Data usage incorrectly calculated.

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While on vacation, in another state, with all our network devices with us, somehow we consumed about 17 GB of data.  Our wifi is password protected and there is not another home within 1/4 mile of us.  No one in our home state knows our password.  About 6.3 GB was used in a 30 minute window.  We have NEVER been able to achieve those types of speeds in our 10 plus years of satellite.  I have to micro manage our account where I check usage daily and have software to monitor usage in 15 minute increments.  When I realized there was an issue I turned ALL our devices on and measured usage.  Roughly 20 to 25 GB of usage appears 'missing', i.e. not consumed by the combination of ALL our devices.  You can see why I am perplexed.  I contacted 3 different tech supports (I pay extra for customer care) and 2 attempted to help, but they were not very technical and could not help.  The third was a supervisor.  I offered to send him a screen shot via text or email.  He informed me that they don't have cell phones or email addresses, so I knew he couldn't / wouldn't help me.  I do NOT believe VIASAT is intentionally misreporting usage, but there is a glitch somewhere.  I am honestly trying to be helpful to THEM, by providing as much detail as possible to improve customer experience.  This seems like a very common issue, but most time it is very anecdotal.  Has anyone ever been able to get a realistic answer from VIASAT in regards to KNOWN inaccurate data calculations that could possibly explain my situation?  I am also open to apps / tools to better manage / throttle devices.  I am using the exede supplied router/modem.  Thank you in advance.
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Scott

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Posted 4 months ago

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ExSatUser

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Here is my advice. Never leave your modem on when away. When I did that I had zero issues with the meter.

Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands and control what you can.
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Scott

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That would be a good option but we have our phone service through viasat too. So turning off the router would not work in our case.
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Old Labs

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Do you by any chance have DirecTV or Dish? Occasionally some find that those are the culprits when folks are unaware they're connected to their network. Some have even found that DIrecTV or DIsh was hardwired to their router without their knowledge (and not requiring a password to do so).

Best advice I can give if you want to track down where it goes to in the future is to invest in a router that has advanced traffic analysis and network management features. Asus routers that specifically have the Traffic Analyzer feature are often recommended here (some of them can be pricey but they provide you with a breakdown of data used by device, when it was used, what sites, etc.). Set the Viasat router up in bridge mode and attach the third party router ensuring all of your traffic goes through that router. Viasat won't be much help in tracking your data usage - so yes taking matter into your own hands to monitor and control usage is your best bet.

I leave my modem and router on 24/7/365 and outside of one instance back circa 2012 Viasat's usage has always been consistent with that recorded by my router. Even then and despite proof I was never reimbursed for the bogus usage. Early on there were in fact usage meter problems but they were widespread. Since then, however, everytime I'm just about ready to call bogus usage on Viasat - the ASUS router has shown it to be legitimately on my end.

(Edited)
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ExSatUser

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Yep. They never admitted it. I had proof too. Quite irritating. That is when I got tired of fighting with them and just put an auto switch on my modem. PC off. Modem off.

I am sure they resolved the phantom usage meter issues, but by then I had lost confidence in it.

The sad thing is the old Wildblue meter was rock solid and more detailed with usage time stamps. Sad they dumbed the meter down. #progress :)
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GabeU, Champion

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Do you by any chance have DirecTV or Dish? Occasionally some find that those are the culprits when folks are unaware they're connected to their network. 
I don't understand why installation techs don't know this.  They should.  From what I've seen, DirecTV receivers can be absolutely awful with data consumption, and though Dish doesn't seem to be as bad, there's still no way to control it, save for disconnecting it or turning the modem off.

I think that, as a rule, a tech should either refuse to connect satellite TV receivers, or at least have enough knowledge given them by the companies they install for to give the customer an applicable warning about the amount of data those receivers can use.  IT would prevent a lot of headaches.  
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Scott

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Thank you for the response. We do have satellite TV and I briefly experimented with connecting it to exede months ago. I disconnected after a couple hours and never used it since. I will investigate the best asus router model for satellite. I need one compatible with viasat phone service. I appreciate the advice.
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Old Labs

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You won't be able to use bridge mode since it disables the the modem's Viasat voice adapter. You can still add another router, however; that router would not interfere with the voice adapter. It may require further configuration to avoid any ip address conflicts and once configured you would disable wireless on the Viasat device while ensuring all access is through the secondary router (i.e. only the secondary router is attached to the Viasat router). 
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ExSatUser

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Unless you transitioned to a cheaper VOIP alternative and ditched the overpriced Viasat voice.
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Old Labs

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True, but the Viasat Voice service doesn't count towards your data. Not that it uses much but more importantly it's not affected by network management polices (prioritization or throttling based on data usage).

Honey, call an ambulance I'm having a heart attack - I will dear once the freezone kicks in at 0300 or after peak usage hours or once our data resets  ;)
(Edited)
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M.E.M.

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In a somewhat similar vein, I had my roof shingles replaced recently and my satellite dish is mounted on this roof. The roofers mis-aligned the dish and knocked me offline until a Viasat tech could realign the dish. That took several days for the Viasat tech to come and align the dish. During this period of mis-alignment, I had no signal from or to Viasat and of course no internet connectivity.
My router is an Asus router that measures external data usage. It revealed external data usage presumably with Viasat while I was offline. This external data transfer, per the Asus router during the period of non-connectivity, was 169 Mb per day.
As far as I could tell, however, I do not think Viasat charged me for any data during this period.

So I am also perplexed. Did the data measured by my Asus during this period of non-connectivity go through somewhere else? Here is the Asus screenshot of a day from no connectivity. This phantom data was consumed by App Name : HTTP Protocol over TLS SSL per the Asus router.

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Scott

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Thank you for sharing. I don't mind a few hundred mb missing every now and then. When it becomes several GB per day it becomes problematic.
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Bob Lexus

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There is a simplistic, free app called Fing that will list the devices connected to the network your phone is on.
Don't expect a whole lot from it but it does show connected devices - although it doesn't do very good job of correctly identifying what the device is.
It says my Ecobee thermostat is a Brother printer

And if you have an Apple router and an Apple device, you can use the free AirPort Utility to get an accurate report of what devices are connected via wifi as well as their signal strength

 
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Scott

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Thank you for the response. I will check out the app and see if it offers anything more than the viasat app and reality ripple. I may add a 3rd party router for tighter management.
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Kate Richards

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I ran into this issue last month with Viasat and our data usage being incorrect. They stated we used 150GB in 5 10 days which is crazy! No one could help me with this and it was very frustrating. Our data just renewed 5 days ago and it’s stating we used 80GB already. We have never run into this problem in the past. This is all of a sudden. We have no new devices.
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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You probably have one of your devices using data in the background. Some suspects would be Nest devices, DirecTv or Dish DVRs, blueray players. What you need is to start using a good wireless router with traffic monitoring features. I use an ASUS, it tells me how much data every connected device uses, as well as what apps are using the data, and how much the apps are using.  Also, make sure that your wifi has a good strong password that others don't have access  to.
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Darin Sharpley

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We are very frustrated, and disappointed with Viasat. After the install (1 month ago), we reached 45 Gb after 9 days. Yes, we are a family of 5, and figured that our children used the data while watching YouTube, or some other data hog. Lessons learned.
We then started to have connection problems even while throttled. A tech came out and told us that the problem was either our atria, or in the cable to the router. He then left, without repairing anything! When we called the next day, they had notes that the tech noted the problem, but had not repaired it. So, yet another tech came out. This time he replaced the atria, and tested the cable. He showed us that he measured low resistance, and high signal for the "beam" we were on. Problem fixed!..for one day. Even though we were throttled, we still got some signal. 
After waiting until our data cap was lifted (today), we disconnected all devices, and tested the speed...1.2Mb/sec. After taking 30 minutes to log in to Viasat's website and check our data usage, we were at 35.6Gb DATA USED! I couldn't believe it, especially when no one was home during the day. When we contacted Viasat, the tech offered us a $10 dollar credit. He suggested that someone could have cracked our password, and used 35.6 Gb of data since 12AM lastnight. No satellite TV, or phone, only Viasat internet. Anyone have any ideas what the problem may be?
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ExSatUser

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Well nobody cracked your password and used that much data overnight.  That I can be pretty sure of.


So let me as you some questions.  (btw...it is "tria" not "atria").

1)  What plan are you on? 
2)  Did your data usage indeed reset today?
3)  What did you have before Viasat?  (please don't say some sort of hard wired internet...even if it was "slow" DSL)
4)  You said satellite TV.  You don't have your satellite TV connected to Viasat do you?  If you do, disconnect it immediately!
5)  When you say disconnected all devices, are you sure?  Are you sure there wasn't any automatic updates that took place overnight?

Answering these questions will hopefully help explain what is going on....or produce more questions. 
(Edited)
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Viasat would be a completely different company if Rambo was one of their customers.
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Admiral Korbohuta

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Rambo would most definitely live in a remote area with satellite as his main form of communication. But he would go to Viasat HQ and set them straight.
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Darin Sharpley

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Tria, got it. 
According to them it reset at midnight on the 8th.
We had Hughes-net. We do not have any satellite TV, only over the air digital.I am sure there weren't any devices connected, except for an amazon fire-stick that gets power from our TV, both off.

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ExSatUser

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Does it still show that much data used today?
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Old Labs

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Clicking on that screen capture to enlarge shows it's from 12:14 PM today 10/9 but...

What's curious is the inconsistency in the screen capture.

  1. It states your plan as being Unlimited Silver 12 with 720p.
  2. Immediately above that in the current data usage section it showing 35GB data usage threshold.
  3. Immediately below the plan details are shown as being Unlimited Bronze 12 with 720p  video and 65GB data usage threshold.

However, last I knew and according to the current customer agreement:
  • Unlimited Bronze 12 comes in 360p and 35 or 40 GB variants
  • Unlimited Silver 12 comes in 480p and 45 or 60 GB variants.
  • Unlimited Gold 12 comes in 720p and 65 or 100 GB variants.
None of that screen capture computes for me ;) I'd ask for clarification on those inconsistencies.

That being said, you can try to request a data usage review - subscribers used to have that option; however, it's a very general categorized breakdown of how data was uses. Most find it too general to actually determine what caused the data to be used.

As noted above, the best advice I can give if you want to track down where it goes to in the future is to invest in a router that has advanced traffic analysis and network management features. Asus routers that specifically have the Traffic Analyzer feature are often recommended here (some of them can be pricey but they provide you with a breakdown of data used by device, when it was used, what sites, etc.). You'll finde other brands recommended here also.

Set the Viasat router up in bridge mode and attach the third party router ensuring all of your traffic goes through that router. Viasat won't be much help in tracking your data usage - so yes taking matter into your own hands to monitor and control usage is your best bet.
(Edited)
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GabeU, Champion

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Good catch.  How weird it is that the page is so contradictory.  It's as if it can't make up its mind as to what it wants to be.  ;)  
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Old Labs

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Not that there's anything wrong with that!

When I checked the customer agreement (exhibit a - you can't tell the players without a scorecard) there are some 29 variations of plans circulating in the wild now - 32 if you count the Wildblue plans ;)

Being curious as to what color you get when mixing bronze, silver and gold, you know I just had to search - apparently it's anywhere from pink to red salmon.

This therefore suggests Darin has the new Red Salmon 12 Plan - after exhausting all data swimming upstream to reset itself and procreate, it just dies.   
(Edited)
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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What would Rambo do?
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GabeU, Champion

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Awww.  Poor data.  
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ExSatUser

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Unlimited Silver Plan 12Mbps at 720p? Yes. Nothing makes sense. Nor does that much data disappearing. Wonder if the rest worked? Wouldn't be the first time the reset failed.
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Old Labs

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What would Rambo do?

Start working on the prequel... 
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GabeU, Champion

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Oh jeez.  If you type three of the letter w it makes it into a link.  LOL.  

It should have been, "Aww.  Poor data."  
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Admiral Korbohuta

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@Dances with Woofs, I think he's working on the Rocky prequel right now.
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Bob Lexus

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Try changing the wifi user name & password.

Then connect only a couple devices to the new wifi credentials for a day.
Add a device everyday until usage blows up again - there is your gremlin...