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Tracking Mobile Data Usage

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Last updated by Isabel M

How do I minimize my data usage?

Since data sent/received over Wi-Fi networks does not count toward your monthly usage, it's good practice to use Wi-Fi wherever available. Using Wi-Fi at home is an obvious example, but many offices and public spaces also offer Wi-Fi networks that can be used too.

Set your handset's Wi-Fi Sleep Policy to "Never"

Certain phones may disconnect the Wi-Fi network when not in use. You can force your handset to always use Wi-Fi (when available) by choosing Settings > Wireless and Networks > Wifi Settings > Press "menu" and choose "Advanced" and then change the Wi-Fi Sleep Policy to "Never". This is not the only pathway to finding this feature in your phone. To find directions specific to your phone, check your device's manual.

Alerts and Usage Caps

In addition to the previous tips, you can also set alerts and usage caps to help track and reduce your data usage. Here's a video that will walk you through the process:

Set a usage alert and optionally, a hard usage cap

Important information about Alerts and Caps

You should generally set an alert or cap for a little bit before when want to be notified. For example, if you want to be alerted when you hit 200MB, it's ideal to set that alert for around 180MB. This takes into account the time it takes for the data information to be sent back to us so we can send the alert to you.

Alerts and hard caps for voice don't go into effect until you've finished the call you're on.

If your device is in the middle of a data session or a process that uses data (i.e. downloading a file, watching a continuous play list of videos or an app running in the background) that process will need to complete before an alert is sent or a hard cap kicks in.

In some cases, usage information can take up to 48 hours to be updated. This has been seen with data and voice/text when roaming.

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Andrew Costen

    Hi Chris. It looks like Kim is looking into this for you. She's responded to your email, so please check for her response.

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    Stephan Mynarkiewicz

    Theoretically how long should it take (at most) for usage to show up on the meter?  Mine jumped from 90 to 96 overnight which, while correct overall for the month, seems to be delayed by about 2 days (which can definitely be a problem if there's a limit set on the account/device).

  • Avatar
    Andrew Costen

    It's supposed to be a matter of hours, but we have seen it take up to 2 days on occasion. We have to wait for our carrier (Sprint) to send the data to us, but it becomes available almost as soon as we get it.

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    Terry Blunt

    I really like the alerts and the ability to put a hard cap on usage. The only thing that would make it better is if my kids can call me even if they are over  the limit and their phone is disabled.

  • Avatar
    Brennan V

    Hi Terry, we've received requests similar to yours. We will consider them, although nothing of that nature is planned on our road map. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Avatar
    R E

    I've noticed for about the last two or three weeks the data has been taking about three days to update for me.

    For example this morning the data usage for the 10th appeared. In the past it would normally take a few hours. Since I keep track of data used with an app it is not a big deal.

    Just more curious if it is a Sprint thing or specific to my account.

  • Avatar
    Andrew Costen

    I haven't heard of anyone else having this issue, so it could just be your account. I'm going to follow up through email though.

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    Micah LeFebvre

    This is probably a dumb question, but if I disable my data for a few days to avoid going over a cap am I correct in thinking it's only 3G data that's disabled and I will still be able to use Wi-Fi on my phone? 

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    Andrew Costen

    Yes, it's just 3G data that's disabled. Wifi will still work fine. Do it from the Ting Dashboard as well as your phone though, just to be safe.

  • Avatar
    Micah LeFebvre

    Awesome. I thought that was the case but wanted to make sure. Thanks for your prompt replies, guys! :) 

  • Avatar
    Samuel Gruber

    I'd like to make a tiny cosmetic request about the Dashboard: Right now under the nifty dial things there is some text which looks like this:

    Current Usage (mins/$) 10 $3

    And similar for the other two dials. The "(mins/$)" label should be changed because right now it reads as "minutes per dollar" which is clearly not the correct interpretation of the numbers to the left.

    Apart from that, I really appreciate how easy Ting makes it to view usage on this site. Keep up the good work!

  • Avatar
    Mike Beeson

    In English text

    "The most common use of the slash is to replace the  hyphen or  en dash to make a clear, strong joint between words or phrases, such as "the Hemingway/Faulkner generation". It is used to represent the concept "or", especially in instruction books. It is also commonly translated today as "and"."

    http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Slash_(punctuation).html

     

  • Avatar
    Andrew Costen

    Thanks for the suggestion, Samuel. I'll pass it along.

  • Avatar
    Jorge Betancourt

    I got a data charge for 0.00 Mbs but it shows as if it was 1 and I'm wondering if I will really be charged for It because i have not used any data this month?
    Thank you

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    Judy Horn

    I am one day away from my billing cycle end and 1 minute away from going over 500 minutes. I'm estimated to use 518 minutes, but my cost is not changing....it shows $9. So is there a grace amount if you are close to the end of your cycle and are close enough to the previous "bucket"?

  • Avatar
    Mike Beeson

    5 percent. (525 minutes)

  • Avatar
    Judy Horn

    That's very cool! My husband already wants me to sign him up because of how reasonable the rates are, and I get the same reception as I had with Verizon. Thank-you!

  • Avatar
    Derek Gjovig

    I have set a cap on my daughter's phone for data (and she is over on it for the rest of the cycle), and have set her phone to never let the wifi sleep... however, she is now saying that she cannot receive or send texts unless she is in a wifi area? Is this possible? I thought that texts were sent and received via 3G network...

    Derek

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    Brennan V

    Hey Derek, if you are using the native SMS messaging app on your phone, then text messages will be sent via the mobile voice network. If you are using a third party app such as WhatsApp, then the messages will be sent through the data network.

  • Avatar
    Derek Gjovig

    Hmmmmm... we are both using iPhone 4Ss... using either standard text messaging or iMessaging... I am getting her texts, but she doesn't seem to be getting my responses (either type)... at school they don't have access to the wifi network... any other guesses as to what may be causing this? I suppose that I can lift the alert and see if for some reason that fixes the problem...

  • Avatar
    Felipe S

    Hi Derek. Can you check the color of the speech bubbles on her phone when she sends messages? If they're green, they should be going through regular text (SMS) and you shouldn't need wi-fi or data connection to have them go through. If they're blue, however, they're not going through regular text, but via their proprietary messaging protocol which requires data to go through. In that case, you'd have to disable that feature under the phone's settings to have them sent as regular SMS text messages.  If you need any further assistance verifying that or disabling that feature, please contact us through a support request and we'll further investigate it with you.

  • Avatar
    Derek Gjovig

    so... if she turns of the iMessaging, it should default to standard texting, right?

     

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    Paraic O

    That is correct! Be aware though that sending images and videos (MMS messaging), even via text, will need to use Data to send, be it cellular data or WiFi.

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    Jennifer Prestia

    Can I ask a clarifying question as a very new android user? With regard to the "Set your handset's Wifi Sleep Policy to "Never""- my phone (Galaxy Sii) the question is formatted as Keep Wifi on during Sleep. Should I select Always in that case to minimize data use? The Never option says it increases data usage.

  • Avatar
    Renny M

    Hi Jennifer,

    For your device, you want to set that option to "Always" to minimize mobile data usage. That way your device will stay connected to a WiFi network if there is one in range. 

  • Avatar
    Bill and Gwen Parkin

    I would like to set a single alert to go to both phones on my account.  Is that possible or do I need to set up 2 alerts, 1 for each phone?

  • Avatar
    Marty M

    Hi Bill and Gwen! You can set up a single Alert up for your whole account, or for individual lines, whichever you prefer!

  • Avatar
    Matthew Kramer

    My phone has not left my home (and wi-fi) for several days, but I still see data charges. What are possible reasons for this? Thanks.

  • Avatar
    Richard Everson

    Some phones can only do prl and profile updates over 3g/4g/lte.  That may explain what you are seeing.

  • Avatar
    Matthew Kramer

    Thanks Richard.  This is an iPhone 4.  Would that explain about 0.5 MB/day?

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