The issue is metered data. This thread wasn't relevent until unlimited plans were dropped.
When you buy gasoline, receive an electric bill or any other pay-for-what-you-use service, there's a good level of confidence that the usage is being accurately measured. Many states send inspectors out to check gas pumps, grocery store scales etc to make sure they are accurate.
There's no inspection with carriers. We have to accept their calculations, which occasionaly vary wildly compared with the data usage reported on the device.
I don't envy the carriers. You can't deliver an unlimited use model on a limited infrastructure. And with devices constantly hopping from tower to tower, and millions to keep track of, any centralized system of measurement is going to have issues. Further compounding the issue are occasional "problem towers" - in my case, a Microcell that was misreporting data use by a factor of 10.
The solution probably lies in device software. If all devices, iPhones included, had a tamper-proof meter that sent usage reports to the carrier much like the electric meter in your home, everything would agree and I think most people would accept those calculations. Not sure if that could ever happen though.
Of course, if the usage meter on the phone already agrees with carrier numbers, your phone really is using that data and some detective work is required to track down the cause.
I am having issue on my iMac only. When I am connected to my verizon hotspot I get .5gb to 1gb of data being used and have no idea why. My bill last month was $600 and I went 40gb over my data.
Last night while I was sleeping in 8 hours 8.5gb of data went through. I have deleted all my cloud services, opted out of everything and still have no idea why. The problem is in my iMac somewhere and I have no idea if it's an Apple problem or verizon problem.
I am baffled and frustrated. 8.5gb in 8 hours while I am sleeping and I have been dealing with this for months trying to figure it out.
I found more information that may help, Apple also collects user information for "improving services" and "marketing purposes" ...changing these settings can help reduce data transfers, save battery life and protect your privacy.
Settings->Safari-> under 'Privacy & Security'
Turn On the 'Do Not Track'
Under 'Block Cookies' select 'From third parties & advertisers'
Turn On the 'Limit Ad Tracking'
Then press the 'Reset Advertising Identifier' and press 'Reset' in the pop up.
Settings->Privacy->Location Services->System Services
Turn Off the 'Diagnostics & Usage'
Turn Off the 'Location-Based iAds'
Turn Off the 'Popular Near Me'
Turn Off the 'Frequent Locations' (Only listed on Some Devices)
Turn On the 'Status Bar Icon'. (You can then see which apps are using GPS)
Settings->General-> under 'Background App Refresh'
Turn Off the 'Background App Refresh'
Settings->General->About->Diagnostics & Usage
Check the 'Don't Send'
I, too, have an issue with data leaks. I'm using an iPhone 5 with iOS 6.0.4. I have been reluctant to go to iOS 7.
In any event, I got hit with overages while in Europe a couple of months ago and didn't realize it was a "leak" issue until I got back and almost immediately received a notice from AT&T that I was about to hit my domestic limit...after being home for 10 days. When the same type of thing happened in Nov, I checked my data usage more carefully. Turns out, my biggest days in Europe were the days I was at a friend's house and had wifi service...or so I thought.
Domestically, the spikes are random...day, night, morning. But when I check my calendar, the spikes frequently occur while I'm doing something else, like hiking in the woods or at my health club (where there's wifi anyway) or just not connected...or so I thought.
So I contacted AT&T as well as Apple and experienced what everyone else here seems to have experienced… stonewalling! Or suggestions that make it worthless to own an iPhone.
I don't have any solutions, but I at least wanted to post the reply I received from AT&T after several phone calls and email exchanges. (Their response is at the bottom of this message.). For the record, I do no streaming of music or radio, I am not attached to any hotspot or business server, almost all of my iPhone connectivity is in places where I thought I had Wi-Fi, I don't send diagnostic data to Apple or AT&T, and all the other switches that presumably allow your phone to connect in the background have been set to off...no apps automatically refreshing, no push notifications, not even icCoud backups.
While I'm no techie, it seems that the culprit is the phone/software itself. Apparently, it doesn't default to Wi-Fi when Wi-Fi is available, even if the phone shows the Wi-Fi symbol, and even if you think it's connected to Wi-Fi. Personally, I think the pressure needs to be put on Apple to fix the issue. However, it appears that short of some sort of class-action lawsuit, the problem will persist.
In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions so that the phone can be used as intended, without incurring significant data charges, please reply.
What follows is a AT&T's response:
I have reviewed your email with management and there is no data leakage between AT&T and Apple.
In certain situations, data transmits over the AT&T data network even
when a device connects to a Wi-Fi Hotspot or personal/business Access
Point. In these situations, data charges accrue. Smartphone operating
systems (OS) behaviors and individual applications, among other factors,
can also impact data billing. Below are some examples of scenarios when
data charges may accrue even when connected to Wi-Fi.
1. AT&T applications such as, but not limited to, Address Book, Music,
2. A data session initiated at a point with no Wi-Fi connection.
3. A Wi-Fi connection that cannot be re-established.
4. A brief delay in connecting to Wi-Fi after a device awakens from
5. Many smartphones (including iPhone) are "always on" data devices.
These smartphone devices establish a data connection with AT&T's network and keep it open, even if no data transmits.
If a user does not end a data session, it records during a nightly feed
to the billing system.
A data session can contain billing for all the data transmitted
throughout the day.
JPHecht, in addition to the iPhone settings I've listed above, if you have ATT you should also 'opt-out' of their "External Marketing & Analytics Reports" program, they collect user info and transmit it back at off hours. What I've learned is the iPhone 5 turns of the 'wifi radio' when it hibernates (sleep-mode) and that forces these data transfers to go over your cell network, resulting in higher data usage, ATT doesn't volunteer this information and have even denied it, but after 'opting-out' and changing iPhone settings that I listed above, you will see a significant reduction in these data transfers.
If you'd like to opt-out of the ATT "External Marketing & Analytics Reports" program...
Thanks for the suggestion. I actually picked that tip up from reading this forum.
I haven't even turned on cellular data yet this month - haven't decided whether I want to test all this from home while connected to my wifi network, or if I want to try it from a coffee shop with wifi. Presumably, if I turn on cellular data while connected to wifi, and turn it off before letting the phone go into hibernation or sleep, there should be no data transfer. So first I'm going to try turning cellular on and then off after using wifi. If that works reasonably well, I may leave the cellular data on while I'm on a wifi network, but the phone is off. Then...the biggie...leaving cellular on even when I'm not on wifi.
I'll report back in a few days.........
It looks like I'm back to low data usage. I opted out of all AT&T marketing and also disabled iCloud back up.
I couldn't get AT&T to reverse any data overage charges - I had 2 extra $30 charges for international data used while I was in England a couple of months ago. I believe the overages occurred because my phone was using cellular data even though I thought I was on wifi. I can tell from the dates that I was at a friend's home when the spikes in usage took place.
But for now, it looks like all is well.
On Apple iOS 7 using the AT&T network, you can go to Settings and then to Cellular. In the "Use Cellular Data For" section you can see how much cellular data has been used for each individual application. Also, you can turn cellular data off for each individual application and just leave Cellular Data on for applications that need it.
You can easily spot which applications are using data by periodically checking.
I only use Cellular Data for the Maps application. I have unlimited voice and text.
But notice... the section called "System Services" near the bottom. These items cannot be individually turned off - you would need to turn off all cellular data to stop those
I am also seeing data connections with transfers in excess of 1/2 gigabyte consistently at 1:30am on two different iphones running ios 7. Last night I reset the statistics just before turning the phone off. My ATT account online states that a data connection was made at 1:46am with a transfer of 5040KB, but under the cellular data current period line on my iphone the data is less 368 KB.
How is this possible?
I don't blame you for not reading the 2,000 plus posts to this thread, but the answer has been stated in it many times. You cannot reconcile the early morning data transfer with the usage on the phone, because the data transfer did not occur at 1:30am. It is a summary of all of the data transfers in the last location that the phone was located at or around midnight over the previous 24 hours. What you need to do is to reset statistics around the time of that large data log entry. Then the next night the usage reported on the phone should match pretty closely the amount reported by AT&T. If it doesn't the problem is in AT&T's data recording. If it does your phone has actually used that amount of data.