If you just bought a shiny iPhone, then the next logical step is to get a data plan that suits your needs and helps you make the best of your smartphone. Just like Android devices, an iPhone without an Internet subscription is half a phone. A glorified media player and nothing more. But when you make that magic connection, you can see the full potential of your new iDevice. Emails, photo sharing, social networking and many more, are now in the palm of your hand and only a few taps away. But all these benefits come at a price, and that is the data plan. Every photo you upload, every web page you visit takes a bite of your data. And with time, that plan seems smaller and smaller. Because data plans are expensive, you need to find another way to make the most of what you have, and that is to carefully keep track of every MB of data that you spend. Seek the apps that are the most data hungry and stop them in timp, before they can do more damage. A way to do so is spend countless hours on the internet, looking at spreadsheets to see which apps need a connection to the Internet and how much traffic they need. Not that fun, I know. A quicker way is to use what we call “Data Traffic Monitors” (check the list with Android traffic monitor apps). These little apps give you all the information you need, customized for your iPhone, and let you see just how many MB of data you have spent, how many you have left and what apps eat the most traffic from your data plan.

How to keep your data for longer periods

In order to keep your data for longer, you might want to make some compromises.

Disable background data Check your email at longer intervals Set your news and weather apps to update less often Disable automatic updates for apps Use WiFi as often as you can. Although it might drain your battery, the upside is that you save on data. Install apps via WiFi, not from your data plan Disable cloud backup

By using these tips you will definitely cut off the data drain on your smartphone. I have a data plan of 600 MB per month and I manage just great. Also, I can turn off my Internet connection when I’m not using it. By using these tips, I manage to keep in line my data drain and manage with it for an entire month. If you own a wireless router, then it’s not a problem for you to stay connected from your iPhone. If not, I’d suggest buying one, it will save you lots of money on your phone bill.

Top iOS Data Traffic Monitors

5. Onavo Extend – Data Usage, Data Control

On top of keeping track of all your data consumption, Onavo has another great feature, something that really makes it stand out: the ability to compress data. That is right, it can compress pictures, music and other media and store them on a secure server. This way, you can get the most of your data plan. Using less traffic will make your data plan last longer than ever!

4. DataMan – Real Time Data Usage Manager

As far as simple and accurate Data Meters go, DataMan is one of my top choices. It provides users with very easy to read information with just a tap. I prefer the style of this app because it doesn’t give users a screen full of unneeded information, but a clean screen, with the data count over WiFi and 3G/2G

3. Data Monitor

A quick and simple way to keep track of your data usage without any hustle. This app will keep track of both mobile and WiFi traffic. Also, you can set your data limit and it will prompt you when you are running out. A great feature is the ease of use and the intuitive interface.

2. My Data Manager

See who is the biggest data hog installed on your iPhone with this simple app. It allows you to see just how much data traffic you have spent and close the apps that are wasting your precious MB of data in background. Having complete control over who is guzzling your data is the first step in managing your data plan and ensuring it will last an entire month.

1. Data Usage

Keeping this app running in background will ensure that you won’t go over your data plan. it will periodically let you know how much traffic you have spent and how much you have left. Also, it lets you input your data plan and it will let you know when you are near the limit. You can see how much traffic you have made each day, or over a 7 day period or over an entire month. Keep in mind, these apps won’t do wonders and won’t extend your data plan. The amount of data you have remains still the same, these are merely tools that let you manage that amount of data the best you can. Stop running apps that consume in background and automatic updates if you want your mobile data to last longer. Also, if you use email clients and weather or news clients, refresh them at longer periods. This will help you conserve data for longer periods.