Skip to comments.Vanity - Phantom data usage on new Droid
Posted on 07/30/2012 5:36:03 AM PDT by Perdogg
I bought a new Android Captiva over the weekend to replace my slooooooow Blackberry.
I have the 300 Mb plan since I rarely use any thing near 200 Mb worth of data a month. However, I checked and I have already used almost 45 Mb. I have download some apps and updates but not 45 Mb worth.
It is not a big deal to get the unlimited plan, but if there is something I am doing wrong I can fix it. I turned off the "W-Fi" button, will this have anything to do with it?
You should be using wifi as much as possible. It is not part of the up/downloaded byte count. There’s yer trouble right there.
With my plan I don't get charged for data that's loaded via wi-fi ... I only get charged for data downloaded via my provider's 4G network.
I believe instead of using the "free" Wi-Fi, you set your phone to use only the measured, limited and soon to be expensive cellular network.
What carrier are you on? Most carriers install a ton of apps on a phone that you can’t disable and can’t get rid of (Verizon, my carrier, is particularly bad about that). That may explain your phantom 45 MB data.
Always use wi-fi when you can, it doesn’t count against your data limit because it’s not actually on your phone’s network.
Actually the wifi has more to do with battery usage than anything else. While it is on, it is constantly sniffing out wifi signals even if you are using 3G or 4g. Try doing your app updates with your phone connected through your computer - everyone of those updates goes against your data usage when using your phone signal.
Probably background processes like email fetching, etc. going on. You may want to configure those types of apps to fetch less often, or only on demand.
As noted by several above, WiFi access does not count against your data cap — that measures your mobile data usage.
I turned the WIFI back on.
You need to check to see what apps are running, then check the settings for each individually. Most likely it is coming from email, facebook, or something like that. Droids and iPhones have apps that are constantly checking and pulling data back. It isn’t much, but it adds up. This is why data packages are required for these phones. You won’t be able to eliminate it completely, but you should be able to manage it.
I only turn mine on if I have poor signal strength and might be near a wifi hotspot, or I have to do a lot of downloads. These phones also use a ton of battery so you should become aware of non-essentials to help conserve strength.
Using wi-fi will keep your data usage down but it can also suck the life of your battery. I turn off the wi-fi on my phone unless I am actually using it. My battery would rapidly head toward shutoffville until I started doing that.
Granted, I have an iPhone, and Apple has made concerted efforts in terms of battery life, but I generally leave WiFi on all the time.
On the occasions when I know I need to stretch the battery as long as possible (such as recently at all-day baseball tournaments for my eldest), I generally disable Bluetooth, WiFi, and location services. (The drawback on the last one is losing geo-tagging on photos, but sometimes tradeoffs must be made.)
Look for a droid app called 3g Watchdog. Its free. Once installed there is a small icon you can put on one of your screens on the phone. It will show you how much wifi and how much 3g/4g data is being used. You can change various settings that tell it how much data you have on your plan and when the plan renewal date is. That way when you look at the icon you can see that you have you x 3g and x wifi data. This will accumulate for the month. Then when you hit your monthly renewal date they will all flip back to 0.
There is also another icon that looks like a dogs face. its a flip switch. Hit it once to turn it green which means 3g/4g is on and hot it again to turn it reg which means 3g/4g is off. I normally run mine with the 4g off but Wifi turned on. This way when I am at home or at work all the data I use is 100% wifi and free. If I am out and want something I just tap the watch dog icon green, then get what I want and then tap it again so it goes red. Its helped me stay around 100 meg a month...
Recent research has shown that using ad-supported apps can seriously impact your data usage since they constantly pull ads over the network. There’s an incentive to pay.