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If the Droid's "unlimited" data plan from Verizon is only 5 GB a month, how much data do people usually use?
Asked by timoreilly
Posted Nov 09 2009 09:55 AM
I read today on Slashdot that the Droid's "unlimited" data plan is actually only 5 GB a month. I'm wondering, based on other Android phone users' experience, what's the average data usage per month? Average monthly iPhone data usage would also be handy.
Also, is there a good tool for seeing this data on a monthly basis? On the iPhone, going to Settings -> General -> Usage gives you the amount of usage since the last Statistics Reset. That works if, for example, you're going on an international trip, and remember to reset statistics before you go so you can watch when you hit the international data roaming limit, but it's a bit tedious to do more often.
And there's some data on my ATT online bill, but in typical telco fashion, quite hard to decipher. Wondering if there's a simple app for collecting this data and setting alerts when you're near the limit.
But in the short term, a few real world answers of the form "I typically use n GB a month" would be helpful.
Answered by hair2onfire
Posted Nov 09 2009 10:07 AM
My iPhone says 2.3 GB received, and 415 MB sent. And I have never reset the stats in the last 9 months. So, 2.7 GB / 7 = 0.3 GB per month.
Answered by Brent Rockwood
Posted Nov 09 2009 10:09 AM
Try as I might, I've never used anywhere close to a Gig on my iPhone. A few hundred megs is the most I've ever managed in a month. That includes using it freely, Youtube, tons of feed reading. I often switch to WiFi at home, though.
Answered by dkavanagh
Posted Nov 09 2009 10:09 AM
Been using between .5 and 1 GB on my Google Ion
Answered by jasoncrawford
Posted Nov 09 2009 10:10 AM
Mine says 363 MB sent, 1.6 GB received, since 12/19/08, almost 11 months ago. So 33 MB up and 149 MB down a month.
A quick Google search for "average iPhone data usage" reveals a few links where people are reporting 100+ MB/month, which corroborates my figures.
Comment by jackr : Nov 09 2009 10:17 AM
Like others, I'm running around 400MB/month, which includes push-notice email from my company's Exchange server (and several POP email accounts monitored manually). I have several Twitter clients installed, but mostly tweet from the desktop rather than the mobile.
Answered by scilib
Posted Nov 09 2009 10:19 AM
Even with constant use and tethering, I didn't manage to exceed 1GB on my iPhone on the Canadian Rogers network. Of course, the iPhone won't let you download videos or files bigger than 10MB over 3G anyway, which is one limiting factor. But in general between small data sizes for average transactions and a lot of time spent using wifi, it's hard to push more than a GB over 3G in a month.
Answered by sacherjj
Posted Nov 09 2009 10:28 AM
On my Palm Pre, I use 2-3 GB per month with a max of close to 5 Gb one month. I sync my Podcasts over EVDO in drPodder. I use bluetooth headset and drop my Pre on a touchstone to stream Pandora most of the work day. On Mondays, I may watch NFL Network to catch up on the weekend's football. I also stream video from home, using Orb server.
I think the level of streaming media you use is the determination of how close you get to the 5 Gb limit.
Answered by timoreilly
Posted Nov 09 2009 10:30 AM
Several answers coming in via Twitter (where I also posted this question):
@htyoung: The only thing about data caps is that the exceptional people like me have 8 gigs of podcasts downloading daily.
@DonMagee I use my phone constantly, and according to the iPhone 3gs which I got on launch day I've used 354 meg down and 80meg up.
@bagder: I'm definitely always less than 1GB, and I read LOTS of mail and surf the web daily...
@mkooiker: I just got a Motorola Droid on Friday and my data usage is trending 2.2G/Mo.
Answered by smaglio81
Posted Nov 09 2009 10:32 AM
I have an iPhone with 157 MB sent / 1.2 GB received since 07-01-2009. I think that's about 40 MB sent / 300 MB received per month.
Answered by geraldirish
Posted Nov 09 2009 10:47 AM
uploads: 10.6 MB/month
downloads: 212.5 MB/month
Comment by sjdorst : Nov 09 2009 10:52 AM
Just got my Droid over the weekend. Anybody know where to find Data usage to date? And does it break out 3G vs WiFi?
Answered by PortmanW
Posted Nov 09 2009 11:12 AM
Just got the Droid on Friday (and switched from TMobile to Verizon). But on my G1 with TMobile, I was averaging 200MB/mo, with a peak of 500MB.
Answered by ashansky
Posted Nov 09 2009 11:13 AM
My wife and I combined average about 1GB per month both on iPhones.
Answered by Brad Greenlee
Posted Nov 09 2009 11:15 AM
In 16 months with my iPhone 3G, I've sent 321 MB and received 3.5 GB, so 20 MB/mo. down and 219 MB/mo. up.
Answered by duhring
Posted Nov 09 2009 11:48 AM
I've asked the same question. I purchased the Verizon MiFi hotspot for a cross-country drive after my daughter graduated from college. They had two plans: 250MB a month, and the 5 GB per month. Well, I blew through the 250 MB within a couple of days and switched to the 5 GB. It feels like the old days of GEISCO, CompuServe, and telenet, when you paid kilo-character charges for the privilege of using an online service. Once you exceed your limit, you starting paying a per-minute fee.
I've exceeded my 5 GB limit once, and now take steps to limit my usage. Is this what verizon wants? It relegates their equipment to "insurance" status rather than a "must have" device. My current application is to have it on in my car when I drive, so my 1st gen iPhone has better connectivity.
Answered by williamklos
Posted Nov 09 2009 01:34 PM
I've used 2.5GB since 10/31/2008 (~208MB/month) on my iPhone. It seemed low, but since I spend most of my time on WiFi, it works out.
Answered by chadsville
Posted Nov 09 2009 02:39 PM
"Ok there have been WAY too many people that have misconceptions about the data usage on their phones.
The $30 plan that you got to surf the web and to play with your apps. This plan includes "UNLIMITED" data usage. It does NOT have 5GB cap. This has been confirmed by 3 verizon reps on our site. Also confirmed if you read the terms and conditions of the data plan you purchase. The terms and conditions can be found on their website, or below this paragraph.
The 5GB data usage plans are for following and ONLY for the following: USB Modems, PC Cards, ExpressCards, MiFi 2200, Notebooks, Netbooks, OR if you are tethering a device from a: Mobile Broadband Connect-capable smartphone or blackberry. Shown in the PDF file below.
Mobile Broadband Plans for USB Modems.pdf
On your Phone as long as you are using it ONLY as a phone to access the internet, play games, listen to the radio, or whatever else the phone is capable of (NOT TETHERING!) it is unlimited.
*WARNING* If you do find a way to tether the phone without paying for it, verizon wireless has the ability to find out that you are doing it. While it is unlikely that they find you if you stay under 5GB, they still have the ability to. They will charge you the full amount for the data usage for the times you've used it if caught."
Answered by krzyselamimi
Posted Nov 09 2009 03:44 PM
Have no broadband at home right now, so with Nokia (E51) running JoikuSpot Premium I used 6 GB last month. During last 10 days of November I used 4 GB so far. The data used only by the phone (I usually work on my MacBook at home) when I'm away from home is negligible comparing what I use working on my Mac.
The good thing is that I have a data plan with no limits at all, for which I pay a flat rate.
The plan is 5 years old (you can't buy it right now) and I'm based in Poland, Europe.
Answered by mike-loukides
Posted Nov 10 2009 08:33 AM
AT&T does show you on the online bill... and they've recently redesigned the site, so it was fairly easy to find.
I use 50-100 MB/month, which is probably on the low side. If I am doing anything with a lot of traffic, I turn on WiFi (which generally has better throughput than AT&T). So streaming audio or video "doesn't count." I also keep things like Twitter turned off, since they drain the battery fairly quickly.
All in all, I'm a fairly lightweight user, so 50MB is probably a lower bound. But it's also a factor of 100 below 5 GB. Short of tethering a home network through the phone, it's hard to imagine usage going over 5 GB.
Comment by bmclaugh : Nov 17 2009 05:40 AM
So isn't the better question -- or perhaps the more apparent question, given replies to this thread -- why are Droid users reporting usage an order of magnitude higher than iPhone users?
Seriously. This isn't a one-is-better, but more curiosity. Other than the one guy using 8GB for podcasts, everyone with an iPhone is saying 200-400MB/month, with most replies in the 200MB range, and yet we have Droid folks easily eating up 1 GB/month.
I'd love to understand that dynamic.
O'Reilly Media, Inc.
Answered by ILoveMyDr0ID
Posted Nov 18 2009 05:17 PM
My phone last month was around 300MB worth of uses, however I only used the phone for about 2 weeks of that month. I did use it heavily. However, I did not use things like pandora for fear of being charged or penalized by the 5GB rule. Today I contacted verizon and was told by a rep who has the droid and the unlimited plan, that there IS NO limit. That is for broadband accounts only. As long as you use your droid to stream etc and it is legal content (i.e. Pandora and not bearshare etc) you are perfectly fine. She said she streams pandora all day everyday and I am free to do the same. Hopefully this sheds some light on all the rumors out there about the limits :-)
Answered by cnlson
Posted Jan 17 2010 12:02 AM
this site makes it very difficult to answer... i had to sign up then click a link then come back to this page reclick the answer then search for the question. ugh.
i just got my droid on 1/9 and here are my stats so far in 8 days and i only installed PDANET today and only used it to update the AV on a netbook so less than 50 meg tethered (so far) my wife on the other hand is @ 86 meg total in the same amount of time but she mostly does facebook.
( 12/23 - 01/17 )
For your reference, your data usage is also shown in
In Kilobytes 1,138,697 KB
In Megabytes* 1,113 MB
In Gigabytes* 2 GB
* Rounded up
this this is awesome for surfing. the battery lasted nearly 8 hours continuous at a high school wrestling meet, including apps like pandora and using the camera when one of the kids was on the mats.
i have used it with logmein to remote control my home computers, use OWA for work email. there is a citrix app coming which will allow me to remote my work computer as well. i can't imagine that i wont bump up against 5gig regularly, then again on a chocolate3 my data usage was nearly 1gb a month.
Answered by Modmadmike
Posted Mar 08 2010 04:39 AM
Kilobytes Used 1655995.20KB
Estimate as of 03/07/10 11:53 PM" and my Cycle ends : 03/15/10
Ps: im a Droid user
Answered by jacobwebb13
Posted Aug 13 2010 08:05 PM
I have a palm pre plus on verizon and currently I have used over 8 gigs of internet due to videos on youtube and pandora internet radio
Answered by Michael Williams
Posted Aug 23 2010 03:04 PM
I just got my Droid X and I just finished last month with 8.6 gig downloaded, is that a lot?
Answered by geepers205
Posted Oct 07 2010 07:24 PM
I have a blackberry 9630 and i average 2.o GB a month. I stream heavily. iPhone is a "fun" phone more than an android. Android streams higher quality video and well everything else. One last note: goverment agencies utilize blackberry (and probably more android soon also) because they are far superior to an iphone. Especially in terms of encryption. If iahd an I-toy im sure id have more fun!. A smart phone is a smartphone and lets face it-iphone users would pay for free air if they could.
Answered by BMoondancer2004
Posted Feb 13 2011 10:50 AM
Ok, first let's be for real--you are not going to know YOUR usage until, well frankly, you use it. I do this for a living, I will not say who I work for but I am sure you can figure it out through what I'm going to tell you. So I always tell my customer's to use the device as much as you want, if your usage is on the lower end then great get a plan to cover it and be happy you're under. If your a heavy data user please understand that you will need to get use to paying for what you're using, you need the highest plan and unfortunately because of the strain that data does cause the network you're going to end up paying for those large amounts. These are computer devices, but they are not meant to be your home computer--that's what you have DSL, dial up or cable modems for because that's your unlimited stuff. These devices are for mobile communications and that means you are mobile most of the time (not with your head buried into your phone streaming movies, constantly downloading songs or games or large graphics like movies, videos, etc.)The data plans that are out there are MORE that sufficient for normal or even what I consider to be constant heavy usage. While I personally don't have a cap on my data plan (it's unlimited) I feel that I am an extremely large data user and the highest data I've used on my phone is right at 3GB in a month (that was when I got my first Android phone and was setting it up making a lot of download purchases) once you get the phone set up with the apps you are going to use the most you will occasionally download more but it shouldn't be like that. Now things that will cause your usage to be higher is apps like Pandora, Slacker, You Tube, etc. These apps are streaming from the internet so they are going to be data hogs.
People sometimes just don't realize that certain widgits or icons they have on their phone are using the internet to update/refresh. Weather widgits (that info has to come from somewhere), Facebook widgits, My space widgits, email notifications, usage indicators, maps/navigation, skype, Kindle, Yellowbook, words of the day, ANYTHING that you CAN'T use while in "Airplane Mode" is an internet connection option.
The other thing people don't realize with devices like Androids, IPhones, and some of the new blackberrys/palms is they are "always on" devices, they are pretty much going to stay connected to the internet whether you are actively going into those apps on purpose or not and this is another reason why cell providers have HAD to go to making customer's have data plans, technology changes and thus we evolve with it and this is how the manufacturer's have designed them to work.
Just remember, the more graphic intensive something is the more data it's going to pull.
KB's turn into MB's which turn into GB's. There is 1024 KB in 1 MB and 1024 MBs in 1 GB Thus if you are on a 2GB data plan your 2 GB equals 2048 MB; Just like 5GB = 5120 MB.
If you are using or plan to use the device for a "hotspot" and you are on a limited plan, it may make more sense in the long run to just invest in a MiFi unit instead of using your phone this way, for one you're still going to end up paying the same in the long run and for two you can connect the phone up to the MiFi and use it's data plan and keep your phone on a lower plan, for three it saves your phone's battery. Not to mention if you plan on investing in the new AWESOME 4G Android coming out (the Motorola Atrix coming beginning of March) with the laptop dock accessory the MiFi unit is going to be your best bet to help suppliment usage on the phone, any other WiFi enabled devices and to avoid costly overages if you continue to choose a lower data plan for the cell phone or a limited plan with high data usage.
Answered by macnlos
Posted Feb 14 2011 10:08 AM
You are asking a question that really is specific to a user's usage model. I have an iPad and I started out with the 250MB per month plan. I can tell you that just doing web surfing, emails, and some occasional downloads put me over by about 50mb. So watching what I was doing, NOT downloading movies or applications, put me at 300MB per month.
5GB is very large. But if you are a person that is going to sit on their droid and download full movies or lots of applications then it can get eaten up pretty quickly. For example, a download of the movie Salt from iTunes is roughly 1GB. do that 5 times and this plan gets small very quickly.
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Answered by nicedoggylove
Posted Feb 19 2011 03:16 PM
If you want to hit 5G really fast...like in 2 days...try watching Netflix movies! I tried doing that using my Nexus as a mobile hotspot and hit 5G on the second day of my billing cycle! Then for the rest of the month I was throttled down about 80% and of course I couldn't watch Netflix (it would take an hour or more to load). So I was barely able to check emails and use my calender for the remainder of my cycle; it was like using extra slow dial up. Just ridiculous how slow it was., pratically useless.
Well if the wave of the future is watching video online they better give us an option of buying the deluxe unlimited plan so we can have more band width...lol
Answered by aquack4
Posted Mar 16 2011 07:30 PM
Verizon does cap data usage if you are a top 5% data user. This is stated in the contract that during heavy usage they can restrict or do whatever the heck they want to your data transfer rate if you have gone into the top 5% of data users for the month. At the end of the billing period your account will go back to normal until you hit that point again.
The contract does not say where Verizon gets this average from. To be fair it really should only be the average of the unlimited users as those who pay for lower usage restrict their usage based on price not how much they want to use the service. Not to mention if you are paying per mb usage for going over your monthly limit why would Verizon cap these users when they are paying out the @$$!
So basically everyone with an unlimited plan needs to up their data usage so that the top 5% is MUCH Higher. Show Verizon what real data usage is.
Download, stream, blog, browse and game to your hearts content. Push the limit to the roof!
Answered by allquixotic
Posted Apr 18 2011 08:28 PM
I have an HTC Thunderbolt 4G. I have the $30/month "Unlimited" 4G/LTE plan from Verizon Wireless.
Verizon has publicly declared (and even the salesperson at the store told me) that unlimited tethering is free until May 15. So I've been putting it to the test, and using their built-in tethering app to connect my computers to the phone.
I watch Netflix occasionally; I download massive (200 - 1000 MB) Windows Updates for Visual Studio and Office. I listen to MLB Gameday Audio streams. I play Starcraft 2 and Team Fortress 2.
I just pre-loaded Portal 2 for a cool 10 GB.
My Verizon DSL here is absolutely atrocious: we have persistent connection dropout and line quality issues (the PPPoE link goes down) that Verizon has refused to fix since 2006, and we have been getting fliers and phone calls notifying us of "imminent" FiOS availability since 2007. When the DSL works flawlessly (which is about half of a day each month), it can pull close to 800 KB/s downstream and non-existent upstream (pushing too much upstream data causes the modem to disconnect even on a good day). But my LTE tethered computer can get between 400 and 1300 KB/s on average. Over time it works out to be much faster and MUCH more reliable than DSL. The actual measured downstream is much more variable than the DSL -- it constantly fluctuates between about 300 KB/s and 1 MB/s -- but on the whole it ends up downloading things faster, because of all the time it spends above about 700 KB/s. Most days the DSL can only pull about 400 KB/s, so it's pretty easy for LTE to beat it even on the low end of LTE's speeds.
4G opens up the opportunity for users who are disadvantaged and locked into unacceptable landlines to get fantastic speeds over the air. I don't understand why Verizon can't hook up the kind of fiber to their cell towers that they hook up to the FiOS terminals. FiOS users likely consume an order of magnitude more bandwidth than I do, but my provider puts me on a "watch list" for using an amount of data that would be considered picayune by today's standards (5GB). Sheesh.
I don't care what providers think or intend the service to be used for; I'm asking (no, demanding, as a customer) that 4G providers change their business model in order to provide truly unlimited bandwidth over the air, to be used as a primary home internet connection for people who "live" on the internet for all their entertainment and professional needs. I am willing to pay basically any flat-rate fee to get this service: name your price. $250/month? I can do it. It's worth it. I'd cancel my DSL in a heartbeat if I thought I could get away with pulling 100 GB/month on LTE, but as it stands I purposely hold back and download *most* things using DSL, despite its ups and downs. I just play games (and other things I can't afford to lose connection while doing) on the LTE, and even then I go over 5GB/month very regularly.
I have plenty of money to throw Verizon's way, but I can't stomach the idea of paying per megabyte for overages. Besides, that ends up being on the order of $2000 - $5000 per month if you're a big-time bandwidth user like me, and that is just unacceptable, even for my budget.
If I can't get the kind of service I want, I guess I will have to up and move house to a location where real service is being offered. Maybe one of Google's pilot towns for the 100 Mbps municipal internet. If Verizon can't keep up with the next decade of customer demands, I'll just leave them behind. It's time to stop being complacent, and step up to the plate and offer world-class service to the citizens of the U.S. As it stands, we can't even buy products we want from American companies, to support the American economy, and follow your rules: it would take me two months' worth of bandwidth at a level you consider acceptable (5 GB) to download Portal 2 at 10 GB. No wonder the economy is in a nosedive: we have tons of great products on the Internet, from games, to Netflix, to frequent software updates... but our infrastructure is so greedy, or so under-engineered, that we can't even purchase and access the products we want to buy.
It'd be like having a fantastic car industry with world-class, high-performance, fuel-efficient cars for $20,000, but the only road between Washington and Baltimore would be a 1-lane toll road with $25 toll booths every 10 miles. That's what we've got in the Internet business today in the U.S., and it has to stop.
I personally have a vote of no confidence in our land line strategy, so mobile is the only way to go. Lay down one cell tower with a big wad of fiber backhaul, and you can service hundreds or thousands of customers (depending on population density). If you want to serve each customer individually using fiber to the premises, the installation costs (and waiting time to get the service) is one or two orders of magnitude worse -- especially in suburban areas. And sometimes, because of zoning laws and (absolutely idiotic) monopolies granted to single companies on landline internet, sometimes it is downright impossible to get the service you want.
Mobile is almost to the point of being able to offer every person in the U.S. 12 to 25 Mbps downstream and 2 to 5 Mbps upstream, once LTE is nationwide. If the radio on the towers is improved to support more users concurrently, and the backhaul is beefed up to support the kinds of throughput you see on the FiOS network, then the dream of LTE (and later technologies) as the primary internet connection would come true. But it seems that the providers simply don't want this to happen. Why would they knowingly stifle something that could end a dark era of repression, consumer exploitation and backwards progress in the U.S., and usher in a resurgence of world leadership in top-of-the-line internet access available to everyone? I just can't understand what motivations could override even the possibility of attaining that.
Answered by markm
Posted May 21 2011 01:17 PM
I currently have a Verizon Droid X on unlimited 3g plan.
It hauls about 3Mb/s on average upload and download.
My monthly usage hovers around 5-10gb, soon to be much more when i upgrade to thunderbolt.