Saturday, April 26, 2014

Weekly Whine: Data

I don't know what's going on with my data usage on my iPhone. I have only 200 MB of cellular data each month and usually I use only about two thirds of it. However, occasionally I have a month where I come a little bit closer using it all up.

Last month I got a note saying that I had used 90% of my data with two days left to go on the plan. So I shut down everything except for my email thinking that I wouldn't use much more data.

Not so.

My phone continued to use data even when the cellular data was turned off. It even used 7 MB of data while I was sleeping in my apartment where we have Wi-Fi.

Wtf? How is that possible?


  1. I had notice the same thing this month. I called the net provider asking if they'd increase data charges. No and they insisted I must be overusing it.

  2. I use one of the "big four" carriers. This may depend on your cellular provider, but there's a bit of a delay in usage vs. billing cycle with mine. In my case, I went on vacation for a few weeks and tethered my phone to my computer. I usually use less than 500 MB per month, but as expected, records indicate that I used a few gigabytes. However, the following billing cycle indicated that I used another 1-2 GB of my baseline even though I had returned home a few days before the previous billing cycle came to an end.

    I wonder if the 7 MB of cellular usage that you noted was also due to a delay on your cellular provider tallying how much you had used. Granted, this assumes you're getting your cellular data usage reports from the wireless provider, and aren't tracking it on the phone.

  3. Maybe your applications are downloading updates for themselves even though they're not "officially" running.

    1. ^ this is probably the culprit. I fall into the fortunate category of "unlimited data" having been grandfathered in some years ago.

  4. Turn on airplane mode and it will turn the data off. You didn't want phone calls anyway did you?

  5. There are a couple of things...turn off the background app refresh. Also, find out how many times it's checking your email or updating your calendar & contacts to the cloud. I found out mine defaulted to checking email/calendar/contacts continuously. Turn off location services to any apps you feel don't need it. I agree with the Anonymous above me, it could up doing updates in the background, and you can disable this. Also, shut down any apps you're not actively using. Lastly, although we think of it as a phone, it is actually a computer, and once in a while you need to shut it all the way off and turn it back on.