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Unknown data usage early morning

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cnpeyton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 5, 2010 4:56 AM
With the changes to the data plans, i decided to look at my wifes data usage on her iphone. What i have found is odd and a bit concerning. Overall her data usage is pretty much nothing, except for something that occurs every morning around 1 or 2 am. I have included data usage on the AT&T account below. As you can see, something happens around 1 or 2 am every morning, i just dont know what it is. The amount of data being transferred is REALLY high if you ask me, as high as 75336KB back on the 17th. I called AT&T support and they said it was the phone updating or mail being downloaded, basically they have no idea. I have the mail set to fetch manually already. Anyway to determine what is going on???

06/04 01:22 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 3368KB
06/03 01:45 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 18906KB
06/02 01:45 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 6878KB
06/01 01:45 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 9460KB
05/31 07:45 PM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 1918KB
05/31 01:27 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 7551KB
05/30 02:27 PM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 1224KB
05/30 01:17 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 2685KB
05/29 01:39 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 8120KB
05/28 01:39 PM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 5410KB
05/28 01:07 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 5068KB
05/27 10:42 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 21778KB
05/27 01:06 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 10419KB
05/26 09:26 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 20657KB
05/26 01:50 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 8467KB
05/25 02:21 PM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 18086KB
05/25 01:25 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 5249KB
05/24 01:25 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 1012KB
05/23 01:25 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 12978KB
05/22 01:25 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 9749KB
05/21 01:41 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 19166KB
05/20 01:17 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 23860KB
05/18 11:56 PM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 15440KB
05/18 01:06 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 29900KB
05/17 01:12 AM phone Internet/MEdia Net Sent 75336KB
  • Eddie Strauss Level 3 Level 3 (990 points)
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    Jun 5, 2010 5:07 AM (in response to cnpeyton)
    It is the phone sending diagnostic information to Apple. I was on the phone a long time with ATT yesterday about this. They had no idea. But after being given to Tech Support there they called Apple while I waited. There is no question that's what it is, they said. But are we to be billed for it once the meter starts running? As of yesterday morning (6/5) they had no idea!

    The diagnostic was a voluntary check box when the phone was first set up.
    Unibody 17 matte, Mac Pro Quad core, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • jinx.pt Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
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    Jun 5, 2010 5:24 AM (in response to Eddie Strauss)
    That is too much information to be diagnostics data from apple....
    MEdia Net is the internet service from AT&T right?:
    http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/messaging-internet/media-entertainment/faq.jsp

    I'd press AT&T, maybe your SIM is using some sort of service with AT&T?
    I never got a checkbox requesting that I send apple information, so if you had a checkbox, are you sure it wasn't for an AT&T service??
    MacBook3,1, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Eddie Strauss Level 3 Level 3 (990 points)
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    Jun 5, 2010 5:34 AM (in response to jinx.pt)
    No it was for information directly for Apple's use. I remember checking it and I don't mind at all. The ATT clerk also remembered checking hers. She was astonished to find, while I was on the phone, that her data use showed the same thing.
    Unibody 17 matte, Mac Pro Quad core, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • jinx.pt Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
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    Jun 5, 2010 5:41 AM (in response to Eddie Strauss)
    The only thing I checked, was an option to send application crash reports, when I connect to iTunes. Not over the Internet.

    I don't really believe it is apple data. It is simply too much information! statistics or error reports are a couple of bytes at the most....
    I use internet extensively, I have my apps maxed out, and I don't have that data charge on my network, so I'd wager it's another thing.

    Couple of things to note: from my research, a lot of people on the phone, and over the internet, are having the same problem, though I've only found reports on AT&T. Not on other networks (rest of the world...).

    AT&T seems to charge in blocks: so this means that, if you use an X amount of data, they charge you at the end of a cycle. Each person's cycle is probably different, this is done so the payment system is not overburdened.

    Look at your data use, does it conincide with your use? I'm not asking the one from 2am, I am asking throughout the day. Do you have many small data packets listed, or do they come in bigger chunks? Am I making sense? =)

    Some people also seem to have problems with some IMAP accounts (e.g.: google), where it gets stuck repeatedly trying to push information, ending up in greater ammounts of internet and battery usage.

    Anyways, check all your extract. If you use you connection intermittently, or have push notifications active, you should have a really big internet usage list. If it's payed by chunks, that explains the 2am. It's not that you sent data at 2am, it's that from the last chunk, up to 2am, you used all that data.
    MacBook3,1, iPhone OS 3.1.3
  • Eddie Strauss Level 3 Level 3 (990 points)
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    Jun 5, 2010 5:59 AM (in response to jinx.pt)
    jinx, yes that makes perfect sense. I thought it might be a one time cumulative charge of all the random internet usage I had during the day. But for this:

    This month so far, the night report of data use is already 60MB. (That is over 1/4 of a theoretical 200MB allotment) and the active bill is only for 6 days. Add to that I now have an iPad. I only use the phone for reading news when at lunch or dinner. Less than half an hour for each.
    Unibody 17 matte, Mac Pro Quad core, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • jinx.pt Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
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    Jun 5, 2010 6:05 AM (in response to Eddie Strauss)
    I kinda lost you there.
    Anyways, one step at a time.
    It's impossible that you have an average 10MB of statistical/crash report data. that's too much data for that kind of information. Something else must be going on.
    I have literally hundreds of apps ("hello, I am jinx, and I am an appaholic"). Many of them crash. In my country, I currently can only afford a 150MB internet data usage/month. I constantly check my e-mail, and do an occasional web search (on opera, spends less data), and even the eventual google maps small trip to find a nearby place, and I don't go over the limit.

    So, something else must be going on there. Do you use push/IMAP accounts? people have reported heavy data issues with those, try to reset them.

    Maybe it is apple, but I very much doubt it. Not that amount of data.
    MacBook3,1, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • jinx.pt Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
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    Jun 5, 2010 6:56 AM (in response to cnpeyton)
    The phone's Wi-Fi connection is closed when you lock it. So, when you're sleeping, the iPhone may be using 3G instead of Wi-Fi.
    I suppose we should send apple some bug reports concerning that...

    Do you have your mail accounts to download attachments with your messages?
    MacBook3,1, iPhone OS 3.1.3
  • Jeff Hallgren Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
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    Jun 6, 2010 8:21 AM (in response to cnpeyton)
    I have the same issues. My phone is almost always on WIFI so my cell data usage is fairly low but I went to look at my history at AT&T and discovered the same thing - unauthorized, unexplained cellular data transfers in the early morning (1 to 3 am). At this point in my billing cycle, these unexplained transfers account for almost 2/3's of my usage. My transfers range from 50KB to 2MB, which is orders of magnitude more than "collecting simple statistics". But your amounts !! wow, what is going on there? This stuff combined with some normal usage could put you over the 200MB cap in less than a week and end up costing you money.

    I've looked on the web and only found other people wondering what is going on - no good answers.

    I've seen the "send diagnostic data to Apple" check box in iTunes a couple times (I've have 2 phones and an iPad) and I've never opted to send data to apple.

    If you have an iPhone on AT&T check your data usage before suggesting to us about all the things you think we're doing wrong - explain your own usage first (thanks).
    NextStep Pizza Box (1GB harddrive!!!), Other OS
  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (24,535 points)
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    Jun 6, 2010 8:39 AM (in response to cnpeyton)
    Thanks for bringing this up. I see the same activity, outbound data, around 2:24 AM each day. the smallest transfer over the past 3 weeks was 99 KB, the largest 10 MB. I DO have Exchange push email enabled, but I wouldn't be sending, only receiving.
    Lenovo T-60, Intel iMac , Dell/Ubuntu 8, iPhone 3GS 3.1.3, Windows XP Pro, Leopard 10.5.4
  • S.H. Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 7, 2010 7:45 AM (in response to Lawrence Finch)
    Same here. I'm only a few days into my billing cycle and it already used 15MB all on its own

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=929936
    iMac 24" 2.8GHz, eMac, iPhone 3GS, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • trans-humanist Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 7, 2010 8:48 AM (in response to cnpeyton)
    Unaccountable transfers of large amounts of data may (or may not) be related to the alleged NSA domestic surveillance program:

    http://www.eff.org/nsa/faq
  • TosaDeac Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 7, 2010 8:59 AM (in response to jinx.pt)
    I also came to the same realization as everyone else last week when I decided to check out my data usage as I get ready to upgrade to whatever Steve pulls from his pocket in a few hours. I am still on an original iPhone and I almost exlcusively use it on WIFI at home and work. I came to the conclusion it was a summary of the full days activity summarized at one point in the day, but then I noticed there were some days that there were multiple entries. If AT&T just charges in chunks shouldn't there be only one charge for each day and not multiple? I called AT&T and they had no idea. And I've also looked online without any definitive answer....just a lot of speculation. I just want to have it cleared up before I run into situations where I might actually go over the limit due to a factor I could prevent.

    Below is a one week glimpse of what I am confused about (I trimmed out the days before and after to save space but there is always at least one charge between 2-3am CST).


    04/16/2010 2:01AM Data Transfer Data 3,087 KB MBRF
    04/17/2010 2:01AM Data Transfer Data 1,248 KB MBRF
    04/18/2010 2:01AM Data Transfer Data 3,013 KB MBRF
    04/19/2010 2:01AM Data Transfer Data 1,185 KB MBRF
    04/20/2010 2:01AM Data Transfer Data 83 KB
    04/20/2010 9:34AM Data Transfer Data 1,122 KB MBRF
    04/21/2010 2:34AM Data Transfer Data 1,114 KB MBRF
    04/22/2010 2:34AM Data Transfer Data 3,181 KB MBRF
    04/22/2010 8:09PM Data Transfer Data 21 KB MBRF
    04/22/2010 10:01PM Data Transfer Data 2,118 KB MBRF
    04/23/2010 2:01AM Data Transfer Data 1,886 KB MBRF
    04/23/2010 8:23AM Data Transfer Data 1,527 KB MBRF
    04/23/2010 2:21PM Data Transfer Data 2,631 KB MBRF
    04/23/2010 6:31PM Data Transfer Data 118 KB MBRF
    04/23/2010 6:51PM Data Transfer Data 363 KB MBRF
    04/23/2010 8:01PM Data Transfer Data 84 KB MBRF
    04/23/2010 8:24PM Data Transfer Data 12,023 KB

    Thanks to whoever solves this mystery!
    iMac 20in (Intel), MacBook Pro (2.53GHz), Original iPhone, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Jeff Hallgren Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 7, 2010 9:47 AM (in response to cnpeyton)
    Another thing I don't understand about this is the "scheduled" aspect of the data transfers. How does a developer schedule data transfers? as far as I know, you can't. To me, this is some kind of low level access initiated by AT&T and not something caused by apps. Additionally, I'm pretty sure apple's data collection happens in iTunes (if you've allowed it) when you dock your phone.
    NextStep Pizza Box (1GB harddrive!!!), Other OS
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