With the introduction of AT&T’s new iPad and iPhone data plans, and the removal of the unlimited plan for new customers, it’s more important than ever before to know how to check your iPad 3G and iPhone data plan usage each month. Not keeping track of it could result in overage charges on your monthly bill.
Luckily, there are three ways to keep track of your iPad and iPhone data plan usage, ranging from the very easy to the slightly harder, but all three are basically pretty simple.
AT&T myWireless Mobile App – Everybody seems to have an app these days, and AT&T is no different. This free program, available at the App Store, lets you do all kinds of things from your iPhone or iPad: view and pay bills, add features to your plan, opt into paperless billing, and track your monthly usage. Download it here.
This is probably the easiest of the three options. Simply download the app, install it on your device, and you’ll be able to check your data usage whenever you want (tap the Usage menu and then the Data button).
Built-In Usage Tracker – The iPhone and iPad 3G (I believe; I haven’t seen one in person yet) have usage trackers built into them and, while this method requires a little more work on your part, it can serve you pretty well in keeping track of your data use.
To find the built-in usage tracker, tap the Settings icon -> choose General -> tap Usage -> and scroll to the bottom of the page. Look in the Cellular Network Data section and total the data sent and received to get your current usage.
The reason this is a bit more is that total is all time. If you want to track monthly usage, you’ll have to remember to tap the Reset Statistics button at the beginning every month. Maybe a calendar reminder on your phone would help?
AT&T Wireless Website – This is the old fashioned way: log into your account at AT&T and check there. Your data consumption for the current billing period is displayed in the My Current Usage section of the main account page when you log in.
What To Do If You’re Close To Exceeding Your Limit
It really depends on where in the month you are, but I wouldn’t worry too much. If you’re on AT&T’s low-end plan, you’ll get an extra 200Mb of data for US$15. If you’re on the high-end plan, it’s an extra 1GB for $10. Both should be plenty of data unless it’s very early in the month and/or you’ve got massive data needs.
If you need more than 3GB of mobile data a month, contact AT&T to see what they can do for you.