iPad Being Charged Data Usage While On Wi-Fi

Discussion in 'iPad' started by iMas70, May 24, 2013.

  1. iMas70 macrumors 6502a

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    MA
    #1
    I noticed this last month, called AT&T about it but nothing was really figured out. When I looked at the data usage for my iPad, it seemed a lot higher than what is used. I take it with me when I got out sometimes, surf the web, e-mail and Facebook sometimes and once in a while use a navigation program but it's not like I sit and watch movies or programs. My kids will watch shows once in awhile but that's usually only about 30 minutes at a time, maybe 2-3 times while we are out some weeks (if that).

    This month I was also thinking that usage was high. Especially for the amount that it was used outside the house. I watch my iPhone usage monthly. That gets a lot of use and I've only broken 3GB once and that was really trying.

    I checked my iPad usage yesterday a couple of days ago and saw that it was around 21xx. Ok, plenty of data left. I checked it yesterday morning and saw that it was around 2500. Statement closes on the 27th so I'm good. Today I get a message that said I was at 27xx. Then a few hours later I received one that say it went over my 3GB allowance for the month. How did that happen?

    So I checked my account to looked at data use for the last few days. Today, my kids used it from about 3:20 to about 4:00 at the latest while we were out (watching a show). We were home the rest of the time and they were using it in the house. Between 4:00 and 5:15, I'm showing 481MB of use. It was on WiFi! Also, at 1:37 today it showed 97 MB of use. I was in the shower and the iPad didn't leave the house until about 2:05.

    Looking at yesterday, there was 112KB of use while I was home and the day before that there was a ton of data transfers while I was home and on WiFi. Like at 12:43am, while I was sleeping, while I was out and the iPad was home, ect, ect.

    Has anyone experienced this or have any ideas? I called AT&T but they were closed so I'm going to call tomorrow. My phone gets a lot more use both at home and outside of the home and it doesn't come close to using the data that the iPad is showing.
     
  2. Internaut macrumors 6502a

    #2
    I've never seen or heard of an issue like this with any device of any kind. If you remove your SIM card, does data over WiFi work?
     
  3. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Don't know but I did turn off cell data after I saw all this last night.
     
  4. Internaut macrumors 6502a

    #4
    Ok..... So I assume the iPad is happily surfing the interwebs with cellular switched off? If yes, I'd suggest having a chat with Apple about it.
     
  5. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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  6. ramram55 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #6
    It is clearly a case of someone having a good time with your data plan, call At&t, stopped the scam. You mentioned some activities occur at midnight, sound suspicious.
    I recalled few years ago, when at&t have the phone charging me over $900 a month for 3 months, someone calling midnight internationally using my home phone, I have to get thru a lot of hassle to clear my account.
    I told them I would have to know a lot of languages to communicate with the outside world, it was used in Europe and S America, that way I could open an international language school.
    Make sure you have the cellular feature switch off at home, out side you turn it on.
    The cellular feature should not be used when wi fi is being used. Another words, even with cellular feature turn on wifi overrides it, when at home.
    Sure something is wrong here.
     
  7. ckc macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    #7
    Are you aware that the iPad and iPhone disconnects itself from wifi a few seconds after it goes into sleep mode unless the device is connected to a power source.

    So although you may think that you are still connected that will not always be so and any app that tries to use data when it is in sleep mode will switch to using cellular data.

    The same goes if the wifi drops for a second, if the device loses the connection it will switch to cellular, it does not automatically switch back until the application is closed.

    There are many threads on the subject on the Apple forums, the reason for the devices acting this way is according to Apple a power saving function, which is why it does not go into sleep mode when connected to a power source.
     
  8. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    MA
    #8
    Hum... I contacted AT&T and talked to a few people there. Nobody really had an answer but the last person suggested that I download Onavo to monitor app usage and see what is using the most data. So I did that and will see what's going on.

    Maybe I should switch off cellular data when I get home? I don't think that I should have to but if it helps with this problem I will. My phone pretty much has all over the same programs on it and it doesn't even come close to using the same data.

    I was thinking that maybe it's Netflix. My kids watch programs on that on the way to my house after school (30 mins) and then while going to their Mom's house (30 mins). They might do that about 5, maybe 6 hours per month. From what I can find, data usage for that is -

    HD is where you get killed. Lowest one is 1.25MB/minute, best is 1.8MB/min, so anywhere from 75-110MB/hour.

    So that would be less than 1GB per month for them.

    I use my phone a lot at times and had to really put effort into breaking 3 GB last month. If I remember correctly, using Pandora and a navigation program along with Facebook once in awhile (all at the same time) used about 175 MB per hour. So if they used 1GB, and that's pushing it, I don't know where the other 2GB went because I know that I didn't use that much data.
     
  9. charlituna macrumors G3

    charlituna

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #9
    Two things to look at

    1. Are you sure it was connect to wifi and not just showing the icon cause it knows there is wifi

    2. Are you on the latest software? There was a bug in the original version of iOS 6 that wasn't totally solved until 6.1.

    If you are on the latest software then you may have some old data floating around mucking things up. You'll want to restore the iPad back to factory and either set it up as new (best move) or off an iCloud. I wouldn't recommend a itunes backup based on doing that when I had the same issue and it wasn't totally fixed so whatever was mucked up was apparently in the backup.

    ----------

    Hmm, if they are doing that every day then that's more like 25 hours a month. That would explain major data use.
     
  10. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    MA
    #10
    I'm not positive that it was connected to WiFi but the symbol comes on when I get home so I presume that it's connected. I've done speed tests once in awhile and they are on par with my WiFi connection speed.

    The only update that I haven't done is the last one. I've thought about jailbreaking the iPad and I won't be able to do it if I download that one.

    My kids only watch programs on it when I pick them up from school on Fridays then when we goto their mom's on Sunday. Those trips along with other times that we are out might add up to about 5-6 hours. They don't use it all the time while we are in the car and sometimes they are playing games instead of watching programs.

    I do more on my phone while I'm out and barely break 2GB. It's usually about 1.5.

    One thing I could do is use the phone for everything and leave the iPad home for one billing cycle. Then see what happens. I don't really want to do that but it would tell me what's going on.

    To bad we can't see real time data usage. Not possible though. The last time I spoke with a rep at AT&T, she told me that it takes time for some data to report. So something that is used at noon for example might not show up until later that day or the next day.
     
  11. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #11
    I have an app called DataMan Pro. It tracks both cell and wifi usage. I just looked and it's now $9.99 (glad I picked it up when it was a lot cheaper). So you may not want to get it but it does track usage so you could tell if and when the cell usage too place. I've found it pretty valuable. But it is expensive now, guess a lot of folks like it.
     
  12. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I'm going to keep an eye on that one to see if it goes on sale. My new billing cycle starts today so I reset the program that I'm using and will see how accurate it is.
     
  13. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #13
    Your best bet is to turn off the cellular radio when you're not using the device outside your home.

    There is really no reason to leave it on, unlike on an iPhone where you would miss calls and texts.
     
  14. Geekbabe macrumors 6502a

    Geekbabe

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    #14
    Netflix is most likely your data drain, I do believe that once you start watching a movie you get hit with the entire data cost of that movie even if you don't finish watching it.
     
  15. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I guess I just expect it to work like its supposed to and automatically go between cellular and wifi. I've had cellular turned off a few days. Any usage from before should be caught up so I'm going to turn it on at home tonight and see what happens.

    ----------

    I'd be very surprised if that is the case. I believe usage is just based on data that is actually used. Netflix does use a lot though.
     
  16. charlituna macrumors G3

    charlituna

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    #16
    He could be more or less right. Streaming apps often buffer ahead (so it doesn't pause and jerk in playback) so even if you stop at half way, it might have loaded more of the video than that
     
  17. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Good point. I didn't think about that. I turned cellular on today and haven't taken the iPad out since I did that. Time to watch it.
     
  18. AmyK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    #18
    Ok I admit I didn't read all the responses... but...

    I was watching a tv show (streaming) on my ipad mini on the 1st day of my billing cycle... sitting in my living room on wifi within 6 feet of the freaking router and up pops a warning that I have used a stupid amount of data in less than an hour (ok not really the words of the warning, to be fair I didn't read it at all). After my show is done I realize that I used 200 mb of my 250 on the FIRST day of the billing cycle... I was so mad!

    I never gave it a second thought that it could be anything other than a lost wifi signal, so from then on I just made sure that I turn off my cellular unless I'm going to us it, I watched my data like a hawk and I was within 10 mb but not over at the end of the billing cycle and I still got charged for going over, I called and after much arguing I got a credit, but they still kept telling me I went over, very frustrating.
     
  19. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I checked my AT&T account for iPad data usage last night. 76 KB so far -

    5/26 - 10:41pm - 1 KB

    5/30 - 12:40am - 9 KB

    5/30 - 1:55am - 66 KB

    The times really don't matter because it take a little while for the date usage to catch up and post to the account. Cellular was turned off if my iPad left the house this week. I turned it on in the house on the morning of the 29th but wasn't online that much. I think the test will be this weekend. I think I'll have cellular turned off when I pick up my kids. They can play games on it but if they want to watch a movie in the car, they can use my phone. But I'll turn it on at home so they can watch Netflix on it while in the house. Then I will be able to see if it using cell data while on Wifi.
     
  20. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    MA
    #20
    I think it's time for me to visit an Apple store. As I mentioned yesterday I had cellular turned off when I picked up my kids yesterday. I turned it on when we got home to see what would happen. It was used on Netflix a little (mostly between 4 and 6pm) but overall the iPad wasn't used much yesterday because we went out last night. I just logged into my account and saw all of this posted.

    06/01 01:57 AM broadband Internet/MEdia Net Sent 27 KB

    05/31 06:09 PM broadband Internet/MEdia Net Sent 3615 KB

    05/31 05:56 PM broadband Internet/MEdia Net Sent 164063 KB

    05/31 05:40 PM broadband Internet/MEdia Net Sent 273475 KB

    05/31 05:26 PM broadband Internet/MEdia Net Sent 253910 KB

    05/31 05:13 PM broadband Internet/MEdia Net Sent 234389 KB

    05/31 05:00 PM broadband Internet/MEdia Net Sent 244543 KB

    05/31 04:45 PM broadband Internet/MEdia Net Sent 273468 KB

    05/31 04:09 PM broadband Internet/MEdia Net Sent 39065 KB

    1.4 GB has been used already! I think there is a problem. Remember, we were home during this time, went out without the iPad later and it hasn't been used outside of a Wifi connection since the beginning of the billing cycle earlier in the week.

    I just checked Onavo, the program that I downloaded to keep track of data. It shows Video/Audio use of 1.36GB. I thought that would be Netflix but scrolling down it shows Netflix use as 7.23MB.

    I think it's time to turn cellular off until this is taken care of.
     
  21. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #21
    Are you sure it's connected to your WiFi? It looks like the wifi might has dropped and the iPad switched to cellular data. Personally I never turn on my cell data unless I'm out and about and wifi isn't available (or it's a public wifi that I don't want to use because I'm doing banking or shopping etc).
     
  22. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    MA
    #22
    Cellular was on. I turned it on when we got home then turned it off this morning when I saw how high the data usage was.

    I spoke with AT&T this evening. The rep recommended backing up the iPad, deleting everything then restoring it to see if that changes anything. I also have an appointment at an Apple Store Monday morning.

    Everything used to work fine. Cellular to Wifi to cellular automatically. No outrageous usage. I started noticing the iPad data usage going higher a couple of months ago but it wasn't being used anymore than normal. And then all of that usage while we were home yesterday. That really showed that there is something wrong.
     
  23. iMas70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 4, 2012
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    MA
    #23
    Went to the Apple Store today. I did a Cloud backup last night so we set it up as a new device. I downloaded a few programs including Netflix. I have a movie running now to see if that cellular data or Wifi. Then we'll know if it's an issue with the iPad or problem with one of the programs.

    If it doesn't pull cellular data, I'll restore it and see what that does. If it's fine, then I'm all set. If it starts pulling cellular data after it's restored, then I'll have to figure it out.
     
  24. outie2k macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #24
    Just a FYI, I had issue with unknown data usage recently and was told that the timestamp reported on the AT&T usage page is not tied to actual usage at that time. That means if you see data usage at 7PM on 6/3, it could be usage at 12PM on 6/2.

    You will need a data monitor to check what is causing it. In my experience it was iCloud being the culprit (backup, data sync) even though I had it turned off on cellular.
     
  25. citivolus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    #25
    FWIW my brother in law had the exact same problem with his mini on our shared mobile plan with AT&T. Without any active use on his part, the device used up 5 GB alone! He seems to think it was an exchange email issue but I'm not sure. Would love to hear from anyone else as to what the cause might be.
     

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