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Data usage, 1 gig 2 gig 3 gig 4?


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#1 hdrider

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 05:18 PM

We are now full timing and are looking at phone plans with internet service and I'm not much up on how many mb or gigs things use so I used that chart on the verizon web site and it looks like we could really get by with a 2gig plan. So I upped all the areas to what I thought would be a large increase of useage for us and we could still be under 4.
I keep reading people getting 10 and 20 gigs so is it really possible that 2 phones and 2 laptops could get away with 2 to 4 gigs? I guess so.
We mainly surf sites like this one and a few others,, do our banking and emails. No real youtube stuff very often or download songs and have never watched a show online.
We paid $78 for our home phone and internet in the house and am struggling with what looks to be around $170 for phone and internet while we travel. Granted we only had the one phone that had to stay at the house and I did figure 2 smart phones with verizon.

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#2 BrianT

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 05:45 PM

If you use the internet like you mention above, you will probably be just fine with 4G of bandwidth, maybe less. Text doesn't take up much bandwidth at all so email and forums like this don't eat up much data. When you start seeing higher quality pictures, videos, powerpoint presentations, live weather maps, and maybe some of the computer games out there that you play online, the data demands go up.

I don't know how the new plans are but our old Verizon plans allowed us to check on the Verizon website as often as we wanted to see how we were doing with the data usage for the month. And for a good while, I checked in pretty often. But I figured out pretty quickly that we're in a pretty good package for what we use as we have never gone over in over 2 years of Verizon data. A few months, we came close to using all of it but never went over. (We have 10G available per month, two computers used pretty heavily.)

Good luck,


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#3 Sigzy

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 06:51 PM

Wife and I surf the net quite a bit every day and she does banking and such.We have NEVER went over 5 Gig
full time for 17 months Rving no longer an option but it was great while it lasted.

#4 Bill Adams

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 07:38 PM

Janet and I now have 2 smart phones and a data card (so 2 computers as well) and we just hit 2GB of usage today, 7 days into our month! I think Facebook is killing us now that she can upload every picture she takes directly to Facebook.

Edited by Bill Adams, 21 July 2012 - 07:40 PM.

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#5 Dave W

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 08:33 PM

2 iPhones, 2 iPads, 2 laptops, use about the same as the OP, but must surf more, and DW spends time on FB. Usage has been over 8G, but usually ~ 5.
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#6 docj

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 09:02 PM

If you have a Verizon Droid, there's an app that you can put on your home page that gives your usage since your last billing statement without even having to open anything.

Like a number of people here have already noted, our usage runs ~5GB/mo with 2 laptops and an iPad unless we choose to stream video. Once we do that the usage rises by ~1GB/hr.

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#7 Technomadia

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 10:49 PM

When you see folks getting the 20GB plan (through Millenicom, a reseller of Verizon data) - typically that is what is needed for those of us that are more heavy internet users. For us, we depend on being online to keep our business running, which is what funds our mobile lifestyle. We do a lot of browsing, downloading sizable files, photo uploads, syncing our cloud based back-ups, remoting into our client's servers, occasional short video chats, etc.


For light browsing, like you say you do, you can likely do with a lot less. I believe the Verizon shared plans allow you to switch it up as needed, or has a very reasonable overage fee if you need more? So if you find you're using more or less, change it. (Someone please do correct me if I'm wrong on that - as we're not direct Verizon customers ourselves).

You'll also find that there's lots of options for WiFi as you roam - either public hotspots (such as McDonalds, Starbucks, etc.) or in campgrounds, that can greatly supplement the bandwidth.


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#8 Roadwarrior

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 09:26 AM

I consider myself a heavy verizon user.
I manage 50 email accounts daily, I am on about 7 forums, do a lot of google research and downloads of documents.
I also Do webserver Admin and Maintain 5 websites.
The last sometime require 1-5 gig at time.

my average is 2-3 gigs a month, except when I use hula to watch some shows, since I don't have satellite. then I am up to 5-6 Gigs a month

I expect you will average about 1 gig, with peaks about 3 gigs, depending on how much streaming you do.
streaming would be youtube, newsfeeds, and music channels.
if you have a movie account to download, then you will add about 800mb per movie you download

Edited by Roadwarrior, 22 July 2012 - 09:31 AM.

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#9 Bill Adams

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 11:48 AM

I don't think that there is a typical user or that anyone here will be able to speculate on what your usage will be. I have no idea why Janet and I have used 2GB in the last 7 days but that leaves a lot of month left to easily eat up by 6GB allowance if it continues at this pace. It may just be the new phone and it's various updates along with the "new toy" experience of being able to access the internet anywhere and anytime.

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#10 richfaa

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 01:31 PM

We use our verizon aircard for everything.Both wife and I have laptops.We are not frugal on usage. We use what we use.We have the verizon 10Gb plan.
We usually go over 5GB I would say our average is 8 GB or so and we have not yet gone over the 10GB limit.
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#11 PETE & PAT

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 03:58 PM

What would it cost for just the phone service and then Millenicom internet service. Maybe alot less than the $170 you were figuring. You may not need the 20 gig of data, but look at the cost also.

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#12 PETE & PAT

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 04:01 PM

.Double Post

Edited by PETE & PAT, 22 July 2012 - 04:02 PM.

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#13 TCW

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 05:48 AM

Janet and I now have 2 smart phones and a data card (so 2 computers as well) and we just hit 2GB of usage today, 7 days into our month! I think Facebook is killing us now that she can upload every picture she takes directly to Facebook.


I've noticed the same as Bill with the new changes to Facebook. The other thing to really watch is the streaming from some of the news sites. It seems more and more of them start automatically as soon as you open the page and for some reason it seems that the add on I had that use to prevent that does not work all the time. We have two computers, but don't download movies or music and still occasionally get close to 5gigs. We currently have the 20gig Millenicom plan as we have yet to be in a 4G area. Park WIFI systems seem to be getting better all the time and we use them whenever we can.

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#14 hdrider

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 07:20 AM

Thanks for all of the input. I struggled with this for a while. But now that we are fulltime we didn't even have a phone and was just operating off of wifi and had to make a change. So we went down to verizon and signed up for a 4gig plan and bought a Galaxy 3 and a LG LTE hot spot thingamagigger. The sales guy said if we get close to the 4gig just call and pay the extra $10 and up to the next level. So we will play it by ear.
Next I will look for a good WiFi antenna that might help drag in those weak signals and help keep the verizon useage down. A second phone might be nice down the road but we are trying to keep our expenseswithin budget. I don't want to start this fulltime experience knowing we are over budget from the start.

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#15 jperry29

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:02 AM

I am having the same experience as Bill Adams. We just got our air card, and like most of you, we were told that a 5GB plan should be plenty. But four days into the plan and we had used 3.4GB! No streaming videos or audio, no uploading or downloading of photographs (which I intend to do on Shutterfly and a blog), just some web surfing and 2 email accounts for each of us. I turned off the air card and have been using other means to get connected ever since.

I re-traced my web access steps and I think I know what ran it up so fast. Both computers did Windows updates and both computers did software updates for the McAfee antivirus, plus the virus definitions that come every day. On top of that I also updated the maps in two GPS'. Maybe I had a 'perfect storm' data that used almost my whole month's allotment in four days, maybe not. I will start my second month in a couple of days and I will power up the air card and see what transpires.

By the way, Verizon just started a new plan. You can now combine your phone and internet data usage into a single number. I had two phones with 2GB each plus the 5GB air card. I am switching to a single 10GB 'share' data plan and saving a few bucks in the process. This option became available at the end of June, or at least that is the way it is here in the Atlanta area.
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#16 Rif

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:11 AM

On top of that I also updated the maps in two GPS'.

Those were the real culprits. Each Garmin map update is over 1G of data. Some are close to 1.5G.
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#17 Bill Adams

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 12:01 PM

Maps via cellular is very bad!!!! :P
We signed up for the Verizon Share Everything Plan almost the moment it was available. It's a good plan for us and saves me about $40/month with 2 smart phones and one air card. I am setup for the 6GB/month plan but will monitor it and if I need to adjust the plan up or down I can do so before the month rolls over. $10/month for an extra 2GB. If you go over without adjustment it costs $15 for 1GB (the only part of the plan I don't think is fair).

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#18 Budd

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:25 AM

Over last Christmas season, the Verizon trial period was extended to Jan 14 so I tried their LTE from just after Thanksgiving until Jan. I used 5 gig in the first 4 days and only streamed 2 half hour episodes of a tv show (200meg each). The rest of the usage was my usual day to day stuff. There is no way to use that kind of bandwidth on this campground's wifi so whatever happened when I switched on the LTE link, was unusual for sure.

My Sprint Everything family Data 1500 plan is covering 2 phones (1 is 4g Wimaxx.. for now) and an Airrave cell AP for $125/month. Everything but land line voice is unlimited but with Google Voice on all the phones and Magic Jack Plus, we never use more than 50 minutes a month at most.

Where we are is on the fringe of the 4g WiMAXX area so often the speeds are only between 1 and 3 mb/min but that more than double the best that the cg wifi can do and it is a fairly smooth data stream (again, unlike the cg bellsouth ISP line to the cg).

I decided to wait for awhile. I would love to have the 30mbps LTE rate I got from Verizon all the time but that comes as a huge price in $$$ and convenience... what's the point to paying for something that you have to keep switching offline to keep from running over an unrealistic data limit?

Anyway, most of the time, even the Sprint 3g is better than the campground.

One thing I found was that getting operating system updates for my Smart phone run about 300 meg, each. I run it rooted with an Android variant OS on it so that is on me but outside of that, even Verizon's bandwidth calculator was saying I would need between 70 and 80 gb/month to do my normal stuff and that only included 1 or 2 movies.

I am just hoping that competition will bring all these abnormal fees to their knees in a couple of years. Meanwhile, Sprint has been my best overall solution. They have recently come out with a wireless hotspot that does 3g, 4g WiMAXX and their new 4g LTE service. It's not unlimited but the rates are more reasonable than others have and it may be an interim solution during their transition from WiMAXX to LTE (by the end of 2013).

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#19 hdrider

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:45 AM

I've had it 2 days now and it says we have used 114.69 MB. And I have downloaded a few apps onto the phone so I guess if I average that out we will be under the 4gig that I signed up for. But it's only been 2 days. Hard to get a real average.
Question,, on the verizon usage page it show some DATA SHARE VMDF time during times I know I was sleeping. whats that about? And does that go against my gigs? It didn't really look like it but I wasn't sure.
Also it shows my billing cycle ends on 7/25. Is that a standard for verizon. I figured it would be from when we signed up. If that is the case I better get some down loading done today LOL!!! I have some gigs to burn :rolleyes:

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#20 Bob & Mary

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 09:09 PM

using freeware, our metered useage at the house ran ~10 GB/mon. Rationing in the 5th wheel we are about 5 GB this month.