Erroneous hotspot data charges on iPhone 5


My iPhone 5 has repeatedly recorded data usage that I have not used over the past month. I have a 6 Gb plan that I've used for the past two years with sporadic, occasional problems in "sudden data jumps" in recorded usages that I've lived with. However, the problem has gotten much worse of late.

Por ejemplo:

9/19/14 at 8:04 am,    1550.9 Mb

9/21/14 at 3:00 pm,      930    Mb

9/24/14 at 8:00 am,      260   Mb  (the iPad showed usage of 30 Mb)


I own an iPhone 5 and an iPad 4. I use the hotspot on the iPhone to access the internet via the iPad 4. Both are at iOS 7.1.2. The overages are given as from the hotspot (using the iPhone's usage page in General) the apps on the iPhone using cellular data are fine.

Both the iPhone 5 and iPad 4 have the following settings

1 - Background app refresh is turned off

2 - Auto update is turned off

3 - The iPhone 5 hotspot is password protected

To further diagnose the source of the spurious data reporting I've taken the following steps:

1 - I've installed DataUsagePro from the Apple iTunes Store on both the iPhone and iPad. It measures data usage realtime and keeps a daily tally for both cellular and WiFi data. I have found it to be very accurate, having tested it against the labeled sizes of downloads when updating apps manually.

2 - I've installed Subnetinsight on both the iPhone and iPad. It will show a list of all current users on the iPhone hotspot and also any past users.

3 - No movies or videos are ever watched on the iPad which is the only hotspot user.

Data analysis:

1 - When the hotspot shows anomalous data usage (see the three cases at the top of the note), DataUsagePro shows the same totals on the iPhone but the same app on the iPad does not show the usage by the iPad (plus the fact that there's nothing I can do to pile up 1559 Mb anyway in such a short time, remember, no movies or videos and no updating of apps at that time).

2 - Subnetinsight shows no other users on the hotspot, just the iPad.

So what are we to make of this? It seems that the hotspot on the iPhone is recording anomalous data usage that is not being used by any device in the hotspot network. There appears to be a real stream of data since DataUsagePro on the iPhone detects the data stream through the hotspot but it is not being used by the iPad nor is it being used by a third party since there are no other users on the WiFi net per Subnetinsight. Furthermore, I'm on a boat in a remote anchorage, there's no one around. My wife and I travel on our boat a lot, thus the need for an internet connection.

What the anomalous data usage problem is not:

1 - It is not usage by the only device on the hotspot network, the iPad 4

2 - It is not usage by someone breaking into the hotspot system, otherwise Subnetinsight would have listed the user. Furthermore, we are often in remote anchorages, a different one every night.

So I request to be taken seriously and be assigned to a technical person capable of getting to the root cause of the spurious data usage. Looking around the message boards I can see that I'm not the only one with this problem. I await your response.

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