Difference between turning off cellular data and turning off roaming

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Eusebius, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2006
    The title says it all: Under network settings in iOS 4 there are separate toggles for turning off roaming and turning off cellular data. What's the difference? If I'm abroad and want to avoid unwanted extravagant charges, I know to turn off roaming. Should I turn off cellular data as well? It seems redundant to me, but there must be a reason for two toggles.

    Also, with the cellular data switched off, is there still GPS positioning?
  2. macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2009
    Turn off both. iOS 4.1 has the fix, it shows the data roaming option only when Cellular data is turned ON.
  3. macrumors 603


    Nov 5, 2009
    Turn them both OFF:
    Cellular data means any data that passes to your phone no matter what network you are on (even your own carrier), so if it's off even while on your network you won't get data services.

    While Data Roaming means that when the phone detects you are in a network that is not the original carrier network (w/ your regular carrier sim card in the phone), the phone knows is in another network and will not permit you to pass data since it know's you are outside of your carrier's limits if you have it OFF.

    Still is best to turn both off! Data abroad is mad expensive!
  4. Idgit, Feb 8, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012

    macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2004
    Resurrecting an old thread.

    In spite of your explanation below, I still don't understand what the difference is and why there are two separate toggles. If I can still be charged exorbitant roaming charges when abroad even if Data Roaming is turned off, then why are there two separate toggles?

    Apparently, even if Cellular Data and Data Roaming are both turned off, you can still receive and make phone calls and send and receive text messages. And if Data Roaming is off, but Cellular Data is on and you're abroad, you still can incur data charges.

    So what types of data is used with data roaming and what data or services are used for cellular data?

  5. macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2011
    Its really simply...

    You turn cellular data off if you just want to stop the internet full stop. Home or abroad. Anywhere infact.

    You keep data roaming off if you don't want to use the internet abroad. It'll automatically cut the data connection off.
  6. macrumors 68000


    Sep 13, 2011
    Phone calls and SMS messages do not use data. This is why they work with Cellular Data off.
  7. macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2004
    I'm missing something here. Maybe it's the booze impairing me.

    If turning off cellular data completely kills internet via 3G, then why have a data roaming toggle at all?

    My understanding is that turning off data roaming is supposed to stop your iPhone from accessing internet (mail, web, etc) and GPS data over 3G when you are travelling outside your own country. However, there are many, many stories of iPhone users being charged extremely high roaming fees even though they had data roaming turned off (but cellular data turned on).

    Why do iPhones need a data roaming toggle when the cellular data toggle is sufficient? Under what circumstances would a person outside their country leave cellular data on but data roaming off?

    It seems to me that the data roaming toggle is non-functional. It's a placebo. It doesn't actually prevent users from being hit by roaming charges.
  8. macrumors demi-god


    Jul 24, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    No need if roaming is off it'll automatically cut data!

    I think why u guys over the pond struggle with this one is because your crappy networks force you to have a data contract. Over here we don't have to so my son has a cheap contract for calls and tots with no data. So his data toggle is set to off.
  9. macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A406 Safari/7534.48.3)

    You have days roaming Off so you don't need to turn data off manually abroad.

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