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Monitor your Sprint/Verizon/AT&T Mobile Broadband Usage
With all of the major mobile broadband carriers now implementing a 5GB allowance for data usage (including Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T), it is very wise to keep an eye on how much data you are using each month so that you can avoid overage charges. Depending on your internet habits, 5GB may be plenty of data, but for some users or those who share the connection with multiple computers, 5GB could be used up quickly. If you exceed your 5GB allowance, you will pay dearly - carriers won't shut off your connection or even notify you; they simpily begin charging per-megabyte overage fees that can add up very quickly!
The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to simply check your usage throughout the month! Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T make it easy to monitor your usage, so there should never be any surprises at the end of the month.
Check your usage: VERIZON
When you have your Verizon mobile broadband modem plugged into your computer (PC or Mac), you can use Verizon's VZAccess Manager to easily view your usage. VZAccess Manager typically has a default setting set to display your current usage in a pop-up window every time you connect to the Verizon network. If you have that setting turned off or want to view your usage in the middle of a sessoin, there is a button at the top of the VZAccess Manager window that is clearly labeled "usage" - clicking the button will bring up the same usage window:
You can also check your Verizon data usage online from any computer, any time (this is obviously particularly useful for folks who don't use VZ Access Manager). To check your Verizon usage online, you'll need an online account with the verizonwireless.com website. If you don't have an account yet, you can create one (it's free) at this site: https://myaccount.verizonwireless.com/. Once you have your account set up, you can either log in, select "My Services" from the tabs at the top of the page, and then click "My Usage" from the options on the left, OR simply follow this shortcut to get directly to your usage: My Verizon Account
Check your usage: SPRINT
Like Verizon's VZAccess Manager, Sprint's SmartView program also features a button to check your usage, but instead of having its own built in usage checker it simply links you to Sprint's account management website to check your usage online. You will need to have a (free) sprint.com account; you can register for one here if you don't have one yet: http://tinyurl.com/sprintsignup. To access your usage from within SmartView, simply select the "Manage your Sprint Account and Check Usage" icon and you'll be prompted to log in at Sprint.com:
Of course, you don't need to access the site through SmartView - you can log into your sprint.com account from any computer, any time, and simply select the "Phone & Plan" tab from the top of the page and then click the "usage details" option for your mobile broadband device:
Check your usage: AT&T
AT&T's connection manager does not offer a way to check your usage, but you can monitor your usage by logging into your account at wireless.att.com (if you don't have an account yet, you can create one by clicking "Sign up now" in the upper right part of the page). After logging into your account, simply click the "account overview" tab at the top (which should be the default) and select the device you want to check the usage for, and the page will display the usage details.