How To Monitor Bandwidth Usage?
These days, we all use the internet for various purposes. Sometimes it’s used for work; sending emails, making presentations, having teleconferences etc. When work ends, we use it to play games online, socialize with friends and family on FaceBook, call our loved ones and send instant messages on Whatsapp, Viber and other chat applications. Majority of our media consumption is also online. We stream movies and TV shows to our Smart TVs, watch Youtube videos on our smartphones and people within a house own multiple devices are using an internet connection round the clock. We are living a truly digital, online and connected life in this era and internet is the backbone for all these purposes.
With all this intensive usage, broadband providers come out with a pesky solution to bar users from using a lot of bandwidth and that is by putting a cap on each package. Unless your subscription is advertised as being truly unlimited, it will come with a fair usage policy that will restrict your internet bandwidth usage to a certain limit. Which sometimes results in consumers exhausting the data limit before the month ends and thus they are left with the sole option of having to subscribe to a data bundle to increase their monthly limit which in turn makes the monthly bill go up.
What the user can do is monitor their bandwidth to keep a check on how much they have consumed and then improvise their usage in such a way that they don’t hit the limit before the end of the month. For this purpose there are basically two different ways to monitor your usage. One way is to individually check your data consumption on each device you own separately. And the other way is to directly check the data throughput on your modem itself which will give you a total of every device that has been connected to the modem via Ethernet or WiFi and is an easier way to check your remaining bandwidth limit.
First we will tell you how to check your data usage on your handheld devices and personal computers. The good thing is that these days most devices have a built in mechanism to log data usage and can be checked easily without the need of any additional software applications.
On Android devices, it’s pretty easy to check your consumed data. It shows mobile data by default but you can turn on WiFi usage as well by going into Settings>Data Usage>Options>Show WiFi. It will even tell you which application consumed how much data and the total is shown on the top.
On Windows Phone devices, Microsoft offers the Data Sense app on it’s Windows Desktop and Mobile platforms and it shows the total data used by a certain PC or handheld device as well as individual values for the bandwidth usage by applications.
On Apple iOS & Mac devices there is no built in application that measures data usage however there are tons of apps on the App Store that do the same for you and you can download any of them to keep a track of your bandwidth limit.
If you have a Mobile Broadband device, then most manufacturers offer a mobile app to check the data usage. You can also subscribe to SMS based alerts that let you know when you’re about to exhaust your data limit and thus usage can be kept in check.
Also, we have prepared a table to give you a fair idea of how much data is used during different patterns of internet usage.
1 Hour of web browsing
30 Minutes of Skype calls
Download an HD Video
Download an SD Video
Stream an hour of audio
One hour of daily online gaming for 1 month
Now that we have mentioned all possible methods for measuring data usage on individual devices, we should also mention that if you think keeping track on several devices is a difficult chore to do, then the easiest way is to use the self service portal of your broadband provider where it will tell you the total data throughput of your month and thus you can keep track of how much data you’ve consumed. Thus an eye can be kept on the data caps. Following are the two self service portals of WiMAX operators in Pakistan where you can check your data consumption.
We hope that all above ways mentioned above will help you track your monthly WiFi usage in a more efficient way and you wont exhaust your monthly limit prematurely.