Strange data usage (browser & exchange services)

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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I've been using my Android Moto G running CyanogenMod 12 for the past month, but only activated the SIM card just over 12 hours ago. Made 1 test call (less than 1 minute) to the Koodo kiosk and 4 short text messages. However, both the phone and the carrier records show 0.69MB out of a 50MB quota used (the phone's tracking actually went up to 0.8MB as I researched this using the laptop).

According to the phone, the biggest usage is a browser usage of 0.38MB and Exchange Services of 0.22MB. The time of the browser usage corresponds with my search for info, so that makes sense. However, the data usage is still puzzling because I have only used the browser at home (WiFi) and all my email accounts are set to never sync, i.e., syncing is done manually.

Is there anything else that can explain this data usage? In order to extend the battery charge, I've set the options so that WiFi is disabled during sleep. This is generally not recommended because any services that call home will use the data plan. However, I think I've disabled any services that call home. Correct me if I'm wrong, but how this option is set would not explain the biggest user -- the browser, which was used at a time that I recognize
(i.e., I know the biggest offender, but I don't know why it was not using WiFi when it was available at home).

P.S. I've turned off data usage for the time being, which I assume does not stop telephone calls. I'm not sure if it prevents SMS or MMS.
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andymhancock

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Posted 3 years ago

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RudyW

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And you didn't have any apps open in the background by any chance, right? A native app like the weather one, once opened it sucks data to get updates until it's turned off.

Turning data off will prevent SMS and MMS to go through. Both need the data pipe to be open even though there are no charges to use it as long it an unlimited feature in your plan.
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andymhancock

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Funny, I was able to both send and receive text messages with the data usage disabled.
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Chad Burr, Mobile Master

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Yes Text messages, but not picture. Turning data off will not have an impact on SMS.
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andymhancock

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That's great. It means that even though I have a data plan, SMS is treated the same as when I had a flip phone with no data plan i.e. it is not treated as data usage.
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Chad Burr, Mobile Master

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Forgive me but are you being sarcastic?
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andymhancock

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I forgive you. Perhaps you could explain why you would think this?
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andymhancock

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I've not installed any apps. Just stock Cyanogenmod 12. I shudder at having to tackle the questions of the permissions that apps ask for, and whether I can trust them on the same phone as my personal data (passwords and all), so I simply avoid the challenge by doing without them. I also routinely press the square on bottom right to list the recent native apps, then close them.

The Data Usage app shows that the browser & Exchange services consumes the lion's share. The Koodo breakdown of usage shows that quite a bit of data was used right around the time when I was surfing for info, so the main offenders are known. In my mind, the main question is why data rather than WiFi?

There are secondary questions like why Exchange Services is gorging when my accounts are set to never sync, and whether data precision is the explanation for the discrepancy between individual usages and total usage (both as displayed by Koodo when I log in). But I think I can deal with 75% of the mystery data usage by tackling the question of why browsing is going to the data plan.

P.S. The reason I suspect data precision as the explanation for the discrepancy is because there are so many entries (a few dozen) showing as 0.00MB. I assume that 0.00MB is aproximate, since there would be no reason for a usage record at so many random times if absolutely no data was used.
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andymhancock

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At the risk of hijacking my original post, I just want to recount an amazing discovery about the bandwidth of typical web pages these days. Browse a few web pages about food-safe plastics: 3.43 MB. It must be all the graphics and motion graphics that accompany the textual information of interest. As we all know (and now know even better), nothing is really free, not even online information.

But please note, this is just a digression from the original post, which was about data plan usage when WiFi was readily available.
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andymhancock

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I have data turned off as well. So when the phone is asleep, it has no data nor WiFi. I can still receive calls.

The only running processes at bootup are: Settings, Music, Exchange Services, Android Keyboard, and Themes. I never use Music, so interesting that it is running; I'll have to disable it's automatic startup.

I'm going to revert back to CM-12-20150320-NIGHTLY because CM-12-20150404-NIGHTLY requires updating the bootloader (no possible tonight) and the failed install is causing the screen to flicker. Or so I assume; it wasn't flickering before the failed attempt. Strange, though...it seems to have settled down. Perhaps some kind of calibration...
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andymhancock

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Thanks. I wish I could mark some of your posts as helpful rather than answers...I'll still be trying to sleuth down the cause, but the info that you provided is helpful.
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andymhancock

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I don't think I will ever find out what consumes the bandwidth...I just keep data off except on the odd occassion when I need it. No time to experiment, unfortunately, and I'm not too keen on installing extra apps to track down the usage. Thanks for chiming in, all who did so. I don't suppose there is a way to close the thread without an definitive answer?
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andymhancock

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I can see that if the problems were in fact due to CM 12 bugs, this would not be the place. I understand what you're saying about the possibility that it could be CM nightly immaturity, but being new to the whole Android scene, I do not have a sense of the *likelihood* that this is the explanation for the mystery data usage. I posted here in case there were common newbie mistakes even in non-custom ROMs that might explain such data usage. I hope that this is not the wrong forum for the latter. If I am mistaken, thanks if you could clarify your closing sentence.
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andymhancock

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I get the sense that my last post didn't come across as I intended. I was asking for clarity because your closing sentence was ambiguous. Not because I automatically assumed that it was an admonishment. However, I also wanted to indicate that if it was an expression of disapproval, I would be interested in why. It just seems like good forum etiquette to be open to any rules or expectations that one may have crossed.

I'd like to repeat some of my points of my last post because, from your response, it could probably do with some clarity. I didn't overlook the possibility that the problems could be CM. I simply don't have the information or experience to get even a gut feel as to the likelihood. I posted in hopes that someone could suggest possible causes that are not related to CM, which I might examine. However, I mentioned that I use CM as well because it's all part of the situation. Who knows, maybe someone *does* have a sense of the likelihood that it's CM rather than something else.

I hope I wasn't coming across as miffed when I asked about closing the thread without a definite answer. I've used forums enough that I realize that sometimes, the answer just isn't there, despite the best intentions of the contributors. Also, I didn't want to give the impression that people are at my beck and call. I should be clear that I simply wanted to be able to mark the thread as closed so that people don't waste time and effort looking at it. However, it would be good if it could be closed without having to say that there was an answer.

As for the answer to my problem...mine was simply to turn off data. I know, not the greatest, but hey, until I have more time to troubleshoot, it's the option that is available.

I appreciate your pointing out more recently nightlies. I did in fact try to upgrade prior to posting (or perhaps it was around the time of posting). I found that it required an upgrade of something else...it might have been the bootloader. This was from web searching for an error that I encountered trying to install the nightly. I also know that the information is out there to upgrade the bootloader, assuming that I recall the details correctly. It's just a matter of having the time to go down that path.
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andymhancock

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I suspect that the following might come across as adversarial, but it's not really meant to be. I mean for it to be as impartial an observation as possible about communication in this thread. It's going to be a bit wordy because I want to be careful and not come across the wrong way.

I still find the opening paragraph of your last post ambiguous. For one, movimg certain kind of topics to another forum for means no longer posting in the original forum about those topics. I understand your explanation for this, but there is an implication that those topics are not welcome, which not consistent with your insistence that this is not the intended meaning. Some people might consider this semantics, but it doesn't take much to change the apparent meaning of communications. From reading the opening paragraph as composed, I did not see that the meaning was to post to other forums as well, without excluding Koodo forums. In *past* suggestions about custom ROMs, my impression was that posting to other forums in *addition* to this one was a good idea.

Another aspect that I find ambiguous is the reference to topics of this nature. As I said previously, if you mean CM, I agree. However, I wasn't trying to seek advice here on issues pertaining to custom ROMs. I was posting about general factors that could explain the symptoms. That's why I find the use of "this nature" to be ambiguous. I only mentioned CM because I knew that this might affect people's assessment of what the contributing factors might be. If some responses were that it was likely to be CM, I can accept that, along with the fact that issues related to custom ROMs would not get much air time in this forum. It is still informative (and appreciated).
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rikkster, Mobile Master

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Since it is evident that you are clearly offended by my ambiguous statement(s), I have taken the initiative to remove all of the offending material. I see no point in leaving it up there. I apologize for any misunderstanding.
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andymhancock

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It's not a matter of being offended, Rikkster. I was pointing out ambiguities in your postings, and the reason for doing so was that each interpretation has implications for how I should conduct myself in this forum, and/or how I should follow up to in order to *clearly* determine how to conduct myself. I wasn't making any headway on the latter.

I should selectively delete my posts in this thread as well, but unfortunately, I don't seem to have the powers to do so.

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