Data issues

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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  • (Edited)
I am not happy with my service! I pay $170 a month for this. As soon as my new month begins, we've already used all of our data within the first few days! This is ridiculous
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Kimberly Blount

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Posted 4 years ago

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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Furthermore, Facebook uses the newer HTML5 video/audio streaming as opposed to Flash (if your browser supports HTML5 and most do) - auto play is just one of the problems but easily addressed with Facebook settings. The larger problem is the "preload" (also called auto buffer) attribute of HTML5 media and its behavior varies by browser implementation. Actually some browser default to pre-load when nothing is specified. 

One problematic behavior for those on limited data plans is that HTML5 video/audio will preload in the background regardless of whether you intend you watch them or not - I repeat, regardless of whether you intend to watch them or not or click play.

The only reliable way to prevent this that I've found is to use Firefox and install the FlashControl add-on which restores the expected click to play with no preload behavior - see https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/flash-control/

As an example, the following screen capture is from an animal shelter Facebook page I frequently visit:

 

It's an HD video (despite the blurred screen capture looks to be 720p). In this case I disabled flash control, went to the page and waited for about 20 seconds, At that point, I clicked play and immediately paused the video - in the 20 seconds where I wasn't doing anything, 1 minute and 50 seconds of the video had already pre-loaded  due to Facebook's use of HTML5. Even worse there were 3 other videos on the same page that had similarly pre-loaded with no autoplay requested.

In 20 seconds, approximately 40+ MB was gone in a flash...

Clearing the cache, re-enabling FlashControl, exiting Firefox and then revisiting the page it consumed less than 2 MB of data and I had the option of watching them or not (typically I don't unless during the LNFZ)  with no adverse data impacts.

Given the large number of web sites that are abandoning Flash in favor of HTML5 it's only going to get worse for those on limited data plans unless you take steps to address it on your own and then some web developer will come up with new and exciting ways to use your data without your knowledge, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water... those same developers aren't really concerned about the relatively minuscule number of satellite users in the grander scheme of things nor inclined to put in the extra work required to extend courtesy to those few satellite users who face severe data limits (whether hard or soft caps).         

P.S. This likely doesn't impact those who use mobile devices - mobile device browsers don't implement it this way since cellular service has typically had severe data constraints to begin with. In addition all of the above was just verified using GlassWire to analyze traffic and data usage during that sample scenario mentioned above.   
(Edited)
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Bev, Champion

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Charlene Rose

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Just got it! I'm in my LNFZ time and can work on configuring it, and try it out. Any suggestions for controlling spam In the app that comes on iPad, or another program that I can tell what spam to block? Thanks again!
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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So is the Safari browser, while on wifi, one of the devices not likely impacted? Thanks!
Not necessarily... Apple is as tone deaf about this issue as Microsoft is (see Windows 10's inability to set an ethernet wired connection as metered). More likely they could care less about the fractional percentage of global users who must rely on satellite internet.

Searching Apple and other forums an answer, yields only non-answers. While technically a mobile device, that categorization is typically only applied when using cellular connections (and assumes having an iPad with both cell and WIFI). When WIFI the device becomes a portable device distinctly different from a mobile device.

For example, searching for "how to conserve data on iPad"  on even the official Apple support forums yields use WIFI connections whenever possible! Naturally this overlooks the simple fact that some WIFI connections are in fact metered.

However, there is some suggestion that WIFI connections on the iPad and other "mobile" devices utilize more data than when connecting to cellular networks - developers make the erroneous assumption that WIFI is "always" unlimited (or worse still that it's free) and tweak the applications to provide a better user experience at the cost off added data usage.

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that  whole lot of Apple uber-techies frequent this forum who could provide a more detailed solution targeting Apple products (and as mentioned elsewhere am not an Apple kind of guy).

You're correct in that solutions offered here should identify applicable operating systems, browsers and devices including their versions (in this particular case it was a response to Josh - a known Windows user). But then again, those having problems should simialrly identify their environments to avoid recommendations that are not applicable - there are just too many combinations to wade through.

The best option would be to install a robust traffic monitor application - but  a search for one for iPad didn't yield a reliable suggestion. Most of them appear only to handle cellular connections to the level of detail that's required (e.g. Glasswire's level on Windows only)   - again reflecting faulty developer logic that data limitations are not a concern for WIFI users. See http://voip.about.com/od/voipbandwidth/tp/Data-Usage-Monitor-Apps-For-Your-Iphone-And-Ipad.htm - but once again appears most emphasize cellular usage, not WIFI, and only provide cumulative usage counts. With that approach you'll only be treating the symptoms and not the underlying problem.    

P.S. There does appear to be a version of Firefox for iOS which would open up a possibility that the Flash Control add-on might also work with Firefox for iOS (emphasis on might) - as noted FireFox was not my first choice. When faced with having to buy more data or upgrade my plan, it quickly became my first choice and has allowed me to stay on the Exede 12-10 plan.          
(Edited)
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Charlene Rose

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Thanks again Old Labs! I will definitely look up the link you sent. Thank you so much for taking the time to research this for me. I spent almost the whole LNFZ trying different programs and researching all of this stuff. Had problems with speed bottoming out, spent too much time speed testing, sometimes it was so slow, speed test wouldn't work.
Anyway, due to speed, and not knowing if my browsing problems were due to new apps or speed. I wasted 5 hours. I even tried cellular. had to buy some access during flood (see 2016 WV Flood of the Century) and it was no help to evaluate new apps. Only had 3 bars. We live in a rural area. Anyway, thanks again! I'll look into Firefox and see if the Flash control will work on iOS.
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Charlene Rose

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PS: You're right. The person posting should post their operating system, browser, and device as well as the person helping.