Data usage

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  • Updated 1 year ago
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  • (Edited)
I have to turn off my modem when not in use because of solar power restrictions, so it is only on for up to 6-8 hrs per day. Upgraded my data plan about a month ago, and though my usage has not changed, I am somehow out of data with 5 days left to the billing cycle. Previously, with less data, I only used about 2/3 of it in any billing cycle. So... MORE data purchased, INCREASED cost, NO change in my usage = data depletion before end of billing cycle. I see that I am not the only one to experience this, and would like an answer to this dilemma before I pull the plug entirely. That would be unfortunate since I have been a happy long term customer who has frequently recommended Exede to others.
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Sandy Ack

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  • p*ssed

Posted 1 year ago

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xode0000, Champion

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I have a few questions: were you turning your modem off when not in use before you upgraded your plan?; do you have wifi now?; did you have wifi before you upgraded your plan?; did you recently change from a previous windows to windows 10?; did you recently change or upgrade your antivirus?
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Sandy Ack

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Yes I have always unplugged the modem when not in use. Yes I have wifi now and before upgrading. I am on a Mac, not Windows. No change in antivirus.
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Bev, Champion

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Sandy, I understand why you turn off your modem but, that may be the cause of your vanishing data.

The modem does not report usage in real time. Usually, it does so within 15 minutes of you using data but, it can take up to 24 hours to do so and, in rare cases even longer.

What I suspect happens is that say you use 1 GB at 10 AM, then unplug the modem at 10:01 AM. The modem began it's report, reported 500MB before you got it unplugged but, the report of usage is still flagged as unsent in the modem. You power the modem back on later and, it sends the full 1 GB report, thus reporting 500 MB that you did not use in the process.

You will want to email your account and contact information as well as a brief explanation of unexplained usage and, a link to this thread to exedelistens@viasat.com. They can pass it on to the technical team and see if this is possible and, if so, if there is any way other than leaving the modem powered up, to correct this. (I doubt there is but, I'll leave the final answer to the technicians that know this stuff better that we subscribers do.)
(Edited)
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Sandy Ack

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Thanks-- I did exactly as you recommended and will see what they say. I don't understand why this is occurring now with the new modem/upgraded service and never did before with the old modem. Should I try returning to the old setup/downgraded plan?
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Leisha Hunt

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I too am on the exede Liberty an was out of data by the 4th an had just gotten it on the first. I do not understand how that could be possible .I am the only person at home .
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Bev, Champion

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Leisha, if your modem stayed plugged in (power outages excepted) you need to investigate possible reasons for your data being used.

Background processes such as automatic updates on connected devices are a common source of data leaks that users may not be aware of happening. A cell phone with background app refresh enabled (the default on most phones) A tablet doing the same, your computer doing driver and operating system updates and, antivirus/firewall automatic updates are all common data usage culprits.

Other things that use data are advertisements on web pages, auto loading video, Like those on Facebook and, of course file transfers or streaming you initiate.

If you send an email with your account and contact information and, a request for a usage review to exedelistens@viasat.com, they can give you a better idea of where your data went.
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James

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simple way to check if it is on your end is remove the Ethernet cable from the back of the modem, note the dashboard and esvt (refresh it) then unplug it, leave it off as long as possible (days if possible), leave power to the modem ON, before you plug the cable back into the modem log into your dashboard and esvt with a cellphone or public wifi or another connection. note it agin. if it has changed then congrats the problem is not on your end. if it has not changed then it is your equipment,updates,autoplay or something that Bev has mentioned above.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Not exactly a robust methodology you're using there James...

Checking usage once before plugging the cable back in is insufficient. You need to check it multiple times using another connection and document a steady increase in usage while the ethernet cable is unplugged - there will be always be one increase in due to the delayed nature in reporting usage (how much depends on the time interval that elapses after a successful report) - ignore the first blip, it's the latter ones that would indicate a problem - and then of course show us the evidence rather than conveying a simple story.
(Edited)
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Diana, Viasat Employee

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Hi  Sandy and Liesha The champions have given some great advise and asked questions that  will help.  If you need additional information, please send an email to exedelistens@viasat.com with your account and contact information. Thanks.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Since you've indicated you use a Mac (assuming it's OSX), you may want to look at using Activity Monitor to check out your Network activity - it may provide some insight as to where your data is going on the Mac - other devices/operating systems would require using other tools. Each operating system varies which is why identifying your setup and all devices is important if you want to obtain peer-to-peer (customer-to-customer) assistance.

The first step towards a solution is identifying where it's actually going - only knowing that will yield a solution. Only after that can it be determined with certainty who or what is responsible for the data loss.        

The majority of users here are Windows users (or so it seems) including myself, and there are plenty of suggestions on how to monitor data usage on Windows operating systems - unfortunately there are few concrete suggestions that have been offered by the Mac users in the community. You can find some info on Activity Monitor at:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201464

or

https://www.howtogeek.com/227240/how-to-monitor-your-macs-health-with-activity-monitor/

Look at the sections on network monitoring that are available.

If you do get a response from exedelistens it will be a general, categorized breakdown of your usage (some find it overly generalized but it's a starting point).

The sleuthing has only just begun but provide us with some additional details about all devices, operating systems, whether you use a router, which one, etc. and you may get some useful suggestions. It really doesn't matter much anymore what you think you're doing in terms of usage and that you may have not changed your usage habits. It doesn't matter that you don't watch videos when many web sites will pre-load them in advance without your even intending to push play. It doesn't matter that you may not use Facebook or another social media site when many of today's web sites embed direct feeds from those sites into their own. Instead it matters what's being done on your behalf, in the background and often times without your knowledge. Operating systems change, web sites change and hardly a day goes by where I don't find a web site that's come up with an exciting new way to use my data in the interest of providing me a more "user friendly" experience and the more popular social media web sites are the biggest culprits.     
(Edited)
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Sandy Ack

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I show very little usage in Activity Monitor. The problem (according to previous comments and posts) is likely the fact that I turn off my modem when it is not in use (off grid power necessity) and apparently the data usage gets miscalculated in that situation. Still awaiting some kind of solution.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Not surprising since as best I can determine the Mac Activity Monitor only covers activity while powered on (it's not remembered when powered off) as best I can determine. You'd need to keep the Mac powered on. Perhaps a Mac user here can verify or recommend a better solution for monitoring your own traffic that persists data usage statistics across power cycles. Good luck however - Mac users here don't generally weigh in with suggestions that often. I'd recommend getting a router that adequately tracks data usage as the best solution, but that probably won't help if you're constantly powering things on/off - most routers I know of don't remember statistics across power cycles.      

Networx (https://www.softperfect.com/products/networx/) does purport to run on macOS and would save statistics across power cycles.

Keep following up with the exedelistens emails if you feel that's the cause of your problem - but I've never experienced and problems with powering off the modem affecting usage negatively. The moderators won't respond publicly to the emails - only privately since this isn't a direct support forum.

Yes the modem keeps usage statistics across power cycles but those are synchronized with the server(s) once the modem is powered on and reacquires signal (usually within 15 minutes).  
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Michael McDowell

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Old Labs,
While on the topic of data monitoring, what routers would you recommend for Windows for that purpose?   Or, do you know if the DDWRT firmware available for the Linksys WRT-1900 AC can do that?
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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Michael, I have been using the ASUS AC1900P router with the Merlin software for he past year and am very happy with the data monitoring capabilities. I haven't used any Linksys routers in about 4 years, since having repeated internet disconnects every day. They may have corrected this in their new routers. I am not familiar with the data monitoring features with the Linksys WRT-1900AC. Hopefully other participants on this forum will chime in with their experiences with this router.