Data requirement ???

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by pmanton, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. pmanton

    pmanton Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I'm going to finally get a smart phone. Looking at the data plans I have NO idea whatsoever how much data I would consume browsing a web page ie: weather, road conditions, WingXpro, etc.

    I'd appreciate any help as to what plan I need.

    Thanks
    Paul
    Salome, AZ
     
  2. Dean

    Dean Pattern Altitude

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    We have 10G plan for 4 of is, we use about 98% each month.
     
  3. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    I had similar questions when I decided to get smart phones for my wife and I last December. Those I spoke with said one gig of data would be plenty, they were right. With WiFi at home and at most destinations we only use the provider when on the move, our usage varies between 1/4 and 1/2 G per month.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  4. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Similar results here.
     
  5. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Me too. But you have to be careful not to download big items when not on WIFI.
     
  6. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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    The main thing that eats data is video. Constant streaming of music/podcasts is a moderate use, but not even close to video. An HD stream from Netflix can run about a GB per hour, but you can downgrade the video feed from Netflix to get much lower consumption rate.
     
  7. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I seldom use more than 250 MB / month, and I don't think I've ever gone over 500.

    But then again, I rarely tweet, I don't have a FB account to waste time and bandwidth, I send or receive only a few picture messages a month, I have the mail client set to not automatically download images, and I don't have any Google crap installed on my phone to constantly report my goings-on to the mother ship. I also think it's freaking idiotic to watch Netflix movies on a tiny phone screen when I have a wide-screen monitor in the living room, or to browse the Web using that tiny screen when I have three computers running in my office 24/7.

    So I guess it's about lifestyle. I think Straight Talk gives me 3 GB / month, and I use about 250 MB on average. But I know people who have 5 GB limits with other providers and regularly exceed them. I doubt I could use that much data on a phone if I tried. But there are plenty who do.

    -Rich
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  8. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    On the months where I only use data on the phone I use 300-500 MB/month. When I visit a place with no wifi and use my phone as a mobile hotspot I use 2-3 GB/week. However I'm not that careful about conserving data because I have a10 GB plan.
     
  9. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    We'll go anywhere from 3GB/mo to 8GB/mo between Karen and I. We stream too much mobile. iTunes in the cloud is great but it does use up bandwidth on a large iTunes Matched collection.

    The way to keep it way down is to have access to Wifi at places you spend the majority of your time at. Home and Work and teach the smartphone to attach to it automatically. Then you're not using cellular data.

    Many businesses won't let employees attach to the company wifi, so if you stream music constantly or something like that, while still on cellular data at your workplace, it'll eat quite a bit of bandwidth up over a month.

    If I'm traveling it goes way up. I'm not much for attaching to unknown wifi networks.

    Another way to absolutely demolish a data plan is to do massive Foreflight chart expiration updates over cellular. It warns you but I've done it anyway. ;)

    The list at the bottom of Verizon's bandwidth calculator may help.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    We'll go anywhere from 3GB/mo to 8GB/mo between Karen and I. We stream too much mobile. iTunes in the cloud is great but it does use up bandwidth on a large iTunes Matched collection.

    The way to keep it way down is to have access to Wifi at places you spend the majority of your time at. Home and Work and teach the smartphone to attach to it automatically. Then you're not using cellular data.

    Many businesses won't let employees attach to the company wifi, so if you stream music constantly or something like that, while still on cellular data at your workplace, it'll eat quite a bit of bandwidth up over a month.

    If I'm traveling it goes way up. I'm not much for attaching to unknown wifi networks.

    Another way to absolutely demolish a data plan is to do massive Foreflight chart expiration updates over cellular. It warns you but I've done it anyway. ;)

    The list at the bottom of Verizon's bandwidth calculator may help.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    Here is a report from the lunatic fringe: You may not need a data plan at all.

    My wife and I both have smartphones (Nexus 4s). We happily use them as smartphones but we do not have data plans on either one. When we are at our city home or at our lake home, we have free wifi pretty much anywhere we might go including doctors, stores, and restaurants. The only "on the road" function we need is navigation, and Copilot Live provides that nicely with all maps downloaded to the phone (via wifi) and available 100% of the time.

    We're on a family plan with http://www.puretalkusa.com/ and it is very cheap with no requirement that we buy data. (The do have cheap data though.) We are light phone users as well; most months our total bill for both phones is $15. Sometimes $25.

    When we travel within the US, we buy a slug of data from AT&T for one or both of our Nexus 7 tablets. The current best deal for us is 1GB for $25, useable over three months. That gets us yelp, urbanspoon, hotels, ... etc. as well as email everywhere. Neither of us have any interest in streaming media, so 1GB is more than ample for a few weeks of road trips.

    Music? I have 6 or 8 gb of legal music on my (16Gig) phone. Mainly I use it to help me sleep when we're flying internationally, so a data plan wouldn't help me there anyway.

    Obviously, YMMV.
     
  12. pmanton

    pmanton Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Thanks All:

    I don't do music or movies. I think I'll start with 2G, buy the phones myself so I'm not locked onto their plan, and see how it goes.

    Paul
     
  13. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now that's another thing I don't understand. Not in your case, because you're doing things sensibly. But I have a friend who's constantly (and I do mean constantly) on the road because of his business, and he spends something like $200.00/month for his phone and data plan.

    He needs to log in to his company site to file reports every night, but most hotels have free or cheap WiFi. The bulk of his data is used streaming music and using whatever navigation software his phone uses, which requires a constant data stream.

    Now call me silly, but considering that you can buy a decent auto GPS unit with lifetime map updates for a little over a hundred bucks, and can save your music to a phone's SD card and play it forever, both with no ongoing data costs, isn't it kind of stupid to burn through data to do those things? Besides, most phone navigation apps suck compared to a dedicated GPS.

    Some GPS units can also play music, although they tend to be a bit more expensive than a hundred bucks. In addition, almost all modern car CD players can play MP3s from CD-Rs, and some have SD slots and/or USB ports so you can burn your music to an SD card or a flash drive and play it from there. All of these options involve zero data use.

    And then there's Sirius. I have Sirius because there's pretty much zilch in the way of OTA radio around here except for one low-power station that only broadcasts when the licensee is sober (which isn't often). I think Sirius costs $16.00 a month for roughly a bazillion stations and goes anywhere (including my house -- I have the home adapter); so again, why burn data streaming music?

    I'm starting to think that some people are literally addicted to their phones. If the phone is capable of doing something -- even if it does it poorly and costs money for data to do it -- they don't even consider other options that work better and have little or no ongoing costs.

    EDIT: And then there's the question of what happens if your phone dies or is lost. If that happens to me while I'm on the road, it's not that big a deal. All I would lose is the phone's basic communications functionality until I could get a replacement phone, which wouldn't take more than an hour. I could navigate to the store using my dedicated GPS, listening to Sirius all the time.

    It just baffles me why people want to entrust so many aspects of their lives to one device.

    -Rich
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  14. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Actually I'm not, but I know it's a convenience that I pay through the nose for, that if I couldn't afford it, I could behave differently and drop it.

    Kinda like the housecleaning robots. Man those silly things rock. I'd whine if I had to vacuum the house now. Ha. Plus how cool is it to say housecleaning robot"?! ;)

    Luxuries, not necessities. Although some bosses (who don't pay for it other than $35/mo) have been pretty happy when i fix stuff remotely from a parking lot. :)
     
  15. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    Yup. Everyone's different. I can't imagine wanting a housecleaning robot. Of course that's because we have a house cleaner who comes 1/2 day per week and costs quite a bit more per month than any data plan. I guess it would be fun to see how the dog deals with a vacuum cleaner robot, though.
     
  16. chartbundle

    chartbundle Pattern Altitude

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    For quite a while I used a prepaid voice-only plan and just used WiFi at home, work and the airport. When I 'needed' data I could pay $3 for the day. My driving maps(CoPilot) and music was all copied to the phone's storage. Now I've upgraded to a $30/mo plan for 100 minutes and 5GB(slowed down after 5GB, but technically unlimited) Looks like for 15 days I've use 130MB on the data portion of my cell phone plan, still use mostly WiFi.
     
  17. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    What vendor?
     
  18. chartbundle

    chartbundle Pattern Altitude

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    T-Mobile's 'Wal-Mart' Prepaid plan, I didn't say it was a good plan, but coverage is fine in the cities. I have an AT&T phone on a $4/month prepaid voice plan(H2o wireless) for a backup when I'm somewhere out of the way.
     
  19. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Heh. Yup. Amazing all the choices we have. Such 1st World problems. ;)

    Our dog completely ignores the thing unless it runs into him. Then he just looks annoyed.
     
  20. pmanton

    pmanton Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I thought I had this figured out. Change my plan to one that includes data, buy the phone, activate it and be on my way.

    As I put a phone in my shopping cart I am assailed with check boxes for add on items.

    A monthly charge to surf the web:mad2: Why would I pay extra when I'm paying for a monthly allotment of data. :confused:Why can't I fire up Safari and surf to my hearts content until I use up my data?:dunno:
    Another monthly charge is for a GPS function Huh! What's the matter with the Apple app?
    I found the little X in the upper right corner to be useful for dealing with Verizon's on line phone sales. Perhaps I don't need a smart phone after all :yesnod:

    Paul
    Salome, AZ
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014
  21. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    My conclusion would be that you don't need a vendor like that. AT&T is similar and T-Mobile is dishonest with customers, most recently shown by the Federal Trade Commission action against them. I have no experience with Sprint.

    There are a lot of independent operators like mine, puretalkusa, and most of them offer data plans. My suggestion would be to shop them. Google "MVNO" and go from there.

    BTW your local Craigslist is a good source for phones. The early adopters turn them over frequently and take the first/major depreciation hit.
     
  22. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We still have unlimited broadband data from Verizon, but our experience is basically the same as yours. 1 GByte/month would be plenty for us. WiFi handles the bulk of our data needs, as well.
     
  23. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you want a VZW tower but don't need 4G, I suggest you visit Wally World and look at their Straight Talk CDMA-V phones. $45.00 / month, unlimited talk and text, and (I think) 3 GB of data.

    VZW also has their own prepaid division, but again, no 4G.

    If you want 4G and AT&T would work for you, I think AT&T prepaid has a few phones that offer 4G.

    TMO used to have a great prepaid plan with unlimited data. They didn't even care if you tethered. I don't know if that's still true. They also have some deal though Wally World that I've heard good things about.

    If Sprint service would work for you, check out Boost Mobile. I don't know what their plans are like these days, but they used to be pretty generous -- and cheap.

    What it really comes down to is that all four major carriers basically suck in terms of how they treat their customers. I can tell you some horror stories... The companies will screw you any way they can, any opportunity they get. Prepaid just eliminates most of the opportunities.

    By the way, in general there's no partner roaming on prepaid, especially through MVNOs. So if you go that route, choose your phone's carrier carefully.

    -Rich
     
  24. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    I typically use around 5GB between ForeFlight, YouTube, and various internet apps. My parents originally had a 6GB plan, however, last week my mother changed it to a 8GB. It ended up being cheaper then the overage fees.