Unlimited data plan: needed or not?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Jedi5, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Jedi5 macrumors 6502

    Jedi5

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Location:
    North Burbs, IL
    #1
    question for you experts here...

    when signing up for a contract with your iphone provider, how do you know if you need an unlimited data plan?

    i've had unlimited for the past 2 years and to be honest, i don't know if i really needed it. the iPhone was a gift so i had no say in what data plan was included. it was given to me and i was told this is what you have.
    now that i'm out of contract and looking at the new phone, i don't know if should continue with the unlimited plan.

    i did report check for this last year and got the following:

    data usage trend highest was 133-157mb for 2 months.
    data usage charges highest was 84 for 1 month.

    i mostly check my email and do limited surfing on the phone.
    don't watch youtube videos, movies, or anything of that sort.

    so is my current unlimited plan overkill?

    with the new imessage, how does that effect data usage?

    thanks all!
     
  2. VandyChem2009 macrumors 6502a

    VandyChem2009

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #2
    You pretty much answered your own question. It is obvious to me anyway that unlimited is very much overkill for you. However, I wouldn't alter the plan to something else unless it is significantly cheaper.
     
  3. applefan289 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    I am currently on the 200MB plan with at&t.

    It may not sound like a lot of data, but it is perfect for me considering I only use my iPhone sparingly when I'm out and about to check emails, etc.

    It's all about what you're going to do with it. The 200mb plan is perfect for me, but may not be for you.
     
  4. Jedi5 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jedi5

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Location:
    North Burbs, IL
    #4
    $5 difference between the 5gb and unlimited plan.

    i'd want the 200mb plan at $15 but just how much data really is 200mb?
    if i did this correctly, then the most data i used to date this year is 157mb.
    i should be fine but i'm also cutting it close.

    eh... this makes my head hurt
     
  5. los318 macrumors 6502

    los318

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    #5
    Its all up to your habbits. It seems like you pulled the data and know what you plan on using. As long as you can do with under 200mb or 2g then your good. Might as well save a little cash. I use about 5g average a month so i cant leave my unlimited plan.
     
  6. VandyChem2009 macrumors 6502a

    VandyChem2009

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #6
    Also don't forget if you drop the unlimited plan you will never be able to get it again on an iPhone unless you go to Sprint.
     
  7. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #7
    Based on prior and anticipated usage.

    It uses data.

    Huh? 200MB is 200MB. Keep in mind that 200MB != 200Mb -- the latter is 1/8 the former.

    "How much" content that translates depends on what you're talking about specifically, compression, etc. 1 character = 1 byte when it comes to text.
     
  8. OneMike macrumors 601

    OneMike

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    #8
    After thought I think you should drop to the 200MB plan for $15 per month. That will save you $180 per year.

    Sure you don't have much room to grow within your plan, but if you need an extra GB some odd month that's only $10 one time. Rather than an extra $15 each month wasted.

    To me unlimited is only worth if it you consistently use more than 2GB each month.

    Otherwise you're just throwing away money.
     
  9. Jedi5 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jedi5

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Location:
    North Burbs, IL
    #9
    Thanks all for your help with this.
    So far this year I haven't peaked at 200mb. I checked the previous year and it seemed like twice I hit the 1 gig mark.

    I'm going to monitor the next 2-3 months and then most likely drop from unlimited to 200mb.

    not sure how accurate this is but when i asked how much 200mb was, i was referring to something like this:


    [​IMG]
     
  10. NoHo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    #10
    Just because you don't use 2gb of data now doesn't mean you won't in the future.

    Imagine if during the dial-up days, the ISP's capped you off at 25gb. You thought it was a good idea because you don't use 25gb anyways, but now, years later, 25gb doesn't get you very far.

    Same is going to happen with mobile broadband. 2gb may last you now, but it's not always going to last you and people are going to be forced to either not use their device as often, or end up paying more for data than they would have if they had just kept unlimited.

    By then, the $5 a month you saved to get rid of your unlimited data plan is going to feel like a big mistake.

    My suggestion would be to get an unlimited data plan and hold onto it as long as you can. Eventually, you will wish you had it.
     
  11. MacFan1701 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #11
    I'm too lazy to read all the posts right now, but here's my two cents. I find an unlimited plan super useful, especially since I got the Netflix app.
     
  12. TL24 macrumors 6502a

    TL24

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    #12
    Damn you guys barely use your phone then! LOL... I just got the iPhone 4S on launch day along with the 2GB plan for AT&T and I've already used 1.4GB worth of data! That's including heavy WIFI usage while I'm at home.

    I should note that I do not stream movies or watch youtube while on 3G, just strictly web browsing.
     
  13. Skream macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #13
    I'm looking at going with ATT 2gb plan over Sprints unlimited. Probably won't use Netflix much outside of wifi but how much does data does netflix streaming eat up? like on a mb to minute ratio?
     
  14. supervelous macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    #14
    I thank Jobs every day that I have an unlimited data plan. I couldn't imagine having to pay attention to a cap.

    Just Sunday I used 1GB+ of data, streaming DirecTV Sunday Ticket on my Iphone while out and about.
     
  15. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

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    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #15
    I had the same question for myself back in June, I got an iPad and had to choose between paying for a separate 3G plan for it or just activating tethering on my iPhone. To get tethering, you must give up unlimited data (on AT&T). But, you do get 4GB instead of 2GB.

    I checked my historic usage on my iPhone plan (including prior phone) and I seldom used more than 1GB/mo, usually a lot less. So I felt safe going for the 4GB tether plan.

    Even with tethering, I have only once topped 2GB since June - so it was a good choice for me.
     
  16. DesertSilver macrumors 6502

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    Aug 18, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #16
    Stream video = Yes --> unlimited is pretty important
    Stream video = No --> unlimited not as important

    Of course, the decision needs to be based on our own personal usage behavior, but my opinion is that it's all based on if you plan to stream video or not. Audio streaming should also be considered to a smaller extent.

    When I had an Android phone, I would routinely use ~3GB/month. But this was mainly because of various podcasts, including video ones, that I was downloading through the carrier network. Now that I can't download any podcast over 20MB, which I am frustrated about, I don't see myself coming anywhere near a 2GB cap.
     
  17. Selfdestrukt macrumors member

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  18. NoHo macrumors 6502

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    Aug 2, 2011
    #18
    If you only use your iPhone for checking your mail, texting and occasional web browsing, then you don't need unlimited, but then again, maybe the iPhone isn't for you and you could get a way cheaper phone and plan.

    If you want to use your iPhone to the best of it's abilities, it's worth the peace of mind of now having to watch what you do with it.
     
  19. TL24 macrumors 6502a

    TL24

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    Oct 20, 2011
    #19
    I wish I had true unlimited data from AT&T =\ I just joined AT&T when the 4S was released boooooo :mad:
     
  20. DesertSilver macrumors 6502

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    Portland, OR
    #20
  21. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    Tallahassee, Florida
    #21
    Actually I would attribute that to not having the ads play while you're playing a game or using most applications. On Androud, there are a ton of free applications and games, but they run drop down ads while you are using them (some do, not all).

    Over time that data adds up and you see this as a result. That's my take on it anyway. Plus, Android runs things in the background and the applications are bound to do something when you aren't using them, as opposed to them being "frozen" on iOS.
     
  22. DesertSilver macrumors 6502

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    Aug 18, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    I can definitely see the ads having some impact to data usage but I don't think it's as bad as you're thinking (not sure if you've ever used Android or not). There's lots of ads in free games/apps, but they're mostly static images.

    With Android, just like IOS, it's not uncommon to see games over 100MB, but there was nothing holding you back from downloading it over 3G. I would even download video podcasts (Ben Heck FTW!!) that would be upwards of 500MB over 3G. But with my iPhone, I can even download an Engadget audio podcast that's around 35MB.

    Not hating on the iPhone, but just giving my data usage opinions related to this thread.
     
  23. 305rob305 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #23
    There is no true unlimited data in At&T anymore they reduce your speed once you hit like 5gb....
    I've heard people getting called and harassed and telling them if they use too much then they will drop the unlimited access cause they think you're illegally tethering....
     
  24. DougFNJ macrumors 6502a

    DougFNJ

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #24
    Jedi,

    I am guessing you have AT&T if you are using the 3GS.

    Before you drop your data plan.....see if you could let someone that may find it useful buy it from you. I don't know how it works on the iPhone because of voice, but I sold my iPad 1 on Ebay WITH the unlimited data plan and made a handsome dollar. This allowed me to purchase my iPad 2 3G and a good amount of data.

    I also do see unlimited iPhone plans on Ebay for sale, so I would certainly explore the option if I were you.

    Good luck either way you go.

    ----------

    Throttling or not, are they charging you extra for going over that 5GB of data useage?

    Unlimited is unlimited.
     
  25. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #25
    It's technically still unlimited though. The speeds are irrelevant in this case; I'm not saying I like throttling, but unlimited is unlimited; it would not be if they actually cut off or charged you extra for the data.

    @DesertSilver: I used Android phones for 2 years.

    But the ads are prevalent and continue to show. Angry birds, for example, had a different ad every second time you restarted the level or hit a new one. If you're trying to get a high score or play that for a whole, over days, that usage will add up. And that's just that one game.

    The data is being used; I can give hard numbers but it does add up.
     

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