3G Watchdog app for Android monitors your 4G/3G/Edge/GPRS data usage

Can I use an automatic Task Killer?

Written by Richard. Posted in FAQs

We don’t recommend the use of an automatic task killer, for various reasons. If you still want to use one, make sure that the 3GW application and service are excluded from the list of killable items, or 3GW won’t work properly (it needs to run permanently)!

SIM cards and accounts [Pro]

Written by Richard. Posted in FAQs

3GW Pro automatically associates an account (settings + usage history) to each SIM card used in the phone. When you switch the SIM, the current account displayed switches too.

Restriction:  Dual-SIM phones are not supported (they may or may not work) because Android don’t support them in the first place, they usually rely on some proprietary add-on by the phone maker to allow the user to switch SIMs. The symptom is that 3GW may be unable to detect when you switch SIMs, and therefore will assign all usage to only one SIM. However since 3GW Pro version 1.25.0 a workaround allows to manually indicate to 3GW when you switch SIMs via your phone’s proprietary mechanism (see “Manual SIM card selection” in this blog for details).

A SIM card must be present on the first run after install, with the following exceptions:

    – CDMA phones have no SIM card, but 3GW creates an account for them, associated to a fixed pseudo-SIM card number.

   – [since 1.9.0] Likewise, devices without mobile internet capability (and no SIM card), such as WiFi-only tablets can be used (after confirmation). 3GW will use a fixed pseudo-SIM card to create an account.

3G Watchdog memorizes the last SIM used, so after the install if your card is missing, 3GW will show you the numbers for the account associated to this SIM.

SIM card migration [Pro]

Written by Richard. Posted in FAQs

If you change SIM card while keeping the same operator and plan (for example if you renew the card, change the phone or SIM format), the identification number (IMSI) of your card will change but you probably want to keep the usage history associated with the old card.

3G Watchdog Pro offers a function (3GW main screen > Menu > Migrate SIM card) to migrate the history from the old card to the new one.

The procedure assumes that the new SIM card is installed in the phone and active. It is recommended to do the migration ASAP after the installation of the new card, as any data associated with the new card will be overwritten with data from the old card, so if you proceed early you won’t lose any information.

If 3GW finds more than one potential “old” cards to migrate you will be requested to select one. The candidate SIM cards are listed with their ID (IMSI number) and usage for the current plan period to help you pick the correct one.

3GW does automatically backup your data before proceeding to the migration. In case of problems you can restore this backup.

Does 3GW count 4G/3G+/2G/GPRS

Written by Richard. Posted in FAQs

In spite of its (historical) name, 3GW counts all kinds of mobile internet connections: 4G (LTE) / 3G+ / 3G / 2G (Edge) / GPRS, as soon as they are counted by the phone itself (the app. relies on the phone counters). The name “3G” is just a generic name for mobile data connection types.

Prior to 0.33.0 (free version) and 1.7.0 (Pro version), 3GW was not counting Wifi usage, because it’s usually free, and the purpose of the application being to help you to manage limitedresources, it focuses on handling mobile data usage in the best way it can.

However simple Wifi monitoring has been introduced in free 0.33.0 and pro 1.7.0 to help you evaluate the traffic corresponding to some usages without having to actually consume it. This support is very limited, no alerts, no prediction, no graph, it just counts.

Does 3GW count roaming usage?

Written by Richard. Posted in FAQs

3GW counts separately local (domestic) and roaming usage. However the handling of roaming is still limited by comparison with local usage (no billing rules).

The roaming usage graph and status text in the main screen roaming section are available only if you define a roaming quota (in Settings > Roaming).

Widgets can show actual, left, or predicted roaming usage (the two last ones only if there is a roaming quota).

You can choose to count roaming usage as local (i.e. to count the two types of usage together). This can be handy in countries like Spain where in some plans all usage is roaming.

Can I set alerts for roaming usage? [Pro]

Written by Richard. Posted in FAQs

If you defined a roaming quota (in 3GW Settings > Roaming) you can also specify an alert in % used. Prior to 1.26.0 it is done in the “Roaming” section of 3GW Settings, and an alert notification distinct from 3GW main notification will be issued if your roaming usage exceeds that %. Since 1.26.0 the % is defined in  the “Alerts” section, and the status bar notification will automatically show roaming information and alerts when you are currently roaming and you have limited usage (otherwise it will show local information, as before).

You can also auto-disable the mobile network when usage reaches a % of the roaming quota (see 3GW Settings > Auto disable network).

Is 3G watchdog accurate?

Written by Richard. Posted in FAQs

(My billed usage doesn’t correspond to the usage reported by 3GW, why?)

3G Watchdog is based on the “raw” traffic as measured by the phone and so can’t do better than the phone itself. Your operator can apply more or less complex billing rules to that measured usage. 3GW (Pro version only) optionally applies some of these rules (counting in block, ignoring uploads) to help you distinguish between the measured and billable usages, and alerts you based on the billable usage. – you can set up these rules in section “Billing rules” of the Settings screen. Unfortunately there is no limit to operators’ creativity when it comes to billing schemes, and 3GW can’t possibly handle them all.

3G Watchdog leverages Android internal counters to count usage. Depending on Android version,  several alternative ways of counting may coexist, and the implementation of some of them may be flawed on your particular device.

Some other factors that can affect accuracy are: the reset time (some operators start counting at an hour different from 00:00, or even use a different time zone); a crash of your phone while you selected a low refresh frequency; an always possible bug in 3GW or in your operator’s accounting software can’t be ruled out, your operator may not always be totally honest (example), etc…

So 3GW will be more or less accurate for you, depending on a number of factors, many being out the app’s control, so don’t expect it to be perfect. In most cases it will be accurate enough to really help you to anticipate and master your mobile data usage. Your part of the job is to try to know the billing strategy of your operator (which 3GW can’t guess) and tune the billing rules accordingly, so the usage reported by 3GW will match your operator’s one as closely as possible.

Is tethering usage counted by 3GW?

Written by Richard. Posted in FAQs

If the connection from your phone to the internet is a mobile one, usage should be theoretically counted by 3GW, regardless of the type of connection between your phone and your computer.

However, depending on the phone, cases have been reported where mobile usage was counted only after tethering ended, all in one block, or not counted at all. 3GW relies on the implementation of Android on your phone to count traffic and report the network connection state, so it can’t do better than the system.

[version Pro] Two pseudo applications “WiFi tethering” and “USB tethering”, listed in the Usage by application screen, account for the mobile usage while tethering.

Billing rules [Pro]

Written by Richard. Posted in FAQs

The Pro version of 3G Watchdog distinguishes between measured and billable usages. The measured usage is the raw traffic between the phone and the Internet as observed from the phone. The billable usage is obtained by applying billing rules such as count in block, do not count uploads, do not count usage from some applications, etc… to the measured usage. These billing rules vary largely depending on operators and plans. You can configure them in the “Billing rules” section of 3GW’s settings.

The billable usage is more likely to be close to your operator’s numbers, that’s why all alerts in 3GW are based on billable usage. Likewise the usage shown in the usage graphs (report screen) is the billable usage.

Limitation: billing rules only apply to local (domestic) plan mobile usage, not to roaming or Wifi usages.


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