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Friday 23 July 2010

iPhone Data Leakage

Having discovered that my iPhone was ‘mysteriously’ accessing my mobile operator’s cellular network and sending/receiving small amounts of data, I decided to investigate. The first concern is that this was costing me money as my iPhone was actually connected (or not) to my Wi-Fi network so had no business accessing 3G (or Edge) at the time.

The first port of call (if you’ll excuse the appalling pun) was my mobile carrier’s support number. A charming person on the other end came to the conclusion that there was a problem with my phone and I should get it exchanged (free of charge, of course).

I duly went to my local shop and got my iPhone exchanged for a brand new one. After carrying out a full reset (you wouldn’t want anyone getting hold of your data, would you?) I got my brand new iPhone, and even got a new screen protector… I was in a bit of a hurry so I offered to apply it myself.

Later on that day I checked the phone’s data usage and yet again found that there was data leaking onto the cellular network. Again there was a call to the support unit, this time to someone far less charming, who suggested that I should not worry as the amount ‘leakage’ was small and would be covered by my ‘free’ data package, and if I really wanted to stop the leakage 100% then all I had to do was put the phone in ‘flight mode’. Things now took a turn for the worse as I don’t like people taking the proverbial. I politely (well as politely as I could) explained to the Jackboot Toting Customer Facing (Remote) Support Advisor (they all have fancy titles) that, firstly, putting my phone in flight mode was equivalent to no longer having a phone and, secondly, unless I was very mistaken, there are no ‘free’ data units as I have a contract that includes data units and that there is a charge for that contract. Before hanging up I suggested to the JTCF(R)SA that I write an App that would turn an iPhone into a colonoscopy camera as this may well be of great use to him, considering what I was suggesting doing with the iPhone.

There then followed a moment of quiet reflection (on my part at least).

I decided to upgrade my iPhone from iOS 3 to iOS 4.0.1 (version 4.0 had caused Apps on my iPad to stop functioning so there was no way I would have upgraded before). I was delighted to find that there is a new option at Settings/General/Network called ‘Cellular Data’. Turn this switch to off and the problem is solved (obviously it needs to be turned on when not connected to Wi-Fi). There is now absolutely no data leakage onto the cellular network and my so-called free data units can be used as I choose. Problem solved.

The moral of the story is that if you want to stop being ripped off then you need to upgrade (free) your iPhone to iOS 4.0.1 and then turn off Cellular Data.

Sunday 11 July 2010