Article outlining data usage of ads on websites

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I thought I would share this New York Times article that does a comparison of the amount of data pages use with ads vs with using an ad blocker.

www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/01/business/cost-of-mobile-ads.html

You'll notice that just one visit to a boston.com article was 16.3 MB with ads and only 3.5 MB without.

I think the lesson learned here is that everyone on Exede should be using an ad blocker. It also helps explain why you can use a ton of data just by browsing the web.

Joshua
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Joshua

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Posted 3 years ago

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Kaotic Technologies

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Absolutely..... I find it infair....

If I visit a site...I want to visit the site....and am willing to give x amoint of data to do it.

I dgaf about your advertisements.....your pop ups..... redirecting........ it needs to stop. Dial up woukd still work if it wasnt for the bloated web sites now days.

I mean holy heck.....walmart.com, takes 5 minutes to load because of wll the banners, ads, pics and crap.

Shoukd be a way to stop it
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Joshua

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I've had some success using Ad Block Plus with Firefox, it cuts out most of the ads and has really helped improved things for me.
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Old Labs

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In addition to the data usage benefits of AdBlock Plus, there is another practical advantage to it but requires some understanding of the ViaSat Accelenet client/server technology that is used to minimize the adverse impact of intrinsic latency on satellite connections (the client is embedded in the modem).

Many of the URL elements appearing on a web page are prefetched along with the HTML, compressed and delivered as a whole to the ViaSat modem. This does negate some of the benefits associated with AdBlock plus when it comes to primarily those ads delivered as static content (e.g. simple images). In other words, some of those ads are making it to the modem and being counted against your usage anyway - AdBlock simply prevents them from displaying by preventing the browser from fetching them. When fetched and available in the prefetched bundle no real latency is encountered other than from computer to modem.  Think of how long it would take to completely display the page if some 389 elements (as in the boston.com case) needed to be fetched and each took a half second plus to retrieve due to latency despite multiple connections being used by the browser.

However, the data intensive ones delivered in the form of Flash are the real culprits that are addressed with AdBlock.

However, speculation is that during peak usage when we all see slow downs or even when you are throttled due to DAP, the Accelenet servers don't prefetch all of the URL elements and the browser must then fetch them from the site in question. This does make a difference for me during peak usage periods - at the very least it's still usable. This is where AdBlock would make a distinct difference while at the same time decreasing network traffic if everyone were using it. How web sites would make money would then be an issue, I guess bit since the ads are being delivered on my nickel I have no problem using AdBlock.

The lesson for those who aren't technical or into geek-speak is simple: use and ad blocker (AdBlock Plus) and use a flash blocker (Flash Control is my new choice with better handling of HTML5 media considerations)

P.S. I visit boston.com on a regular basis with no adverse data usage impact... due to the above. 
(Edited)
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Joshua

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Thanks for the insight on this :)
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Diana, Viasat Employee

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Thank you all for the insight and information.  We appreciate you sharing.
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Alex, Viasat Corporate Communications

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I asked David Lerner, who heads up the AcceleNet team here at ViaSat, to weigh in on this. Here's what he said:
As pointed out by Old Labs, by eliminating ads with the use of an ad blocker, your usage will be lower and your pages will be faster.  The New York Times recently posted the following, which shows quite clearly how ads affect both page load times and usage: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/01/business/cost-of-mobile-ads.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0.  As the AcceleNet Product Manager, I can shed some additional light on how AcceleNet works.  AcceleNet predicts what the browser is going to need to render a page once you click on a link, and then servers in our data centers fetch those page pieces in advance of the browser requesting them and push the information into your home modem.  Thus, when the browser requests them, they are already there, speeding up the page load.  We refer to that as prefetching.  AcceleNet’s algorithms are tuned so that they only very rarely prefetch ads and if and when they do, only small ads are fetched.  Flash video, for example, is never prefetched.  By the way, AcceleNet does not have different behaviors during peak periods or if the usage quotas have been exceeded.

 

Old Labs also points out the benefits of blocking Flash.  Although many sites still use Flash, I have also chosen to block it to eliminate the endless security problems and page slowdowns associated with it.  
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Joshua

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Thanks for looking into this, interesting :).
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coolpeter

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Thanks for your data! I install ad block when browsing websites on my phone.
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Dorothy Stoll

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so can you guide me into how to do this on my device
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Judge and Jury

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Hi Dorothy,

Go to https://adblockplus.org/ and click the green? button to install.  It's will know what browser you are using and install the correct AdBlock.  There will be a little stop-sign looking red button at the top of your browser with "ABP" in it.  The red button gives you control over what AdBlock is doing so you can Un-Block certain web pages or turn it off completely as you desire. 

Also, if you are are at a webpage that has an element (ad) that it didn't block, you can right-click on the ad and add that ad to the AdBlock list of things to look for and block in the future.  When right-clicking, AdBlock is usually at the bottom of everything that gets listed.

The site also has an ad blocking system (browser?) for some smartphones.
(Edited)
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Old Labs

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Dorothy,

AdBlock is a browser add-on that is available at https://adblockplus.org/

Ensure the page properly detects the browser your using (it typically will otherwise you need to select the specific version fro your browser)

Flash blockers are specific to whatever browser you're using - let us know which you're using and someone can provide more specific details. Note that flash blockers don't simply block - you can still play flash media but they given you control over whether you want to play them or not.