Monday, July 02, 2012

A "shocker" text from Verizon on iPad hotspot data use after DC storm


I got a bit of shock in a text message from Verizon Wireless this morning, saying that I had used a little over 1G of my iPad data limit of 2G (I had thought it was unlimited when I got it, since June 25, though the next billing date of July 25.

I started using the iPad hotspot late Friday night June 29 after the derecho knocked out cable Internet service. 

The cost for the iPad on my account was $30 a month for 2G.  I upped it to 5G for $50 pro-rated.  But I don’t see how I could have used 1G in one day.  I didn’t watch any big videos. 

The 4G service from the iPad is very efficient, almost as fast as cable.

On Saturday, June 30, thought, the service was spotty, stalling and dropping at times because Verizon had power issues with its towers.

Perhaps Carbonite auto backups are an issue, since Carbonite seems to back up a lot of unnecessary files.
I checked my history and found that Verizon recorded  1.024 gig every month since January, so it only reports in whole 1G increments.  Once a significant fraction of 1G is used, the Verizon application reports  a whole gig as in use.

I have surfed on the iPad when traveling,  including some video, and apparently not run into issues with excessive data.  I have to see if hot spot use changes the calculation.

My Droid data use is modest, a few hundred megs a month, including watching some MLB replay videos and weather channel maps and reports.  

There's a story in PC Magazine by Sascha Segan, March 21, 2012, "How to avoid burning through your iPad 4G'a data cap".  Best advice: watch the video streaming.  The link for the story is here.

The YouTube bit rate per second, linked on this story, is also helpful, here

Verizon provides a spread-sheet style analysis of each episode of iPad access, but it doesn't show up until the next day.  Times appear to be MDT.

 For what it's worth, most of my own still pictures now are small (< 200K).  There's little need for finer resolution for most ordinary blogging.  

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