iPad 3g - How long will 250MB last? Going to find out...

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Chip NoVaMac, May 4, 2010.

  1. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    As promised in a couple threads that asked about would 250MB be enough for the iPad 3G, I have started this thread to let you all know my real world experience with 250MB! Don't see this as a daily posting thing, unless I comment on a recent reply.

    Hopefully over the next 30 days or 250MB - which ever comes first :) , members here on the MR might get a better idea as to whether to go for the $15 plan or the $30 plan. And so will I.

    A little about how I intend to use the 3G aspect of the iPad. Mostly at work during my lunch breaks. We have no wifi at work. :( Bit of a news hound - so I generally read the USToday (App), NYT Editors Choice (App), BBC News (App), Fox News (web), and WTOP News (web). So 3G will used during my lunch breaks when I don't want to read the books I have on the iPad.

    Well just activated my iPad 3G yesterday. Was home with wifi so turned the 3G off. Today was the first day with the 3G being used. Did like 5 to 7 minutes with the GPS and Google Maps with photo view. The rest of it was a 30 minute lunch break checking USToday, Fluent News, and a quick check of Mail, Google Mail via Safari. Left the 3G just as a test of fetching emails through out the day.

    Tomorrow will be the first real test of how I see my 3G usage going. Only turning on the 3G when I can't get a wifi signal

    So here it is:

    Day 1 (May 3rd) - 0 (Was wifi all day at home)

    Day 2 (May 4th) - Sent: 1.2MB Received: 15.5MB
    Notes: As mentioned above just had to try out the GPS with Google Maps for a little while this morning on my drive in to work. Used during a stretch that I knew I would hit some stop lights to check out the accuracy and be able to exit the Google Map app safely. As mentioned in another thread this seems to be a hog on 3G data.
  2. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    I have had my 3G iPad since Friday and have used her mainly on WiFi but also have picked up 3G here and there. Today I was out for a while walking around the neighborhood and put her to the test there, too. So far I have used 15.5 incoming and I think 3.3 outgoing..... Looks to me as though the 250 MB will be just fine! Early days, though.......
  3. double329 macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2008
    I activated my 3G on 5/2 at 4pm. As of today 5/4 at 8pm, I already used up 263MB on my cell data line. During the working day, I am on 3G doing meeting, email, vpn, etc... And any where without wifi. I use wifi at home and weekend. I will be doing some online webinar on 3G tomorrow. I'll see how much will that eat up my cell data line :D
  4. biomathdude macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2010
    I got my iPad going Friday night. Just checked today:
    Sent: 69.8 MB
    Received: 1.5 GB

  5. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Thanks to all that posted their usage data so far. :)

    As they say your mileage may vary. LOL

    I am doing this thread to help those now and down the road in deciding what plan is best for them. Quite honestly I think I am the lowest common denominator for 3G usage when not on travel. I have an iPhone with many of the same apps when I get truly needy. And when I do travel I will break down maybe in getting the $30 service if the hotel does not have free wifi.

    Stay tuned to see how long 250MB can last. :)
  6. PsyD4Me macrumors 6502a


    Mar 11, 2009
    under your bed
    That's why the unlimited plan is the best value
  7. ThoseBackPages macrumors regular

    Apr 9, 2010
    New York
    signed up for 3G on saturday, its now tuesday, ive used 162 so far
  8. Resist macrumors 68030

    Jan 15, 2008
    True, but $30 a month is a bit much. And if you own an iPhone you can add in another $30 for its data plan, plus cell and text plan costs. Things really start to get expensive each month for these devices.
  9. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Agree, but best value is not always the best in the end. :) Sort of like a buffet. If you are a grazer at a buffet - then there might be little value for the offerings on the buffet.

    Some of us are tired of being nickeled and dime'd to death in this digital age. That extra $15 could go towards content. And for those of us that have iPhones that already paying for data services are feeling the double pinch.

    So to that end I will modify my 250MB test and eliminate checking emails on the iPad - seldom do I get emails that require an immediate reply. And the emails I do get that require a quick reply are short ones - like "yes I will be there tonight" or "no I have to work late :( . That I can do on my iPhone.

    Many others are updates to threads here on MR and other sites, or emails from friends with their latest pictures, or many other instances that one does not need instant feedback.

    I gave up on Twitter, MySpace, Facebook long ago... just not my style of communication with others.

    I guess that this the other reason for my test of 250MB's 3G service on the iPad. Since many of us already have the iPhone with unlimited data; does it make sense to go with the $30 plan? Keep in mind some of us will never jailbreak our iPhones.

    So for a simple guy like myself I want to see how far I can go with just 250MB of data. Who knows what the days and weeks ahead will show me about my data usage.
  10. iRance macrumors regular

    Oct 3, 2009
  11. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Thanks for chiming in there. :) Like I mentioned above I feel that I am being nickeled and dime'd here at times. One of the reasons I did not do the iPhone 3Gs upgrade. But my 1G iPhone is showing the wear and tear for almost three years now.

    I love my iPhone, and flirted with the addition of the iPad of going to a "regular" cell phone... but can't see myself doing that. I just see myself going out with the iPhone and maybe a pocketable digital camera some times. No bag or man purse. LOL

    Just the iPhone on my belt and the camera in my pocket. :) You know a Friday night out with friends.. Too much a photographer here to even rely on the new iPhone 4G for photos. Until I can see the output. :)
  12. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    I tend to agree. At least you don't need to worry about what you're doing while you're online. All those graphics on web and downloads add up pretty quickly.
  13. nygfan80 macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2010
    Really stupid question. How do you check your usage? Do you need to sign up on AT&T's site? I ordered the Unlimited 3G today but would like to know how much I have used.
  14. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Go under General and touch on Usage....
  15. hierobryan macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2008
    If you have an iPhone, do a search for MyWi and live happily ever after.:p
  16. me2000 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2008
  17. iRabbit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2007
    The nickeled and dimmed thing.... I totally agree. I wish there was an option from AT&T to have a family data plan or something. I'd willingly sign a contract for 2 iPhones and an iPad if it mean a lower monthly bill... Especially since it likely I'll use the data a whole lot less on the iPhone. I pay for a family plan now and it isn't exactly cheap with 2 iPhones on it. I wish i had the option to go for a minimum data plan on my iPhone.

    I started out with the lower plan. First day using 3G I was playing a lot with google maps and the gps, so I've used 25 mb of data already. However, Long Island is being blanketed with wifi so Ive gotten a wifi signal in places I didn't expect.... Like at the beach. It'll be interesting to see if I can stay under 250 mb.
  18. Capt T macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2010
    I am interested to see how you do. I have a Virgin mobile pay as you go and a phs300 from Cradlepoint. I went with the 300mb plan for now to see how it goes for the month. But I have the option to use it with my computer, which may change some if I use it for that. But after 2 weeks I have only used a little under 50mb. About 6 hours of online with it so far, but probably not a solid 6. But next month I will be gone for most of it and will probably use more depending on wifi access and how much I use it with the laptop.

    Hope the smaller plan works out for you. Most of the data carriers say that web surfing for an hour averages out to about 20mb. Just depends on how you spend reading on any given page is my guess so far.
  19. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    Well, I'm at 13.4 sent and 260 received.


    My daughter watch netflix for about 10min on Saturday, and that was all for that. I was at 160 after that.

    Yesterday I did email and some web stuff and looked up a map, but I'm surprised that I'm another 100 into the usage. This will remind me where I was at and when and will see how the rest of the month goes. I had planned to just go with the unlimited this first month while we played then change... That might not work.

    I dont have a phone to use, so mine will be higher because of that, although if I was paying data on a phone too I couldn't have this...

    Thanks for starting this, I am for sure curious how far 250 can go.
  20. Reed Rothchild macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2010
    Mywi is an alternative option if you already have an iphone. It turns your phone into a wifi access point. I've found it to work very well (though EATS battery life). Beats having to fork out for an ipad 3G + data plan (though large capacity 3G data plans are actually pretty cheap here in Blighty. Lots of competition :)).
  21. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    nice nice. what is the 3G speeds like for you everyone?

    is there a speedtest.net app?
  22. Batt macrumors 65816


    Dec 17, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    Maybe, but when I finally activate mine, I'm going to start with the 250MB plan and let my iPad tell me when I get close to the limit. Then I can either turn off 3G or upgrade to unlimited. No sense starting off paying 30 bucks until you see your actual usage.
  23. VanNess macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2005
    Signed up on May 1. Mixed wifi and 3G use, but overall more wifi than 3G. Maybe about around 70/30 wifi/3G.

    Just regular surfing on 3G, no streaming or downloads. As of today (May 5): 82MB received and 10.6 sent. Hard to imagine that anyone will manage on just 250 MB a month unless you purposely restrict your net use to almost all wifi, which kind of defeats the purpose of having a 3G enabled machine.
  24. iSingandiDance macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    List of data usage, via ilounge:

    Load a single Facebook page, one time, without clicking on anything: 0.4MB.
    Use Tweetdeck to automatically check 3 Twitter accounts, one time: 1.1MB.
    Briefly consult the Maps application for a cross-country trip, looking only at the directions for the first three turns: 7.2MB.
    Send one e-mail with four pictures or one video attached: 4.9-5.5MB.
    Watch a 30-second iTunes Store preview of a TV show, one time: 5MB.
    Watch a 5-minute, radically downscaled YouTube video, one time: 10MB.
    Download an app, song, or video from one of Apple’s stores at the maximum permissible size over 3G: 20MB.
    Watch a 3-minute trailer for Avatar in the iTunes Store, one time: 40MB.

    It seems like AT&T is using the limited 250 MB plan solely as a bait-and-switch so the user would be forced to upgrade and pay $30 on top of the $15 already shelled out.
  25. bowlerman625 macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2009
    Chicago, IL area
    I signed up for the unlimited plan. I thought I would not need that plan down the road. I was probably wrong! I checked my usage last night and I'm already at 260MB. This was just since late afternoon Friday. I'm guessing I will continue to need the unlimited plan afterall.

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