how can 10gb's of data differ so much between satellite and cellular plans?

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The 10gb cellular data plan i have through ATT lasts much longer then the 10gb's i have with Exede.

I'm using a secure network in my house, so no one is stealing my wifi.
Only two devices used on both data plans (2 android phones)

Exede plan lasts 18 days...if we are lucky. After that wifi is turned off and using cellular data. Also i am using cellular data most of the day while i am not home. We never get to our cellular data limit.

Also most of the month during peak hours we turn wifi off due to it being so slow

We treat them both the same....web browsing, email, facebook, etc.

It just seems like its not an apples to apples comparison.

I believe when we first started with Exede, i asked tech support the same question and they said the data isn't measured the same. How can that be?

thanks
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mike m

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Posted 2 years ago

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Barbara Wade Chiles

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Very good question. My 10 gb expire within a few hours. I received the email saying I'm now using the Liberty plan at 3 am while sleeping.
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Old Labs

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Mobile devices that use cellular and WIFI connections attempt to automatically detect whether connections are metered (i.e. limited) and provide that info to apps. (Note that the key word in that sentence is attempt).

Well written apps, in turn, query that information and provide a different user experience for each case. Specifically, the assumption is made that on a WIFI connection, a more optimal user experience can be provided - that experience is attained at the expense of more data being used.

Cellular connections are historically metered, while WIFI have historically been un-metered - of that's never been true for Exede, Wildblue or HughesNet and now even some wire line ISPs are introducing data caps (although those caps are much greater than what we face).

At the same time mobile browsers likely vary the "user agent string" accompanying HTTP requests. This string gives web sites a hint that the visitor may be on a limited connection and to use their data wisely - some do, others don't when spending other people's money.

Mobile hotspots using cellular connections (i.e. tethering a phone or a dedicated cellular mobile hotspot device) also provide a hint to the devices that access it through its own WIFI capability, while routers do not.

A quick search on Android hot spot setting (thanks for being specific since each is different) yields the following and the first part which might be your solution:

http://blog.maxaller.name/2012/10/mobile-hotspots-conserving-data/

Note that the second half of that post tells Android app programmers to query that information to adjust their app's data consumption habits based upon it.  

This is analogous to what Windows 8.1 and 10 users must/should do on Exede - declare and mark the connection as metered (but it doesn't really affect the browser experience on those as best I can tell).

Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be an industry wide standard and automatic detection is often based on assumption - and you know what assume means, if not see:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Assume    

P.S. For Barbara Wade Chiles, receipt of an email doesn't correspond to the time at which it was either queued for sending or actually sent.

Those who have reliable cellular connections and only use mobile devices might do well to conduct a cost analysis to determine a satellite connection really makes financial sense.
(Edited)
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david, Champion

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We have a cell data plan that we use as a supplement/addition to Exede and just use the data with a phone acting as a hot spot. Using the same computers and programs we use on Exede it does use less data than Exede. It's not a drastic difference and I've never actually measured it but it does use less data doing the same things than Exede.

For the first few months we had a cell data plan it was a lot slower than Exede so I assumed that's why it used less data, sites were sending less because the speeds were less. Then the tower here for that service pretty much quit working so we had to go to another provider which was more expensive but a lot faster. Now the cell service is faster than Exede but we still use less data on it than Exede.
(Edited)
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Old Labs

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David, that's entirely possible too.

Some web sites base their decisions on connection quality and speed to vary the content delivered. Some even go so far as to query the IP address assigned by the ISP to do that also since IP address ranges are unique to an ISP.

The lack of any global mutually agreed upon standards by vendors (both hardware and software) yields a cornucopia of assumptions regarding what is a metered connection and what is non-metered - as the saying goes, garbage in garbage out.  
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Old Labs

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One additional consideration related solely to Exede is the web acceleration technology that is used. When a page is requested (on non-secured sites), it bundles together certain static elements appearing on that page delivering them in a single request rather than multiple requests to overcome the inherent latency. While the browser makes multiple requests for them, they're already at the modem and needn't make a full server round trip.

During the Wildblue days I would disable images in the browser to speed things up by eliminating requests for them. I noticed quickly on moving to Exede that it no longer made a difference data wise - they were counted as usage and already at the modem. Again the web acceleration technology is making some of its own assumptions that may be negated by browser setting, add-ons, etc. If not for that technology, however, we'd simply be on a faster Wildblue experience - analogous to secure (HTTPS) sites on Exede which bypass the acceleration (can't bundle that which you can't see).             
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Barbara Wade Chiles

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I'm really tired of using the data on my phone because the Internet is always down. No storm necessary. Exceed asked me to do a survey but I couldn't because the Internet was down. Probably knew what I was going to say. Just fed up with it and paying for nothing really.
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mike m

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Old Labs, thanks for the explanations on why data may be measured differently. I checked to see if I had better options using only cellular plans. Unfortunately my options are:
Option 1. to sell my soul, sign a contract (I'm afraid of commitment) and receive unlimited data. I'd lose wifi hotspot. All for $20 more,Dang ATT.
Option 2. Add 10gb to my current plan and pay an extra $56.