What is using my phone's data connection.
October 30, 2019 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Every so often my phone (Android LG G5 on giffgaff in the UK) will stop taking to the internet. Pokémon gives me a network error, Google on Chrome says I'm offline. But the 4G icon is lit up showing data going both up and down solidly. Is there anyway to find out what's going on?
posted by Just this guy, y'know to Technology (4 answers total)
 
Not sure about a monitoring app or settings, but the data indication is likely just the phone trying to reconnect to the 4G network, and failing and retrying repeatedly. Maybe too many users on the tower or something that is causing the network to vaguely say "not right now" instead of a definitive "no, you aren't authorized" or similar.
posted by CyberSlug Labs at 11:32 AM on October 30, 2019 [1 favorite]


The connection icon and bars are only a very general idea of what's happening — signal can be found or lost on the order of microseconds and it's very possible that in an area of spotty coverage, or switching between towers, or on a congested network, your phone will fail to send or receive enough packets to make a data-heavy game like Pokemon work. You're nominally connected to the internet but not functionally.

This is pretty common even on brand-new phones so don't worry too much about it! Loss of signal happens for a billion reasons and there's really no way to prevent it. Just wait a minute, walk even a few feet and you should be able to reconnect.

Edit - if you're worried something is using your connection, you should be able to look in your settings under network to see how much bandwidth different apps have used over the last day, week, month etc. If one seems out of place it's worth investigating.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:41 AM on October 30, 2019 [1 favorite]


I get that a lot. I'm on 3 in the UK, and I've always assumed that my connection to the tower's fine, but there's not enough bandwidth to connect the tower to the (rest of the) internet.
posted by ambrosen at 11:58 AM on October 30, 2019 [1 favorite]


. Maybe too many users on the tower or something that is causing the network to vaguely say "not right now"

This makes a lot of sense. I mostly notice it as I'm walking to Waterloo station.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:11 PM on October 30, 2019


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