At one time, cell phone carriers charged hefty fees if you went over your preset data usage limit. These days, unlimited data plans are back and more popular than ever.
Unfortunately, like any other cell phone carrier, it reserves the right to throttle your data after a certain amount of usage. This means that it will be more difficult to surf the web, stream videos, and navigate social networks because the data speed will be much slower. T-Mobile claims that they only throttle data when you’re in a congested area (there are many data users on a tower).
Fortunately, there are several techniques that T-Mobile users have at their disposal to do this.
A couple of things to keep in mind
Before you start checking, there are a few things to know about the numbers you see when you use official T-Mobile tools.
First of all, any data you use while roaming can take around a month to show up. If you know you’ve used roaming data at any point in the last 30 days, remember that the number you see may not be immediately accurate.
There’s also a problem with the numbers if you change your plan. Changing the plan on any day other than the first day of your billing cycle essentially resets the figure. You’ll only see what you’ve used on your current plan, so it’s best to do a quick check to record your old plan figure before making a change.
T-Mobile also shows its data usage figures in Pacific Time, which those in other time zones should be aware of. It is also updated every two hours.
Those using T-Mobile’s prepaid service won’t have the same options listed below. T-Mobile does not provide data usage details for those with prepaid service.
On the plus side, you’ll get a free text message alert when you reach 80% and 100% of your data limits.
With that out of the way, let’s look at some of the techniques.
Technique n. ° 1: Use a short code
T-Mobile offers two short codes that you can call to get an instant upgrade. Simply dial #932# or #WEB# and press the “call” button.
You will receive an alert in a couple of minutes giving you an updated data usage number.
These shortcodes work on both Android and Apple devices.
Technique #2: Verify your T-Mobile account on your computer
Most people create a My T-Mobile account so they can keep track of their bills. However, you can also use it to check your data usage. Just follow these steps:
- Click the “Usage” option. You’ll find this in the “My Current Plan” section of your account if you have a prepaid account.
- Click the “View all usage details” link in the upper right corner of the screen.
- Click on the “Data” option to view your usage.
You can also filter by specific cell phone numbers if you have multiple phones that use T-Mobile data plans.
Technique # 3: Use the T-Mobile application
T-Mobile has an app that you can download on both Android and Apple devices. You can use it to track billing and data usage.
To check your data usage, follow these steps:
- Sign in to the app with your T-Mobile ID.
- Tap the “Menu” icon and then tap “Usage & Plans”.
- Tap “View Line Details” and then tap “Check Usage (Data).
The app tells you how much data you’ve used and how long you have to wait before your next billing cycle. You can also use the app to check your minutes and text message usage.
Will T-Mobile alert me if I exceed my data limit?
Yes! T-Mobile will send you a text or email alert when you’ve used 80% and 100% of your data allotment. If you don’t receive these alerts, you may need to sign in to the T-Mobile app and select your content preferences.
I received a text message saying that I used 50 Gb of data on my unlimited plan. Why?
Although T-Mobile won’t charge you if you exceed your data limit, the company will throttle your data after you’ve used 50 Gb. This means you may experience problems loading websites, buffering, and even sending picture messages.
Does tethering use my mobile data allowance?
Yes. When you use your T-Mobile phone to provide Internet to another device, it will count towards your allowance. However, if you are connected to another Wi-Fi network, your T-Mobile data should not be changed.
I received a usage alert but have been on WiFi. What’s happening?
Today’s smartphones are designed to give you the smoothest experience possible. When a WiFi network is weak, your phone will automatically connect to cell towers to help you stream without interruption. Unfortunately, you may not even notice this change has occurred.
The last word
T-Mobile offers many ways to quickly check your data usage. They also send free text messages when you get close to your limit.
As long as you’re vigilant, you shouldn’t end up exceeding your data limits. Just check regularly and note that the figure can be up to two hours out of date, which you should be aware of.