Checking Your AT&T Data Usage

| TMO Quick Tip

With AT&T’s announcement that new iPhone data plans will be capped starting on June 7, customers are wondering how much wireless data they’re using. Figuring out just how much data bandwidth you eat up each month is easy with a trip to the AT&T Web site.

To see how much data you send and receive through AT&T’s wireless network, do this:

  • Point your Web browser to the AT&T Web site, and log into your account.
  • Choose Bill & Payments.
  • Now Click Create a Billing Report. It’s under the Billing Reports heading.
  • Choose Data Usage Trend from the Report pop-up menu. You can also set a date range to see your data usage for different time periods.

AT&T’s monthly data usage chart

The report generates an easy-to-read bar graph showing just how much data you have uploaded and downloaded each month. The chart shows only data that traveled through your 3G or EDGE data connection, and excludes and data transfered over Wi-Fi network connections.

In my case, I used 146MB in February, 140MB in March and 174MB in April — all heavy travel months for me, and times when I’m more likely to rely on 3G data instead of Wi-Fi for Internet access. That’s good news for me, because it means I can most likely get by with AT&T’s less expensive 200MB per month data plan.

If you want to check your monthly data usage on the go, AT&T’s free myWireless Mobile app can handle the task. It also shows how many text messages you’ve used, how close you are to your voice minutes cap, and lets you pay your monthly bill, too.

Checking your current month data usage with myWireless Mobile

Since AT&T will launch its 200MB and 2GB capped data plans for new iPhone and iPad subscriptions this month, it’s a good idea to check out just how much data you’re using — especially if you plan on buying a new iPhone once they’re released.

Current iPhone contracts won’t change, so feel free to use as much data as you want for now. Just be ready to start counting your megabytes once you start a new contract.

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26 Comments Leave Your Own

davebarnes

THIS was extremely useful.
Thanks.

daemon

Jeff, it’s like you don’t use your data plan at all!

I use 3 gigabytes a month.

FYI, my Blackberry never breached 30 Megabytes a month.

adidas26usa

I have an iPad 3G that I have not activated the 3G service on yet. Does anyone know if I activate the unlimited 3G service before June 7th for one month, then turn it off and want to re-active 3G a month later, will I have the ability to get the unlimited data plan again (Grandfathered in) or will I only get the 200 MG and 2GB options?

I’m not a fan of AT&T’s new pricing structure. I do not tend to go over 2GB a month but I would like a tethering option for my non-jailbroken iPhone to my iPad. Paying $25/month for 2GB plus $20 tethering without any additional data is crazy IMO. An unlimited $30 with a $20 tether I could handle…

BurmaYank

I use 3 gigabytes a month.  FYI, my Blackberry never breached 30 Megabytes a month.

That’s only to be expected.  IIRC, in 2009, (I don’t recall if it was in Europe or the US or everywhere - perhaps it was just the UK) listed data usage by all smartphones on all carriers showed that total iPhone data usage was 70 (seventy) times greater than that of all other smartphones combined on all carriers.

MrCairo

From what I understand adidas26usa, if you subscribe for 3G service on the iPad before 6/7 you will have unlimited service.  However, since the service is month-to-month, next months service will institute the 2G limit.

Jeff Gamet

From what I understand adidas26usa, if you subscribe for 3G service on the iPad before 6/7 you will have unlimited service.  However, since the service is month-to-month, next months service will institute the 2G limit.

Actually, as long as you continue to pay for the month-to-month service, you get to keep the unlimited plan. Once you skip a month, however, there’s no going back; you’ll be using the new capped data plans once you jump back in.

iSki iMac

Jeff:

Thanks for this info. I find that I will be able to save $15 a month now (make that spend $15 less a month).

Bob

I’ve had AT&T (and an iphone) for almost 2 years. But my data usage only show back to 11/09. Other reports go back to 1/09.

Strange.
Thanks for the tip!

lynn jones

Thanks… this will be helpful. And so timely!

someToast

Just like AT&T’s text messaging plans, the low end is insufficient and the upper end is overkill.

Though with tethering, I can see the upper end becoming more necessary.

Troy Gilbert

Interesting, it didn’t give me the option to see data *usage* trends, just data *charges* trends—which is kind of useless (though surprisingly spiky).

iSki iMac

Interesting, it didn?t give me the option to see data *usage* trends, just data *charges* trends?which is kind of useless (though surprisingly spiky).

Data usage trend should be immediately below data charges trend. Anyway - that’s how it is when I logon.

Ryan

Is there any way to do this with the ATT account manager rather than just the wireless account login?
I have internet and wireless and was forced to use the account manager because its a combined bill, but I can’t seem to find this info on that site.

Observer of Macs

Great article, Jeff. Very helpful! Thanks again.

Hamranhansenhansen

These new plans suck. If they are going to charge $10/GB for data, then that should be across the board. Your voice and texts should be counted as data, not be charged at a much higher rate than that, and tethering should be free if it is not adding any data, just flipping a switch in your phone’s router.

In other words, a $55 bill for iPhone (the new minimum) should buy you 5.5GB of data to use as you like between voice, texts, data, and tethered data. As it is, you’re $30 in voice minutes do not add up to a GB, and your $10 in texts is probably less than a MB, and you have only 200MB data.

So we’re losing the one thing that went our way with data, the $30 unlimited Internet, but they’re keeping the $20 for a few MB of texts, and the $30 for a few MB of voice. Not a good deal.

Even if your phone bill goes down $5 at first, the video on the Web just changed from Flash to HTML5. You will be skipping videos that you can finally play to stay at the same usage.

At least competition is coming in 4G with Verizon and AT&T both doing LTE. I am grandfathered in until then on both iPad and iPhone. If LTE is going to cost $10/GB in 2012 then they are doing it wrong. If so, we should be putting in municipal Wi-Fi, with a base station on every lamp post. So where is $10/GB taking us? The bandwidth should be getting cheaper.

Wil

The stupid part here is the extra $20 for tethering doesn’t get you any extra data.  It’s just an extra $20 for AT&T’s pocket, no change to your service or their network.  WTF?

Jeff T

Does anyone see strange data transfers in the middle of the night for their iPhone?  My detailed usage report is showing an upload of 15-30MB every night about 1 or 2 in the morning.  My phone is sitting by my bed charging and should be connected to my home wifi during this time.

jameskatt

COMPARING AT&T’S NEW RATES VERSUS VERIZON’S RATES:

FOR INDIVIDUAL PLANS IN THE UNITED STATES:

VERIZON:

Unlimited Talk = $70 a month
Unlimited Text = $20 a month
25 MB Data = $10 a month <—- STUPID. Almost all users will exceed this.
5 GB Data = $30 a month
Tethering = $30 a month

Data over 5 GB = $0.05 per MB = $50 per GB.

——-

AT&T:

Unlimited Talk = $70 a month
Unlimited Text = $20 a month
200 MB Data = $15 a month <—- covers 68% of iPhone users.
2 GB Data = $25 a month <—- covers 98% of iPhone users.
3 GB Data = $35 a month
Tethering = $20 a month

Data over 3 GB = $0.05 per MB = $50 per GB.

——-

NOTES:

AT&T’s rates are very favorable compared to Verizon’s rates.

AT&T’s Tethering rate is less than Verizon’s Tethering rate.

For the 98% of users who use less than 2 GB a month, AT&T is $5 a month cheaper than Verizon, saving $60 a year.  With tethering, AT&T is $15 a month cheaper than Verizon, saving $180 a year.

Ideally, AT&T should also have a limit of 5 GB a month, like Verizon. This makes it easier to use video conferencing on the new iPhones.  After all, AT&T in the 1970s did envision someday having video conferencing on phones.  The 5GB limit would still be a good cutoff point for heavy data users.

jameskatt

Note that users of Verizon:
1. cannot simultaneously use data and voice.
2. cannot text to every country in the world, unlike AT&T.

Steve Bush

Jeff said:Actually, as long as you continue to pay for the month-to-month service, you get to keep the unlimited plan. Once you skip a month, however, there?s no going back; you?ll be using the new capped data plans once you jump back in.

Want to clarify here. A TUAW article said if u signed up for unlit plan AND you checked auto-renew then u r locked in. I am on unlit plan but did not check auto-renew. Am I in trouble? Should I quickly cancel, loose the rest of my $30 investment and buy another before Monday, this time with auto-renew???

Rancorite

Jeff said:Actually, as long as you continue to pay for the month-to-month service, you get to keep the unlimited plan. Once you skip a month, however, there?s no going back; you?ll be using the new capped data plans once you jump back in.

This is false, i work for att and any grandfathered features like the unlimited plan will stay as long as you dont make major changes like canceling /new activation or switching to the new rate plan by your request. As long as you keep paying for the service month to month, even if you have a service suspension (say by missing payments) you pay the restoral fee and keep everything as it was even if out of a contract.

Chris

Does anyone see strange data transfers in the middle of the night for their iPhone?  My detailed usage report is showing an upload of 15-30MB every night about 1 or 2 in the morning.  My phone is sitting by my bed charging and should be connected to my home wifi during this time.

Was just noticing this on my wifes iphone.  Every night around 1 or 2 am there is a large data transfer, usually around 10 or 20 MG, but a couple of times it was 30 MB and even 75 MB one time.  The phone is sitting in its charger doing nothing.  And, my phone is also on WIFI at home.  I called AT&T abd inquired and they said it was probably the phone updating or email updating.  No way i said, but they have no explanation and said basically there is nothing they can do.

regalo

strange data transfers in the middle of the night for their iPhone

I see this on my iPhone and my wife’s iPhone!! I would like to switch to AT&T’s $15 per month plan for 200 megabytes, but the only reason that I can’t is because of the daily automatic upload that occurs. I have no idea what it is transmitting. I have WiFi enabled on both, so it should use the WiFi instead of the AT&T network when I am at home. As much as 130 MB has transfered at one time. It is almost always at 1:15AM. Our phones are not setup to fetch emails/calendar autoamtically (that was the only idea the AT&T rep had). Is there a specific app that we have the might be doing this? Does anyone have an idea of what this is?

Chris

This early morning data usage is getting a lot of attention.  Looks like many people are seeing it and AT&T has no way of explaining it.  Check out this thread

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2450738&tstart=0

BurmaYank

“Actually, as long as you continue to pay for the month-to-month service, you get to keep the unlimited plan. Once you skip a month, however, there?s no going back; you?ll be using the new capped data plans once you jump back in.

I’m pretty sure you’re mistaken here, Jeff (and Rancorite is quite correct).  According to two ATT phone representatives (one in customer service and the other in sales), of whom I asked this very same question last Sunday, it is NOT true that, “Once you skip a month ... you?ll be using the new capped data plans once you jump back in.” 

Instead, they assured me that you will always automatically keep your unlimited data plan until you terminate your ATT iPhone service, even if you get behind in your payments, and even if you swap or upgrade iPhones and/or renew your contracts.

So, Steve Bush: You are not in trouble.  There would be no benefit in cancelling because whether or not you check(ed) auto-renew is irrelevant to keeping your unlimited status, regardless of what something in TUAW may or may not have said.

bdukes

This tip does not work for me on the iPad. Talked with AT&T and they said that the month to month plan isn’t seen as an account per se and therefore no way to access the iPad stats online, only via the iPad itself. Sure it works with my iPhone online, but any additional insight for logging into iPad stats online? I would love access to the iPad usage trending month over month.

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