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View Full Version : How do you check data usage on iPad if you have unlimited plan?




medgirl2001
Jun 4, 2010, 09:21 AM
Does anyone know how to check data usage if you are using an iPad 3G with AT&T's unlimited plan? I had the 250 MB plan the first month and it showed how much data I used during the month, but there's no way to go back and look at it. I switched to the unlimited plan a week ago, but it doesn't show how much data I've used, nor does it show data for past months. With all of these changes in the data plans, that would be useful information. I can't figure out a way to sign up at the website to view information for an iPad account, and the apps for this all require an AT&T account with password.

It is possible to check data sent/received through Settings/General on the iPad, but I doubt the accuracy of that. Or at least, I'm not sure it matches with how AT&T calculates data, which is the more important thing. The amount that it's telling me is off by quite a bit from the last data usage AT&T told me I used before switching plans.



jamone13
Jun 4, 2010, 10:25 AM
Settings->General->Usage

Cellular Network Data.

You should reset at the end of each month so you can see how much usage you have used.

medgirl2001
Jun 4, 2010, 11:03 AM
Settings->General->Usage

Cellular Network Data.

You should reset at the end of each month so you can see how much usage you have used.

I know about that, but I'm not sure it's accurate. I think it underestimates what AT&T is counting. Last month when I was on the 250 MB plan, I had fewer than 99 MB remaining the last time I checked AT&T's numbers. Currently the usage on my iPad is 14.4 MB sent/ 83.3 MB received. I haven't reset it, so that's for the first billing cycle and a week of the new billing cycle. So my iPad says I've used 97.7 MB, but AT&T said I used at least 151 MB (actually much more, since that doesn't count the last week and a half). Now that I'm on the unlimited plan, I can't analyze the discrepancy since I don't have any idea of how much data AT&T thinks I've used.

My guess about this is that the iPad usage is reporting exactly what's been used. I wouldn't be surprised if AT&T is doing a lot of rounding, since that's what they do for pay-as-you-go data for phones that don't have data plans. For example, maybe you could use a few kilobytes and they round it to at least a megabyte for a data session. Depending on how they round, it could make a big difference. In my case, it looks like it was at the very least 50 MB and likely quite a bit more, which would be significant on a 200 or 250 MB data plan. I don't know for sure that AT&T is doing this, but I wish they would be more transparent about how they are calculating data for the iPad. I also wish they would let you view past months.

I currently have the $30 unlimited plan and now probably will hold on to it until AT&T forces me to change, but I'd love to know how much data I'm actually using, since it may be that the unlimited plan isn't necessary for me. I had planned to go back and forth between the 250 MB/unlimited plans as needed (and as they advertised I'd be able to do), but now if I want to have unlimited I can't let it go or I'll lose it..

jamone13
Jun 4, 2010, 11:12 AM
I know about that, but I'm not sure it's accurate. I think it underestimates what AT&T is counting. Last month when I was on the 250 MB plan, I had fewer than 99 MB remaining the last time I checked AT&T's numbers. Currently the usage on my iPad is 14.4 MB sent/ 83.3 MB received. I haven't reset it, so that's for the first billing cycle and a week of the new billing cycle. So my iPad says I've used 97.7 MB, but AT&T said I used at least 151 MB (actually much more, since that doesn't count the last week and a half). Now that I'm on the unlimited plan, I can't analyze the discrepancy since I don't have any idea of how much data AT&T thinks I've used.

My guess about this is that the iPad usage is reporting exactly what's been used. I wouldn't be surprised if AT&T is doing a lot of rounding, since that's what they do for pay-as-you-go data for phones that don't have data plans. For example, maybe you could use a few kilobytes and they round it to at least a megabyte for a data session. Depending on how they round, it could make a big difference. In my case, it looks like it was at the very least 50 MB and likely quite a bit more, which would be significant on a 200 or 250 MB data plan. I don't know for sure that AT&T is doing this, but I wish they would be more transparent about how they are calculating data for the iPad. I also wish they would let you view past months.

I currently have the $30 unlimited plan and now probably will hold on to it until AT&T forces me to change, but I'd love to know how much data I'm actually using, since it may be that the unlimited plan isn't necessary for me. I had planned to go back and forth between the 250 MB/unlimited plans as needed (and as they advertised I'd be able to do), but now if I want to have unlimited I can't let it go or I'll lose it..


Hm, that does sound like it could cause problems for people. I'm hanging onto my unlimited plan either way. My iPhone will be fine saving $5 a month for the 2 GB plan though.

medgirl2001
Jun 4, 2010, 11:14 AM
Hm, that does sound like it could cause problems for people. I'm hanging onto my unlimited plan either way. My iPhone will be fine saving $5 a month for the 2 GB plan though.

Yeah, I think 2 GB for the iPhone is probably all right (unless you tether), but for the iPad it could be a problem.

I think 2GB isn't as much as people think it is, or as AT&T wants us to think, especially with potential video chat on the horizon. Personally, I've never approached it on the iPhone (don't know about iPad as I haven't had it long enough), but I don't want to have to worry about it.

ari dubov
Sep 28, 2010, 11:52 PM
I also have the 3G unlimited plan and wanted to know defintive usage, since i want to get another iPad and was wandering if I am better off using a WiFi hot spot device, so I can review which item is best for me.

SVT Amateur
Sep 29, 2010, 06:52 AM
I also have the 3G unlimited plan and wanted to know defintive usage, since i want to get another iPad and was wandering if I am better off using a WiFi hot spot device, so I can review which item is best for me.

I don't believe there is really any definitive way to know how much usage you are using while on the unlimited plan. I personally just reset the usage counter whenever my new billing period starts (I always get an email about the day before saying my debit card has been charged and that my new cycle starts on this specific day).

I know some people have said the counter is inaccurate and that AT&T tends to show that you use more usage than what is shown on the usage counter on the iPad. I guess I could do a test with my iPhone since I'm on a 2 GB plan and my cycle just started over today on it and let you know the results.

reckless2k2
Sep 29, 2010, 03:11 PM
I'm right there with the others here. I just reset each month when I get the billing notice. That's the only way to track or view it.

bowlerman625
Sep 29, 2010, 03:22 PM
It would be nice if this was available on the ATT website.

richimages
Apr 20, 2011, 03:20 PM
This is kind of off topic to this post .. but seems to be the right people to ask this question:

I had the original iPad on unlimited plan. Bought iPad 2, and followed the instructions from ATT rep to switch the sim cards. ( I did that before initiating a 3G plan on the new iPad 2).

So all went well. My iPad 2 picked right up with my original unlimited plan.

But, my iPad original ... with the new sim card in it ... showed 3G antena strength, and had 3G service. What was going on?

Did I only have the remainder of the current cycle's plan on the device? Could I have had unlimited data on both iPads?

Since I was selling my original iPad .... I did a reset to return it to factory settings .... however, when helping the buyers set up 3G on the device, I saw an option again, USE EXISTING PLAN or START A NEW PLAN.

That made me nervous ... they started a plan of their own on their credit card, and it seems that the option went away.

BUT, I'd like to know more details about all of this .... others have similar experiences? Thanks for sharing.