HelpSpa.com
Search HelpSpa.com

How to Track iPhone Personal Hotspot Bandwidth – How to Track Hotspot Bandwidth

July 29, 2011DavidiPhone0

One of the best features of my iPhone 4 and my recently retired Blackberry Curve 8330 is the ability to use the smartphone as an internet source (e.g like a router) for a device such as a laptop.   Now that I use the iPhone 4 exclusively — as a wi-fi personal hotspot — I needed a way to be able to track my bandwidth.

With the Blackberry I was tethering via a cable and using the Verizon Wireless windows application.  So while I hated that the connection would drop if the guy on the train next to me sneezed, at least the VZW application tracked your bandwidth usage pretty accurately.

The problem that I have with the iPhone 4 is that I’ve found the iPhone’s bandwidth tracking logs to be inaccurate. Combine that with the fact that with the Curve I had 5GB of bandwidth for $30, and now with the iPhone 4 I’ve got 2GB for $20, there’s now a real need to accurately track usage.

Now you can call your carrier or have them send you a text to check your bandwidth usage, but sometimes it can be a little too late.  I recently signed up for a lynda.com trial membership and I wanted to watch one of the tutorial videos on the road.  But it crossed my mind that streaming video may eat a ton of bandwidth — and I didn’t want to find out that I had blown the lid off my 2GB limit after the fact.

So I came across a small but useful and powerful open-source application called BitMeter (here’s a link to the CNET download page for the product, but the product page itself may have a newer version).  Basically BitMeter is a small and lightweight application that tracks your incoming and outgoing bandwidth.  I downloaded the program and was up and running in under a minute.

Now to test the bandwidth usage of a lynda.com video, I simply started BitMeter and then started watching a tutorial.  Well needless to say BitMeter spiked and I was able to watch BitMeter’s graph as well as its text readout which made it pretty clear to me that if I wanted to watch lynda.com videos on my laptop, I’d better not do it via my iPhone as a modem.

And while I’m disappointed about how much bandwidth lynda.com uses (though I do really like their service), I’m quite happy that BitMeter let me know this ahead of time, as oppsed to getting a bill from Verizon with some extra zeros in it.

So if you want to track bandwidth usage for your iPhone personal hotspot — or any device being used as a hotspot, check out BitMeter.  It’s free and could  save you a ton of money — it did for me!

Related Posts

| More

SpiderOak Online Backup, Storage, Access, Sync, and Sharing

We are currently offering a free copy of our 16-page eBook, "How to Organize your Digital Photography Collection" to everyone who signs up for our free newsletter. This eBook will review how to organize your digital photos, discuss metadata, and give you an overview of software than can help you with your digital photography workflow. Sign up in the signup area, located in the right-side column of every page on this site, and read your copy now!


Popular