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How do smartphone data plans work?

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How do smartphone data plans work?

Postby vms » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:49 pm

After about 15 years of having a flip-open style cellphone I decided to upgrade to a smartphone (iPhone SE). When I did I had to sign up for a data plan and I selected 1 GB/mo. Now when I set up my iPhone I had to select a wifi which I did using my Xfinity Gateway. Whenever I get on the Internet on the iPhone at home I see the activity light on the gateway flashing.

Question is if Internet access is thru my ISP when does the data plan come into play? If I'm connected to wifi is the data plan not being used?
Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.--Winston Churchill

The greatest ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about.--H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
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Re: How do smartphone data plans work?

Postby BeamStalk » Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:00 pm

vms wrote:After about 15 years of having a flip-open style cellphone I decided to upgrade to a smartphone (iPhone SE). When I did I had to sign up for a data plan and I selected 1 GB/mo. Now when I set up my iPhone I had to select a wifi which I did using my Xfinity Gateway. Whenever I get on the Internet on the iPhone at home I see the activity light on the gateway flashing.

Question is if Internet access is thru my ISP when does the data plan come into play? If I'm connected to wifi is the data plan not being used?


You only use your Data Plan when you are connected to your Cell Phone Company's network. Usually there will be an LTE icon on the phone letting you know that. When you are connected to wifi you are using your wifi ISP's data and so doesnt count toward your data plan because it isn't the cell phone company's data.
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Re: How do smartphone data plans work?

Postby E-lad » Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:11 pm

Beams knows.........he's a professional at this......

I use very little of data since when I connect to the internet, to do a search, say, I'm through my wifi or someone else's.

Where you get into data is when online with no wifi connection, your phone should show you this.

Another place is if you use it as a GPS locator for maps while driving or, in my case sometimes, hicking. That can suck up a lot of data.

What I do it always have my wifi turned to off. It's okay to have it turned on at home since it just connects to my wifi and sits there, but, if you have wifi on and you go somewhere in your car, you will drain your battery while your phone continually hunts for available wifis. I only turn it on when I need it and have a simple button on my screen to do that.
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Re: How do smartphone data plans work?

Postby vms » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:06 am

Thanks for the info guys. Froggie, how did you get that simple button on your screen to turn on wifi?
Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.--Winston Churchill

The greatest ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about.--H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
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Re: How do smartphone data plans work?

Postby E-lad » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:48 am

vms wrote:Thanks for the info guys. Froggie, how did you get that simple button on your screen to turn on wifi?


I have only had Android phones. When you are on the "home screen" you swipe down and the buttons for several most used functions on/off buttons appear. Can't speak to the iPhone......sorry. I will ask my son though next time I talk to him. He's had several of each.

One more thing. On the Android you can turn off the wifi, but you can also turn off data so that no program can hook you to the internet and suck up your data. I've never had anything like that happen so I leave the data turned on since text messages are also transmitted as data. That doesn't matter though since most plans have unlimited texting.


....hey here's how you do it...... get to know your "settings" menu...... I can also turn wifi on and off on my settings menu, plus there are a lot of other information and features there like battery management and etc.

http://www.solveyourtech.com/how-to-tur ... -iphone-5/
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Re: How do smartphone data plans work?

Postby vms » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:04 pm

I found the quick way to turn off/on wifi on my iPhone. Swipe up from the bottom edge to get the Control Center & tap the wifi button to turn off/on. And Beams is right, when I turn off wifi I see "LTE" at the top.

The stupid little things you have to figure out. I was wondering if the iPhone calculator had a scientific calculator mode. It does, to get it you have to hold the iPhone in landscape orientation.
Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.--Winston Churchill

The greatest ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about.--H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
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Re: How do smartphone data plans work?

Postby E-lad » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:16 pm

vms wrote: I was wondering if the iPhone calculator had a scientific calculator mode. It does, to get it you have to hold the iPhone in landscape orientation.


Same as my Android.

The calendar is my favorite though.
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Re: How do smartphone data plans work?

Postby BeamStalk » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:18 pm

vms wrote:I found the quick way to turn off/on wifi on my iPhone. Swipe up from the bottom edge to get the Control Center & tap the wifi button to turn off/on. And Beams is right, when I turn off wifi I see "LTE" at the top.


Hey I can be right occasionally.
The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.
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Re: How do smartphone data plans work?

Postby E-lad » Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:19 pm

vms wrote:The stupid little things you have to figure out. I was wondering if the iPhone calculator had a scientific calculator mode. It does, to get it you have to hold the iPhone in landscape orientation.


Yeah, and they can still throw you a curve ball now and then.
Not long after I got my first "Smartphone" I got a call from an old customer who wanted me to make some measurements across some rough topography where he wanted to run some electric lines. I told him I'd be there in the morning.
OK, I'm thinking I've got a compass and a tech calc on my new phone (I looked at it and it's got the trig functions) so I'll be really cool and walk out there without my compass, trig tables et & et.

I shot the angle and go to trig out the distance and wtf? The function is nowhere near what it should be. After much fingering and fucking around I find that the calculator defaults to Radians rather than degrees and there is no way in hell to change it.

But, I'm guessing your iPhone has a "settings" menu to change that stuff. My new Android does.

PS Yeah I know what radians are but I never used them and I'm not going to start now......(old guy)
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