  4. Fine-tuning the notification.
  5. Support for dark design.

Main disadvantages:

  1. Availability of disabling the ads.
  2. Some functions need to be purchased.
  3. Sometimes there is no translation.

Download Traffic monitor from Google Play

3G Watchdog – Data Usage

It is an app for tracking and limiting traffic. Announced support for Android devices version 2.2 and higher. There are no ads, but some features are available after purchasing the PRO version for 1 USD. The maximum amount of RAM usage is 147 MB.

At the first launch, along with a greeting, the application offers to set a traffic consumption quota, according to the tariff plan or the available volume. Also, set a warning when the boundary mark is reached and select the preferred settings.

The main page contains information about the used/available mobile traffic and the remaining time until the end of the quota. Submission of statistics is in the form of a customizable histogram, text with % and table. The latter allows you to view the number of transmitted, received and shared data for today/week/month and compare it with the specified plan. Moreover, the table records mobile traffic, over Wi-Fi, and in roaming where a separate traffic consumption quota is set for each partition.

The app traffic count is shown below. Starting with Android 7.0, the function requires you to allow 3G Watchdog counting. To do this, you need to activate the corresponding switch in the security settings. After that, statistics will appear with the amount of traffic consumed by applications and the time of activity.

Other features of 3G Watchdog include real-time display of traffic consumption. At a specified interval, the program captures the received and transmitted data. Submission of information is in the form of a graph and a list.

The settings allow you to set the display of information on the main page, in the status bar, and in the widget. Also set the data update interval.

Main advantages

  1. Support for Android 2.2 and higher.
  2. No ads.
  3. Tracking the consumption of mobile traffic, Wi-Fi and roaming.
  4. View the history.
  5. Real-time display of traffic consumption.
  6. Backup and restore.
  7. Setting a limit on the consumption of mobile traffic, Wi-Fi and roaming.
  8. Setting up an alert.
  9. Dark design.

Main disadvantages

  1. Sometimes there is no translation.
  2. Some of the features are available in the Pro version.
  3. The design of the app has not changed since Android 2.2.
  4. You can’t add exceptions where traffic is free.
  5. Error in the calculation of traffic, possible conflicts with other programs.

Data Saver

The application combines the functions of traffic restriction and VPN. There are no ads or in-app purchases. Android version 4.1 or higher is required for installation. RAM usage up to 150 MB.

The main screen has general information about the traffic used for the day. The VPN is immediately activated, and the window occupies 60% of the useful area. Below is a list of applications that shows the traffic used and recommendations for saving money.

When you open the app from the list, you are offered three options for using the data:

Prevent waste of data, by limiting work in the background.

Launch the app only when connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Setting a limit on the use of data, upon reaching which a corresponding notification will appear. Available values are 10, 25, 50, and 100 MB.

The app doesn’t have any settings. The VPN automatically selects the country; there are probably no traffic limits.

Main advantages

  1. No ads.
  2. Built-in VPN.
  3. Easy to provide information.
  4. Restrict or disable app traffic.

Main disadvantages

  1. Due to insufficient optimization, the application hangs up on flagship smartphones.
  2. Limit mobile app traffic to only 10, 25, 50, and 100 MB.
  3. You can’t set a limit for Wi-Fi networks or apps with free traffic.
  4. There are no useful settings.
  5. Irrational distribution of the working space.

Datally

The app allows you to control and limit mobile app traffic. There are no ads or in-app purchases. The required Android version to install is 5.0 or higher. The amount of RAM used is up to 149 MB.

The main screen displays the amount of traffic used for the day. It contains a switch for saving traffic, buttons for statistics of used data, and the nearest Wi-Fi access points.

Statistics information is provided in a convenient form – a graph. You can also view activity for previous usage periods – this week and this month. The list of installed applications is displayed below, where traffic restriction is enabled and disabled with a single touch.

The settings contain a reset option for applications that can use the data. As well as switches:

Notify when there are available Wi-Fi networks nearby.

Display the traffic consumption in real time.

Main advantages

  1. Easy to use.
  2. No ads or in-app purchases.
  3. Easy submission of information and statistics.
  4. Automatic and manual search for the nearest places with Wi-Fi points.
  5. One-touch mobile traffic restriction.
  6. View the traffic flow in real time.

Main disadvantages

  1. No useful settings.
  2. You cannot set the traffic limit according to the volume of the tariff plan.
  3. The app only supports English.

GlassWire

The app tracks mobile internet usage and Wi-Fi activity. It is downloaded for free and does not contain ads, but includes paid themes for 1 USD. The program requires Android version 4.4 or higher. The average RAM consumption is 77 MB.

GlassWire app.

GlassWire automatically counts mobile and wireless connection usage. The user has access to information about the amount of data received and transmitted, in real time or when viewing consumption for previous periods. If the tariff plan has a fixed amount of free traffic, then specifying the details will allow the application to track the consumption and report on the limits reached. Moreover, the mobile plan, Wi-Fi network and exceptions to applications with free traffic are taken into account.

The main sections of the app are located in the hidden panel on the left:

  • Chart. Shows traffic usage by applications, in real time and for previous sessions. It also allows you to view information about apps and quickly disable background activity.
  • Statistics. Displays the amount of data received and transmitted.
  • Tariff plan. Setting limits on the packet traffic provided by the operator.
  • Alerts. Notifies you of app activity, and lets you set up alerts when traffic limits are reached or exceeded.
  • Themes. Changes the appearance of the app. There are 7 skins available, including 3 paid ones.

The settings contain parameters for changing notifications, the type of notifications, the design, the language, and the interval for updating information. Also clearing the history.

Main advantages

  1. Nice design in the style of Material.
  2. Simple and accessible presentation of information.
  3. No ads, correct localization.
  4. Availability of statistics, real-time consumption, and the amount of data transmitted and received.
  5. Change the graphic design, fine-tune alerts and set the update interval.
  6. Recording the use of mobile traffic and Wi-Fi networks.
  7. Setting limits for data plans, including Wi-Fi networks and apps with free traffic.

Main disadvantages

  1. There is no built-in internet blocking for apps and services.
  2. Paid themes.

Download GlassWire from Google Play

FAQ

Which files track internet usage?

Cookies in your browser. When you use sites, some information about user activity is stored in memory. On a subsequent visit, the site may read the data for cookies to analyze and display relevant information.

How to track internet usage by device?

In the system settings, there is the item “Data transfer”. In this section, you can track the consumption of the Internet, as well as set limits on the amount of data consumed. Third-party applications also allow you to track the use of the Internet. Such programs contain more opportunities in terms of informing, setting notification and data transfer limits.

Can employers track internet usage?

Yes, it is technically possible.

How to track internet usage on pc?

Various programs, such as GlassWire, can help you track your Internet usage most accurately. The program allows you to see the data usage of each application over a certain period of time. It can also identify programs that are consuming too much data and limiting bandwidth.

Is there an app to track internet history?

Yes. A good app is GlassWire. The program is available for Android and Windows. It allows you to view the data usage for a certain period of time by each application.

How to track internet usage on a home network?

Certain traffic tracking tools are available on the Wi-Fi router. In most cases, the total data consumption can be tracked. The router manufacturer’s proprietary programs allow you to view traffic usage in more detail. For a more accurate view of the data used, it is better to install an individual Internet usage tracker on each device.

How to track internet usage on the router?

It is necessary to go to the management console of the router, and then open the menu with statistics. The page will display the usage of transmitted and received data for a certain period of time.

Do companies track internet usage?

Yes, the ISP monitors used traffic. Some encrypted data is seen by the ISP as a data stream.

Can work track internet usage at home?

Yes, if you install the appropriate application on your phone or computer.

Can hotels track internet usage?

Yes, if the appropriate equipment is installed. Employees can also check the amount of data used via an access point or server in the hotel.

How can I monitor data usage on my home network?

Use the router’s tools or install traffic monitoring software on each device.

How can I tell which device is using the most data?

The best way is to check the Internet usage statistics on each device.

How do I check my network data?

Install an appropriate program, such as GlassWire.

Conclusion

The My Data Manager application is the best choice for tracking and limiting traffic, due to flexible settings. In addition, the app is free and does not contain annoying ads.

The Traffic monitor utility is interesting for convenient statistics, so it is suitable for novice users. At the same time, the poor color scheme in combination with advertising, force you to use another similar program.

3G Watchdog is not inferior in functionality to My Data Manager, offers convenient statistics and does not contain ads. At the same time, there are not enough improvements in the application – in some places there is no translation, there are no exceptions for applications with free traffic, an outdated design and an error in the calculation. As a result, it is easy to be left without Internet at the wrong time or incur additional costs for overspending.

The Data Saver program is interesting due to the free VPN, no ads, and the function that prohibits applications from using a mobile connection instead of Wi-Fi. At the same time, the program does not use the workspace efficiently. And the lack of optimization causes the program to hang and drains the battery in front of your eyes.

Datally shows the amount of traffic consumed in a simple and visual way. And activating just one switch will allow you to completely restrict the transfer of data or specific applications, which is convenient for beginners. It will not be also a hindrance for users who do not know the language. At the same time, the program does not support automatic traffic restriction if the tariff plan includes a package of free megabytes.

GlassWire is a convenient application for tracking traffic consumption and setting limits. Information and statistics are presented in a clear form, which complements the pleasant interface and the absence of advertising. One of the minor disadvantages is that there is no built-in function for forcibly disabling the Internet for the selected programs.

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About the author 

Alex Gustman


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