More tips on how to save data

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I see so many complaints from customers saying that data usage is being applied to their accounts under circumstances where they feel SURE that it's a mistake and that they really have not used that data....they swear they have looked at every possible way that something in their home network or how they have settings on their devices is NOT the cause/many of these people report years of experience working in the field of computer technology...say they have called exede and been told nothing has been found to be wrong on the exede end...I find this very very interesting and would love to know why this happens.  I had hughes for 3 yrs until I switched to exede classic in august....yet I have never ever had a problem with data usage, except when I was brand new with hughes and didn't know I needed to watch for background "invisible" data usage because of my settings....like auto downloads which was the problem in my case,  After I fixed that and then stopped the auto play of animated stuff on webpages, I never had another problem. Ever....and I watch my usage very carefully because I can only afford the least expensive plan and don't have much data usage to spare.  I try to be objective when people write that they are SURE it's some problem with exede and nothing that they can control on their end....but I can't think of how that makes a lot of sense.  The reason is because I haven't yet come across even one example of someone whose data was disappearing, they got to the bottom of the problem...found that exede was at fault somehow and that the problem was then corrected.  not once. But then I wonder if the examples are there and I just haven't come across them.    so far, because I have never had a problem with not one but with 2 different satellite internet providers makes me continue to feel that the greatest likelihood is that the problem 99.99999% of the time is due to some kind of problem with the home network of the customer having the problem, rather than being something exede or hughes is doing "wrong".  that said, I can only imagine how frustrated/irate I would be if I were in the position of watching my data allowance erode over and over again without my being able to find a cause....I am curious as to whether anyone out there knows of examples of ongoing data "disappearance" where the problem was found to be on the exede end, what exactly the problem was, and how was it corrected?  If you know of examples, please explain in simple terms for those of us who aren't technologically expert.    thanks!
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LorrieL, Champion

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  • curious

Posted 5 years ago

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Alex, Viasat Corporate Communications

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There are many reasons for this, and we hear them all. Sometimes things are loading in the background (FB video, Windows 8 tiles, etc. etc.) that people are unaware of. Sometimes the router is messing up, as happened recently with some Belkin routers. People with larger families sometimes don't realize how additional devices and users can add to data consumption (parents often are unaware that their kids are on YouTube all the time, or Skype, or that the Nintendo 3DS is online, etc.). Sometimes the problem is on our end, so it's always worth contacting us if you think your data usage isn't adding up properly.
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Jeffrey Johnson

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I am wondering if Exede could set up a section for us with tips. Like what setting we need to have on the iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and other things like the Philips Hue systems. And How much traffic does the DirecTv systems like the Genie transmit back home.

As one who started off with the DirectWay sat down and dial up, I understand the bandwith constraints. But if memory serves me correctly, we used to have some settings on the sat modem that would allow some ports to work or not.

I am sure that most of mine heavy usage came from the Apple products updating. I just don't know what else. I burned through 17g in a couple of days. I have to get it all resolved before my 6 months of extra capacity is over.
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Steven Edward Masse

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I have to agree with Jeffrey on that one.  Even though you may not be required to give a section on it, it certainly would help a lot of the customers.  I'm a techie myself and was completely unaware a few times because one day it told me on my old iphone that it automatically installed an update that was like 1gig and I was there sitting to myself saying 'heh wait it didn't even ask me to download it'  and with being completely new to windows 8, coming from windows xp, it was totally different but have learned that the windows tiles update from the internet like weather etc. 

So to recap, it would be extremely helpful if Exede/Wildblue could make a section or document to point to customers to, especially new customers, so they can check on that stuff. 

Heck I had facebook and never knew about the video thing.  I was there on my phone scrolling through my phone and little did I know that facebook changed that!  All this time I was eating up bandwith on me but it was never an issue because I was always within my data limits but one day surfing the web, I found an article about it and was like 'huh well that explains why the videos where automatically playing', facebook was automatically doing it but you can disable it.

If anyone needs it, I have a link to a help guide which can walk you through how to disable video downloading and playing in atleast 2 of the browers, I'm not sure if it includes steps for internet explorer, but it doesn't stop you from viewing a video, it just makes it so instead of it downloading and playing it, it will sort of ask you if you want to continue first before it does anything.  I've used it so far and it's amazing how much it blocks if you do a lot of web surfing etc.  Granted I only know it works for firefox in windows 8 but it's worth a shot.  Not sure if there's anything yet for a phone or tablet but this may help someone to have.
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Jeffrey Johnson

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I have started setting my iPhone's wifi to off and stepping through all the iCloud settings. I have a wired lan along with wireless one. they are both on the satellite. I am thinking about setting up another wired an switch for the direcTv, Philips Hue and other devices just to see if they really do need to phone home, I only have .5 g left after a little less than a week on the new satellite.  I will have to scrouge around an see if Safari has any settings to disable auto play in the web pages. What browsers have you found that support it.
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Steven Edward Masse

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Here's the link....

http://digiwonk.wonderhowto.com/how-to/disable-annoying-autoplay-media-chrome-firefox-safari-and-int...

Looks like it covers safari also.  But it's just for video's that I know of.  Use at your own comfort level and risk.  For firefox it worked for me. 

There was also this article on it that helps some also....

http://www.webmonkey.com/2012/04/disable-flash-with-click-to-play-option-in-latest-firefox-preview/

It's not specific only to firefox, but because it has other stuff on it too, thought it would help.  If this doesn't relate to you or it doesn't work, all I can say is sorry ahead of time, just thought it would help some and made sense to me.
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Jeffrey Johnson

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It was easier than I thought, Safari has a preference setting to disable java and flash. Now the web pages just say Flash disabled Click to start.. Great.. Thanks for the idea.
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Steven Edward Masse

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That's awesome and glad it helped you.  I'm finding out that if the video is html5 based it still won't block those, but the others that have flash it will.  I've been reading the comments etc on those two pages and googling for things, but it did atleast stop some of the videos.  It was highly annoying to say goto weather.com and every single time when you click on something a video ALWAYS has to play.  It's like gheesh man come on, people have data allowances you know. 

But glad it worked for you.
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Exede Kimberly

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These are great ideas you guys! I agree something like this would be super helpful to a lot of customers.
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Steven Edward Masse

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It would help with customer 'awareness' too.  I'm a techie and I didn't know half this stuff.  But if you make a document or someplace a customer can go, well that's a no-brainer.  Gives the customer something to work with, frees up customer service reps so they can better put their use to other problems, it overall has a beneficial effect on the company and how customers perceive it.  Just think 'Heh I didn't get this document with hughesnet but exede/wildblue put it all together in one place for me and I'm having a lot more internet allowance!  YAH!  (envision screams of joy)  Okay I'm over exgagerating but you get the point ;)  I can understand not wildblue/exedes obligation to do it, but you have to weight the benefits and the customer service experience into it and see if it makes sense and fit for the company.  Of course if you only get 5 complaints a day it would be feasible but if you only get 5 complaints a month or even year, well it wouldn't be worth the time or effort to pay someone to make the section/document, let alone upkeep on it since things always change.  Just my 2 cents.  But it was Jeff's original idea, kudo's for him for the idea!
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Jeffrey Johnson

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Well a running tips log like used to be for the Hughes stuff on DSLreports.com would be handy. With so many of our appliances, tv's, phones, hell even refrigerators wanting to phone home it is going to be a problem. We can't control when they phone home for updates. The packets for such devices should be small most of the time. But there should be a way to not allow anything but ports 80, 8080, IMAP, SMTP and POP3 except when we want them to happen. Or even have a popup that alerts us to other ports trying to send out. There even should be a router out there now that does that, I just don't know of one off hand.
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LorrieL, Champion

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Steve I think you just explained to me why, even tho I have flash blocker on chrome I still occ. get on a site where there is animated stuff I can't seem to make stop MOVING. Ha. Must be that html based stuff you mentioned.
(Edited)
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dan Gordon

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Dear Steve , After almost 1 year and close to one hundred calls to Exede, I started screen printing my useage every 30 minutes and sending them to myself in an E mail, When I proof not only that they were taking data but giving it to me free I emailed them all of it, , They finaly are measuring my data correctly, Until now, I suggest everyone   do the same as me, But it is sad that any company would do this to their patrons, It is just my wife and I , Also I have found the costumer support to be misinformed or untrained as to the workings and just wanting to push a higher priced package unto us, 
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LorrieL, Champion

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Dan thanks so much for this first reply that answers this question I've been thinking about for a while.  You are obviously a very persistent person and I am so glad it finally paid off for you, and sorry you had to go through that long marathon to get the problem fixed.  Did you get a direct communication from exede verifying that they found the problem (after your umpteenth complaint) and were fixing it, or did the problem just suddenly stop?  I ask because I am interested in learning,if  possible, what is going on when data usage erroneously spikes and the problem isn't on the customer's end, so wondering if you ever got an explanation for the problem.
Funny you mentioned something about not only getting charged for data you didn't use, but you said something about getting free data?   I ask because I was wondering about that as well--whether sometimes people wind up being given more data than they pay for, and/or whether usage doesn't get metered and so they wind up with "free" data to use...of course that "problem" would be a lot less likely to get reported.
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Bobbie Blackman

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Well I want to jump up and holler, 2 days into the month and I used a gig. 29 days left??   I got to looking and at 232 pm yesterday my windows updated, 872megs. Thats almost a gig, so I set the auto, update on manual, and this way I can dl. them after 12/midnight. This is my fault not exede's.
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Dontazz2003

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How do you set window updates for after midnight
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Bobbie Blackman

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After setting the updates  and they downloaded at 2;45 pm I just set it manually, that way your sure, it gives you the option of when to download and update.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Dontazz2003,

See the bottom of the following thread for the proper Windows Update setting:

https://community.exede.com/exede/topics/data-usage-tips
 
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Danielbo

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I didnt know you could put a time on the downloads on window, but I did know about making them manual. But can you not set you router to not do certain things during certain hours. I will have to look. I am not having any issues, but maybe I could find something to help someone else.
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Alex, Viasat Corporate Communications

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Jeffrey/Steven: We do have this Maximize Your Data article I put together on our Help Center that outlines some of the basics, but I like the idea of a more comprehensive list of things running down all the data traps out there. 
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Jeffrey Johnson

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I was just remembering way back on the DirectPC one way days. Hughes had some channels (or what ever) set up for news groups. It was just a multicast stream that any user of DirectPC could import. My thought would be to partner with someone who will stream movies down that Exede users can pick to download and pay for the rental for viewing. Instead of Exede having to supply resources for the multitudes of people to stream it individually, the users would just join the multicast stream. This would make a lot of use of a limited resource.

Just my thoughts on bandwidth usage.
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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This would not save the amount of data being downloaded, since each person selecting the movie would have to download it to their PC or device, thus using bandwidth. DirecTV and Dish Network already offer this service, but downloading the movie or program "On Demand" uses your data allotment in short order.
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Jeffrey Johnson

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What I was thinking along the lines of is that 1 movie at a time would go down the pipe. If a person selected a particular movie that was on the stream in advance, then your computer would grab it for viewing. No telling how many people individually stream the same movie. Just a concept, probably not very practical.
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Steven Edward Masse

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Well, it does just that, outline the basics.  We are talking about solutions to those basics.  Sure you can tell me to limit my video watching, but if a customer doesn't know that facebook and other sites could possible be downloading and eating that data without their knowledge well their still stuck with a problem, no?  Forgive me if that came out wrong, I have a disease and take meds for life so sometimes I just don't make sense.  I use to work for Bank of America and it's a lot better as a company to offer solutions on what you can do rather than just outline it and leave questions unanswered.  God I remember their procedures, you literally could take a person off the street and they could do the job, it just means they put it in writting. 

Basically what I'm getting at is, yes I looked over the basics, but I'm left asking myself, did it help me with solutions to fix any of those additional/gray area problems?  Obviously I don't know the calls that come into your center but I think as a first time customer, knowing offhand some 'tricks or trades' rather than crude outlines goes a lot further than one would imagine. 

Sort of like the piece about:
  1. Limit video time
Streaming and downloading video consumes more data than almost any other online activity. Pass that fact along to other users on your home network, then go one step further and install a Flash blocker on your browser to prevent video from loading automatically.

As a customer (even though I know what your talking about because I'm a techie) a general person will not.  They may or may not know facebook has a setting to download videas.  Won't know what a 'Flash blocker' is.  Sure there are plenty of articles that outline how to do it on google but lets be real here for a moment, people go searching in google then they start typing in certain things and before you know it they have malware or a virus or spyware, which is causing more of their headaches and sure there's whatever tech support they have to fix that but it still doesn't leave the customer with something clear to use.  What we are saying here is expand on it, give them direction, for a ipod do this, for a good adblocker go here for instructions to download and install it, for facebook to stop videos follow these instructions.

You know, MORE!  What does a link or addition sentence cost for the company?  What $5.00?  What does it save the company?  Well lets start with the customer calling to complain, average of 15 minutes?  Maybe 30 minutes?  Figure most of those require follow up, have to research how the customer is using their data, maybe giving them something while exede researches, now we are probably at the 30/45 minute mark, figure about what $30.00 on the low end?  Or how about the potential of losing a customer that might have stayed had they of been offered something more comprehensive to offer as a solution for them rather than them getting frustrated and leave?  Long term effect here is what I'm trying to get at.

Maybe I put that all wrong or out of context but I'm hoping you get the point. 

I mean check, I didn't know when Apply came out with their new software that the iphone or ipod, can't remember which I had that did it, but it automatically downloaded the software and installed it.  Now if exede had expanded and offered that in a more comprehensive post that 'Ipod/Iphone can possible download updates automatically and you can do X and X to help prevent that' well at that point if something gets downloaded than I would have no one else to blame but myself would I?  But it would be beneficial to have something there.  Not trying to step on anyones toes, that's not my intentions at all, just think that in this situation, less is not always better.

A funny story from my IT days, we had a guy and his assistance constantly having problems with their computer.  Most of the school was mac, we never had much issues.  But the guy and girl from this department had window pcs because of their software.  Always an issue with spyware, virus, malware, you name it.  Seemed almost ever other week we was out there for it.  And the problem was THEM, they were happy clickers as we called them, any email they clicked on, any link they clicked on.  I had one that had pop up issues and I sat with him and ask him 'okay what are you doing when this box pops up' and he said I was clicking the 'okay' button.  Which then prompted him to go right to the virus website.......it's a good laugh I guess you had to be there to appreciate it.  Moral of the story is, some people just need that extra push or documentation on what they can or can't do and what to do.  And some, well, they are beyond hope.  But after we sat with them and explain things, see no one ever did that or told them before me, the problems almost eliminated themselves.  Eventually they never called for a problem, because they was educated.  I guess that's what I'm getting at, you can have a summary but expand more on it, educate us on what we can and can't do alittle more.  Help the customer more so that the time and resources on the company are better spent improving on it and the customer being more happy that it works rather than 'I went over my limit, HELP!'.  Granted it won't stop them all, but something is better than sitting on ones hands.
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Jeffrey Johnson

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What would really be nice for a tech company like ViaSat to do is be a tech company. My thought would be on the my usage page have.
Port 23      1.3 mb
Port 449    2.7mb


Etc. On the ports that we are being charged for, which I assume is anything that can not be compressed, let us know how much data for the ports. Exede should be able to list it as if you call in you can get the info. Just tell us so we can see what we are doing. We could see port 15653 used 2.4 gig and look up what that port is and who it belongs to. Maybe it belongs to the company that makes our new tv and it got an update, or maybe our new car phoned home to report diagnostic information. We won't ever know what is eating up our bandwidth without knowing what is being used.

And it will keep increasing. I have seen software development kits for connected washers, water heaters, stoves, air conditioning, door locks, God who knows what else. I will be finding out what doesn't go out on ports 80 and 443 pretty soon. I ordered out an old wrt54g router. I am going to block everything that is not ports 80 and 443 and pop3, smtp and imap start with and see what happens.

I am sure I have a tremendous amount of crap phoning home in my house. And yes I have a Kevo dead bolt. I don't think it talks to anything but my iPhone though. I never plugged my water heater up to the internet.
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LorrieL, Champion

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Just yesterday on the chrome for my iPad settings I found one called "bandwidth". This setting does not appear on my PC chrome only on my iPad version of chrome, but I clicked on "reduce bandwidth" and it says it measures how much it is saving for you..today on my iPad chrome it says it has saved 9%....not sure exactly what that means but I know every little bit helps...wish chrome for PC had this as well.
(Edited)
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Steven Edward Masse

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WOOHOO!  That's awesome, something is better than nothing :)
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Brian, Champion

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Frustrated by bandwidth that Video On Demand (VOD) sucks up?

I have an elegant solution that works for us and cost us about $10 to implement.

Our situation:
In January 2014 we signed up for DirecTV and switched from WildBlue (after 24 months of satisfactory service) to Exede. We hadn't had TV for over two years (turns out we didn't really miss much). Suddenly we had VOD. We could watch cool shows whenever we wanted to. We were catching up on past episodes of our favorite shows and in three days we burned through 70% of our allotment.

The immediate solution was to set the alarm, interrupt my sleep at midnight and queue the shows we wanted But I could only queue a few because the download had to stop before 5AM. It was readily apparent that the solution didn't have legs.

Our setup:
  1. DirecTV HR24-100 receiver, connects wirelessly to our router using a DIRECTV Wireless Cinema Connection
  2. Exede 12 (10GB) plan
  3. Inexpensive lamp timer
Here's how it works:
Connect the wireless cinema connection device to the timer. Set the timer to turn the wireless connection device on at midnight (I use 12:05am) and off at 5AM (I use 4:55AM). Queue your VOD content as you would normally.

At midnight, when the wireless cinema powers up and connects to the router it starts downloading VOD content. Obviously, at 5AM when the wireless cinema device powers down it disconnects from the Internet and downloading stops.

There you have it. For about $10, VOD becomes Video by Tomorrow (VbT), downloads during LNFZ and doesn't burn our bandwidth. I've been using this since January 2014 and it works incredibly well.

DirecTV VbT is sufficiently robust that if it stops in the middle of a download it simply restarts the following day at midnight. Occasionallyand I  really mean occasionally, I see a message on TV that says it can't connect. Simply click cancel.
(Edited)
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Jeffrey Johnson

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I love it. I have an all Apple mac house with 4 Macs and 2 iPhones. I found that I could put the server app on my Mac Mini and whenever anything updates or downloads anything from Apple the server caching program would keep a copy. The first machine may take 10 minutes to download it and the rest of the machines would grab it from my server in about 1 minute.  If someone has a lot of iPhones and iPads of the same model and serveral macs, that is the way to do it.
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Brian, Champion

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Updating Windows Sucking Up Your Bandwidth?

Do you have Windows configured to automatically update? You probably should (but that's a topic for an entirely different discussion). Don't know for certain? Then you should check!

Microsoft gives you the option to automatically download and install updates and service packs for not only Windows but for the entire installed suite of Microsoft products. Sometimes those updates can be HUGE and if it happens outside the LNFZ then you're burning bandwidth needlessly.

Do this to check how Windows Updates itself:
  1. Go to Control Panel
  2. Select Windows Update
  3. Select Change Settings (along the left side)
You'll see something like this:


Change whatever setting you currently have so it kicks off during the LNFZ!

That's it.

Check this Microsoft publication for more information.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Unfortunately, that's a common misinterpretation of that option.

The time specified is applicable to when they will be installed, not downloaded - downloads continue to occur at Windows discretion regardless of the time specified, as new updates become available.

The only option, other than Do not check for updates (Not Recommended), that allows you to control your own destiny is:

Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them.

See the discussion here.

With Microsoft's Patch Tuesday coming up tomorrow, everyone on Windows might want to check their Windows Update options. Let's see how many "unexplained" usage spikes are reported over the next several days as the updates are rolled out...    

In addition, the Microsoft Update check box applies the same logic to other Microsoft product updates - but not all.

For example, anyone having an Office 365 subscription should be aware that Office 365 doesn't honor that check box. Instead, the Office Account settings available from any product in the suite govern how updates are applied and the choices there are even more limited. The only option here that lets you control your own destiny there is to disable updates, manually check for them, temporarily enable them when they are available, update now and then remember to disable them once completed - naturally all during the LNFZ or end of your monthly cycle when you have data to spare.   

This last one burned me several weeks ago early in my monthly cycle, when 3 of my machines that were then powered on, decided to simultaneously apply the then latest update, which was around .6GB for each - for a quick 1.8 GB hit.         

P.S. I've corrected the proper Windows Update option to choose above; needless to say. none of this effects non-Microsoft product updates - each has there own set of idiosyncrasies that need to be checked. These are typically smaller than Microsoft's updates but 16MB here, 16 MB there and pretty soon we're talking real GBs.                                         
(Edited)
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Brian, Champion

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I feel betrayed...all these years...

Thank you, LabRescuer. And for rescuing Labradors, presumably or maybe laboratories but that's not nearly as cool. 
(Edited)
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Yes, canine variety - specifically the seniors that find themselves no longer wanted after years of loyalty.           
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Exede Kimberly

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Thank you for the clarification Lab Rescuer, on both points. (:
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Brian, Champion

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Kimberly, Can I delete the instructions for Windows?

It serves no purpose and muddies water that should otherwise be revered for its clarity.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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I should add that it is possible to schedule, download and install Windows Updates using Task Scheduler to run a PowerShell script to download and install Windows Updates - not for the faint of heart or the squeamish, but for those who are really ambitious a search may yield some pertinent information on how to do that, and of course you need to download and install PowerShell - as well as test the script manually during the LNFZ first before scheduling it on a regular basis.

I'd provide one but don't want to take responsibility for what happens when PowerShell is discovered, subsequently abused and you schedule it for 2:00 PM rather than 2:00 AM ;) 
(Edited)
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Bobbie Blackman

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Funny you said that Lab, my new time starts on the 8th, for some reason @ 2;30 on the 8th I saw a update screen and said ok, then later I looked and the update was 976 megs, so on the 9th I had used a whole gig, :(  but I changed it to ask me first, if it's small I'll do it. But otherwise I'll save it till after midnight.
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windyastro

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I had a very well established usage when I joined Exede, since I had wi-fi and knew exactly how much i used every month.  

For 3 years, I NEVER used more than 6gb on my wifi.   I still have the records to show my typical pattern over a  period of 3 years, month-by-month.  .  

I never had to turn off anything, stay up at all hours of the night, etc.

When I joined excede, I watched the Kentucky Derby and a few races before that one on the same dayt, and then used my internet as usual (forums and email, updating a few things)...... imagine my suprise when I was already hitting my bandwidth allowance for the month (10gb) with 10 days before my account reset.!!

I feel like I am living in a by-gone decade, like the dark ages..... I don't stream music, or even download movies, or anything else........maybe watch a few instructional YouTube videos here and there.  And I am barely making it thru the month.

I am a senior on fixed income and can't pay more than this $60 a month for the internet as I am low income as well.  There weren't any deals when I signed up, so looks like I am stuck like this for 2 years. 

I really don't know how exede computes their bandwidth, but it surely is different than the way Verizon did it....because I never used more than 6-7 and now I am barely getting thru the month with exede's 10gb, despite that I haven't changed ANY of my habits .

I used the tutorial on the exede site to "disable" everything I could possibly disable.....
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Starring Matter

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There is not different way of calculating bandwidth, a megabyte is a megabyte, a gig is a gig.  What is different is the way the content you are accessing handles your requests based on your connection speed.  

Most modern websites and webapps (ie, netflix) test your connection speed, and provide you the highest amount, and quality of, data available, based on your speed.  With 12 megabit service, you will get all the content, and the highest quality content available.  The video will automatically be in HD, images will automatically be at the highest pixel count, and advertisements will be in full assault.

The same page on a fast connection can cost you more than twice the data as that page would on a slower connection.

This is simply the way the internet now works, and it's not likely to change any time soon.

The best way to counteract this, use a firefox or chrome based browser, and use addons/extensions to block flash and block advertising.  Do those two things, along with making sure any video you do watch is exclusively in standard definition, you'll see your data consumption drop dramatically.

It's a very common complaint that exede must be screwing me, because my habits didn't change but my consumption did!  That's simply not true, the internet has changed, and people like us on metered connections have to figure out how to stay one step ahead.
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Vince Cecil

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I keep my exede modem and wireless routed off until we actually need get on and I have all devices in the house turned off of automatic updates so I know what's downloaded and when. We don't even keep our smart phone data and wireless on unless we actually are using them so we do not burn through data needlessly.  Only times we have come close is over the Holiday's when the kids are in from college. They can sure suck the bandwidth quickly with all the streaming they do. Wife and I seldom go over and not that ATT is offering roll over data we have a back up with about 9 gig to roll over monthly.  Any Idea when exede will offer roll over of unused data.  I have lots in the past year that has gone unused.
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Brian, Champion

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I control my devices similarly and in 13 months have hit the dreaded wall only once and that was on the last day.
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Kentuckienne

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Data and where she is gone.

I started to write this as a comment on another post, but I wrote too much.

One thing that takes data is on-demand TV. I used to have the TV connected to the router, so that I could watch the occasional youtube video or watch a movie on demand, and then realized that the tv  (we have DirectTV) was using the Exede connection to do all the downloading instead of getting it from the Direct TV bird. I disconnected the ethernet cable to the TV a year ago and haven't hooked it back up since - but I read a message from someone else here who said they put the TV router on a timer, so it only turns on during LNFZ. I'm going to try that and see if it works, and then it will download stuff and save it for me. If that works it will be great. 

And also, apps like Dropbox. I have had a Dropbox account for a long time, and just sort of forgot how it works. If you put stuff in the Dropbox, or Google Drive, or iCloud, etc. folder on the computer, it synchs everything over the internet. So if for example, I save a file into my Dropbox folder thinking I can get to it online, I actually forgot that it creates a double hit: once to download the file to my computer, and again to upload it to Dropbox. I went into Dropbox and unchecked all the "synch" folders - Dropbox is nice, but that's way too much data. I don't need to have everything available everywhere. I back up to flash drives, minimize what I keep online, it's just another vulnerability risk anyway. 

There was a time when I had Dropbox and Google Drive and OneDrive all working, because I wanted to compare them. Guess what... that's three times the file gets uploaded. Don't need that. 

iCloud I absolutely hate. It seems like a nice feature, have all your photos, email, automatically backed up so if you lose your phone you still have them. Well, I can't find a way to set photo resolution to a lower value on the phone, so all the pictures are large, and when  iCloud was turned on it was uploading every photo. Plus, if I deleted a photo off the phone thinking to save space on my phone, iCloud would thoughtfully download it for me again. 

Evernote, same thing. Take a picture with the cellphone for a note: upload to iCloud, upload to Evernote. Silently. 

Here's what has got me within striking distance of getting my data under control:

Turn off Wifi on the tablets/phones most of the time. 

Turn off automatic update in app store on all devices. 

This doesn't work for everything - there are applications that update themselves even if you have system updates off. You have to just figure out which ones those are. 

HP printer drivers, for example, can take 500 MB to download, and I think the utility tries to set up "automatically download and install updates" unless you catch it. So you have to go into every single app, even if you don't think it's an app - like a printer control program - and check to see how updates are configured. Goes for browsers, too. 

Speaking of browsers: if you have multiple tabs open, and if you have the browser set to reopen the last windows, it has to go get all the data again. So if you have the browser open to a page with some large photos on it, every time you reopen that browser, even if you don't go to that tab, all the pictures redownload. There used to be a way to cache data and not  bring it down fresh every time but I don't remember how, or if it still is part of the browser software ... have to check you specific browser. 

Antivirus programs auto update, windows security updates are usually automatic, etc. 

Oh, and be sure to disable "load remote content" in mail. Otherwise every time you open an email message it goes to get the picture, whatever, again. That can take a lot of data. 

And I never believe any statement about "my kids don't do X when they aren't supposed to". Yes they do. They don't understand the data use any more than we do. They share passwords with friends. If your kid has a friend who has an iPhone, and if that iPhone has ever been on the network at your house, then it remembers that network and will automatically connect to it when in range. And then do whatever app update, download, etc. I recommend two things:

1.   Log in to the router and check the connected client list. Do this when a bunch of people are hanging around, and don't announce that  you're going to do it. See how many devices are connected to the router. You might have it refresh the list just to make sure it doesn't show any old ones. 

2. Change the router password regularly. And don't tell your kids what it is. You can put the password in their phones manually when you change it. Then they won't know what it is to tell their friends. And I'm not meaning this to say kids are not trustworthy. They really may just not know when the devices are on wifi. They really may not know that their friends devices are connecting, or how much data that uses. Changing the password manually - and making sure the guest account is disabled - will give you valuable information.  If they don't know the password, eventually they will have to ask for it, and then you don't tell it. You put it in manually and give back the phone. 

Yeah, it's a lot of hassle to figure out the data. Sometimes I do think that data is not tracked properly, or that my router did not start itself into LNFZ, but most of the problems I've found have been related to applications. I've been experimenting with small apps that track data traffic and it's been enlightening. Stuff I never suspected, stuff I knew was using data but not that much. It's really like anything: exede tracks how much data goes up and down - AND THEY REALLY ABSOLUTELY NEED SOME DECENT FREAKING TOOLS FOR THE END USERS TO DISPLAY THIS INFORMATION - but you'd be amazed at how data-hungry apps and devices are nowadays. 

I think you could get some help if you want to post details about what applications are installed on devices and computers, and people would give you information about how that app behaves with your data and how to streamline/prune/trim/regulate. 

And there really could be a hardware problem: a problem with the exede router, a problem with your home router, that is using data. Maybe the router's trying to download firmware. Maybe it's having trouble reading and generating errors which generate requests from other  servers for data retransmission. You could have a bad ethernet card. A bad ethernet cable. A bad USB hub. Problem with alignment of your dish. Aliens sitting on the satellite. A bad anything. 

And last but not least ... check for virus and malware.   Someone nefarious could have slaved your machine, and it can be very hard to find out if this has happened if you don't monitor traffic. You might have clicked on a link in an email and wondered why nothing happened, when what happened is a small trojan or virus or worm got installed on your PC and is now sending out traffic. Maybe it's being used as for torrent, or maybe to attack other computers on the net. This is  darn hard to figure out. Let me say that again. IT'S VERY HARD TO FIND OUT IF YOU HAVE MALWARE, BECAUSE IT CAN HIDE ITSELF FROM THE ANTIVIRUS PROGRAMS. It takes time, and hard work, to find and remove viruses. Buy a Mac, they don't really get viruses.  Failing that, try Kaspersky, try Microsoft's anti virus, try Malwarebytes, find and use a good antivirus protection program along with enabling the firewall on the router and on the individual computers. Don't use the computer as Administrator. Create a regular user account, and log on with that. If you log on as Administrator it gives malware total access to your machine. If you log on as a user, it limits what it can do. There are log files you can check and other resources for making sure you are malware free, and it's way too much to cover here, but it's a real risk and you have to do it. 
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Steven Edward Masse

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that has to be the most awesome write up ive seen in awhile.  awesome job!!!!
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Jeff Johnson

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I have all Macs and have an Apple router. My router and I assume others probably have "Timed Access Control".  This allows you to type in the trusted wifi IP addresses and set a time for un-trusted devices.

I put in my normal Macs that I use and surf with in trusted area. My DIrecTV and guests are restricted to the LNFZ. What happens is my DirecTV and other devices can not pull an IP address until the LNFZ hits. Then they magically get the internet and do their thing.

If you have a lot of macs, then the thing to do is put server on one of them and turn on "Cache Server". This will only download one copy of anything. If you have 2 iPhone 6's then it will only download one update and the next iPhone 6 will grab it off your local cache. The same with Macs, you can download a massive update in the LNFZ and all the rest of the macs will just get it off the local Cache. This has saved me a bundle. 

I think though setting up Timed Access  on the router may be best. On the Apple Airport it only applies to WIFI devices not to wired devices.

I bought IOGEAR Universal Ethernet to Wi-Fi N Adapter for Home or Office GWU627 to attach to the DIrectv DVR so I could unplug the DVR for the ethernet lan and make it go wireless for the Timed Access to work.

I am not very good at explaining things, but I hope you get the idea. Direct and probably Dish both will eat you alive probably quicker than photo stream will. But I have iCloud photo stream turned off on the phones. So when I sync it up to my Air, it will photo stream it via the local lan to the other computers (safety in having it in multiple places). iCloud for notes, reminders, contacts, bookmarks really do not consume as much bandwidth as surfing CNN once.
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HMC1940

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Hello Jeff--I have windows machine but have seen post on this forum asking about mac's so think it's nice you are posting about mac's.  :-)
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Eddie Warner

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I actually work for Exede, and I am working on my blog with more data saving tips for everybody, but in the meantime, here is a useful blog that I found with the few things that aren't in the knowledgebase :

http://www.guidingtech.com/50899/maxi...

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