Massive iPhone data usage in background

Posted on 2010-11-17
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
The past two weeks my wife's phone has been using massive amount of data when she is not using her phone.  Her typical usage is about 100 megs/month.  Latly it has spiked to 100 megs/day.  She doesn't have any apps running on her phone that consume data.  I looked for anything

How can I figure out what is using all data?  How do I see what background processed could be using data?
Question by:TedgCl

Expert Comment

ID: 34161256

did you recently got mobile me, it might doing sync in the background... As even if app store updates wont add to 100mb/day

dont think there is an app to check process in background for data usage

Expert Comment

ID: 34161270
you might want to check to see if there are apps in the background via pressing the Home button twice(double click) and you'll get the multitask window that'll show you what apps are still running the in background. If you want to stop them from running, all you have to do is press and hold on the app until it starts shaking and then press the minus sign to remove them.

Expert Comment

ID: 34161273
you cant thanks to Apple and its closed platform you cant see jack or do anything. all i can suggest is you monitor the phone make sure no on is using it for high bandwidth stuff like streaming music or watching youtube.
 alternatively jailbreak it and install bossprefs and you can turn on and off the data connection as you wish
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:R. Andrew Koffron
ID: 34161400
you could also put it on wifi, and use a anetwork monitor to look for where the traffic is going.

or reset the phone. and put the apps back on one or two at a time till you see what's the problem.

Accepted Solution

et01267 earned 250 total points
ID: 34161433
If you are really keen to figure it out, you could set up your Mac (and maybe a PC) to sniff the traffic, if you have a way to connect the Mac to your router with an ethernet cable and your Mac also has wifi.  And you know how to use wireshark and understand what it is telling you.

1. download wireshark and install it on your mac
2. Connect your Mac to the router with ethernet, and make sure you can surf the net
3. Tell your Mac to Share it's internet via Airport (System Preferences -> Sharing, click the Internet Sharing and select Airport on the right, and set up the rest)
4. Now get your iPhone to talk to the wifi network you just created on your mac
5. Make sure your iPhone is able to get to the internet

Now you can start wireshark and capture packets coming from your iPhone's IP address (which you can get from the iPhone in Settings -> Wi-Fi, and click the blue triangle next to the name of the ad hoc network the phone is accessing, by default this is the name of your Mac)

Just capture protocol and destination IP, if possible (don't remember what you can filter in wireshark) and make sure to turn it off because you will consume all of space and time if there is a lot of traffic.
LVL 12

Assisted Solution

nxnw earned 250 total points
ID: 34168901
I think putting it on wifi and monitoring it is the key.

Given the huge difference between normal and current use, it is reasonable to assume that virtually all of the traffic from the phone will be from the rogue app. Depending on what kind of router you have, you may be able to configure it to log information that will disclose the places it is connecting to. This would be a pretty easy way to monitor the traffic.

DNS queries, for instance, would be very revealing. Before you start logging, turn the phone completely off and then back on.

Also, obvious diagnostic tool - try to figure out what was newly installed, updated or reconfigured around the time this started.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34253290
Great ideas.  It doesn't look like anything is running by double clicking and checking for background running programs.  I will sniff the wireless IP packets and see where they are going.


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