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Unknown data usage early morning

764205 Views 2,088 Replies Latest reply: Mar 10, 2014 2:09 PM by mjmsbrown RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • chcn Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 16, 2012 12:48 PM (in response to broooz)

    My experience over the course of more than a year now has been that, when I'm using it correctly,* Dataman is pretty close to the iPhone's internal counter and to the numbers reported by my service provider. I haven't used Onavo yet, but if there is a great discrepancy, I would trust Dataman.

     

    _____

    *To properly track data, Dataman must be run when the phone is first powered on, and again right before any reboot/shut-down, to close out its records. The latter is especially true if you are not running Dataman in precise tracking mode. It has also been my experience that if I haven't brought Dataman to the foreground in a long time and the phone runs out of RAM, iOS will kill it and it will stop tracking, so I make it a habit to run Dataman a couple of times per day to make sure it's still going in the background. If I do those things, it's numbers agree fairly well with the built-in counter.

  • chcn Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 16, 2012 1:20 PM (in response to cnpeyton)

    I have been able to duplicate runaway data usage (about 94MB in 7 minutes) in a way that might be of interest to some:

     

    My daughter has a pre-paid SIM installed in an iPhone 3GS. The provider is Speakout, which rents bandwidth on the Rogers network in Canada. Speakout supports only limited 3G data for browsing, i.e., because of port blockages, it does not support app store downloads, Find My iPhone, etc.

     

    I decided to see what would happen if I tried to download an app update from the app store. The download appeared to initiate and the busy icon spun around on the status bar for several minutes, then the download attempt eventually timed out with an error message. During that time, the phone appeared to download 94MB of data , as reported by both Dataman and the built-in counter.

     

    I don't know why the phone would think it had received 94MB of data when there was a port blocked, preventing the transfer, but possibly this was the result of a packet being retried a zillion times or something like that.

     

    This leads me to hypothesize that some of the unexplained usage described in this thread may be due to network issues, where data packets are retried many times, racking up the meter without achieving any results.

     

    This theory is bolstered by the experience of user skegley, who ran up a large amount of transfers while traveling on a train in Europe (see here and here).

     

    Dataman summary:

    photo 2.PNG

     

    Dataman detail:

    photo 1.PNG

     

    Built-in counter:

    photo 3.PNG

  • broooz Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 16, 2012 1:46 PM (in response to chcn)

    Thanks.  Yes mine seems to work correctly too compared to iphone counter - so either Onavo is incorrect or it is missing the data transfers that are causing the problem we are all having. 

  • broooz Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 16, 2012 1:51 PM (in response to chcn)

    Thanks chcn.  Yes it looks like a network problem - so far my company O2 is blaming Apple although they have permitted me to make a formal complaint so we will see.  I am only asking them to re-instate 300mB of data allowance so I suspect it would be cheaper to concede.

  • lisafromwillowbrook Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2012 7:32 AM (in response to broooz)

    Ok discussion group heres a new one,  I decided to shut of my Iphone and start using my old phone not a smart phone with no data with ATT and just got my bill and guess what I still was charged for Data usage only

    $2.00 but still what?  The phone originally was a piece of crap but am just trying to wait out my contract.

    Which is another thing thats just makes me fume, putting up with all this and being under contract. Where in

    the contract does it say they can do whatever they want. Well remember MCI World Com?

  • BackPacker57 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2012 9:47 AM (in response to chcn)

    As noted earlier in this thread--- the metrics of how things work as oppossed to what you use don't mesh together to formulate the actual usage.

     

    First, the data is transmitted over air and along with this medium comes inherent challenges.  The assumptions are if you send a 15kb message that you are billed for 15kb?  I seriously doubt this is or ever has occurred.

     

    Secondly, how the carrier bills isn't widely revealed and hidden behind the beaurcratic shield.

     

    Thirdly, the metrics on the iPhone and Dataman may or may not truly capture the real picture.  As is often the case with billing software the capture of what a user consumes vs. what they think or should have consumed may be very different.

     

    The variables and unknowns are defintely worthy of causing concern.  There are other concerns I've already posted and will not rehash until or if and when either known expertise such as a member from Black Hat has already written about vulnerabilities or someone with credible evidence such as the last find on privacy from CarrierIQ's rootkit.

     

    The FCC and AT&T have exhibited a deaf ear and Apple hasn't ponied up either other than after the fact of discovery, they stop or change their policy.

     

    At end of 4Q2011, I purchased two new iPhone 4s's and set them up identically. Only model difference is color unless there's a version of hardware I don't know about.  His and Her's iPhone with His (me) expecting to be the highest volume user and HERS expected to be nil.  HER usage is approximately 8 time greater than mine.  Difference is APPS (games) and Siri that she uses and I am more amiable to connecting to WiFi (FREE) because she doesn't take the time.  BOTH of us using DataMan and I can't see issues and just loaded ONAVO and thanks to those that posted this-- interesting but too early to tell anything.

  • broooz Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2012 11:07 AM (in response to cnpeyton)

    I've noticed another point that might help to focus on a potential solution.  As noted, Onavo seems to be recording the data usage that I would expect to use and it splits it down between apps as I expected: it is giving results similar to what I used to use before the sudden increase in data use recently experienced.  DataMan and the iPhones own counter are recording data usage consistent with my service provider.  So what data is being used that Onavo does not detect but Dataman does.  Surely one of the experts on these Apps could tell us?

     

    As an experiment I have been restricting my usage to the mail app only.  If I dont check mail, I am barely using any data.  But if I use mail, each time I use about 5mB.  But I am not downloading 5mB of data - sometimes there are no emails at all.  So why does it use 5mB each time.  Could it be that it is syncing all my contacts perhaps but even that is not 5mB across all my accounts.  Anyway I think the fault lies with the mail app.

     

    Has anyone raised a formal issue with Apple to investigate?  Is there any point?

  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (24,535 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2012 11:22 AM (in response to broooz)

    broooz wrote:

     

    As an experiment I have been restricting my usage to the mail app only.  If I dont check mail, I am barely using any data.  But if I use mail, each time I use about 5mB.  But I am not downloading 5mB of data - sometimes there are no emails at all.  So why does it use 5mB each time.  Could it be that it is syncing all my contacts perhaps but even that is not 5mB across all my accounts.  Anyway I think the fault lies with the mail app.

    You have hit upon an interesting observation. Any time you open the mail app on an IMAP or Exchange account the folders on the iPhone must be synced with the folders on the server. The way this happens is the phone must retrieve every message see if it is still on the phone. The same is true for the calendar and contacts databases. So if you have a lot of messages in the inbox (I have 900 currently) then that number of messages must be transferred. I also have 1500 contacts and 8,000 calendar entries.

  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (24,535 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2012 11:27 AM (in response to broooz)

    Two different observations, so I responded to each separately.

    broooz wrote:

     

    I've noticed another point that might help to focus on a potential solution.  As noted, Onavo seems to be recording the data usage that I would expect to use and it splits it down between apps as I expected: it is giving results similar to what I used to use before the sudden increase in data use recently experienced.  DataMan and the iPhones own counter are recording data usage consistent with my service provider.  So what data is being used that Onavo does not detect but Dataman does.  Surely one of the experts on these Apps could tell us?

    I'm not an expert on either, but Onavo may be monitoring at a higher level in the TCP/IP stack, looking at the data transferred at the application layer. Dataman may be monitoring a layer near the bottom of the stack. Suppose an app sends a packet; Onavo sees it as one packet. But the connection is intermittent and it takes 10 tries to actually send that packet. Dataman (and the built in counter) will see it as 10 packets, and AT&T (or any other carrier) will also see it as 10 ( 9 failed) packets and charge you for 10 packets.

  • broooz Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2012 11:28 AM (in response to Lawrence Finch)

    Thanks Lawrence - well it is a possibility - but it didnt happen in the past - so why have they changed to doing it this way.  If that is the case then they have invalidated the limited data user account because my usage has gone from 10mB a day to 90mB a day.  Surely it must be a fault in the app - it doesnt need to download everything to check what has changed.  Indeed Exchange doesnt do that on my PC so why does it need to do it on the phone.

  • broooz Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2012 11:29 AM (in response to Lawrence Finch)

    Thanks.  OK that sounds more plausible so would that suggest a fault on my phone that is causing it to keep retrying?  Perhaps I will get my phone checked

  • Nicole318 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 20, 2012 7:38 PM (in response to cnpeyton)

    I have have two 4s iPhones in my house. One has unlimited data and is used all the time, to check email, Facebook, search the internet, maps, etc., all while on 3g, and is using very little data. That iPhone will not exceed 175 mb for the month, and never has.  The other iphone that has a limited data plan is going through it so fast I had to turn the Internet off the second week of this month as it had already used up 200 mb once and almost over for the second time for the month. There is not a Facebook account on that phone, and email is not being checked on it either as it is a child's phone, neither is the Internet being surfed.. The only real difference I can figure out is the type of games that are on it that are being played.  Could these games be what is transferring and collecting all the data at night? Or is it At&t is set up to not transfer data on an unlimited data plan, but to do it on a limited data plan. The reason I wonder about that as a friend of mine changed from unlimited data, as she never went over 200mb, to a cheaper limited plan and suddenly was now using much more data and had to increase her data plan.

  • Nicole318 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 20, 2012 7:50 PM (in response to Nicole318)

    Supposed to say AT&T, not at&t.

  • Nicole318 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 20, 2012 7:54 PM (in response to Nicole318)

    For some reason it is putting in AT&T rather than name of phone carrier. I thought I just made the mistake and didn't  catch it the first time but the following post where I was correcting it after I hit post it change it automatically. 

  • BackPacker57 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 21, 2012 5:32 AM (in response to Nicole318)

    The games are likely your source of high data traffic.  I ran DataMan on same scenario--- one phone has no games and the 2nd does, it used 156% of data in one day being away from WiFi connection.  What was used? Games.

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