Data usage spike on May 17, 2017

I'm wondering if anyone else experienced a data usage spike of more than 1.5 GB over a few minutes around 6:00 PM Eastern Time on May 17, 2017. I had the mobile hotspot on my wife's phone on and my laptop connected to the hotspot. We were eating dinner when she started to get text messages from Verizon with data usage alerts. Over a period of a half-hour, she was out of data, with 1.5 GB disappearing in a short time. I looked at the data usage graph on her phone and it had been going along normally from the start of her data cycle on May 8. The there was a straight line going up from 1.47 GB to 3 GB (her allowance).You could barely see the line it was so thin, indicating that the usage occurred over a very short period of time. It all happened so fast I didn't realize what was going on. If I had I would have disconnected my computer from the hotspot. I didn't get any messages about any updates.

Similar spikes in usage have occurred in the past so I set my computer network settings to "measured service" so that apps would not automatically update.

I called Verizon tech support and was told to set my Google Play settings to "Do not update apps." I did that, but too late for this incident.

Anyone have any explanation for such a huge data usage spike?

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Customer Service Rep

Hi there Bancroft. I can absolutely understand your concern, and I would share a similar one if this were to happen on my account. You mentioned one of the most common details when looking at usage on Hotspots. You had a laptop connected to it. When looking at Laptops and computers, they do updates, security scans, download/update new drivers for your hardware, and numerous other behind the scenes processes that often happen automatically, and without notice. Nine times out of ten when we look at sudden usage over short periods of time, there is a laptop or desktop computer connected to the device. To protect yourself from any unexpected or unknown usage, I would recommend trying to avoid having your computer connected to the Hotspot, unless you are actively using it. This way, if it starts running an update or downloading something, you will know about it and see it up front, and can make an active decision on whether or not you want it to use data to do it.


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