I changed from a 3G modem to a 4G LTE Jetpack and lost my "grandfathered" Unlimited data plan, so I started monitoring my data traffic. Some observations may help others with Jetpack data overage issues.
#1 issue - computer "automatic updates" - turn these OFF on your computers, iPads, etc.
Two days after I started monitoring, my wife's Apple MacBook Pro wanted to update the OS and some applications. Instead, I took it to a nearby Starbucks to use their free WiFi and was stunned when the "update" downloaded 5.5 Gigabytes (2.5 Gigabytes for an OS-X update, and another 2.5 Gigabytes for the applications).
One of my Microsoft laptops wanted to do some updates - did the same thing, and burned another 1.5 Gigabytes of Starbucks' WiFi for the price of a coffee.
Had I left both of these with automatic updates turned on, my data plan would have taken a 7 Gigabyte hit in a few days.
On all your home computers (including any connected media devices, like TVs, XBoxes, Playstations, DVD players, etc. that can connect to your WiFi network!), turn off any "automatic updates" features, or at least set them to "notify me when available, but let me choose when to download and install them".
A lot of these devices will happily "wake up" and do the download and install in the middle of the night. You wake up and find 3-5 Gigabytes consumed out of your data plan and wonder what happened.
#2 issue - yes, it goes faster...
The Verizon salesperson noted that I would use up my data plan much faster with the 4G LTE Jetpack, and she was right. Just because pages load 10x faster, I go to more pages, pages finish loading videos that on 3G were interrupted before they downloaded, etc. The faster response means that I am just doing more than I was before, so I am consuming data faster. Just due to the faster response, I believe I am consuming 2-4 Gigabytes more per month (and I rarely if ever watch on-line videos - this is just work-related data).
If you occasionally browsed a YouTube video before, without all that "buffering...", you might find that now you click on more related videos, and surprise - more data plan use.
#3 issue - "smart" phone app updates. While not nearly as big as computer/iPad updates, these can eat up hundreds of megabytes over a month. The "bloatware" that is preinstalled on your phone may not take as much, but when "NFL Mobile" wants to do a multi-megabyte update, that counts against your plan as well. If you have apps that you don't want/need, go into your phone Settings and disable (or remove) the apps - no more annoying update prompts, no more data use for the disabled apps.
And - found another usage eater - Cloud photo backup.
Just took a cute kitten video? I just shot a 1 minute, 25 second video, which generated a 177 MB file to upload to the Cloud, or just over 2 Megabytes per second. That is with a fairly static background which should compress a bit better than the average video.
Figure 10 minutes of video could easily consume One Gigabyte of your monthly allowance.
I have turned off Cloud storage of videos, which is on by default.
If you want your videos preserved in the Cloud, fine, but be aware that you may put a real dent in your monthly usage allowance.
Great posts. We keep hearing of people saying it is impossible they used 7 GB and didn't do anything. This shows it is very possible, even likely. This first hand report of the actual numbers is great and your preventative techniques are also a great idea.