Android has its own option that reports the data used by applications, both mobile networks and WiFi (Settings> Connections, Data usage). In an alternative data counter, such as 3G Watchdog, the interesting thing is that you can see the data consumption of your mobile phone at the same time as it is generated. That is, it is a real-time monitor that allows you to see the consumption in the notification bar as well as its graph in the application.
3G WatchDog, real-time monitor for data usage
The 3G Watchdog real-time data consumption graph lets you see what apps and how much data they download or upload at the same time they download (via WiFi or mobile data). If you find an application that shouldn’t use the connection, you can take steps not only to save data, but also to save battery life.
Another good thing about 3G Watchdog is the control it provides to limit the use of mobile data. Android offers this, as do other apps, but that’s just a general limitation. In the case of 3G Watchdog, a daily, weekly or monthly limit can be set for both received (download) and sent (uploaded) data, and a warning is generated or even mobile data is automatically deactivated when this limit is reached ( although on modern devices, this will only work if you have root access). The data counter can be reset at any time.
Tips for 3G Watchdog
I have been using the application for a few days and I have some suggestions. First of all, it’s default in English, so before you bother with this language, open the app settings (wheel button at the bottom) and in the «Miscellaneous» section you can put 3G Watchdog in Spanish. Save your changes with the «Save» button, exit the application, and re-enter.
3G Watchdog is a battery-powered application with its default settings. To reduce battery consumption, in the application settings, search for the «Update frequency» option and select the «every 15 minutes» option or a higher value. Current data usage will take longer to display, but you will save a significant percentage of your battery.
Optionally, you can hide the notification icon and the notification itself in the status bar, where data consumption is reported.
Although this app has disappeared from Google Play, its APK can be downloaded from the link at the bottom. It still works well on modern devices. I tested Huawei with Android 9 without any problems.
Using Android vs. 3G Watchdog
Perhaps the most important reason why the 3G Watchdog is better than the Android data usage meter is its real-time monitor, which allows you to identify the transmission of data from applications at any time. Although it offers a versatile data limiter, you can’t see data consumption on the app (this is only available in the paid 3G version of Watchdog Pro), you can’t see data consumed in the foreground and background, or restrict this data over WiFi, or mobile networks, things that the Android monitor offers. In addition, the use of the latter does not involve additional use of the battery and memory.
Other monitors for the use of mobile data
It’s as good as the 3G Watchdog, with current usage notifications in the notification bar, available widgets, and usage statistics. It is one of the best rated and downloaded applications of this type in the Play Store.
Date counter widget
In addition to the widget, within the application we can see the data consumption per application, over time, both mobile data and WiFi. The disadvantage of this application is that it does not show consumption in the notification bar. At most, you can only add one widget to the home screen.
Use this app to control the use of mobile data with limits and alerts
How to turn mobile data on Android (or restrict it)
BLOCK internet access in Android applications (restrict data)