This post originally appeared on All You.
You probably use your cellphone more often to check your email than to ring up a friend. And if you have a mobile plan with limited data, that can mean getting walloped each month with a monstrous overusage fee.
Many phones have built-in monitors to help track data use, but we liked these four standalone apps, with nifty bells and whistles that can help you track your data use so you don’t end up with an unexpected bill.
1. DataMan Next
This beautifully-designed app communicates your data usage in three ways: the percentage of data you’ve used so far is prominently displayed on the screen; the background changes color as you near your limit (green means you’re good to go while red is a warning to slow down); and the words “Safe” or “Danger” appear in case you’re still unsure where you stand.
2. My Data Manager
This easy-to-read app is a font of information. It tells you who is monopolizing the data on a shared or family plan, tips you off to your most data-devouring apps and rings an alarm when you’ve reached a percentage or limit you’ve set. A map indicating where you’re consuming the most data lets you know when you’re connected to Wi-Fi or the mobile network.
3. Data Usage
Like My Data Manager, this app monitors what each phone is using on a shared plan. It also breaks down how much data you’re using each day.
The Onavo Count app tells you how much data it takes to access music, videos or maps. It also sends an alert when you approach your usage limit. Onavo Extend sends data from the Internet through its servers to compress it before it reaches your iPhone or Android, thus reducing your data usage.