Blog Post

Poll: How Much 3G Data Do You Use?

[polldaddy poll=3291552]

Given the recent news about AT&T’s (s att) decision to shift from unlimited 3G data plans for smartphone users to a new 2GB cap, we were curious how much data you actually use on your device.

Personally, I use the iPhone each month tethered to my MacBook for a two hour train commute to and from work. Taking a peak at my stats revealed that I’ve downloaded 4.1GB of data and uploaded nearly a gig, which would put me at over 5GB in the past three weeks alone. This is a train ride mostly consisting of blogging, email, skype audio chats and RSS reading with the occasional YouTube video.

AT&T hasn’t specifically said that tethering data will impact your 2GB monthly limit but, if it does, this is not the plan for heavy mobile users on the go. AT&T users can login to AT&T’s Wireless site and select, “See Data Usage” for a closer look at their usage.

You can check on your iPhone by visiting Settings > General > Usage.

So, about how much data are you using each month (Sent + Received)?

27 Responses to “Poll: How Much 3G Data Do You Use?”

  1. “AT&T hasn’t specifically said that tethering data will impact your 2GB monthly limit but, if it does, this is not the plan for heavy mobile users on the go”

    A cap would defeat the point of tethering. I hope that there is no limit on tethering because it will make it useless for most users.

  2. Bob C

    I usually use between 4 – 7 GB/month. I don’t tether. I use my iPhone for streaming audio – it is my entertainment device. It is jailbroke, but I rarely update my podcasts directly from the iPhone.

    I guess I will be “grandfathered” for the time being. However, between this and ATT’s lousy coverage (NO DATA at all here on I-90 in eastern/central SD, and lots of areas in the SW USSA), my next phone will be Android on Vz or Sprint. That Dell Streak looks nice.

  3. I work 5 days a week from mine as my primary internet connection, and for the commute I watch Air Video on the train for shows that I missed the night before, but want to watch before someone in the office ruins it. (Or if I’ve run out of audio books). The TWIT app also gets a lot of play. Essentially, if I’m out of the house, I’m using bandwidth. I was hoping we would start seeing bigger limits, not smaller ones.

  4. Henwli

    Living in Finland, with an unlimited data plan @ 9,99€/mo.

    My last monthly tally is ~35GB of data, and the one previous to that ~40GB (in total). Seems nuts but during the past few months my apartment’s internet connection has been out of commission and I have relied almost solely on tethering for my internet connectivity. Before this I averaged at about 5-10GB/mo.

    Tethering combined to an unlimited data plan was one of the driving forces behind my getting an iPhone, in case something like this happens.

  5. Victor

    Since October I have used about 9gb down. A lot of that is from tethering when I get home from school (home internet = 1mbps, school= 10mbps, 3g= 3mbps, just got a fancy new 3g network here where I live). Unfortunately I’m moving back home in about a week and I was planning on tethering more… so these new plans are kind of crappy for me. They’re great for my girlfriend though. She’s going to get a new iphone when it comes out and the $15 plan is great for her because she can spend the other $15-20 a month on getting real internet for her apartment.

    The $15 plan really needs to be more than 200 mb though. If it was around 300-400 mb I could swing it and save some money. Unfortunately I use about 300-400 mb per month usually. I’ll probably just keep my unlimited data and tether until they get all pissy about it… I’ll just try to limit my tethered data.

  6. Andrew

    I average 520 mb per month and that’s without tethering. Oh and a note: the data usage feature includes wifi. This month I’ve used 320 mb already! It’s only the 8th day of the 31 day cycle. But i’m on vacation and haven’t been using

  7. Ethan

    I think its especially criminal that we’ll have to pay an additional $20 per month simply to USE the 2gb they are giving us via a laptop. Why should it matter what is accessing the data? If it’s capped at 2gb, let us use our iphone or our tethered laptop to use up that 2gb without any additional charges. disgusting.

  8. I use around 40-60MB per month, the most I’ve ever used in the 2 years I’ve had the iPhone was 134MB. My Mom’s now on my plan with an iPhone 3Gs, and used .66MB her first month lol. Thankfully it’s because we have WiFi at our homes, and I have WiFi at work and most of my friends who’s houses I often visit. I still think they should offer an unlimited plan for those who need it. Now’s the time to start a petition I guess.

  9. I don’t use any 3G data because I don’t own a functional cell phone (and have never used the Internet from a cell phone). I’m a freelance graphics designer and database developer (and occasionally even a systems administrator), so it’s not that I’m afraid of technology. I just have no use for a cell phone, at least 99% of the time.

    That having been said, I was extremely interested in getting an iPad, so I could have web access wherever I go. Unfortunately, this change gives me pause. I have no idea how much data I would use, and I’m not about to spend hundreds of dollars on a device that may turn out to be worthless.

  10. Strongfist

    I use my G1 as the sole internet provider for me and my room mate. Its handy and no matter what my internet charges are a flat $30 rate.

    For all of you who think ATT is doing a good thing (essentially you iPhone users) read this article :

    it breaks down how ATT is trying to trap you with statistics that mislead and device. Its true that i am an Android user but i hate to see companies take our hard earned money so this isn;t even about the whole Android-iPhone war. This is just be looking after my fellow consumers…so just check out the article the reply to me with thoughts

  11. lens42

    In my last 7 months I never exceeded 150MB. I don’t have the patience to watch video on my phone, but I suppose if the network were faster I might feel different.

    What I don’t get is the extra charge for tethering after they are already billing by the GB anyway.

  12. I’ve used internet tethering since OS 3.0 with my danish carrier, and I got unlimited data, so I’ve used internet tethering a lot, which brings my total data usage on my 1.5 year old iPhone 3G to 10.8 GB recv. and 0.8 GB sent, meaning about 600 MB per month.

    btw I used to dislike my carrier, because of a bad signal now and then, but after hearing about these new AT&T prices, I really like my 25$/month unlimited data usage w/ tethering plan :) And I’ve never experienced a dropped call!

  13. Pratul

    I am so glad I did not get the 3G iPad !! :)
    I use sprint mifi. Very good speed and reliable. Can’t get that from AT&T. Atleast not yet. Hopefully soon but I’ll be in line for the next version of iPad by then ;)

  14. Twist

    I barely use any data at all on my phone. Of course I don’t have an iPhone or even a smart phone (because honestly if it isn’t an iPhone whats the point?). Been waiting for the iPhone to hit a network other than AT&T in the US for way too long now.

  15. I use around 500mb/month on my 3gs, but that is because I get horrible service in my home (which I work from) so I am always on wifi. I wouldn’t feel so horrible about this, other than I was planning on jailbreaking once it is out for 4.0 so I can tether to my iPad. I thought for sure this was smarter than buying a 3g iPad. Lets just hope that nothing happens to my grandfathered unlimited plan (AT&T can mess things up pretty good, I use to work for them and saw it all the time) so I don’t have to deal with this.

  16. I barely use 3GB a month on my ADSL connection. 200MB tops on the iPhone, but I am in Australia where the best provider is worse than AT&T.

    I maintain a quiet blog, upload a few dozen photos a year, and buy a dozen songs a month. When commuting, I’m usually working on local files since my work is mainly coding and documentation.

  17. Andy Thun

    Im not 100% sure, but checking via your phone by visiting Settings > General > Usage. Tells you how much data you have used over the lifetime of your phone. UNLESS you reset your statistics. My usage floats around 300mb a month. My question is, Will I be able to teather via Bluetooth with my wifi iPad?

  18. Bryan

    Unless you’re tethering, I don’t know how anyone is using over a gig a month. In 18 months I have 538 mb sent and 3.1 gb received. I don’t exactly stream movies or anything, but would consider myself more than an average user.

    Surely if you pay an additional $20 a month for tethering, it will go beyond just the 2gb.

  19. jack bauer

    i’ve only busted the 200mb plan once in the past 7 months. my wife barely has any, <50mb/mo. so right away, i can go from $60/both unlimited to $30/both for 200mb/mo.

    Thx ATT, who says they’re evil?

  20. J Marler

    I use about 250MB/mo, but I am not jailbroken and don’t tether. The new data limits will save me about $20/mo between myself and my wife’s phone. She uses <50MB/mo, so she can go onto the $15/mo plan.