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Why cellular data?

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mikem

Why cellular data?
« on: July 28, 2017, 12:49:18 pm »
I just noticed today that my (new) Dot is using cellular data. 

Why does it use cellular data - I only use it in the house where wifi exists?

Does turning off background cellular on the app prevent any cellular data from being used?

Re: Why cellular data?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2017, 01:24:31 pm »
I didn't know it could do that.  Where do you find, in the app, to turn off background cellular?  I looked under settings and didn't see it.

Re: Why cellular data?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2017, 01:29:33 pm »
I have seen a lot of posts here, and you are the first to report this issue.  So, let's first see what the Alexa app shows as the signal your Dot is connected to.  From app menu, tap the Home icon.  Next, go into Settings menu and select your Dot's info.  The first item on list is your wi-fi settings showing what signal you are connected to.  If you are connected to the signal you intended to connect to (your wi-fi signal) then all is OK.

If setting indicates you are indeed connected to your cell signal, you can change the connection by tapping on the wi-fi setting indicator and follow the instructions to change connection.  I believe you can also remove the cell signal connection after you get onto the correct one by making the Dot "forget" the cell signal.

Re: Why cellular data?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2017, 03:49:15 pm »
your alexa app could be using cell data.  do you have the phones setting to update only on wifi?  do you ever access it when not home? 

Offline k9kids

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Re: Why cellular data?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2017, 06:43:30 pm »
Cellular data frequencies are different than Wi-Fi frequencies.

The Echo doesn't have data frequency capabilities.

What makes you think you're using data when playing your Echo device? Turn off cellular data on on your phone and your Echo will work just fine.

mikem

Re: Why cellular data?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2017, 07:13:34 pm »
I have seen a lot of posts here, and you are the first to report this issue.  So, let's first see what the Alexa app shows as the signal your Dot is connected to.  From app menu, tap the Home icon.  Next, go into Settings menu and select your Dot's info.  The first item on list is your wi-fi settings showing what signal you are connected to.  If you are connected to the signal you intended to connect to (your wi-fi signal) then all is OK.

If setting indicates you are indeed connected to your cell signal, you can change the connection by tapping on the wi-fi setting indicator and follow the instructions to change connection.  I believe you can also remove the cell signal connection after you get onto the correct one by making the Dot "forget" the cell signal.

When I tap on data usage by app on my phone it reports that Alexa has used Total - 246MB, Foreground - 203MB and Background - 43.28MB.  Directly under that there is a switch with the label 'Backgroud data - Enable usage of cellular data in the background'.  The switch was on but I just turned it off.  I typically use very little data but used much more last month since getting my Dot.  When I saw the background data usage reported and that the switch had been set to 'on' for 'enable usage of cellular data in the background' I thought Alexa was a likely culprit.

mikem

Re: Why cellular data?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2017, 07:17:27 pm »
I didn't know it could do that.  Where do you find, in the app, to turn off background cellular?  I looked under settings and didn't see it.

I went to my phone's settings and then looked under 'apps', picked 'Amazon Alexa' and then tapped on 'Data usage.'  Under reported data it has a switch to 'Enable usage of cellular data in the background'.  What is this for?  I've now turned it off but it was on.

mikem

Re: Why cellular data?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2017, 07:35:07 pm »
Cellular data frequencies are different than Wi-Fi frequencies.

The Echo doesn't have data frequency capabilities.

What makes you think you're using data when playing your Echo device? Turn off cellular data on on your phone and your Echo will work just fine.

If I turn cellular data 'off' on my phone I wouldn't be able to use apps on my phone requiring cellular data.  I want to use data on my phone for navigation, browsing, etc. but like to know what it's being used for.  As you'll see in my response to another poster above it appears that the Alexa app is using cellular 'background' data for something and I'd like to know what since the Dot is in my house with wifi always available.  Even if the wifi were to go down the Dot is not so critical that I would want it to use cellular data.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2017, 07:36:41 pm by mikem »

Re: Why cellular data?
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2017, 09:35:59 pm »
So, did you check your connection in your Alexa app to see what signal you are connected to?  This is what you have to do, or you will remain clueless!

Forget about data usage and other unrelated things.  Let us know if you are on your wi-fi or not for pete's sake.  When another member asked you to turn off your cellular, he did not mean forever -- it is so you can test if Alexa app is working on wi-fi and you can see what signal your Dot is connected to -- you need to know what signal you are on, and so far you have not confirmed if you are on the wi-fi.

You really need to contact the Echo support customer service phone line so they can walk you thru all this.

mikem

Re: Why cellular data?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2017, 09:40:41 pm »
Yes, I originally connected to my home wifi and am still connected to it.

Re: Why cellular data?
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2017, 11:10:56 pm »
Interesting.  It seems like you have been complaining you are connected to cellular, so what gives?

mikem

Re: Why cellular data?
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2017, 11:20:01 pm »
I'm not complaining about anything but I'm curious.  As I reported above....

When I tap on data usage by app on my phone it reports that Alexa has used Total - 246MB, Foreground - 203MB and Background - 43.28MB.  Directly under that there is a switch with the label 'Background data - Enable usage of cellular data in the background'.

I used a lot more cellular data than usual in the first month I had the Dot (I've only had it for a bit over a month).  That coupled with the above makes me wonder if some of this excess data may have been used by the Dot, especially given that the cellular background data switch was set to 'on.' 

So I am curious....What is background data and why would cellular data even be used for it?  If the Dot can use cellular data have I done what is necessary to stop it from doing so (turning the background data switch off)?

Sorry if I sound like I'm complaining, I'm not.  I'm just trying to figure out the data usage and the terminology/settings that I don't understand.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2017, 11:22:10 pm by mikem »

Offline k9kids

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Re: Why cellular data?
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2017, 11:24:32 pm »
You been streaming a lot of music lately?

mikem

Re: Why cellular data?
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2017, 11:48:03 pm »
You been streaming a lot of music lately?

We have streamed Pandora over the Dot a handful of times (six?) for a few minutes at a time - no longer than 30 minute periods.

What I'm trying to figure out is why the Dot would even use cellular data when it connected to wifi in my house?  It wouldn't have even crossed my mind had I not seen the setting mentioning cellular background data.  What is that anyway?
« Last Edit: July 28, 2017, 11:53:47 pm by mikem »

mikem

Re: Why cellular data?
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2017, 11:53:15 pm »
Found this (old) article that gives some information on the subject.....

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/11-ways-to-trick-android-into-using-less-data/

From article....

"Restrict background data

Even apps that don't allow you to fine-tune data settings could still be loading background data. In Ice Cream Sandwich and later versions of Android, one way to find out which ones are guilty is to go to Settings > Data Usage, and scroll down to reveal a list of apps with accompanying data usage stats.

Then, tap an app to view its usage data, and take a look at the two numbers next to the pie chart. "Foreground" refers to the data used when you're actively using the app, while "Background" reflects the data used when the app is running in the background.

If you notice an app is using too much background data, scroll down to the bottom and check "Restrict background data." Just note that this setting overrides any conflicting app behavior (like an app that would otherwise update your bank account info every few hours)."

Hopefull turning off the background data switch is the key.