iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

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iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

Sunday morning, I got a warning text that I had used over 90% of my 2GB cellular data.  I was surprised at that, so I dug through the information, and found something I can't sort out.

I've been using an iPhone 4 since they first came out.  I pulled up my data usage with AT&T online, and over the past year, I have an average data use of 285MB per month, and a peak month of 443MB.

I upgraded to a 4s on October 14, and between that date and November 5, AT&T says that I've used 1967MB in that 3 week span.  I'm using the same apps on my phone, no iCloud synchronization, email set to manual fetch not push, no tethering, I don't listen to music or watch videos on cellular (and rarely on WiFi), and yet somehow I'm suddenly using 6 times more cellular data as was typical before?  My WiFi is set up correctly as home, as I do see the phone switch over to it.  Even then, I mostly use my phone to check email, FaceBook, and text.

 

Things went particular out-of-whack last week, with 414MB on 10/31, 640MB on 11/1, and 687MB on 11/3.

According to the cellular usage in my phone, I've sent 27MB and received 225MB in the same time frame.  I'm included to agree with the phone, as that number is consistent with my standard usage patterns.

I expect some discrepancy between what my phone says I've used and what AT&T says, but 252MB versus 1967MB?

I spent over an hour talking to Apple looking for possible explanations, but the phone was already set correctly.  They handed me off to AT&T, but AT&T only told me that they just know how much data is used, not why, and couldn't explain things.

I've seen a few messages suggesting similar problems.  Has anyone seen similar issues and gone back to try to explain it, only to find similar major discrepancies?

Thanks.

Chris

Message 1 of 99 (26,641 Views)
Scholar

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

[ Edited ]

GeekBoy wrote:

 


I have noted, and reported to Apple, that my iPhone 5 (and at least one other) does *not* keep wifi on when asleep and connected to external power.  My iPhone 4 which has been upgraded to iOS 6 and subsequently iOS 6.0.1  does seem to keep the wifi on when connected to external power, but my iPhone 5 does not.  This can be tested easily by hitting the wake/sleep button on the iPhone 5 after it has been connected to external power and asleep for an hour or so.  For me, the screen comes on immediately showing a 4G connection, which then quickly re-connects to wifi.  On my iPhone 4, the screen comes up immediately connected to wifi.


Yup. Another morning, and another 700kb on my phone, which was on wifi all night.  By the end of the day at work (also on wifi), it will have ticked up another MB or so. I'm guessing I lose 2MB a day from this leakage. Doesn't sound like much, til you figure it happens daily. And on every iphone on my mobile share plan. That's just the leakage while it's asleep.  When I download or update apps, I can SEE data ticking away, while on wifi. At home, at work, at Starbucks....Feel free to have a look for yourself. Check your data, or reset it to zero. Download an app, or udpate your apps on wifi and watch data tick up WHILE on wiifi.

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Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


GeekBoy wrote:

the gryphon wrote:
No idea about the others, but as for me NOT jailbroken. NOt unlocked. Iphone 5 IOS6. Excessive data usage. I predict it will be determined that there's extensive data leakage while the phone is asleep (mine uses several MB overnight) and that wifi isn't working as it should. I just had another huge leap, while on wifi....supposedly...

I have noted, and reported to Apple, that my iPhone 5 (and at least one other) does *not* keep wifi on when asleep and connected to external power.  My iPhone 4 which has been upgraded to iOS 6 and subsequently iOS 6.0.1  does seem to keep the wifi on when connected to external power, but my iPhone 5 does not.  This can be tested easily by hitting the wake/sleep button on the iPhone 5 after it has been connected to external power and asleep for an hour or so.  For me, the screen comes on immediately showing a 4G connection, which then quickly re-connects to wifi.  On my iPhone 4, the screen comes up immediately connected to wifi.


the wifi radio has always switched off when the phone was hibernating and not plugged into the charger, power reduction plan, the cellular radio stays opn for the simple reason it has to for calls to come in. search around this is not a new feature it has been around on the majority of phones for a long long time, including the Iphone 2

Message 77 of 99 (5,491 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


wingrider01 wrote:

GeekBoy wrote:

the gryphon wrote:
No idea about the others, but as for me NOT jailbroken. NOt unlocked. Iphone 5 IOS6. Excessive data usage. I predict it will be determined that there's extensive data leakage while the phone is asleep (mine uses several MB overnight) and that wifi isn't working as it should. I just had another huge leap, while on wifi....supposedly...

I have noted, and reported to Apple, that my iPhone 5 (and at least one other) does *not* keep wifi on when asleep and connected to external power.  My iPhone 4 which has been upgraded to iOS 6 and subsequently iOS 6.0.1  does seem to keep the wifi on when connected to external power, but my iPhone 5 does not.  This can be tested easily by hitting the wake/sleep button on the iPhone 5 after it has been connected to external power and asleep for an hour or so.  For me, the screen comes on immediately showing a 4G connection, which then quickly re-connects to wifi.  On my iPhone 4, the screen comes up immediately connected to wifi.


the wifi radio has always switched off when the phone was hibernating and not plugged into the charger, power reduction plan, the cellular radio stays opn for the simple reason it has to for calls to come in. search around this is not a new feature it has been around on the majority of phones for a long long time, including the Iphone 2


Except he said he is seeing the wifi radio switch off when it is connected to external power. However, what he's seeing I believe does not necessarily mean the wifi radio is shutting down. It could simply mean the wifi connection is being dropped which may or may not be because of the wifi radio being shut down. Whether your wifi radio is on or off, if you are not connected to wifi, then your iphone will display the 4G, LTE or E symbol. I've seen some discussion to suggest this "using data when on wifi" issue is caused because the wifi connection gets dropped on certain wpa2 encrypted routers whcih would also explain why the problem is not universal. Personally, I've not seen this happen with my iphone 5 or my wife's iphone 4 and both have the latest ios.

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 78 of 99 (5,479 Views)
Scholar

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


sandblaster wrote:

wingrider01 wrote:

GeekBoy wrote:

the gryphon wrote:
No idea about the others, but as for me NOT jailbroken. NOt unlocked. Iphone 5 IOS6. Excessive data usage. I predict it will be determined that there's extensive data leakage while the phone is asleep (mine uses several MB overnight) and that wifi isn't working as it should. I just had another huge leap, while on wifi....supposedly...

I have noted, and reported to Apple, that my iPhone 5 (and at least one other) does *not* keep wifi on when asleep and connected to external power.  My iPhone 4 which has been upgraded to iOS 6 and subsequently iOS 6.0.1  does seem to keep the wifi on when connected to external power, but my iPhone 5 does not.  This can be tested easily by hitting the wake/sleep button on the iPhone 5 after it has been connected to external power and asleep for an hour or so.  For me, the screen comes on immediately showing a 4G connection, which then quickly re-connects to wifi.  On my iPhone 4, the screen comes up immediately connected to wifi.


the wifi radio has always switched off when the phone was hibernating and not plugged into the charger, power reduction plan, the cellular radio stays opn for the simple reason it has to for calls to come in. search around this is not a new feature it has been around on the majority of phones for a long long time, including the Iphone 2


Except he said he is seeing the wifi radio switch off when it is connected to external power. However, what he's seeing I believe does not necessarily mean the wifi radio is shutting down. It could simply mean the wifi connection is being dropped which may or may not be because of the wifi radio being shut down. Whether your wifi radio is on or off, if you are not connected to wifi, then your iphone will display the 4G, LTE or E symbol. I've seen some discussion to suggest this "using data when on wifi" issue is caused because the wifi connection gets dropped on certain wpa2 encrypted routers whcih would also explain why the problem is not universal. Personally, I've not seen this happen with my iphone 5 or my wife's iphone 4 and both have the latest ios.

 


I am seeing this WHILE connected to charger and asleep

I am seeing this WHILE connected to charger and downloading apps. In multiple locations on various wifis INCLUDING AT&T wifi and at work on a T3.

Message 79 of 99 (5,472 Views)
Expert

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

[ Edited ]

sandblaster wrote:

wingrider01 wrote:

GeekBoy wrote:

the gryphon wrote:
No idea about the others, but as for me NOT jailbroken. NOt unlocked. Iphone 5 IOS6. Excessive data usage. I predict it will be determined that there's extensive data leakage while the phone is asleep (mine uses several MB overnight) and that wifi isn't working as it should. I just had another huge leap, while on wifi....supposedly...

I have noted, and reported to Apple, that my iPhone 5 (and at least one other) does *not* keep wifi on when asleep and connected to external power.  My iPhone 4 which has been upgraded to iOS 6 and subsequently iOS 6.0.1  does seem to keep the wifi on when connected to external power, but my iPhone 5 does not.  This can be tested easily by hitting the wake/sleep button on the iPhone 5 after it has been connected to external power and asleep for an hour or so.  For me, the screen comes on immediately showing a 4G connection, which then quickly re-connects to wifi.  On my iPhone 4, the screen comes up immediately connected to wifi.


the wifi radio has always switched off when the phone was hibernating and not plugged into the charger, power reduction plan, the cellular radio stays opn for the simple reason it has to for calls to come in. search around this is not a new feature it has been around on the majority of phones for a long long time, including the Iphone 2


Except he said he is seeing the wifi radio switch off when it is connected to external power. However, what he's seeing I believe does not necessarily mean the wifi radio is shutting down. It could simply mean the wifi connection is being dropped which may or may not be because of the wifi radio being shut down. Whether your wifi radio is on or off, if you are not connected to wifi, then your iphone will display the 4G, LTE or E symbol. I've seen some discussion to suggest this "using data when on wifi" issue is caused because the wifi connection gets dropped on certain wpa2 encrypted routers whcih would also explain why the problem is not universal. Personally, I've not seen this happen with my iphone 5 or my wife's iphone 4 and both have the latest ios.

 


interesting will plugin a few lines of code on the ASA5510 firewall to watch the phones MAC address at the house and make sure the phone is plugged in to the charge then check the firewall logs from overnight. Curious to see if Apple messed this up also on the IOS build

Message 80 of 99 (5,447 Views)
Highlighted
Scholar

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

I called AT&T today, again. I was simultaneously given a credit for the overage, and told there wasn't an issue, and did I know how to turn wifi on. Smiley Tongue

Message 81 of 99 (5,377 Views)
Contributor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

[ Edited ]

My daughter's iPhone 5 which she just got for Christmas maxed out my 1G plan btween Dec 25th and the end of the month.  I thought maybe she's just downloading apps and getting the feel of it.  Now, here is January and the data is already maxed out.  Looked at her usage online and it is not her "using" data.  She's just getting hosed down for it.  Verizon had a fix for it.  ATT&T would rather rake in some more cash.

 

[Edited to comply with Guidelines]

Message 82 of 99 (4,792 Views)
Professor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

[ Edited ]

PJENKS wrote:

My daughter's iPhone 5 which she just got for Christmas maxed out my 1G plan btween Dec 25th and the end of the month.  I thought maybe she's just downloading apps and getting the feel of it.  Now, here is January and the data is already maxed out.  Looked at her usage online and it is not her "using" data.  She's just getting hosed down for it.  Verizon had a fix for it.  ATT&T would rather rake in some more cash. 


How have you determined she isn't "using" data?  Any data transfered to or from the phone through AT&Ts cell network is use.  For billing purposes, AT&T normally bills the total aggregate of a days activities at one time (usually around 2 am) instead of each individual use.  That doesn't mean it's wrong, that's jsut how it's presented.  Verizon didn't "fix" anything.  Apple fixed Apple's own software for the Verizon phones.  As CDMA is different, there is no indication that the "bug" that affects Verizon's CDMA phones is any way relatable to AT&Ts GSM phones.  If there is a problem with AT&T's iPhones, it's up to Apple to fix it, so people should be asking Apple for a fix.

 

Have you or your daughtert checked what your iPhone is actually doing?  Looked at the settings and seen what apps are open, what apps are set to constantly connect and check status, iCloud usage, SIRI usage, check push email settings, and so on?  The data usage on my iPhone 5 has been about the same as on my previous 4 and 4S.  I typically use 600-800 MB a month and only twice have I gone over 1GB, and then only slightly.  It is almost certain that your daughter's iPhone is actually using the data.

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Master

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

[ Edited ]

PJENKS wrote:

My daughter's iPhone 5 which she just got for Christmas maxed out my 1G plan btween Dec 25th and the end of the month.  I thought maybe she's just downloading apps and getting the feel of it.  Now, here is January and the data is already maxed out.  Looked at her usage online and it is not her "using" data.  She's just getting hosed down for it.  Verizon had a fix for it.  ATT&T would rather rake in some more cash.

 

[Edited to comply with Guidelines]


You really need to look at her data usage and ensure she is running the most current version of the iOS software make sure any data usage bugs that may exist are taken care of.

 

  • Streaming music
  • Streaming Video (Big offender) 
  • Apps that interact with Game Center or other internet servers
  • Lots of email
  • downloading/updating apps that are just under to cap for requireing wifi
  • Make sure wifi is turned on and she uses it when a hotspot is available.

Try turning off the cellular data for awhile and see what apps are asking for access when she is not on wifi.  You may be surprised.  Settings>General>Cellular>Cellular Data>On/Off.

 

I am sorry but ATT and others have their faults but excessive data usage usually occurrs between the seat cushion and the touch screen.

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Expert

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


youngjm wrote:

PJENKS wrote:

My daughter's iPhone 5 which she just got for Christmas maxed out my 1G plan btween Dec 25th and the end of the month.  I thought maybe she's just downloading apps and getting the feel of it.  Now, here is January and the data is already maxed out.  Looked at her usage online and it is not her "using" data.  She's just getting hosed down for it.  Verizon had a fix for it.  ATT&T would rather rake in some more cash.

 

[Edited to comply with Guidelines]


You really need to look at her data usage and ensure she is running the most current version of the iOS software make sure any data usage bugs that may exist are taken care of.

 

  • Streaming music
  • Streaming Video (Big offender) 
  • Apps that interact with Game Center or other internet servers
  • Lots of email
  • downloading/updating apps that are just under to cap for requireing wifi
  • Make sure wifi is turned on and she uses it when a hotspot is available.

Try turning off the cellular data for awhile and see what apps are asking for access when she is not on wifi.  You may be surprised.  Settings>General>Cellular>Cellular Data>On/Off.

 

I am sorry but ATT and others have their faults but excessive data usage usually occurrs between the seat cushion and the touch screen.


don't forget

Icloud data transmissions

facebook . twitter auto updates

 

these can be especially hunger since even when the phone is connected to wifi it and most othe smartphones turn off the wifi radio to conserve power when it is hibernating at your desk, in your pocket / purse and not plugged into a charger

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Contributor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

I'm having the exact same problem except mine will send 19,354 KB of data five or six times in a 3-4 hours period. 

 

I've exceeded by data usage three months running because of this and now I realize it's both phones on my plan and they are both doing it. 

 

I'm going to AT&T tonight and see what I can do about this. 

 

Will let you know. 

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Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


logab wrote:

I'm having the exact same problem except mine will send 19,354 KB of data five or six times in a 3-4 hours period. 

 

I've exceeded by data usage three months running because of this and now I realize it's both phones on my plan and they are both doing it. 

 

I'm going to AT&T tonight and see what I can do about this. 

 

Will let you know. 


download the data tracking app by Onavo Mobile Ltd. review the terms of service and install it. Let it track data for about a week and it will tell you what apps are running that are using data

Message 87 of 99 (3,023 Views)

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

Hey guys. I have this problem and I have solutions.

 

I'm on Verizon, but this is a universal.

 

First of all, I'd wage that 90% of you have an email in your outbox that is trying to send, and for one reason or another, can't. From my research on other sites, most people have this problem. If your mail server is set to retry all outbound mail, a failed recipient could cost you a few GB in DAYS.

 

So check your outbox and maintain your settings.

 


Now, for me- its a totally different story. My iPhone has been infected and is part of a spam botnet.

 

You: B-b-but iPhones can't...

Me: Yes, they can. They are simply computers and most computers have security holes, though Apple is known for having more robust security than some of its competitors (cough*Android*cough) it is still vulnerable to ingenious attacks.

 

I have an application called Onavo which claims to 'compress data'. It does this by routing my outbound requests to their servers, where they complete the network request, obtain the response, trim the fat, and return whats left. Doing so gives them insight into who is making what requests, and they share this info in their app.

 

Looking at my network usage data from Onavo, I see that "com.busuu.japanese.a" (its cut off after 'a') is a frequent in the list. Looking further I see that it used 50MB in May. Then 200MB in June. Then 900MB in the first half of July.

Somethings wrong.

 

Busuu is a London-based language learning service that seems pretty innocuous, but a lot of websites employ a marketing tactic called affiliate marketing which pays people when they provide links to the site. My guess is that some crafty rogue hacker has found a way to penetrate iPhones and make money by having the phones constantly ping Busuu. This could be very wrong, and its only a hypothesis. So don't take any of this paragraph as fact.

 

As for how this got on my phone, I have no idea. My phone is not jailbroken and everything is downloaded from the app store (though it is possible to slip malware under Apple's nose). I have used Chinese (ebay) wall chargers and cords, which multiple sites (http://www.slashgear.com/iphone-vulnerable-to-hacking-with-malware-infested-charger-03284671/) claim is a possible source of malware.

 

QUESTION TO EVERYONE: How many of you with this problem use non-Apple chargers?

 

My advice to you: Clear your outbox. Make sure you haven't tried to send an email to a broken address.

If that makes no difference, install Onavo (or any app that shows you data usage AND THE PROCESSES using the data) and wait a week to see who is clogging up your line.

If you are about to hit your monthly limit (as I am), do a clean restore, NOT from a backup.

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Contributor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

The problem most likley is that in settings->general->cellular, cellular data is set to "on".  If that is the case then even when you are home and connected to your wifi network, whenever you do something like use the internet or check out a youtube video, it will do so over AT&T's cellular network instead of your wifi connection.  You have to set it to "off" to avoid this.  The problem is that every time you go out and are no longer connected to a wifi network, you have to set cellular data to on in order to use e-mail, a web browser, facebook, youtube, etc....

 

 

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Professor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


ggandol6 wrote:

The problem most likley is that in settings->general->cellular, cellular data is set to "on".  If that is the case then even when you are home and connected to your wifi network, whenever you do something like use the internet or check out a youtube video, it will do so over AT&T's cellular network instead of your wifi connection.  You have to set it to "off" to avoid this.  The problem is that every time you go out and are no longer connected to a wifi network, you have to set cellular data to on in order to use e-mail, a web browser, facebook, youtube, etc....

 

 


This is not true:

 

"when you are home and connected to your wifi network, whenever you do something like use the internet or check out a youtube video, it will do so over AT&T's cellular network instead of your wifi connection"

 

While I think there are a few functions that use only cellular data, surfing the internet, checking email, and Youtube will use wifi as long as you are truely connected to wifi.  Only if you lose the wifi connection will the phone revert to using cell data.  While turning off the cell data will stop the phone from using cell data, if you are still using cell data while connected to wifi, there is something else going on because that's not how the phone is supposed to work.

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