by Richard Stokes
If you have an iPhone already and are about to upgrade to a newer model then you might suddenly be faced with the decision of choosing what data plan is best for you. This is especially relevant now because, in the last 12-24 months, a lot of cellular carriers have moved away from offering unlimited data plans and over to a fixed GB/month plan. And, as I’m sure it comes as no surprise, the charges incurred for going over your plan can be significant.
So, if this is you or you are just curious to know how to figure out your monthly iPhone data consumption then read on:
1) Go to and open the ‘Settings’ icon on your phone.
2) Select the ‘General’ option (which happens to have the same icon as shown above).
3) In the General menu select the third option ‘usage’.
4) On the next screen and all the way at the bottom you will see an option for ‘Cellular Usage’, select this.
5) Scroll down to the bottom of this screen and look for the numbers listed under the ‘Cellular Network Data’ heading. This shows you exactly how much data you have sent and received since you last reset the iPhone’s statistics. If you’ve never been to this page before then chances are you’ve never reset the phone’s statistics so your numbers would date back to when you purchased the phone.
Think of data as anything you do other than making and receiving phone calls. This includes email, surfing the Internet, sending and receiving videos and pictures or playing games that require you to be online.
My usage, shown above, shows statistics since August 14, 2012. I have sent 1.4GB and received 24.7GB. So in an 11 month period I have used 26.1GB or about 2.4GB/month. I consider myself a heavy user (I stream music and watch videos). So if I were to upgrade my phone I would need to get at least a 2GB plan per month and even then I should still keep an eye on my usage.
Network 1 Consulting is a 15-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA. We become – or augment – the IT department for professional services companies: law firms, medical practices and financial services firms. Our IT experts can fix computers – but what our clients really value are the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firms. This is especially important with technology, along with regulations and cyber threats, changing so rapidly. We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.