I believe that Verizon could provide better information about data usage and about tools for monitoring and controlling usage. This is particularly problematic in our rural area where all our data has to go through a 4G LTE cellular router so there is no "free" WiFi data. Here is my compilation of what I have figured out and what I would like to know / suggest for Verizon to consider. Any answers to my questions, verification of my "facts", suggestions, etc. would be greatly welcome as we are going through 30+ GB/month and as near as I can tell the family is not doing anywhere near that number of hours of HD movies that data calculators would suggest are required to eat that much data.
Data Usage Monitoring and Control Tools
MyVerizon – General
My Usage – Amount of data used by each device during current cycle
Data Utilization – Percent usage in different categories for selected device
Data Log (exportable to Excel)
Usage Alerts – Text / Email alerts at selected percent data usage
MyVerizon – Family Base Controls – Usage Limits
Set usage limits for each device with optional cut off at limit and alert message
4G LTE Cellular Router
Determine which devices are connected
Block selected devices
Set WiFi password
Set the maximum number of connected devices
Settings – Cellular Data usage and usage by app (does NOT include WiFi),
can reset statistics
Data Usage / Control Understandings Believed to be True
Data Usage / Control Questions Needing Answers
Suggestions for Improved Tools
Overall great suggestions.
The data calculator is out of date and data use for HD streaming is much more than indicated. For web pages, it is not accurate for pages with lots of ads or media.
Any data to and from the cell tower is counted. It s only data exchanged outside you network, so device to device in your network does not use data.
I Agree with your 4 assumptions.
I have the same situation. The Verizon router establishes a subnet (internal network) for your home. Any data transfered within the subnet will NOT count against your data usage -- only data that exchanges between the router as an internet gateway to the tower will count against your usage. (If you have a weak signal, I've been told that dropped, and thus repeated, packets will count also. I have a solid signal and have never seen packet loss on the Verizon router. That is something you can only determine using the Verizon router diagnostics -- which are very minimal.) So in direct answer to your question, traffic to your printer within your home subnet will not add to your data usage.
You need to check your Verizon router to verify that the defined subnet has ALL of your devices defined to it. That insures that all internal traffic is INTRANET versus INTERNET. Internet traffic counts as data usage regardless of how the device connects (direct 4G or through the router).
I had the same questions. To resolve and get the answers, I bought my own router from Netgear. I used it connected via ethernet (not wifi) to the Verizon router which then allows me to subnet my internal network one layer lower. The Netgear routers allow much better monitoring and control over the outdated router model that Verizon uses. Netgear also has a nice app named Genie that helps simplify the information about your subnet. Note that ALL my internal home devices connect to the subnet (internal home network) established by the Netgear router -- none except the Netgear router connect to the Verizon router.
With the Netgear router utilities, I can monitor my overall usage daily, weekly, monthly (total and average) and match them against the reported Verizon data. For the past six months of my monitoring, there has been a 100% correct correlation between my internal Netgear reported usage and the Verizon router reported usage found on the Verizon website. It is correct that Verizon data may be reported late, but I have never seen a delay of over 24 hours -- 6-12 hours is not unusual. Any traffic on my internal subnet can not get to the Verizon router unless internet access is required -- then the Netgear router passes the data flow to the Verizon router. Again, the data counted by Netgear and the Verizon router are a match.
When I first connected, I actually used the poor Verizon router traffic log to determine throughput (subtract current timestamp data total from a specifi earlier timestamp data total to get usage for that day. The result was a near match to the Netgear reported throughput. (A few kbytes of data is insignificant -- your can never really get two devices to agree. At the MByte level, they agree.)
So yes, I invested $120 in a good router and I have complete monitoring capability. And yes, I have always found the Verizon reported data to be completely correct within any given day. If you are having issues, you need to understand what your devices are doing on your network. Verizon can only report what data flows through their devices including an LTE router and their data is correct. Phone to 4G data usage appears to have different issues. What I have written does not address direct 4G usage. We ALWAYS route all phone data traffic through our internal network and thence through the 4G LTE router. That is the only way to verify actual data flow.
One last point. I personally would not rely on phone data reporting for complete accuracy. Too much depends on the strength of the phone 4G signal and that varies as you move from place to place. Or it may be erratic if your home has poor 4G reception. Also, you should not consider 4G LTE internet service if you do not get a strong signal. Verizon should not permit it. An addition problem may well occur if you use one of the Verizon portable 4G LTE routers for internet service and move it to a weak signal location.
Thanks very much - this helps confirm my assumptions and gives me a great idea for how to get better data - much appreciated. We do have a good solid 3-4 dot 4G LTE signal - better out in rural NY than here in urban Wilmington DE.