Data Usage

  • 4
  • Problem
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • In Progress
  • (Edited)
I’m writing
as a customer with this service for six years, first when it was Wildblue, and
now, Exede. We are on the 10-12 Value Plan.

When we
first started, we were able to browse, do social networking, email, shop, and
even watch an occasional TV show online over the course of a month, and we NEVER
maxed out our data usage.

Over the
past year, we have watched our usage skyrocket.

We have cut
down on our usage, never watch movies or even the occasional film clip on
YouTube like we used to. We turn the wi-fi off our computers when we’re not
using it. Yet, the usage has been in the neighborhood of .4-.6 gigabytes per
day, which is astronomical.

So here are
the steps we’ve taken:

  • We’ve changed
    the password on our router (numerous times)
  • Cut down on
    usage, as I mentioned
  • Checked the https://myesvt.exede.net page to see what
    our usage is: Browsing, marketplace and social networking. No videos or movies,
    or gaming. .5 gigabytes per day for this. REALLY?  


When I
called Exede to speak with someone about this, she referred to my browser,
Firefox, as “Foxfire.” I’m not kidding.

Fyi, you
know what takes the longest to open of anything? “Loading Data” for Exede. Gave
up after waiting more than two minutes this morning.

So please,
if you come across any further information that would explain anything other
than extortion, please let us know.
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Leanne Zinkand

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Posted 2 years ago

  • 4
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Bev, Champion

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The web has changed a lot over the last six years. More ads, more sound, more video, more large pictures, more flash, etc... It all uses more data doing the same things you used to do. I have the same problem. Six to ten years ago, 17 GB was plenty to watch a few TV shows, do my social media sites, forums and keep three games plus my Anti Virus, Operating System, drivers, 2 cell phones and a tablet all up to date. Now doing the same things requires about 40 GB per month. 30 if I cut out ALL video and, that's using UBlock Origin for Firefox to block ALL media over 256 Kb in size unless I specifically allow that piece of media to load.

If anyone is guilty of data extortion, it's website designers and media producers that develop auto loading media which requires additional software and/or settings to adjust.
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Leanne Zinkand

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I've just installed UBlock Origin, so maybe that will help. Thanks, Bev!!!
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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I'm going to have to agree with Bev. The internet has taken shape over the last few years to be a little different. Streaming has become a major part of being online and even newspaper sites are streaming video as you read an article. Unfortunately a lot of the internet has been shaped to cater to those huge DSL/Cable connections (which to be fair is where most users are on) but for metered connections it can lead to a lot of data being consumed. If you haven't done so already we do have a trial for a more informative usage tool that does a breakdown of usage types that might help you zero in on what's eating the data and we've opened that up to our forum users. You can use it by checking out the thread here https://community.exede.com/exede/topics/give-our-new-usage-tool-a-test-drive
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Leanne Zinkand

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As I mentioned, I have checked the intricacies of our usage. Basically, two middle-aged people looking at their email and Facebook, with a smattering of online shopping. My question is, why are you advertising a plan (Exede 12) that offers, and I quote, "Perfect for occassional video downloads, photo sharing, music streaming, social networking and email," when this is clearly not the case?
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Josh

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let everything "Catch up" make sure to be plugged directly into your computer, leave lan cable unplugged from back of modem, check data before you unplug it then refresh and check soon as you plug it back in. if your data is missing then they have a problem, if not then the prob is on your end. leave it unplugged as long as possible.
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zanne

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Leanne, there was an article not too long ago discussing "webpage bloat". Years ago, the average webpage took 200kb to load. As of 2014, the average webpage took 2Mb to load. Even Exede uses Flash on it's dashboard that uses more data than necessary instead of having a plain HTML version available.
Facebook is a huge bandwidth sucker now. It has all sorts of pictures and auto-load videos.

One thing that can help is to go to https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=videos and make sure that Auto-play videos is set to OFF.

I've noticed that my data usage has magnified a lot in the last few months and I have been cutting back on my actual internet usage outside of the LNFZ, so either something is wrong, or there have been significant changes to the internet in just the past few months that has been causing more usage. I do wonder if it could be a software issue with how the modem calculates though.
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david, Champion

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You haven't switched to Windows 10 in the last year, have you?
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Bev, Champion

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Used to be that you had to have Java, Flash, Shockwave and/or QuickTime installed to stream media on most websites, now, it streams with or without those unless you have software to block it. I know UBlock saves me about 3 GB per month by preventing videos, images and sound files form auto loading - makes a difference. I also use a media blocker on my cell phones and tablet, check with Itunes or Google Play for those if you connect tablets or cell phones to your Exede service.

My one data gobbler, if I need to use it is my Sprint AirRave but, I need the signal boost since cell phone is my only phone. (did have Exede Voice but, I switched to a business plan and Exede Voice is not available on Business plans yet. Maybe when the new satellite is operational.)

If you have Windows 8/8.1 or 10, you do need to set it to metered connection. That's just a settings click if you connect wirelessly, or a registry edit if it's a wired connection. Several sites have directions for the registry edit, if you need to do that. Then Windows notifies you of updates but will not download them until you set the connection to unmetered. Also make sure Windows is only sharing updates with devices on you LAN, not over the internet, that's in Update Settings. Otherwise it can UPLOAD updates to anyone on the internet and, potentially make every update count as double the usage - you download it, then Windows uploads it to some stranger.
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zanne

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I like to block ads and videos and such but I love to look at pictures. I have trouble with some of the ad and flash blockers because sometimes they make it so webpages won't even load properly at all.
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Leanne Zinkand

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We use Macs.
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Jonathan Adams

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I'm with you.... for the past two years I've had the 15gb plan and I could make it through a month.... Now it will blow through 10gb in 3 days...... something has changed since the new plans went into effect...data bleed for sure
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Josh

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EXACTLY but everyone has a problem but them, tired of hearing the same old lies, your router,someone on your connection,ect  ok ruled everything out so now what? then when you get a credit for there errors , you got "Free stuff" is how they look at it.
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zanne

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Well, I'm glad to hear it isn't just me. Said we used almost 2Gb a couple of days. Checked my bitmeter usage and it didn't match up. So, I think something is wrong.
I wonder if the modem is having problems and re-sending data because of the weather and if it is magnifying the usage that way.
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LoneSwan

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Since you were able to add uBlock Origin to your Firefox browser as Bev suggested, I would also include the "Flash Control" add-on. Flash Control does a good job trapping another type of auto-loading video that is rapidly growing in use.

As Brad mentioned, even if you just want to read a news article, the news websites often start streaming a video. My local newspaper (very rural!) added this "feature". I avoided their website until I found that Flash Control blocked the unwanted video.

The best way of learning exactly where the data usage is going, is to obtain a router with traffic monitoring feature. Asus routers have this ability, which is what I now use. For a down to the application report, you would need network logging on each device with a program similar to "Glass-wire". I have not found it useful to go that far. Besides that, I have devices that stream data, therefore a network logging program is not available.

With the Asus traffic monitor real-time view, displayed in a browser window, it is possible to see the exact amount of data going to/from the Internet. By turning on/off individual computers or other devices, you can better judge data usage per device.

The Evolution plan has worked well for me, but that is no longer available. Check what you can change to, currently. If a plan with a free zone is offered, that might give the best relief when you allow updates only during the non-metered period.

If I was "Exede", I would be pushing my own customized version of Firefox, that was regularly updated by experts to offer users on a metered connection a fighting chance to browse "normally".

Walker
(Edited)
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Alex, Viasat Corporate Communications

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LoneSwan: an Exede-optimized browser as you mentioned is a great idea and is something we're working on.
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zanne

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I will have to look up this Ublock. Does it interfere with sites like amazon? I like to look at product pictures and a lot of sites flat out don't work unless the pictures can load.

I'll have to try the thing with my ASUS router with turning off or unplugging other devices to see how it affects usage.

I just got a thing for Firefox that hibernates tabs when not in use to see if it will prevent websites from loading stuff in the background. I suspect some of the sites send data to stay updated and it might be contributing to the problem.

I've got Malwarebytes and spybot search and destroy on my computer but I've noticed that just being connected loads at least 5mb even when I'm not actively browsing.
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In_Correct

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No. I have uBlock and used Amazon with it. ... and I hate those slide show things which I block out all the time.
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In_Correct

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But there is a problem with uBlock not being able to block people's avatars on this website!! Not yours, but some of these others ...
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Andrea Hansen

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i love that last bit -- loading like a 56k 
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lorettalea

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The internet has changed. Perhaps Exede should have changed along with it. Using that explanation would suggest that the plans Exede offers are inadequate and obsolete for how people go online these days. That's more than likely why Exede's customers are disappointed with their service. 
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Old Labs

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The SpaceX Falcon 9 suffered a "RUD" (rapid unexpected disassembly as Elon Musk refers to it) in June 2015 - in other words it went boom. SpaceX didn't return to flight until December last year further delaying the Falcon Heavy program. In February 2016, dropped SpaceX for Arianne for ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 hoping to avoid further delays.      
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zanne

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Thanks, Old Labs.
So, was the satellite destroyed when the falcon went boom? That would explain why it is taking so long because it would have to be re-built.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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No there was no payload (read: Satellite). Our original plans looked to be roughly late summer/fall but the rocket blew up and had to go with another company and End of 2016 is the time we're looking at. Unfortunately rocket launches take MONTHS to set up and plan but stay tuned!
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Old Labs

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As I recall there was a payload - just not ViaSat's - ViaSat-2 was scheduled to launch aboard the Falcon Heavy (the Falcon 9 wouldn't handle ViaSat-2's size). The Heavy essential was to be three Falcon 9 boosters apparently duct taped together and since a descendant of Falcon 9 was delayed further as SpaceX rearranged their priorities. The satellite itself is being built by Boeing.     
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Jim16

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I know SpaceX is trying to bring the cost of launches down, but Duct Tape???  HA!
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Leanne Zinkand

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This continues to be our problem with Exede: Why do we, as customers, have to hunt around to find this and that to download, and read what's basically hooey about rocket launches, just to get the service we all thought we were paying for?
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Old Labs

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Because ViaSat only provides access and a monthly data allotment -  ultimately it is our responsibility to manage that data. you do have the advantage of learning from those early adopters of satellite internet and who've gone through much of the pain you may be experiencing with data usage.

Based on what little information you've provided about your specific environment, LoneSwan's recommendation may be your best bet - share some information regarding your environment (details matter rather than generic info) and you may receive more targeted advice.  
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Leanne Zinkand

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We have an iMac (late 2015), and MacBook Pro (2016) and AIrbook (2010). We are running El Capitan.
Even if we upgrade to the higher tier (15GB/month), it will not be enough for one month of fairly moderate usage, so... please stop dancing around the subject I keep trying to get across: WE'RE PAYING FOR SERVICE WE ARE NOT GETTING.
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Jim16

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You are responsible for the amount of data you use, not Exede.
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Old Labs

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Nobody's dancing around the subject (although some threads frequently drift off topic)... in fact thus far you've received some good advice on how to trim some unwanted data usage likely occurring without your knowledge.

You imply (although don't specifically state) you use Firefox in your original post and LoneSwan's recommendation to determine if the Flash Control add-on works under the Mac version of Firefox is particularly noteworthy since you also indicate you're a Facebook user. Ad blockers are one thing, but Facebook switched over to fully using HTML5 videos roughly a year or so ago.

HTML5 videos can be and are data hogs for those on limited data plans - they have a preload (not autoplay) behavior that occurs based on browser implementation regardless of your intent to watch them or not. The Flash Control add-on addresses that issue allowing you to control both their playing and loading (they only get loaded if you choose to play them).

If interested in more detail and a sample test of this see my response over at:

https://community.exede.com/exede/topics/data-issues-8yp513iuakj8c

and it's only going to get worse for us as web developers come up with new and imaginative ways to bring an optimized user experience to us at the cost of our limited data plans.

Whether we use data directly or something else is using it on our behalf, we're responsible for it and as such getting what we pay for.

As for Viasat's sales and marketing practices, you'd need to ask them.
(Edited)
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Leanne Zinkand

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Please read my posts before commenting on them. I've described our usage a number of times already.
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Old Labs

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I have and it seems you're hung up on the term video in the discussions above possibly because it doesn't show up under the video category on my eSVT. I actually wouldn't be surprised if HTML5 videos don't show up under that category but can't confirm since I don't have access to the my ESVT tool (Viasat or I should say NRTC prevents me from accessing it due to their contractual agreement). If I did I could verify it in a heartbeat.

Regardless do yourself a favor and determine if the Flash Control add-on is available for the Mac version of FireFox.

From your original post:

So please, if you come across any further information that would explain anything other than extortion, please let us know.
You've received most of the answers other than extortion from fellow subscribers above. Otherwise, your best option is offered by Brad below.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Hi Leanne,

While I feel you've been given a lot of great explanations of Data usage, you can certainly contact us directly rather than this thread. We can be emailed at exedelistens@viasat.com 

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