Photo: Flickr / Jason-Morrison
Plenty of people changed carriers with the release of the iPhone 5, and in doing so, likely lost their unlimited data plans.There’s no standard monthly allotment for each carrier—just a bevy of plans, measured in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB), is all over the place. AT&T seems to encourage people to sign up for a 3 GB plan, while Verizon starts people with 1 GB. Family plans make it more complicated. And those MBs and GBs can mean a lot of different things to people–how much Web browsing? How much video streaming?
If you find that all a headache, consider Sprint, which still offers unlimited data.
Here’s a useful yardstick: Most consumers use less than 2 GB of data a month. Watching Netflix or making video calls can spike you way past that, though.
It’s near impossible to keep track of data consumption without help. The risk is that you go over your allotted data and pay a penalty.
Thankfully each of the iPhone carriers offer specialised apps that can help you keep an eye on data usage, and there are even some third-party apps standing at the ready.
AT&T's official app offers comparable features, letting you track data usage with ease. It additionally makes it easy to find Wi-Fi hotspots--Wi-Fi usage doesn't count against your data limit. You can also add and remove features from your plan and mange your autopay settings.
Another third-party offering, My Data Usage Pro tracks your monthly data use. When you start running out of those precious megabytes, it will offer advice on how to best use the remainder.
Data Usage offers you a warning in the form of an icon badge when you start running low on data and will send push notifications when you hit certain percentages of your monthly allotment.