Data usage tips

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Here's a thread anyone can add to when they've got a tip for maximizing data. Seems like every day we learn of a different way data can get eaten up without your realizing it. We can start off with this article from our help center, which hits some of the basics.

To get the most out of your Exede satellite internet service and stay within the bounds of your data allowance, consider these suggestions:

1. Check your usage regularly

Make it a habit to check your data usage regularly throughout your billing cycle — especially in the first few months of service. This helps you avoid surprises and gives you a feel for your pattern of usage – and how you and other users in your household may need to adjust it. To view your Usage Meter, log into your account through the Customer Portal.

2. Limit video time

Streaming and downloading video consumes more data than almost any other online activity. Pass that fact along to other users on your home network, then go one step further and install a Flash blocker on your browser to prevent video from loading automatically. 

3. Adjust video settings

Reduce video data consumption by lowering your screen resolution, an option available on Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and most other video streaming sites. Read more in our Help Center article.

4. Tweak your usage habits

Save your heaviest consumption for late night or early morning and take advantage of the Free Zone: five hours of unmetered daily data use that comes with every Exede plan.

5. Keep outside users out

Spyware, malware and other programs can consume data without your knowledge. Use a program like F-Secure to detect such threats and keep them out. Plus, be sure to have your wireless router password protected so your neighbors aren’t getting a free data ride on your service!  For more information, take a look at our article Control who’s on your home network

6. Adjust your email settings

A simple change to your email settings can enable you to pre-approve or prevent data-heavy image displays and automatic attachment downloads. Just find the “settings” menu on whichever email program you’re using. See the example below for Gmail.

Gmail settings

7. Check file sizes before emailing

Before hitting send, check the size of photos and other attachments, and if possible, downsize them.
Downsize photos before sending them to 500 kb or less with Mac’s iPhoto or Windows programs like Windows Live Photo Gallery or Gimp or Google’s Picasa.
Consider using links instead of emailing a lengthy document. For instance, include a YouTube video link over a data-heavy PowerPoint with video.

Turn off auto-play video features
Sites like Facebook will load and play videos automatically, so turning off this feature can save a lot of data usage. Disabling auto-play won’t prevent you from watching videos. You can simply click on any video you want to watch and it will start playing almost immediately. In order to disable and/or limit the auto-play feature on any device, navigate to the ‘Settings→ Video’ for the relevant application, such as Facebook. See below for how to turn off the video auto-play feature on desktop computers:
Here’s an article on how to disable auto-play on popular browsers.
Here’s Facebook’s post on the topic.

9. Last resort:
 If you’re consistently bumping up against your cap, Buy More data on our website — it’s $9.99 per gigabyte. Or you can move to an Exede plan with a larger data cap (there’s never a charge to change plans). 

Learn more in our Data allowance 101 article.

Also, here's The Big Thread of Data Conservation Tips & Tricks from our other forum, which has some good stuff in it.
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Alex, Viasat Corporate Communications

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Posted 5 years ago

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Any of the cloud services can wreck your data usage and it will be done quietly in the background.  This includes cloud services from Google, Apple, Microsoft Live, Dropbox, etc.
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david, Champion

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My sister in law brought her Ipad and Iphone to our house on a couple day visit one time. It did ugly things to our data.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Not to mention cloud services that are now embedded in wireless routers these days and don't even require your connected devices to be on/active. Most are off by default but worth checking to be sure. The lure of certain features can be hard to resist. I assume one would be cognizant of the USB drive plugged into the router, but again who knows.

Got a printer accessed by your router? Are you sure it's not monitoring your consumables and phoning home so that the manufacturer can send you an email to buy ink or in some cases automatically delivers? Again rare, but know folks who've done it for convenience... but are on wire-line internet.  

All appears as internet traffic to our friend Mr. Dapsworth.                   
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david, Champion

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If you have Win 8 it comes will all sorts of things that run and use data in the background. You have to either disable or uninstall several things when you get a Win 8 install. Also, Win 8 defaults to a cloud user and you have to change it to a local user. I'm sure at least a few of the data problems people are having here are caused by this.

By using Reality Ripple's Satellite Restriction Tracker program you can have a record in 15 minute intervals (or what ever other interval you want) so you can look back and see when Exede says you've used how much data.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water, along comes a new technology (well a not so new technology) looking to devour your data - HTML5 Video. The following link was posted over at the other forum:

Although not a YouTube user, it did cause me to look into it and led me to a couple of links:


However what's most disconcerting in those articles is the following statement by the author that with Firefox and FlashBlock:

"Take note that HTML5 videos will still buffer though they won’t start playing until you click the flash icon at the center of the video screen."

Something to consider as more and more web sites start serving up HTML 5 videos, and I'm continuing to investigate... may be a concern for those of us on limited plans so just a heads up at this time.
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Starring Matter

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OUCH OL, sorry about that.  Running NVidia here as well, so didn't see any problem.  Keep us posted please.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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No problem all was well after restart and uninstall of Flash Control and reinstall of FlashBlock.

Just a heads up to others especially those who continue to rely on FlashBlock - while FlashBlock blocks HTML 5 from playing, it doesn't block it from downloading yet and am glad I tried all my tests during the LNFZ - even if you play and pause it appears to continue downloading/buffering while paused - I'm  sure most of the Silicon Valley folks don't have to worry about data caps ;)

Next LNFZ updated drivers for the ATI display adapter and I also give Chrome a shot... FireFox is becoming annoying with too many updates.

Should also serve as a warning to those who claim loss of data and steadfastly deny watching videos - you don't have to actually watch them to use data!    
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Bill Napier

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All of this advice is's what the sell and promote.....So the BIG QUESTION IS.....Can you actually do what they say?



EXEDE12 - 25 GB
Our exede12 - 25 GB package is for people who want to do it all. You use your Exede Internet service for heavy web browsing, downloading music, and to connect with online entertainment services to watch your favorite movies and programming.

25.0 GB per month
Unmetered usage: 12am - 5am

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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Here's a thread anyone can add to when they've got a tip for maximizing data.
What part of that do you fail to grasp?
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you are so funny,"Old Lab". Its always a joy to read your post. Thank you for bring happiness to this community. 

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