Archived and Closed
This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies and is no longer visible to community members. The community moderator provided the following reason for archiving: Old post
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:
- Limit video time
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.
I have an elegant solution that works for us and cost us about $10 to implement.
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.
- DirecTV HR24-100 receiver, connects wirelessly to our router using a DIRECTV Wireless Cinema Connection
- Exede 12 (10GB) plan
- Inexpensive lamp timer
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. Occasionally, and I really mean occasionally, I see a message on TV that says it can't connect. Simply click cancel.
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:
- Go to Control Panel
- Select Windows Update
- Select Change Settings (along the left side)
Change whatever setting you currently have so it kicks off during the LNFZ!
Check this Microsoft publication for more information.
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.....
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.
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.
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.
This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.
This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.