While scrolling through the Fire TV settings, you may have come across a Data Monitoring option in the preferences menu that gave you privacy concerns, so you made sure to turn it off. You may have even seen one of the countless YouTube videos or articles for Fire TV “tips” telling you to make sure Data monitoring was off so that Amazon can’t track you. Well, I’m telling you they’re all wrong and that you should turn on Data Monitoring on your Fire TV Stick or Fire TV Cube, and here’s why.
While the Data Usage Monitoring option on Fire TVs, located under Settings > Preferences > Data Usage Monitoring, might sound like it has something to do with Amazon tracking you, it does not. If you’re concerned about Amazon tracking your Fire TV usage, then what you should turn off are all the options under Settings > Preferences > Privacy Settings. In simple terms, if the option is labeled as “Data Usage” it’s not about your privacy, but if it’s labeled as “Usage Data” then it is about your privacy.
So, now that we’ve cleared that up, why should you bother turning the okay Data Usage Monitoring option on? Because knowledge is power. What Data Usage Monitoring on Fire TVs does is just track, for your own personal information, how much data each of your apps is using. If you’re on an internet plan with data caps or one with any kind of data limits, then knowing how much data your Fire TV is using can certainly save you money. It can even alert you and/or cut off data access when you’ve used a predetermined amount of data if you’d like.
However, even if you have unlimited data on your home internet plan, the Data Usage Monitoring setting can potentially save you money. That’s because, by tracking which apps use the most data each month, you’re essentially tracking which apps you use the most. Doing that is one of the best ways to see if you’re paying for a streaming service that you rarely use.
Just turn on Data Usage Monitoring, set a very high threshold for the alert if you have unlimited home data, and then check your list of top apps a few times a month. While data usage doesn’t perfectly correlate to app usage or app enjoyment, it’s a great place to start if you’re thinking of trimming down your monthly streaming fees but don’t know which service to drop first. It’s especially handy if you have others in the house that swear they use a specific streaming service often but you have your doubts.