I Question Data Usage and How Viasat Calculates It

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  • Updated 11 months ago
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I have nine years of history concerning my data usage. I consistently use between 300 mb and 360 mb per day. I have no children in the house and it is impossible for anyone else to lock on to my wifi signal. I never stream and I have a Video Blocker on my browsers.

So last night, during the LNFZ, I downloaded a few short youtube videos for the first time. I used a download scheduler and set it to start at 3:15 am and stop at 5:45 am. MY LNFZ extends from 3:00 am until 6:00 am.

My new billing period started at midnight on the Fourth of June, ie today, so that there is no possibility of the co-mingling of different days' data.

I just checked my usage and is 500 mb with more than 6 hours remaining in the day.

I would like to hear from others about their experience concerning Viasat's accuracy, methods, and truthfulness in their calculating of data.

Viasat has a link on my dashboard called "How We Calculate Data Usage". When I click on the link, Viasat's answer does not address their own statement. It  seems to intentionally avoid a direct answer to their question. Here is Viasat's response to "How We Calculate Data Usage"  Note that the answer avoids stating how Viasat actually calculates data. Something is fishy. Viasat, just level with us and tell us in detail what calculations you use to calculate data.
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MEM

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Posted 1 year ago

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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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Did your computer download the 1803 Windows 10 update.That update is around 500 mb?
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Jim16

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Here we go....
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GabeU, Champion

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500MB?  Eek.  For me it was around 3.1GB.  
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Captain318

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PC tech here. 1803 is over 3GB and is a full windows install. It just installs over your current OS and it will restore many personal settings back to default so check all of your settings after update
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MEM

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I still use Windows 7 so that I can prevent downloads.
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Andy Schack

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I missed this comment a couple days ago. Although I PREFER Windows 7, if a customer has 10, you can still prevent downloads by setting your connection to "metered". You must however be sure to set any new wifi connection to metered....ie, you change routers or change your router's ssid. 

Andy
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Andy Schack

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Any smart devices?...phone, tablet?

Andy
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MEM

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Nothing smart here.
No cell phone due to no cell signal.
Do have older iPad, but Apple no longer updating my version of iOS. They stopped for me at iOS 9.x. Many iPad apps now require iOS 10.x or iOS 11.x so I cannot install them.
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Andy Schack

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Try putting your iPad in airplane mode for a couple days if you can and see if you see the data bleed stop. While "many" apps require a newer ios, some may not. You can also use a data app for your iPad and program for your computer, most will show hour by hour usage. 

I had to become a super data sleuth a few years ago....Wife and 3 daughters...talk about seeing data get run through!!

Andy
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Andy Schack

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I thought about what you said about an older iPad not needing many app updates so I just checked my youngest daughter's iPad2 which had iOS9. I've got auto-updates turned off so I was able to see how many needed updating. There were 16 which added up to quit a bit of data. 

Andy
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MEM

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I also have auto update turned off and do not update the apps ever.
Updates for the iOS have been automatic and could not be stopped. That used to be a problem until Apple stopped providing updates for the iPad 2.
So I conclude that now the iPad 2 is not a source of data leaks.
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Oliver

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Don't forget viasat seems to count network overhead. It's all traffic that is counted.
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James

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and that my friends is where everyones data has went. I just reset a few days ago, have not been home, weather outage 2 of those days, fake cutoff Ethernet plug in the back of the modem and my data is almost gone. with 27 days left.
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GabeU, Champion

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If you aren't going to be home why not just unplug the modem?  
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Jim16

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James needs to actually cut off the end of his Ethernet cable and plug it into his modem.  His posts have kept this forum very entertained for quite a while now.
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James

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I do unplug it, not from power but  just the cable on the back and data is used up still,  fake plug in the back and still uses data explain that one?  overhead useage on their end...their are ways to point out that it is on yalls end and not the customers :)
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GabeU, Champion

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The competition has a modem isolation test.  Does ViaSat not have something similar?  Basically, noting the data amount (taking a picture, with the time included), turning off the WiFi and unplugging the ethernet cable, letting it sit overnight, then plugging the ethernet cable back in and noting the data amount (taking another picture, with the time included).  

If data was used, it can be seen that it was used while the cable was unplugged and the WiFi turned off. 

Does ViaSat not have a similar procedure, or some way to show if data was used while the cable was out and the WiFi off?   
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phinneus

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In order for this to work you would need more accurate reporting. Not nearest 100mb which is what viasat provides us since they cut us off from esvt :(
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GabeU, Champion

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Oh, wow.  Well, that's not very helpful.    Scratch that idea.  
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Karen Dudnikov

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I just signed up with viasat and just surfing the web, news sites, facebook (no auto play) is using at least 1/10 gig an hour which adds up to over 1 gig a day.  No downloads, no streaming, nothing.  Can't figure out what in the world is happening.
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Andy Schack

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There is a lot that goes on in the background when you go to a web site, especially news websites. On my Firefox browser I use the No Script add-on and it was an eye-opener. With most news web sites there were roughly 40-60 scripts running. The customer doesn't see this because it is going on "out of site" but that is one of the reasons it can take some time for a web page to "settle down" once you land on it. All these things use data...multiply the data ONE of them uses by 50 and it starts to add up. 


At the store, we noticed about a year or so ago that web browsing was showing up as a larger and larger % of a customer's data usage. 

Andy
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Karen Dudnikov

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I'm using the viasat browser, I'll check about scripts.  Thanks.
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Karen Dudnikov

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No, I take that back.  We've had data usage just with the laptop connected to the wifi but no browser windows open.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Karen:

Which operating system(s) and version(s) are you using? For example, Windows 10? There are some free utilities depending on which operating system you use that will tell you exactly what application are using your data (it's no longer limited to simply your browser but any web enabled applications including the operating system - that's all of the background usage you may be experiencing without knowing it).

Typically these must be installed on each device and operating system instance you use. The more popular ones for Windows are Glasswire (available for Windows 7, 8 and 10) and Networx which allow tracking usage by each process running on your device, what web sites and hosts are being used, what time, etc. Without identify what's using the data, it's difficult take take corrective actions.   

Many of us have simply resorted to using a router having robust traffic analysis features that track how data is used on each device (I lean towards ASUS higher end routers having the Traffic Anlysis feature, others appear to like Netgear).   

Same advice applies to MEM - don't guess what's using the data and when, know what's using it and when by tracking it properly. Glasswire's your friend on Windows 7, 8, 10 - even with it's annoying nag to purchase the free trial is adequate.
 
(Edited)
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Karen Dudnikov

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I'm windows 7, my husband is XP, I'll look into tracking devices.
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Jim16

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"1/10 gig an hour which adds up to over 1 gig a day"

If you are on the internet for 10 hours, than 1 gig a day sounds about right, or even low to me.
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Diana, Viasat Employee

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Hello MEM,  Andy is correct. Anytime the internet is up and running, you are using data.  If you have more that one page open while surfing, each page is using data. Below are some other areas that use data.
  1. Viruses and malware can increase your usage without your knowledge.
  2. Streaming video typically accounts for the highest data usage.
  3. Make sure your wireless home network is secure to keep people outside of your home from using your data.
  4. Every device that is on, uses data and background systems and apps that do automatic updates use data
  5. Close programs when not being used slows the system and continues to use data.
  6. Steaming news, music, or weather, commercials, use data, 
These are some items that use data that we don't think about - but is using data continually 

If you would like additional information please send an email to viastlistens@viasat.com whit your account and contact information.
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James

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I just reset a few days ago, have not been home, weather outage 2 of those days, fake cutoff Ethernet plug in the back of the modem and my data is almost gone. with 27 days left.
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Jim16

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I would email the company that makes that Ethernet cable and tell them their cable, when cut off, turns into a WiFi dongle.  
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James

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or yall could just admit that the overhead useage eats up peoples data and replace it but we all know that won't happen..
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Jim16

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"data is almost gone. with 27 days left."

So you are saying that "overhead data" uses what, 12, 40, 60, 150 gigs in two days?
(Edited)
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Karen Dudnikov

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Nearest neighbor is over a mile away and it's passworded.  We aren't streaming anything.  We apparently are using data just by having the laptop connected to wifi even when we don't have a browser open.  We run webroot every day, no viruses.  
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GabeU, Champion

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You may want to download and run MalwareBytes to check for Malware, as well, especially on the Windows XP machine.  Keep in mind that Windows XP is no longer receiving security updates and, at this point, is full of security holes.  
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James

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you will use data no matter what you do, take a Ethernet cable cut the cable off and plug it in and your data will still be gone. it is overhead useage from the tria that causes this, aka on their end.
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wm4bama, Champion

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James,  several of us ran controlled tests a few years ago to see if the chatter between the satellite and our modem to maintain satellite connection counted against our usage,,,it did not...unless something has changed it still does not count..
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Bradley

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That is probably correct, but a dish in and out of alignment I thought used small amounts of data when trying to reconnect. Over time that could add up. It would be impossible to connect without using data.
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MEM

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@Karen

Same for me. I am the original poster in which I stated that my wifi cannot be compromised, I use video blocker, I never stream, etc.

Viasat's rsponse:
  1. Make sure your wireless home network is secure to keep people outside of your home from using your data.
  2. Streaming video typically accounts for the highest data usage.
  3. Steaming news, music, or weather, commercials, use data, 
  4. Etc.
Perhaps my post was not worth reading.

What I really want to know is the method that Viasat uses to calculated usage. They invite us to know this information in their link "How We Calculate Data Usage" and then they avoid answering their own question in their response.

I want to know things like:
where the data is counted, on my modem or on their server?
Is it continually counted or is it just sampled and then extrapolated?
What other data is included in the total, other that the data downloads and uploads that I initiate or my apps initiate, for which I accept responsibilty?
What equipment or systems are in place to prevent overcharges of data?
How often is the time of day sampled and how accurate is this in regards to receiving free data during the LNFZ?
How much data is consumed to boot the modem?
How much data is consumed in a Viasat initiated software download?

Answers to these questions might begin to answer Viasat's invitation to "How We Calculate Data Usage?"
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Karen Dudnikov

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I'm with you, I would like to know how the data usage is figured.  We've run malware, we have virus protection and unless the cows out here have figured out how to hack into my system I have no idea what is going on.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Turn your modem off when not using the internet. That is what I do.
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Karen Dudnikov

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I can turn off the wifi which is easier then rebooting the modem. Doesn’t address how is data counted. A friend inAZ has a 10 gig plan with another provider, works out of the house, is on Facebook a lot, posts in groups, checks email, multiple devices, downloads books. She doesn’t go over her data limits. I’m not going to make it to mid month.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Turning the modem off is eaay. Put it on a timer or smart switch.

You can keep waiting for an answer or devise your solution to control data. I opted for controlling when my modem is on or off.
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GabeU, Champion

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In nearly fourteen years I haven't left my modem powered when it's not in use.   If I'm not home, it's off.  If I'm asleep, it's off.  That wasn't due to seeing anyone say they've seen data disappear, but only a decision I made when I first got HughesNet.  If the modem isn't on, data can't be used.  If it's on, all bets are off. 

Again, I have HughesNet, not ViaSat, so I can't make any claims about what happens with Viasat.  Though I've seen it claimed plenty of times that "HughesNet is stealing my data!" or "I have data disappearing.", I have not seen one legitimate example of data loss.  That's not to say that it hasn't happened, though.  Back when the HT1000, Gen4's first modem, debuted, there were a few legitimate instances of data loss.  The firmware was upgraded quickly and it ended.  I was not on the boards at that time.  In the 2+ years that I have been on their boards, again, I've seen it claimed, but I've never seen a legitimate example of it.   The cause of the data loss either ends up being found, the data loss doesn't recur, or the person doesn't continue troubleshooting to find it and they stop replying.     
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phinneus

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When I was with hughesnet on the previous non gen4 hughesnet allocated hourly data for standard always on connection. Something like 20-50mb an hour. I forget it was almost 4 years ago. My router usage with hughesnet was ALWAYS lower then reported usage.

That said exede usage is always pretty much dead on what my router reports except sometimes during bad weather I'll get some inflation. That is very rare though and it usually isn't much of a difference.

Also note this is on old hughesnet satellite that had revolving daily data. Things definitely could of changed since then and to be honest that's one if not the only thing I missed about hughesnet when I switched over to exede.
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GabeU, Champion

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When I was with hughesnet on the previous non gen4 hughesnet allocated hourly data for standard always on connection. Something like 20-50mb an hour.

While the HughesNet customer wasn't charged for overhead with the legacy plans, as you intimated, the data used for that connection wasn't anywhere near that high.  Overhead that high would suggest a severe connection issue, which would be immediately noticed by the user.    
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phinneus

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I think they used some sort of check to see if traffic was in fact overhead. When I tested this I actually downloaded a 5 mb file and it detected that but if my left my PC alone and it used 5mb of data(required having a lot of simple stuff open that I normally never had open all at once) and about 45 min of idle time. It did not count that. The 5mb file showed up quickly.

Also in addition the data a single web page uses now to load is vastly different then it was 4 years ago......not really related to this in particular but in general I think even simple background messabgers use signicantly more data on idle today then they did 4 years ago.
(Edited)
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GabeU, Champion

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They can definitely see what's overhead and what's user data, and separate the two so the user doesn't get charged for the overhead.  And when I mentioned that a user would notice the connection issue, I meant more as problem, not really higher data usage, though that can definitely happen, especially when packets have to be sent over and over and over.  That can be a HUGE data killer.  

As for web pages, you're absolutely right.  It's crazy how much data the average page uses now.  It's one of the reasons why I recommend that anyone on a capped service use an ad blocker.  The ads alone can use a lot of data, especially if they're video ads.   
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wm4bama, Champion

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My modem and router stay powered up 24/7...I turn computer on every morning at 6:00am and it stays on until 5:00pm, then off until the next morning.

I am on the 10Gb plan...I visit all my favorite web sites for news/sports/weather all day, I have 4 email addresses that's checked every hour automatically by my email client, I participate in several tech forums, like this one, I do a lot of online shopping and do all my banking/bill pay online...I watch a few short videos from Facebook posts and YouTube...

But the important things I don't do is stream movies, radio, play games or use programs that uses the internet without my knowledge.

I seldom use more that 5Gb's/month...once I used 7Gb's but that was when I updated my GPS device with updated maps.

We pressed Wildblue (original plans) to make sure byte counts were made using bytes going into or out of their server to/from our modems and not what goes in or out of our modems.  We never got a clear answer on that..but proved that background activities like staying connected to the satellite or the activity of reacquiring the satellite after an outage, like weather related or a Wildblue problem did not count on our usage.

I use all the browser extensions that block ads, disable auto-play videos etc...My email client and browser stays open all day until I power down at 5:00pm every day.

I know this description may not help those folks that think they have unexplained activity adding to their usage, but, it should make sense that they have to do some deep detective work to isolate what's using their data.. 
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GabeU, Champion

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You sound like me, though I unplug my modem when I'm not using the net.  Though I do watch Youtube clips and such, I don't stream.   I browse, shop, pay my bills, use Facebook, frequent a few forums, including this one, and I've never, EVER, gone over my monthly data allotment, which used to be 15GB, but is now 20GB due to a plan change.  Actually, unless I download some hefty files, which I sometimes do, I rarely use more than 8GB or so.  This is with HughesNet, but a GB is a GB, regardless of the ISP.  

My system is set up in such a way that I know where every single MB is going, save for when I connect my cell phone via WiFi, which is pretty much only when I update my apps.  
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Karen Dudnikov

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Thank you, I'm using 1/10 gig an hour even if my browsers are closed, that's what I don't understand.  I'm not doing 1/2 of what you are doing but I'm using up bandwidth.  I don't have a virus, etc.
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Jim16

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"How much data does web browsing really use?

For the most part, web page browsing, or surfing, does not use much data or bandwidth. A normal web page is typically less than 3 MB (Megabytes) in size and will download in seconds or less. A typical person can read a normal web page in one minute.

To put that in perspective in terms of what Internet package is best suited for web browsing, let’s look at a case where a person uses the Internet for 8 hours a day, every day of the month. This breaks down to:

  • 60 minutes X 8 hours = 480 minutes per day
  • 480 minutes per day X 30 days a month = 14,400 minutes per month
  • 14,400 minutes per month X 3 MB per web page = 43,200 MB per month
  • 43,200 MB per month = 43 GB per month
Therefore, a data plan of about 45 GB and a bandwidth connection of 3 Mbps x 1.5 Mbps or better would be sufficient. If two people are doing this at this same time, this would double the GB and the speed requirements."
(Edited)
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MEM

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Is that what you call mathematical clap trap?
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Jim16

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Could be.  I didn't write it.  Do you think browsing the internet for 10 hours might use 1 gig or more?

https://gobrolly.com/amount-data-and-bandwidth-required-web-browsing/
(Edited)
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Bev, Champion

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Yes, if HTML5 video loading is not disabled and, no ad and media blocker is used, easily a Gig per day for 8-10 hours if not more.
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Karen Dudnikov

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But it's not like I'm browsing for 8 hours a day.  I have wifi on even without a browser window open and I'm using 1/10 gig an hour.  That makes no sense.  Heaven forbid I'm actually online doing something.  Like this.
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Russtytrucker

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Something is using your data. The only way to find out is with a router that has a traffic monitor. 
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Bev, Champion

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What do you have check for updates enabled in? That's usually app or program specific and, even checking to see if there are updates uses data.
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Karen Dudnikov

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I have no automatic updates.  And honestly would anything be checking for updates every single hour of the day?  
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Yes, that's the whole point of automatic updates.

The fact that you have to ask is an indicator of your real problem - skepticism. Not trying to berate or criticize here but rather suggesting that you keep an open mind. Anything's possible including inaccurate Viasat usage counts - but the burden is on you to prove that.  

On Windows 7 (something you've already indicated you're using), Glasswire shows me it uses up to 20 MB a day just checking for updates without downloading them. Only way to stop that is to disable updates including notifications altogether - I do that now since critical Windows 7 updates have slowed to a trickle now and manually checking isn't a big deal for me now.

Again Glasswire is your friend and will at least allow you to verify and convince yourself that data is being used without your knowledge on that Windows 7 box. On the XP box you'll need to go a different route - Networx may suffice on XP.

Barring acquiring a robust router with traffic monitoring you'll need utilities on each device and simply ensure your router is properly secured - change the network and admin passwords to minimize the possibility that something/someone else is inadvertently using it and verify what's connected to the LAN ports.

Your biggest issue is refusing to believe that data can be used without your knowledge if you're not physically sitting at the keyboard. It's typically not what you are doing but rather what's being done on your behalf by the operating system or applications.

Just the free Glasswire trial alone on Windows 7, 8 and 10 will give you a dashboard that summary of your usage on the device it's installed upon:


   

In one screen, you get:

  • A total usage breakdown by incoming (download) and outgoing (upload) traffic.
  • A breakdown of usage by application.
  • A breakdown of usage by host (web site)
  • A breakdown of usage by traffic (protocol).
  • All of those may be filtered by day, week, month and the time range slider allows further narrowing down to a specific time range (graph at bottom).
  • Clicking on various elements provides further details regarding each element and digs deeper into the root causes.         
Without something like that on all of your devices or a robust router (Glasswire is simply my preference and there are others),  you and everybody else here is just guessing at what's using the data and maybe you'll stumble upon something that works with that approach - at least until the next time something else causes it and we move on to the next guess.

Windows 10 specific solutions aren't going to help either you or MEM on Windows 7 or Windows XP, although they might help to extrapolate solutions specific to your environment.

Undoubtedly, this will lead to the eventual question of whether Viasat should provide this level of detail in its usage meter - the answer is no, they don't have access to that level (particularly for secure connections) unless violating your rights to privacy.
(Edited)
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Karen Dudnikov

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I have updates turned off, set to check manually.  I have tried downloading glasswire 3 times now, it is missing a file.  I tried ShaPlus Bandwidth which is not showing the usage that Viasat is.  I tried a 3 monitoring software that tried to infect my PC that was caught by Webroot.  I have virus software and I run malware detection software so it isn't a bogey using data.  Not willing to try a 4th software.  I'll just deal with it, if I go over then they can slow me down.
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wm4bama, Champion

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Karen, where are you getting the byte count from?  If you're looking at the modem menu you'll not get the true count, and the counter will show rapid increases in it's internal counter...that's just the modem refreshing your monitor and not counted as usage..the only accurate place to see your usage is from your dashboard and that may not update itself but every 4 hours, or more.

Also, please read my comment about using ccleaner.
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Karen Dudnikov

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I download ccleaner.  Awesome.  Webroot detected a threat when I did.  Plus ccleaner didn't work once downloaded.  Ran webroot to clean the system.  Ran a malware program that isolated the files from ccleaner download.   I don't care anymore.  I'll use up the gigs and they can throttle me back if they want.  I won't purchase extra gigs or a bigger plan if I don't know how they calculate stuff.
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wm4bama, Champion

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It seems some A/V software uses detection threat because ccleaner can change things on your system, which is what ccleaner does..just ignore that message,,,bottom line is "why you say ccleaner didn't work"??
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GabeU, Champion

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That's very interesting.  I've had Webroot Antivirus going on four and a half years and have used CCleaner for longer than that, and Webroot has never flagged CCleaner for me.  

Glasswire missing files and CCleaner not working and/or being flagged?  Something odd is going on here.  
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phinneus

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I agree. I think a virus infected your virus scanner. CCleaner is a very basic program that all virus scanning companies know about.

It's possible a virus added definitions into virus scanner dbase.
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Andy Schack

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Sure it would. Devices are regularly checking for updates. I was talking to a Century Link tech a while back and we were discussing data usage. He showed me a tech bulletin he got which informed techs that if a customer has 3 or more devices that use Windows 10 and they have 3mbps or lower internet, they effectively cannot browse or do anything else. Now I'm not entirely sure what Windows 10 is doing that causes it to tie up a 3meg connection like that but it does happen. 

Andy
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Bev, Champion

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Checking for updates, uploading updated the user has but ANYONE on the internet might need, constant'y updating those Live Tiles in the start menu, sending data for User Experience, looking for solutions to reported problems, etc... The fool thing even checks for and, downloads updates to offline maps for anyplace you ever looked for if you don't stop it. It uploads to On Drive, checks to see if that needs synced.

Heaven forbid you have iTunes too, now there are two clouds and more updaters running by default. Add Adobe and Java, and a browser, an anti virus program, graphics driver control center and, ALL of them are busy looking for updates four and five times per day, if not more unless you change the setting manually.

Even printers automatically check for updates these days.

By default Windows 10 is a non stop data draining machine. 99% of it can be stopped with settings but, it takes a good hour of going through it all to get the data drain halted.

I let mine go on everything this month. 170 GB used and 6 days to go, going to be 200 GB, my normal usage is 40-60 Gb per month if I cut off those auto updaters, live tiles and such. Basically, background stuff can manage to use about 100 GB per month all on its own with 3 windows 110 machines, 2 iPhones and one DTV Genie system NO VIDEO DOWNLOADS, only our normal few You Tube 5 min or less videos.

Now that does include the recent 1803 feature update for Windows 10 but, it also shows just what leaving everything at default updating can do.
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wm4bama, Champion

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One thing to use often is Ccleaner...(crap cleaner)..if you don't have it installed then download and install it.  Then open the program and click the "Tools" then "Startup" button on the left, go through all the things that are loaded during boot process and disable all of them except your security software...make sure you look at "Windows" startup and the "Scheduled tasks" and "Context" entries...disable all but security entries...you can always go back and enable something if needed.

Now, reboot your computer and see if usage slows down..also, every day just before you shutdown your computer run the cleaner and let it delete all the crap it finds, and about once a week use the "Registry" checker and let it fix any problems it finds..

That's my procedure and I run it daily or after installing or uninstalling any program..Here's a place to download from, it's free:



https://filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/
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Andy Schack

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CCleaner is great. Wm4bama's suggestions are spot-on. The Registry cleaner tool can really help your computer work better and faster. I had an older customer a while back that after I installed her Exede system I made sure her laptop could connect. Her computer was so jacked-up that it virtually wouldn't work....took several minutes for a browser to open up and display google.com. Installed and ran cccleaner and it found just shy of 1,000 errors. Had to run it 3 or 4 times before everything was straightened out. Her laptop ran like a champ after that. 

BTW, it has come to my mind that some of you might think I was taking a risk by installing a program on a customer's computer. Well that's one of the dilemmas I face as an installer on a regular basis. If a customer's computer is jacked-up and is working slow then you have two choices: 1) spend some time onsite and help fix the problem or 2) have the customer call repeatedly complaining about how slow the internet you just put in for them is. I have found that #1 overall takes less time. 


Andy
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NewMexicoMountains

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Problems like this could easily be resolved if Viasat would provide users (or at least the tech support team) decent tools for traffic analysis. I check my usage everyday. This morning my 24 hour usage was 1.3GB when nobody was home most of that period. I run Networx on the PCs, which verified that they were not the culprits. I have the apple update sites blocked at the router, so that was not the issue. I called tech support and the usage they told me was consistent with my logs - the largest use was my backups to Backblaze which occur during the free period. So what was it? They can't tell me what device was the source because my area is served by the hand-me-down satellites which aren't supported with the modems that report per-device usage. (Of course, we pay the same price charged for the newer state-of-the-art satellites). They apparently can't give me the IP addresses with the heaviest usage. All they can tell me is broad categories like file xfer, web browsing, streaming video. They can tell me the heaviest hours by looking at a graph that apparently doesn't have units on it. Mind you, my questions all regarded usage for the past 24 hours. It's not like I was asking for ancient history. If Viasat actually cared about having customers in control of their data usage, they would provide us with better tools to understand our usage. I were cynical I'd suggest that it's not in their interest for us to be able understand our usage.
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Bev, Champion

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Just the IP or MAC address of the device using data would be very helpful in finding the cause. The app should be able to do that, it can see our home networks.
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NewMexicoMountains

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That's exactly my point. In fact, for a brief time tech support gave me a URL to an internal app that showed something close to this kind of data. But eventually the system that supported it was killed.
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Andy Schack

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I, as a retailer, have been begging for software that would allow customers to see usage by device....AND what type of data is being used. As a retailer I can pull up a pie chart which shows data usage in various categories...gaming, video, etc. I can also pull up a daily usage graph...has nice little lines going across and nice bars showing usage. What's missing? Any kind of numeration. How many gigs are in an inch? I have yet to find out. 

Andy
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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The "app" can't see your home network unless you're using the Wifi or Gateway modem - one of the major functions of a router is to isolate you from the outside world from a both a security & privacy perspective.

That's why the Wifi and Gateway modems come with privacy disclaimers and allow you to disable broadcasting that info beyond your local network as well as opt out of any information already collected by Viasat. That disclaimer alone should give everyone pause - it's none of Viasat's busines what goes on or what's used beyond my route. Knowing what is using your data is really your responsibility not Viasat's. You either accept that basic premise or don't.

The SVT categories are/were too broad to be meaningful but allow you to guess (not only that they were shown to be inaccurate by many). As more and more sites utilize secure transport protocols, it's even more difficult to categorize that which you cannot see to begin with - it's encrypted. At the same time the "devices" previously shown on eSVT were best guesses unless using the Viasat combo devices - for the standalone they were derived from user agent strings accompanying requests which don;t say anything about a device but rather the device capabilities - recall that many people were complaining that Viasat was showing iPhones on their eSVT pages when they had no such device - they didn't but they had an application that was sending a user agent string indicating iPhone compatibility.

As a retailer you'd do better to charge your customers for home network support or upgrade their networks with a legitimate router that has those capabilities - my retailer does and isn't suffering from a lack of installs ;)          
(Edited)
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wm4bama, Champion

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As mentioned before, ViaSat can't look at what program on your computer is running when data usage occurs,,,they can only tell in broad terms the kind of data used by being able to see what web site you're connecting to...to understand what program(s), or process(es) are running on your computer requires a router that can monitor your computer activities, or a program running in the background that can log who, what and when data was used.

Over many years there's only been a very small number of customers that had unexplained usage added to their totals that were caused by an error in the modem firmware or Tria failure.  Of the thousands of customers using this service you can count on a very few customers who never figure out what is causing what they think is excessive usage...the vast majority of customers do not insist that the usage is not their fault because they had the patience and took the time to troubleshoot their computer and fix the problem(s)...
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MEM

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That is the best solution, I suppose. But I bought a brand new expensive top of the line  Netgear router last year and my angst is not so great that I am willing to replace my expensive router.
I have high local network traffic because I have 4 IP cameras on my local network. They do not affect satellite usage, but Glasswire sees that data also.
I will eventually figure it out. 
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phinneus

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There is an option under usage to only show external traffic. I have Plex server and streaming 2-3 streams at least half a day over local network.......so external traffic is a godsend on default is internal and external
(Edited)
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MEM

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Thanks. That saves me from having to manually deduct local usage.
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Andy Schack

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Interesting Phinneus, I'll have to look into that. Thanks for sharing the info. 

Andy
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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In GlassWire, in the Usage tab, click on the little box just to the upper right of the circle graph. there you will see various options, click on the External.
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Andy Schack

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I keep hearing about Glasswire.....guess I'll have to download it and see if it is something the average customer can use. One thing I liked about the Netgear routers was that you could view the usage quickly and easily with any connected device that had the program or app installed. 

Andy
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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The disadvantage with GlassWire is that it only keeps track of traffic on the device it is installed on, and not other devices that are using the network. One can install it on each device and then add up all the numbers, but having a router ith traffic monitoring is certainly the better way to go.
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MEM

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That's great Andy,
My router is Netgear AC1750 Smart WIFI Router Model R6400.
What do I have to do in order to get it to tell me how much data each device uses?
Thanks.
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GabeU, Champion

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The best thing about Glasswire is that, once you know which device is the culprit, it can tell you just where the problem on the device is, if said device is Windows based.   The router points you to the right haystack, but Glasswire points you to the needle.  Networx can, as well, though I don't find Networx to be as user friendly. 

They also make Glasswire for Android devices, and they are working on a version for Macs.  There are other apps for non Windows based devices, as well, though how well they work I don't know.
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James Paramore

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Some people don't realize that windows 10 by default will use your internet connection to upgrade other PCs around the world. You need to find that setting and turn it off. 
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NewMexicoMountains

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A. I'm running Win 7 which doesn't do this
B. I said that I'm running Networx which would show this usage if that were the case
(Edited)
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GabeU, Champion

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Some people don't realize that windows 10 by default will use your internet connection to upgrade other PCs around the world. You need to find that setting and turn it off. 

Yep.  It's called "Delivery Optimization" now, but it used to be called "Updates from more that one place",  though a more apt name would be "Updates FOR more than one place."  LOL.  
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wm4bama, Champion

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Many users are asking for a way to tell what's using data on their local home network...I suggest you go here and see if your router is compatible with the DD-WRT firmware...if it is, download and install it in your router,,,it will provide all the info on who, what, when your date is being used.

https://dd-wrt.com/support/router-database/
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NewMexicoMountains

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This has been on my to-do list for a while. But it's also not the answer in general. A company that cares about it's customers doesn't require them to have the skills to be aware of and understand dd-wrt and to be able and willing to flash their router (and perhaps have to buy a new router to be able to do this.)
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NewMexicoMountains

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Update: I finally got around to buying a new (used) router and flashing it with DD-WRT and installing YAMon (the add-on monitoring package.) Not overwhelmingly hard, but also not for the faint of heart with no knowledge of Linux. It's revealed some interesting info. For example, my niece's Pixel phone managed to run up 160MB of data even though she didn't touch it during that entire time. Even worse, her Kindle Fire blasted through almost 300MB of data while she was reading a book on it. Scarier was that almost half the phone traffic was uploads.
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Jim16

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Thanks NMM.  People that post here and accuse Viasat of stealing data need to read your post.  Internet toys are made to use data, even if you don't want them to, and it's not Viasat's responsibility to babysit everyone.
(Edited)
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Andy Schack

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I want to double the thanks to NewMexMtns. Hopefully folks will find this thread when researching their "they stole my data" issue. As a retailer and installer, it can be very frustrating to be called a cheat and a liar when I KNOW what the problem is....the customer just simply doesn't want to put forth the effort to fix THEIR problem. 
A device is just sitting there....nobody is using it, therefore it CAN'T be using data. If I've heard that once I've heard it a thousand times. 
NewMex, you mentioned that half of the data was uploads. That almost certainly means that some type of cloud storage is turned on one or more of your devices. iCloud, Google Cloud, etc. 
The Fire is most likely updating apps in the background. 

Andy
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Karen Dudnikov

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Well if my other devices don't have the password set up for internet usage then I doubt it will be using data.  My husband has a flip phone so I doubt he's using anything.  I don't download, I don't stream.  My friend who lives 4 miles away does a lot more online then I do and doesn't hit her limit.

Actually it's quite freeing, when I hit my limit I stop worrying about using the internet and do whatever I want.
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Jim16

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If you continue to believe Viasat is stealing your data, you will never find out where your data is really going.  Good luck.
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Karen Dudnikov

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I am trying to find where my data goes.  I only download to my kindle before 6AM, otherwise it's in airplane mode.  My friend's husband is home most of the day using the internet on his phone.  I don't.  She uses the computer every evening and does some gaming.  I don't.  Check for automatic updates is off,  no malware.  No smart phone, no smart tv, the cats don't have any devices hidden under their fur using data.  I don't  stream videos, my friend does, I don't watch videos on facebook, etc.  Something is using a gig or more a day and I don't know what.
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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The best way to find out what is using your data is to get a third party router with traffic monitoring features built in. That is how I keep track of everything using data on my system, when, how much, what device, and what application is using that data.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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For what it's worth, you don't have to explicitly watch videos to incur a data hit.

Many sites will automatically play them regardless of your intent to watch them or not. Usually you can catch them and stop playing but they may continue to buffer in the background. At the same time many sites now preload videos without actually playing them.

The other big data usage culprit is ads.

For that reason, Viasat even came out with it's own browser that comes with the UBlock Origin ad blocker. At the same time the Viasat browser also has some ability to disable autoplay videos as well as preloading of videos. However you can add those features to just about any browser.

Tell us exactly what each of the devices used on your home network are and we can recommend some ways to determine what's using the data. Also do you happen to have a DirecTV or Dish receiver accessing your connection - that could be either a wired or wireless connection.

As Steve notes above the best method is using a router having robust traffic analysis and it will catch everything on your network. Other methods only catch usage on the device they are installed upon.  
(Edited)
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phinneus

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In addition everything old labs said. Are you absolutely SURE your friend's husband is not connected to your WiFi while on his phone all day?

I say this because people think of WiFi as free data. If he ever connected to your WiFi and has WiFi on while in your house. It will automatically connect to your network if it sees it.

Also you mention gaming. I used to play world of Warcraft and that could use as much as 200mb an hour if in a large group of other players.
(Edited)
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Karen Dudnikov

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He's 4 miles away with hills in between and he doesn't have my password.

And I don't game, my friend does and doesn't hit her data limit.
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Karen Dudnikov

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I use the viasat browser, I have automatic play on facebook turned off.  I'm running windows 7 with no updates, my husband is running windows XP with no updates.  Nothing is connected to my tv etc. I would have to specifically hook it up and enter the password and I haven't done that.
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phinneus

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I appologize I misread that all as activity in your home.
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NewMexicoMountains

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If Networx is showing that your PC is using only half the data that Viasat is showing, then some other device or devices are the culprit. A simple first step is to change the password on your wifi and reboot the router. This will force all devices off the network until you enter the password on the devices. This will give you an opportunity to figure out exactly what's connected to your network.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Just to double check, hooking something/anything up to your router directly using an Ethernet cable typically doesn't require a password.

The only reason I mention this is because in the past there have been folks who get DirecTV or Dish and the installer sees the router next to the receiver and that it has a free LAN port. He then simply plugs directly into the router and the receiver starts using data once he sites it up.

For example despite different circumstances when I had Dish installed, the installer said I notice you have a WiFi connection... what's the password I can setup the receiver for you. I then explained the reality of satellite internet to him.

The best explanation you're going to directly get from Viasat is a general categorized breakdown of your usage by calling support or sending an email to viasatlistens.

But there's plenty of folks here who can provide some suggestions but expect a game of twenty questions since we have no real idea of how your home environment is setup - guesswork, sleuthing and detective work take time.

You'd do better to describe your environment in detail up front to avoid the need to come back and say but I already use the Viasat browser.

  • Which Plan?
  • Which Modem?
  • Which Router (if a 3rd party)?
  • Are devices connect wired or wireless?
  • What devices and operating systems?
  • Which browser(s) are used?
The list goes on but everybody will be on the same page to start.
(Edited)
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Ivan Bludnik

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Of course the Viasat engineers and programs know exactly how the data is calculated. They wrote the software and developed the systems on which to base Viasat's charges to us.

Apparently, it is to their advantage to keep us in the dark to minimize the questions asked of them.

I did the same thing when I worked for a large telecommunications and business systems corporation. Answering questions only begat more questions. In order to maintain control of the agenda, I feigned ignorance. It did not help the customer but it made my job easier. 
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Karen Dudnikov

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I downloaded ccleaner and the networx tracker.  I have the tracker set for all users/router traffic.  As of this morning exede is showing I'm at my limit of 12 gigs and my tracker is showing 5.71.  The tracker of course shows what I do before 6AM and also tracked what I did on my 4 day 3 night trip out of town.  The networx tracker should be higher then exede but it's less than half.  I could give a gig or two for differences in measurement but half?  
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Do you have a router that supports the necessary protocols for tracking at the router level? See:

https://www.softperfect.com/products/networx/manual/router_monitoring.htm

That protocol's typically not found on consumer routers.

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NewMexicoMountains

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Regardless of "all users/router traffic" setting, Networx is showing traffic only for the devices it is installed on. If you have multiple computers, you must install it on every one. There is no version (to my knowledge) that you can install on your mobile devices (eg, tablet, phone whether iOS or Android), so this data is not being counted.
BTW, you can set Networx to ignore traffic during the free period.
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phinneus

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Glassware has Android and I believe ios app. And it works REALLY well.
(Edited)
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NewMexicoMountains

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That's Glasswire, not Glassware. And there's no iOS app or Mac version
(Edited)
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GabeU, Champion

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The do now make it for Android devices.  It's a bit different, but it would be helpful for a lot of people, I'm sure.  It's fairly new.  I haven't tried it, but if I used my phone a lot with my WiFi I would.  Heck, I might just try it, anyway.  
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M.E.M.

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Folks,
I started this post 3 months ago with questions about how Viasat calculates data usage. Viasat never gave me an answer so I bought Glasswire then and subsequently an Asus RT-3200 router.
I have answered my questions to my satisfaction.

Viasat is not misrepresenting data consumption as it relates to me.

There are many culprits that we installed on our devices (or are pre-loaded) that stealthfully consume data. These can be detected and eliminated if you are willing to put forth the time, expense, and effort. The problem will not be solved for the type of person who wants to pay his monthly bill and then forget about it. That would be like going to a Caribbean Island, sitting on the beach, and have hotel staff bring you your cocktails. Viasat does not work like that.

However, (this is for you moderators) Viasat could save itself and the moderators a lot of grief if you just supplied the breakdown that curious minds want to know. It is just a matter of making this a Viasat priority to spend the resources to develop the necessary tools.

Like many of us, I wish satellite technology were further along. This will eventually happen. I am happy Viasat and Hughes exists. The alternatives is not attractive to me.

PS. I am now on data restriction but it is my fault. I forgot to set a switch on my iPad which caused several movies to download to my iPad. I never watched the movies and I cannot find traces of them on my iPad. I would be tempted to blame this on Viasat if I did not have a record of these downloads to my iPad on my Asus router. So shame on me, not Viasat.
(Edited)
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NewMexicoMountains

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Thanks for posting this update. Does the factory firmware on the RT-3200 provide the detailed reporting you needed, or did you have to flash it with DD-WRT?
You make two valuable points:
1. VIasat isn't to blame if we don't understand how our devices use data
2. Viasat could make everyone's lives easier if they provided better tools for understanding how we are using data.

I understand that some installations have a combined modem/router. Viasat controls this device completely and could include per-device traffic monitoring as a standard feature. This would go a long way to reducing the conflicts over data usage.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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The ASUS RT-AC3200 comes with the detailed Traffic Analyzer right out of the box. However, the AsusWrt-Merlin firmware can be used to give it some added capabilities (as well as other non-traffic analyzer releated features). I keep meaning to try the AsusWrt-Merlin to document/investigate the differences but never get around to it.

Asus models having the detailed Traffic Analyzer explicitly list it in their feature set (not to be confused with the more basic Traffic Monitor). You have to hit their web site to confirm that for the model. If  not adventurous enough to try the AsusWrt-Merlin firmware, look specifically for the Traffic Analyzer feature on the model you select.    



 
(Edited)
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Jim16

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So M.E.M.  Since you found out Viasat isn't stealing your data, maybe you owe Diana an apology?

"There is no smoke and mirror tactic! At Viasat, customer satisfaction is something that we take very seriously and would never compromise under any circumstances.  Diana"

( M.E.M.)  "And how do you know that? Do you have access to the accounting software that determines data charges? Or have you been told that and just accept it."

(Edited)
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Jim16

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Just as I thought.  Nothing but the sound of crickets....
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phinneus

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Honestly don't see why an appology is needed mem asked a question. Should not have to apologize for that.
(Edited)
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Jim16

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No, he accused Viasat of stealing his data many times and for an extended period on this forum.  He then did everything he could, spent money on a router to track data, spent, what?, months learning to use it and sift thru all the data, JUST TO PROVE VIASAT WAS STEALING HIS MONEY 
( DATA).  Go back and read all his posts.  He even said he was retired so he had plenty of time to get Viasat.    He needs to apologize to all the mods and Viasat, but of course people like that don't do such things.
(Edited)
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phinneus

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Based my response on what you quoted mem saying......wait does that mean I have to appologize now? :)
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Ivan Bludnik

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Great Scott, Jim16.
You really should seek professional mental health help.
None of your accusations seem true to me. All you seem to want to do on this forum is pick fights with anyone who will take your bait.
MEM merely raised valid questions. That is the purpose of this forum. I saw no accusations from him, just questions. He bought tools to answer his questions when they were not addressed in this forum. That seems normal to me. It is what anyone should do in similar circumstances.
Get a life and find another forum for your lunatic rants.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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please refrain from personal attacks :)  (but seriously it's a forum rule) https://community.viasat.com/viasat/topics/forum-decorum-guidelines-for-the-viasat-internet-communit...

I'm glad MEM found the issue and solved the mystery (all it took was Glasswire and a little Scooby Doo-esque searching for clues). I can't speak for my fellow moderators but I really do appreciate Jim's concerns but in situations like this I'm more far far more happy about the culprit of the concern being found over formalities and apologies. I still get paid at the end of the day, I go home to my family, decompress and return the next day. All in a day's work.  Nothing's ever taken personally. :) 

But to Jim16's comments and the debate that followed I simply just refer to the wise words of the philosopher Jackie Moon



(Edited)
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phinneus

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Still wouldn't mind an answer into why you can't tell us what device is using what data. I mean you know the devices exist regardless if connected via router or direct to viasat modem/router. So why can't you take that one step further and instead of having a total breakdown by traffic type. Do traffic type by device. Obviously some of the code is already in place.
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NewMexicoMountains

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I don't believe Viasat can identify devices behind a router. Even if they could see MAC addresses, they couldn't tell you if that's your iPad or PC or Roku.
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phinneus

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Your mistaken. Call em up and ask. They even told me of my sister's iPhone connecting to my wifi over the phone. I am behind a router also. BTW Mac address info is pretty public info. With that they can narrow it down to type of device.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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They would only know with some certainty what devices are connected to their combination modem/router device since they have some direct control over it. Even then you'll find a disclaimer regarding collection of some of that information on those combo devices on the Viasat web site - you can opt out for privacy reasons or other concerns.

Your own router isn't going to expose what devices are located behind it (unless you mis-configure it somehow). One of a router's primary purpose is security. MAC addresses should not be exposed beyond the router.

Although there were some early attempts to provide the information using the stand alone modem through the SVT tool, the devices were derived from an unreliable user agent string that accompanies requests - that string really says nothing about the device but rather the compatibility level of an application.  That lead to some complaints as users would say impossible, I don;t have an iPhone - no you probably don't but do have an application that's saying it is compatible with an iPhone application. Undoubtedly Viasat would claim I have a Windows Phone - I don't - but occasionally do change my browser's user agent string to that of a Windows phone - it saves data when I'm pressed for it - Viasat would assume I'm using a Windows phone.
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Mohammad Hussein al-Baghdadi

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@Brad,
 "I really do appreciate Jim's concerns"
Whoa! Which concerns do you appreciate? I only see forum attacks from him that come out of nowhere. Do you really believe you want him representing Viasat. If so, good luck.
There is a wise Arabic saying. "Believe what you see and lay aside what you hear".
Why is Jim so fanatically obsessive about defending Viasat when you yourself have stated that you are not offended. I have followed this forum for several months and he continues to see (or pretends to see) villains behind every tree. He must be one of those people who think Poland started WWII.

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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Old labs is mostly correct. Devices on our troubleshooting tool eSVT are determined by browser but even that is a bit of a uncertainty because if like your phone has a IOS update it could appear as a new device because we'd see a phone with IOS 10 and a phone with IOS 11.2 and the only tip we get that it's an update is the first day your router showed it connected, so some agent casually replying to an inquiry could inaccurately presume that you have 2 iphones on your network. 

I can assure you that if say you were to email me to see what device is eating the data I would have absolutely no possible way to tell you even with all the tools, public and confidential that I have access to will have that information. We simply just don't have that ability to pull that data currently. Glasswire though I feel is a solid recommendation as a 3rd party to give people that detailed information. We don't control or support it so that's why we don't typically outright suggest it but based on forum user experience I think that's an avenue that a few people would probably be happy exploring. I fully understand Phinneus and others question being it's a metered connection but unfortunately I don't have a satisfactory answer at this time as to why we can't provide individual device usage other than "we don't have that ability at this time".

 Currently the self-help tool that will give the most usage information is on our official app which is free if you have an Apple or Android phone. I know that may not apply to all but I do think a lot of our best self-help tools and information is currently found there.

(just as an aside to Mohammad's question: The only people here that represent Viasat are marked as an employee such as me. All other comments are customers that are in no way affiliated with the company and anything forum users say or have an opinion over may not reflect the views of Viasat.)
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Well, that's better than being totally wrong I guess... now about that Windows Phone you think I have...

Note also in the MAC address discussion above that's generally the MAC address of the network adapter (wired or wireless) - device name is coming from another source. In fact my network shows two different instances of the same device name on this particular machine - one for the wired and one for the wireless connection.

In short, it's an educated guess on Viasat's part (some are better guesses than others).

The opinions I express here are my own and don't represent Viasat's... 
(Edited)
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phinneus

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Yeah but that's what I'm hinting at.........use the educated guess to give customers that don't have all the tools we have a way to see what device is using the majority of the data.

I know it would not be perfect but much better then what is available now.

Also can apply the disclaimer that the data may not be accurate on device breakdown.
(Edited)
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Probably misidentified device is my guess......or a sleep deprived Amazon order? A very cunning raccoon living under the house leeching off the WiFi? So many possibilities
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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We did have a somewhat brief trial of having that tool available. We had and still do have plans to create a more informative usage meter but that went back to the drawing board I believe. Still a work in progress. I think a lot of that ended up going to the app for the time being so again I would recommend that but I also realize not everyone has a supported device or even space for said app.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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No I know what the Windows Phone was - this browser with a modified user agent string. I've got some other web enabled apps on my desktop that use some pretty funky user agent strings to indicate their compatibility levels.    

Yes, eSVT - however they were still guesses and it's the wrong guesses got you into trouble here in the community as well as older forum with such rants as when it was first released as:

  • You liars, I don't have an IPhone but your rep says I do or eSVT says I do and my network is secure. You liars I don't have a Windows phone, etc...
  • Your rep or eSVT is saying I'm using social media and I don't (forgetting about embedded social media feeds in web pages that the rep isn't even aware of - you don't have to visit a social media site to get all of it's data usage disadvantages)
  • Your rep is saying I'm using data by streaming videos - I don't watch videos (forgetting that with HTML 5 you don't have to watch the Video to incur a streaming video data hit or worse those that preload with java script).
Great concept but be prepared to educate subscribers and phone reps alike on the guesses when something as simple as "up to" causes consternation.

My suggestion, stick to what you can accurately report - how much and when with various views of it, not by what device or application - specifically what HughesNet provides, but that's just me and I'm one that believes data usage is my responsibility.

My only other suggestion... give me a rock solid modem only option and let me handle the bells, whistles and bright shiny objects as my specific needs require. 
(Edited)
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phinneus

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Ok you got me. You made some valid points. It probably would cause more of a headache.

At the same time. There current modem ships as modem/router in one. I think it's possible to implement a be tracker there that is very accurate. I believe dd-wrt and tomato are open source. And could be pushed out in a firmware update by viasat.

That would deliver a solution for people that don't have a separate router. And if a customer has data concerns they can be told to use there modem only for next 24 hours and look at what is using the data.
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Jim16

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"I simply just refer to the wise words of the philosopher Jackie Moon"

Yes, I know the wise words you are referring to.  I try to live by them every day...


Jackie Moon: If you see an opposum, kill it. It’s not a pet.

Jackie Moon: It feels like I got cat piss in my eyes.



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GabeU, Champion

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I'm one that believes data usage is my responsibility.

... give me a rock solid modem only option and let me handle the bells, whistles and bright shiny objects as my specific needs require. 
I couldn't agree more with both statements.  
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NewMexicoMountains

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I agree that in the end the user is responsible for their own data use, but Viasat could do a better job in helping customers understand their data usage. The computer/networking industry does an awful job in respecting their customers needs. If you needed to know as much about cars in order to drive as you need to know about computers and networking to safely compute, the roads with be littered with corpses.

Viasat could offer an integrated modem/router with detailed bandwidth monitoring. They could recommend (even sell) a couple of router models that support detailed bandwidth monitoring. Maybe some detailed FAQs on how to monitor your usage (eg, Glasswire, readingthe DHCP table on your router to figure out what's connected, ...)  Offer tips on how to reduce your usage (blocking auto-play videos, blocking Apple's update servers, ...) In fact, some of these could be offered as options, like the video data extender.

What Viasat can't do is tell you exactly what's using your data, because they can't see.
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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Many of us do not wish to allow our ISP to see every website we visit, or how long we are viewing the sites. Viasat, and other ISPs purpose is to provide their users with a connection to the internet. The rest is the responsibility of the end user.

My gas station provides me with gasoline for my car, but does not monitor how I use the gasoline, not tell me how to get the most out of every gallon.
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NewMexicoMountains

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Yes, it's the user's (or in the case of cars, owner's) responsibility. But customer service is what retains customers. There was a time when gas stations checked your oil and tire pressure, both of which helped you get the most of every gallon. By helping customers understand their data usage, Viasat will earn more from enhanced customer satisfaction and retention than it loses from people buying extra data.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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I'm just asking for Viasat to give me a self-serve pump at a lower cost than the full-serve pump - unless of course you live in the Peoples Republic of New Jersey where you cant pump your own at last check (I've been gone 18 years).

https://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/02/the_real_reason_self-service_gas_was_banned_in_nj_corru...

My post below is made only with partial tongue in cheek...
(Edited)
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wm4bama, Champion

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The number of different routers now in use would cause a major update to the modem's firmware that would be needed to poll the different brands of routers for any type of usage data collected from any device connected to that router.  A good solution, it would seem, is for ViaSat to replace, or provide, new combo modem/routers with code like DD-WRT already installed in the router..
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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And then charge subscribers another $10 per month for managed home WiFI - ARPU will rise - my marketing skills are on display - baddabook baddaboom, hire that guy ;)
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