250MB/month question

ks-man

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 25, 2007
726
9
How much usage is 250MB/month in real terms? I'm specifically thinking about for browsing web pages, checking e-mail and other basic internet tasks. Assuming you won't be downloading movies and other intensive tasks over 3G, is 250MB/month a decent amount of usage?

If I do get one of these eventually I doubt I would get the 3G plan but if 250MB/month would allow for browsing and e-mailing without worrying about overages I might consider it.

Thanks.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,857
30,379
Boston
Halfway through the billing cycle, my wife's data usage is a 100meg. She uses the iPhone for surfing way more then I do and I see that she may be able to fit into that category.

She's surfs the web, does her facebook stuff, does lots of emails, etc. She's on it quite a lot.

If you're not doing a lot of youtube videos or other high bandwidth stuff, its quite possible to easily live within the 250meg category.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
I've never hit 250gb/m even while traveling for 2 weeks out of the month (which suggests I am using more 3G data than ever).
 

Bonsai1214

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2008
585
10
Penfield, NY
i can't see daily web browsing or usage taking up 250mb. and odds are, there's wifi somewhere in your day, so you can probably switch over to that. my friend says that once you go 3g, you won't want to go back to wireless g. but seeing as there's wireless n in the ipad, i don't know what kind of a speed difference we're talking about.
 

Vandam500

macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2008
1,822
41
i can't see daily web browsing or usage taking up 250mb. and odds are, there's wifi somewhere in your day, so you can probably switch over to that. my friend says that once you go 3g, you won't want to go back to wireless g. but seeing as there's wireless n in the ipad, i don't know what kind of a speed difference we're talking about.
Your friend says once you go 3G you never go back to wireless g? Is he serious? Your friend is 1 of 2 things. A idiot or has incredibly slow wifi.
 

Bonsai1214

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2008
585
10
Penfield, NY
Your friend says once you go 3G you never go back to wireless g? Is he serious? Your friend is 1 of 2 things. A idiot or has incredibly slow wifi.
yeah, that's what i thought when she said that. ;) wiki says ~11mbit/s which is like 1.3 Mb/s at most. wireless G is also roughly that speed. but with wireless N, speeds should significantly pick up.
 

ks-man

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 25, 2007
726
9
I saw I was at 45MB for my iPhone this month which is pretty hard to believe since I barely use it for browsing. I did receive a bunch of e-mails with pictures this month. I don't know if the iPhone (or iPad) automatically downloads those pictures. If it does, than I could see being up there for usage.

I would see using the iPad way more for browsing than my iPhone.
 

mrgreen4242

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
4,352
1
yeah, that's what i thought when she said that. ;) wiki says ~11mbit/s which is like 1.3 Mb/s at most. wireless G is also roughly that speed. but with wireless N, speeds should significantly pick up.
.11b is 11mbit/s. G is 54mbit. There is NO comparing the speed of wifi to 3G. The internet connection feeding the wireless network is another story of course.

To the OPs question, 250mb per month, based on my usage with a Palm Pre, is continuos email checkin/calendar syncing, some light web browsing (checking wikipedia and IMDB, reading a couple news headlines, etc) most days, and sending/receiving a couple photos each month.
 

amitdoc2b

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2008
872
12
I typically use 150mb per month and I use my iPhone a lot. That being said, what's the big deal even if you get the 250mb plan? There's no contract and it's pre-paid, so if you run out there's no overage. You can simply just pay for unlimited in the future at $30/month.

How much usage is 250MB/month in real terms? I'm specifically thinking about for browsing web pages, checking e-mail and other basic internet tasks. Assuming you won't be downloading movies and other intensive tasks over 3G, is 250MB/month a decent amount of usage?

If I do get one of these eventually I doubt I would get the 3G plan but if 250MB/month would allow for browsing and e-mailing without worrying about overages I might consider it.

Thanks.
 

ks-man

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 25, 2007
726
9
I typically use 150mb per month and I use my iPhone a lot. That being said, what's the big deal even if you get the 250mb plan? There's no contract and it's pre-paid, so if you run out there's no overage. You can simply just pay for unlimited in the future at $30/month.
If you run out in a month do they:
a) cut you off for the rest of the month
b) charge you $30 instead of $15 for the month you go over
c) charge you inflated usage rates for the remainder of the month like minutes in a cell plan?

But either way, I wouldn't be interested in adding $360/yr to the price of this device. If $15/month meant that I could browse the web and check e-mail as much as I'd like (not unlimited or unrealistic, but a normal amount for what I would use the device), I'd consider adding the 3G plan if I did buy this. That is why I think it is a big deal.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,680
1,183
New Zealand
.11b is 11mbit/s. G is 54mbit. There is NO comparing the speed of wifi to 3G. The internet connection feeding the wireless network is another story of course.
Indeed, the incoming connection plays a big role; I'm a long way from the phone exchange so my wired broadband is only 3 Mb/s. It's therefore faster to use HSPA.

I'm currently on a 120 MB plan and have only exceeded that once. I'm using a Sony phone and frequently tether it to my laptop. General browsing doesn't really use too many MB, it's just downloads and videos that chew it up.
 

coolbreeze

macrumors 68000
Jan 20, 2003
1,752
1,409
UT
Wouldn't this use more bandwidth because the screen is larger?

As in if I tether my mac to my iPhone, isn't the data usage greater? If not, why do carriers freak out at the concept of tethering?

Oh, BTW, you think ATT's network is overloaded now...:) Just wait...

Maybe the 90 day release hold on the 3G is because Verizon is getting the iPhone and ATT is hoping everyone leaves them for Verizon, freeing up bandwidth.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,680
1,183
New Zealand
Screen size has nothing to do with bandwidth use. The reason that AT&T doesn't want you tethering a laptop is due to functionality; for example a laptop has the ability to download big files while an iPhone doesn't even have a general-purpose download function.
 

mrgreen4242

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
4,352
1
Indeed, the incoming connection plays a big role; I'm a long way from the phone exchange so my wired broadband is only 3 Mb/s. It's therefore faster to use HSPA.

I'm currently on a 120 MB plan and have only exceeded that once. I'm using a Sony phone and frequently tether it to my laptop. General browsing doesn't really use too many MB, it's just downloads and videos that chew it up.
Meh, 3mb DSL will feel faster than 3G almost any day of the week. Ya, 3G CAN go up to 7.2mb, but most of the cell network doesn't support that sort of data, especially if you are far enough from you phone center to have DSL speed limitations. Most of the time 3G is in the 2 to 4mb/s range TOPS, and then you add on 10x the latency of DSL and it feels much slower than even a slowish DSL connection.
 

mackmgg

macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2007
1,393
3
Well its not for me, I just checked with AT&T, and I used 250.28MB this month :p My max when on vacation was 2GB in one month though :/
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,680
1,183
New Zealand
Meh, 3mb DSL will feel faster than 3G almost any day of the week. Ya, 3G CAN go up to 7.2mb, but most of the cell network doesn't support that sort of data, especially if you are far enough from you phone center to have DSL speed limitations. Most of the time 3G is in the 2 to 4mb/s range TOPS, and then you add on 10x the latency of DSL and it feels much slower than even a slowish DSL connection.
AT&T's network isn't as good as Telecom NZ's :)

I get about 4.5 Mb/s and the latency is low enough to run World of Warcraft and Ventrilo on it. I'm sure that it'd be even faster if I had an HSPA+ capable device.
 

Luba

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2009
1,206
174
I find 3G on iPhone slow and try to avoid it, I imagine iPad with 3G just as slow. Don't know how fast 4G will be here in US, but hear it's a significant upgrade. So for me, it's a Wifi only iPad for now, and a Wfi + 4G in the future. I know this means paying probably $15/day for Wifi in a hotel though. :( If my need for 3G internet increases significantly, I guess I will have to pay even more for a MiFi plan, but at least other devices can use the Wifi.
 

MTI

macrumors 65816
Feb 17, 2009
1,106
6
Scottsdale, AZ
The 4G/LTE future is here in some markets and it seems even the cable companies are jumping in. One has to wonder if there'll soon be 4G "MiFi" devices to provide mobile hotspots with faster connections.
 

goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
5,546
1,898
long island NY
Wouldn't this use more bandwidth because the screen is larger?

As in if I tether my mac to my iPhone, isn't the data usage greater? If not, why do carriers freak out at the concept of tethering?

Oh, BTW, you think ATT's network is overloaded now...:) Just wait...

Maybe the 90 day release hold on the 3G is because Verizon is getting the iPhone and ATT is hoping everyone leaves them for Verizon, freeing up bandwidth.
version is getting anything :apple: trust me;)
 

marksman

macrumors 603
Jun 4, 2007
5,763
5
I have downloaded like 2.2 gigs of data on my 3g phone and I have had it since it came out. I am not sure how long it is, but I seem to be on average under 250 megs every month.

However, a bigger screen is going to likely mean a desire for more high density content.
 

longshadows

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2007
6
0
GPS anyone?

Another point to keep in mind is that only with the 3G model of the iPad will you get the GPS features. Important, if you want the mapping, compass and the associated location functions. So, if it's like the iPhone, you don't even have to use the cellular network to have the functionality, but it's there. So, if you are careful and don't stream your favorite radio station 24/7, you can keep your usage below 250 MBs. (Use your iPhone with the unlimited data plan for those data intensive applications.)