iPhone 4s randomly eating data at night?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by kakabozo, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. kakabozo macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2011
    Hey guys, just switched from t-mobile and android to AT&T and the iphone 4s. Having a strange problem. Bought two new iphone 4s's on two lines, and over a three day stretch both phones have been gobbling up massive amounts of data in the middle of the night while they are charging and not in use. These phones WERE connected to WIFI while they WERE using this cellular data. Just found this log of the data usage on AT&T's website. Thoughts? Is this normal?

    Line 1
    10/15 12:35 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 199202 KB
    10/16 12:32 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 23683 KB
    10/19 12:36 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 36128 KB
    259.013 MB

    Line 2
    10/16 12:37 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 208656 KB
    10/17 12:09 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 18982 KB
    10/18 12:21 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 15845 KB
    243.483 MB
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    These random data charges have occurred in the past. They are not real charges and do not add up on your bill. They are the network, AT&T, asking the device, the iPhone, how much data it used in the past day. If you add up all of these nightly data charges, it'll be almost exactly what your bill says your monthly total is.
  3. ToddyT macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
    First thing that pops into my head is iCloud backup, but I wouldn't think it would be that big each night after the first backup.

    Try turning off iCloud backup for a night or two and see if this gives you different effects. I expect it will.
  4. verwon macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2011
    Or listen to this person, that knows what they're talking about...
  5. tivoboy macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2005

    I was just looking over the online data too and noticed this. It is happening about every hour, anywhere from 400kb to 4000kb, seems to occur regularly every hour.

    Not sure what it is, but it could be one of the reasons why the battery is draining faster.

    I have icloud turned off and the diagnostics turned off.
  6. hadeswolf macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2011
    Has anyone found a solution to this? I'm using a unlocked, jailbroken iPhone 3g on the T-Mobile network and its randomly eating up data every two hours. I have all data services turned off on my phone and somehow it's selling sending data. And for those that said the data is not being charged, I am being charged.
  7. nwmtnbiker macrumors 68000


    Apr 5, 2011
    Fidalgo Island
    Is the "local weather" app refreshing every 15 seconds lol?
  8. theman510 macrumors 6502a

    May 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    I don't mean to bring up an older thread but since this one was made already I didn't want to start a new one. I apologize if this gets a little long...

    I'm having very similar problems to the OP. I have a 4S on AT&T and am grandfathered in w/ the unlimited data plan. About a week ago I got the notification that I was in the top 5% of data users (which sounds crazy to me considering what some other people here seem to use). According to AT&T's site I have used 2.09 GB with 16 days left in my billing cycle.

    Once I got that notification I logged on to see if I could find out when I was using such large amounts of data. It turns out between midnight and 1 am almost every night there was large amounts of data sent. I think this is strange since for two reasons, 1) I'm on WiFi at home in my apartment and 2) I wasn't even awake at the times these charges occurred.

    Example: January 6, 2012 at 12:40 am I was charged for 417,327kb, roughly 417MB.

    Similar data usage occurred almost every night going back to 12/28/11. On 12/29 I was charged for 468MB at 12:21am. Very unlikely this was actually data I used since I had work the next day and wasn't awake. It honestly looks like 80-85% of my data usage is coming from these occurrences.

    Now, if I was on a truly unlimited plan and there was no such thing as throttling I really wouldn't care about this. But the fact is that my 3G speeds are being throttled (just ran speed test at a location I used to get over 1Mbps and I am now at .07 Mbps). I have spoken to AT&T and they insisted it was an issue w/ my phone, either the hardware or the OS. So I went to apple and the "Genius" did a DFU restore for me in store and told me that would fix it. It hasn't and now I'm stuck with this constantly happening and unbearably slow 3G data speeds for the rest of the month.

    Is there anybody out there who has had something similar happen or can give me any ideas as to what to do next??? I don't know what to do especially since every single time this happens I am home and on my wifi.
  9. dotme macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2011
    The date/time is always an approximation, but it's historically been pretty accurate for me. It's the time the data flow stopped.

    "Sent" is often really "Received"

    My daughter managed to nail up a 700MB usage one morning at 7am. I asked her what the heck she did to use that much data at that time of day, and she said she fell asleep listening to Pandora the night before. We have full WiFi at the house, with great signal strength.

    Her iPhone switched from WiFi to 3G when it fell asleep! It's not supposed to do that, but it did.

    She started streaming, clicked the sleep/wake button to turn off the screen, and her iPhone dropped the WiFi and switched to 3G. Now, she turns cellular data OFF when she listens to Pandora at home.

    That 700MB, by the way, was over the course of about 6 hours - so when analyzing your 400MB of use at a little after midnight, ask yourself what you were doing around 9 PM. Did you start a downloaed of a large app, and switch the screen off? Stream music?

    Hope this helps!
  10. theman510 macrumors 6502a

    May 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    Thanks for the response!

    When I'm home I don't think I've ever listened to Pandora or used Netflix on my iPhone. If I want music I stream my library from my computer to my Apple TV and if I want Netflix I, once again, use my Apple TV. Those are really the only two streaming apps I have on my phone.

    I wish I was doing something as simple as that lol. I appreciate the suggestion though!

    Edit: I also think it's strange this always happens between midnight and 1 am. Almost like something is using my data on a schedule of some sort but I can't figure it out for the life of me
  11. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    I think that's the time AT&T's servers are calculating and reporting your whole daily data usage on their site.
    It doesnt mean you used that data exactly at that time. The billing system is not instant and texts, calls and data you used are not reported within minutes or seconds but could be many hours later.
    So that's probably your data amount used for that whole day.
  12. dotme macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2011
    I had some bloated data use on my 4S when I first got it. I never could for sure say what it was, but when I looked at Settings - General - About - Diagnostics and Usage - Diagnostics and Usage Data, the amount of data present was just enormous! I could scroll and scroll, and never reach the end.

    I suspected that my phone might be helpfully beaming all that crap back to Apple at 1am every day, and not clearing it out when done, so I disabled (set it to "Don't Send") and sync'd the phone to clear out all that data. My data usage has been more reasonable for me ever since I did that.

    You also might want to make sure you're not allowing iCloud backup over 3G (I don't use iCloud, so that was never a possible cause for me).
  13. theman510 macrumors 6502a

    May 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    I turned off the diagnostic setting, thanks for that tip. I hope it helps although it seems like an awful lot of diagnostic data to be sending haha.

    I have iCloud turned on but only for Calendars, Reminders, and Find my phone so I don't know if that's the culprit.

    Appreciate the suggestions, let's hope turning off diagnostic data does the trick and I'll have to get through the remaining 16 days of my billing cycle with amazingly slow 3G

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