Concerns with data usage

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  • Updated 5 months ago
  • Acknowledged
  • (Edited)
To the largely helpful and knowledgable Viasat corporate support reps who frequent this forum:

Earlier today, I reported an issue on this forum - and also sent Email to viasatlistens@viasat.com - concerning a mysterious overnight huge increase in our data usage. Please note that I check usage daily, that I'm well aware of how to control usage and that I've also been generally satisfied with the accuracy of Viasat's data usage measurements and reporting (as posted on the dashboard). I'm not one to get hysterical or accuse Viasat of "cons". While I would not describe myself as a Viasat "fanboy", I tend to defend Viasat more often than I complain.

I know it's early and replies can take a while... and so I've not received a reply to the Email yet (nor have I received a reply on the forum). So I picked up the phone and called, because at the rate data is disappearing, we are about to run out of data and I have no idea why - where that data consumption is coming from. As mentioned, I am not questioning what is being reported - however, I am asking for details concerning usage... where does Viasat see that my data requests are originating from? 

When I reached phone support, I'm disappointed to report that they were of no help whatsoever. I was told that Viasat cannot provide any detail whatsoever concerning my usage (even though we used to at least have access to high-level info through the use of myesvt, even that kind of high level info is apparently no longer available).

So as of now, my situation is that my usage is out-of-control (as reported by Viasat) and yet Viasat cannot provide me with any guidance at all concerning where that usage is coming from. This is a huge problem, when my provider can measure my data, report that usage to be way beyond the norm (through the use of their own in-house data usage measurement tools) - and yet they cannot provide me with any detail whatsoever concerning where that usage is coming from.

The advice I've received here has been solid, well-meaning advice. Take everything down, bring it back up one device-at-a-time. Watch usage carefully as new devices are introduced, check for large photo library updates, etc. etc. This isn't my first go-round with such challenges, so none of this is new to me (nonetheless, I appreciate all sincere offers of help) and I will do whatever is necessary, because I have no choice.

HOWEVER - to our Viasat reps, I have to say that it smacks of "customer indifference" when you meter my access and then fail to provide me with any detail regarding the measurements you rely upon in order to enforce that metering... enforcement which not only impacts home entertainment (streaming of audio and video), but much more importantly than that, it impacts my business (I am a close to full-time telecommuter). You're reporting my data usage to have sky-rocketed, yet you've got nothing - other than a number which is way out of the norm for our usage - to show me concerning the source of that usage.

PLEASE advise. This is a big issue for me, I must have reliable and acceptable access in order to get my work done - and I cannot afford to pay $10 per Gb, as long as data continues to "bleed" at a rate of 1Gb every 90 minutes to 2 hours. What can be done?

Regards,
Rique
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Rique

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Posted 5 months ago

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Judge and Jury

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What can be done?
Get an ASUS router model RT-AC68U or newer.  Download and install the Merlin firmware.
My router tabulates my usage and it is always dead-on with what Viasat shows I used. 
Here are two screens from my router:



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Michael McDowell

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Does that software give you that information for every connection to the router or just a total?
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Judge and Jury

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T-Mobile handed these out for free for customers with broadband internet but no cell coverage because they work so well with WiFi calling.  They can be purchased on eBay for as little as $49 NEW. The T-Mobile branding is just a sticker, it's an ASUS RT-AC68U for real.  Mine is not from T-Mobile but I've seen them and there is nothing different about them.

The store price right now is about $150 retail.
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Rique

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Craig,

Thanks. We're going to get the Google WiFi mesh system, which also has monitoring and reporting on a per-device basis. I'd be reluctant to invest in another router, although I'm sure you're right, the Asus is probably a really good solution.

However, that's not the point. The point is that Viasat is metering to the extent that they can de-prioritize access based on a sum of usage - and at the same time, they are unable (or not willing) to provide more granularity of data around that usage. How can I, as a customer, adjust my usage if I can get no help at all from my provider in identifying where that usage is coming from?

And sure - I can (and soon will) invest in a new router, etc... in order to determine that myself. However, that's a heck of a burden which the provider is putting on the consumer in saying "your usage is out of control... we are de-prioritizing access based on that usage... no, we can't tell you where that usage spike is coming from (even in generic and high level terms)... that's going to be completely up to you, Mr. consumer".

As I've said repeatedly, I mostly defend Viasat and believe them to be head and shoulders above Hughes, but this lack of adequate usage monitoring and reporting is a long-time gap in the service offering and way overdue to be addressed. The esvt tool was a step in the right direction, but sadly we don't even have that anymore - and so we are left to our own devices (no pun intended).

Riq
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Cindy

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 Just a thought, which maybe you already have done so but make sure there is a password on your VIASAT connection. Anyone that drives near your house can sit out there for hours and watch and do what they want to do on your internet, big data usage right there if you don't have a password. Just saying!
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Cindy

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I also have a Linksys router and on there I can see who is on my internet connection and so on too plus it does help with my speed some!
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Rique

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Cindy, 

We live in the middle of nowhere (why else would we settle for satellite?), so no one in their right mind would go driving around in the boonies looking to piggy-back on our wifi (or on anyone's wifi, way out here).

That said, I most definitely have a secure password on our Wifi. :)

Thanks!
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Edie Privratsky

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I am having the exact same issue and share your concerns about "customer support".   Since my billing on Jan 16th, my data usage has been almost doubled.   I talked to a Supervisor last week and the problem was escalated with Tech Support opening a remote session to my PC.   My modem was recycled but I am still experiencing excessive use. 

I too monitor my usage daily and have a spreadsheet dating back to June of 2017 with my daily usage recorded.   My on-line behavior has not changed but my usage is now totally unpredictable. 

According to support, my usage is mainly audio calls and I have never, ever, made an audio call.   I live in a rural area on a large lot so no one is "stealing" my data but I changed the wifi password just in case.  I am now reduced to minimal internet usage and will be calling support for another marathon this week.  

I will give this a few more weeks and then see what my options are about breaking my contract due to non-compliance on Viasat's part since they cannot provide any information on this anomaly. 
(Edited)
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Edie Privratsky

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Thank you and understood.   I worked in IT for 15 years so I have an above average understanding of how things work.  I did change my WIFI password but, unfortunately, it did not resolve the issue.   
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Judge and Jury

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Then it begs the question... are you using Windows 10? and if so have you turned off the update distribution "feature" (as Microsoft likes to name such poisons in their OS's)?
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Edie Privratsky

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Yes, of course.   I also have my connection set to metered so that no unattended downloads occur.  
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Rique

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34 years in IT related fields here. I still learn something new every day. :)

Riq
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Judge and Jury

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Yes, of course.   I also have my connection set to metered so that no unattended downloads occur.  
Do you actuality trust that?  A good router has the capability to blacklist any domain and all variants of it.  If I see too much activity to Microsoft.... they're gone.
 
(Edited)