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How to Track Your Data Usage So You Don’t Go Over Your Data Cap

Latin woman looking disappointed at her laptopscreen, sitting behind her desk at the office.Data caps are a real issue for cord cutters; however, they are one that you can easily avoid. We already gave a few tips to stay under your data cap but what if you just want to keep an eye on your data usage?

Most Internet service providers now offer ways to track data on their website, but it is often delayed in giving accurate data usage details. The good news is there is a better way to track your data usage and even set up alerts to let you know when you are about to go over.

Most Wi-Fi routers brands like Linksys currently in use allow the ability to track the amount of data you have used. Some routers, such as those from Netgear, will even let you set up alerts when you get close to your monthly data cap.

Here is a quick guide on how to track your data usage on your Wi-Fi router.

Linksys Owners: http://www.linksys.com/us/support-article?articleNum=136118

Netgear Owners: http://kb.netgear.com/24225/How-do-I-monitor-Internet-traffic-on-my-Nighthawk-router?cid=wmt_netgear_organic

I suggest you take a few minutes on the Netgear and set up alerts. That way when you get to 50% or 75% you know to keep a closer watch on your data usage.

As always if you want to stay under a data cap my number one tip is to turn off Auto Play Next on services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video. This eats up more data than you think as people often turn off the TV and forget to stop the stream.

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6 Responses to How to Track Your Data Usage So You Don’t Go Over Your Data Cap

  1. Avatar
    Norman January 29, 2017 at 8:55 am #

    I have neither router, but I check my usage every morning with my Comcast account. I presently don’t have a cap, but since they seem to be something of an infection, I expect we’ll have a 1Tb cap before too long. That said, errors on their end happen. Some how on one day last month while I was off line, I supposedly used 900Mb while I slept. I contacted tech support and they said that wasn’t the case, but it still shows that bump on my account page. Staying aware at least gives you a shot at a good fight, if something odd happens. Also, be careful not to accidentally pull in 4K content when you neither want it or are capable of viewing it. This is easy to do on Youtube.

    • Avatar
      PCJunkie56 February 3, 2017 at 11:17 am #

      Hey Norman, I am on Comcast here in East Central Florida, and we have a 1TB cap on our 25/5 Mbit service. Not sure where you are residing, but if you don’t have a Cap with Comcast, that’s great! Our Cap only started this year, previously no cap, so be sure to check your fine print with Comcast.

      I subscribe to Playstation Vue, and use an OTA Antenna for locals coupled with 2 HDHomeRun Extend Units and MythTV running on a MythBuntu Server in the back room. Works Great. Last month was my first month with PS Vue, and we used about 500GB of data watching about 6-8 hours per day, so I’m pretty happy with that usage. Based on that number, I could pretty much double our usage to 33GB per day and still stay under the cap for the month.

      Looks like these states have a cap now with Comcast

      3 – Do I have the Terabyte Internet Data Usage Plan?

      XFINITY Internet customers in the following locations have the Terabyte Internet Data Usage Plan:

      Alabama ArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoFlorida Georgia IdahoIllinoisIndianaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriNew MexicoWestern OhioOregonTennesseeTexasSouth CarolinaUtahSouthwest VirginiaWashington Wisconsin

      Here is the announcement link

      http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/6/13192832/comcast-xfinity-home-internet-data-caps-one-terabyte

      Company Link to the FAQ
      https://dataplan.xfinity.com/faq/

      • Avatar
        Norman February 3, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

        I’m in the Northeast, Northern New England. Comcast’s home turf is the NE, so I’m sure this area will be the last, though New England may get it before the Mid-Atlantic states. You’re a greater Tech Junkie, than I’ll ever be. We, too, have PS Vue and have run in a similar range on data usage at least until lately. There was that freak 900MB 12hr bump (twice the capacity of my present computer), and we took advantage of a signup special with VUDU. Their content is 1080 HDX and not the 720 that most skinny bundles, cable and broadcast typically use as I understand.

        We’re running on Performance Pro and approx. 100MB down, but I’m seriously thinking of scaling back to just Performance and the 25-30MB down. I got a web reference from a Comcast tech person, but the page has never opened.

        Seems there are a lot of question as to the accuracy of data tracking. We all need to be watchful and careful.

        • Avatar
          PCJunkie56 February 3, 2017 at 8:57 pm #

          Thanks for the quick reply. Brrrr.. Good luck this weekend with the Super Bowl… ! Got my A/C running today, beautiful Winter here this year so far!!

  2. Avatar
    FREETELEVISION January 29, 2017 at 10:12 am #

    I called Century Link to ask how to track data usage on their site. They stated they have no way of tracking and do not have a cap.

  3. Avatar
    tommyr March 4, 2017 at 7:27 pm #

    In Linux I use vnstat.