How to Track Your Data Usage
By: Tachus Fiber Internet | Published 06/09/2022
Customers who receive Tachus Fiber Internet have access to unlimited data, meaning they can stream, game, videocall, and work from home to their heart’s content. However, if you’re still waiting for Tachus to come to your area, or you are waiting out a contract with your current provider before making the switch, you might not be able to enjoy this perk just yet.
This is because many other Internet providers use data caps, placing limits on how much their customers can use their home Internet connection. If you are not yet a Tachus customer, there’s a chance your ISP might have you on a data cap.
Find out which Internet providers enforce data caps here.
It's not always possible to avoid data caps, especially if you live in an where Internet service options are limited. If your Internet service plan does have a data cap, it’s important that you monitor your data usage and do whatever you can to stay under it. If not, you risk incurring data overage fees or speed throttling depending on which provider you’re using.
So how do you find out the amount of data you have left to use, and how close you are to your data limit? Here are some ways you can track your usage and avoid being charged overages each month:
- Use Your Internet Provider’s Data Usage Tool
- Track Your Data Usage with Your Operating System
- Check Your Router’s Data Usage
Use your Internet Provider's Data Usage Tool
If you’re receiving Internet service from a provider that enforces data caps, there is usually a tool on their site or account portal that shows you how much data you have used so far this month. If you’re an Xfinity customer, you can see this in your account on the “Devices” page, under the “Data Usage Overview” section.
AT&T customers can find it under “myAT&T Usage.” Other providers will call it names involving or relating to the words “Data Usage” or “Usage.”
There’s an upside and downside to using this tool.
The upside: your Internet provider is subjecting you to data caps, so how they measure and report on your usage is how they decide how close you are to your limit. No matter how well you track your own data usage, your ISP is going to use their own numbers to determine how much bandwidth you’ve used—you may as well do the same.
The downside: your provider’s data usage tool may not be updated as frequently as it needs to be. Some update their meters several times a day, giving you a pretty accurate representation of how much data you’ve used. Others do not.
Be mindful of this if you ever think you have just enough data left before it resets the next billing cycle. You might not have as much usable data as you think.
Track Your Data Usage with Your Operating System
If you want to monitor Internet use on a single computer, you might be able to with your operating system—depending on how recent it is. If you have a PC, Windows 8 and onward offer this feature. On Windows 10 and Windows 11, you can access this by using the Windows key and I keyboard shortcut to the Settings app, clicking “Network & Internet”, and then clicking “Data usage.” From there, make sure the usage details your viewing line up as closely as possible to your ISP’s billing period.
If you use a Mac, you can access a tool called “Activity Monitor.” Go to your Applications folder, open your Utilities folder, and then double click the Activity Monitor app.
Once in the app, you will see five tabs. Click on “Network.” This tab will display your data usage broken down into data sent and data received.
The upside: no tool or device can more accurately tell you how much data you’ve used on your computer than your computer itself. If all or most of your Internet usage is through your personal computer, your operating system’s tool will give you a very detailed report on how bandwidth is used on your device.
The downside: it only shows you the data used on a single computer. If you have several devices in your household that you use regularly, you want a tool that can give you an overview of your entire home network.
Check Your Router’s Data Usage
If you want to measure your entire household’s monthly data usage, your router’s tool is a great way to track bandwidth usage. Many Wi-Fi routers have data tracking tools. If yours does, you can access it through your router’s settings page as an administrator.
Start by logging into your router’s account page. You might be able to simply do this with an app, depending on your router’s model. If your router does not come with an app, you can log in with your router’s IP address.
If you don’t know the IP address, you can use this guide by Linksys to identify it. You can also find default login credentials in your router’s manual.
Once you’re in your account as an administrator, locate your router’s status or statistics page. Each router model will have a different layout, so you might need to check the manual or the router manufacturer’s website for more detailed instructions.
When you’re in your Status or Statistics page, depending on your router, you can see how much data in Bytes or Packets have been uploaded or downloaded over your Wi-Fi network.
Depending on your router and its account layout, you can access many helpful details about your data usage, such as how much data you’re using over each frequency. Some routers can also help you track data usage on each individual device.
Data caps can be a frustrating part of Internet service and are more difficult to deal with the more you depend on your Internet connection. If you regularly stream TV, work from home, game, or videocall with your friends and family, you’re more likely to hit your limit and incur penalty fees or throttled speeds. Using a tool to monitor and help limit your data usage will help until you’re ready to make the switch to an unlimited data plan with Tachus.
Are you ready to get rid of unfair data caps for good? Sign up for Tachus, where you can get blazing-fast, reliable Fiber Internet with UNLIMITED data!