Mysterious usage jump

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  • Updated 3 months ago
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I check my usage daily and I also check available plans daily. The point is, I am checking every day (unless traveling for business or pleasure). Yesterday, when I checked as per my usual pattern, our usage had exceeded 100 Gbs for the first time since we had started the Freedom plan. This was perfectly understandable, we had streamed some Netflix without realizing our pref had been set to "best" quality - and with only a couple of days left in the month, it was not a concern.

Today, however, when I checked again, our usage had jumped right around 45 GBs in one day! Our total usage now shows as 146.5 Gbs. This is quite mysterious to us, because we did nothing yesterday which could have led to this. We only use Mac (so no Windows 10 auto-updates), our tv viewing last night included no streaming, and usage over the last couple of days has been limited to web browsing and Email. 

Exede reps, do you have ideas concerning what might have triggered this? This is a disturbing mystery! Given no automatic updates, given no streaming, given no big downloads of binary files or applications, how on earth could we have chewed up 45Gbs in a single day?

Regards,
Rique
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Rique

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Posted 6 months ago

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Steve Frederick, Champion

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That is why I have a good third party router with traffic monitoring. That was I can always see what devices have used data each day, and what applications on the devices are using my data.

I hope you remember to log out of Netflix or other streaming apps when you are done watching. Otherwise, the app may be continuously streaming one after the other of whatever you may have been watching, even though you had gone on to doing other things.
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Rique

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Hi Steve,

I have the Apple Airport Extreme, however we expect to switch to a Google WiFi mesh system, in part because of reporting and monitoring included with the GWiFi system.

Concerning what you said about Netflix streaming, we stream often through the Apple TV4 streaming applications - and we never encounter continual streaming. If that's a pref, I would have it turned off. In this case, I will of course look into it along with any other possible root causes, but it seems quite unlikely to be the culprit.

Thanks,
Rique
(Edited)
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Steve Frederick, Champion

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Rique, keep looking for what might have used that data. Switching to a router with the reporting app will certainly be worthwhile, at least for future data usage. Good luck.
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Bradley

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About the most data (excluding big downloads like xbox games and scheduled updates) I have used in one day with Exede is around 20 GB. That was four people streaming, surfing, eating data any way we could pretty much all day. Now I’m limited to 480p so that reduces usage, but it’s almost impossible to use that kind of data in one day without a purposeful large download.

I also have an Apple 4K TV. It’s at my “other” residence where I can actually stream 4K. Since you are on the Freedom plan, would 4K streaming be possible?
(Edited)
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Rique

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Hi Bradley,

My Apple TV is 4th generation, so not capable of 4k. Also, when we stream we always set streaming apps to "better" (720p), not "best" (1080p). We did have an incident about two weeks ago when Amazon Prime streamed a couple of shows at "best", but that was because we had not realized that a pref set on the iPad would propagate to all devices - and even in those cases, it was only a couple of episodes and it was weeks ago. This issue has been in the last 24 hours and is not due to streaming (we've not streamed anything for a few days).

... and it continues. Since I first posted about this, we have used another half Gb of data (500 Mbs). I've been the only one online and I've only been browsing and using Email - no uploads, no downloads, no nothing.

This is killing our usage and we have yet to find any way of fixing it..

Rique
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Bradley

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Cut devices off except the one you are using. Slowly cut one on each hour till the usage jumps. Change WiFi password if you have neighbors. I suspect a stealthy cloud backup for pics. iCloud and google drive backups is where I’d look first. Then run malware detector software.
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Rique

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Viasat reps, do you have any advice on this? In the last hour, we've used another half Gb and we've done nothing except Email and some browsing. I have checked every computer on the network, every device on the network. We never have automatic updates turned on (and my checking confirmed that to still be the case).

I have emailed viasatlistens and am advised to expect a reply in the next day. In the meantime, we are going through ~ 12Gbs a day at the current pace (and went through ~ 45 Gbs in the last day or two). At this point, my only recourse is to turn all access off until Viasat can advise me what they see on their side.

Viasat... help !!! Please.

Regards,
Rique
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Rique

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I spoke with Viasat and they were of no help whatsoever. They claim that they cannot provide any detail whatsoever concerning usage (even though we used to have at least high-level info through the use of myesvt, I was told that even that kind of high level info is no longer available).

So as of now, I have usage which is out-of-control and my provider cannot provide me with any guidance at all concerning where that usage is coming from. I tend to believe in the accuracy of usage data (because I watch my own usage so closely and it jives fairly well with what Viasat reports in my dashboard) - but this is a huge problem, when my provider can measure my data, report my usage to be way beyond the norm through the use of their own in-house data usage measurement tools - and yet cannot provide any detail whatsoever concerning where that usage is coming from.

I will open a new thread directed at the support reps in the forum.
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Steve Frederick, Champion

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Viasat does not measure your data with any "in house" measurement tools. The data is being measured internally at your modem, Viasat only poles your modem for the data usage report, which is just a gross data measurement, and not by what or where data was consumed.

For now, I would follow Bradley's advice and disconnect all devices not directly being used, then check the data meter once an hour to see if that helps. 
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Rique

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Steve,

Perhaps that is so. However, when myesvt was available, Viasat could provide us with more (albeit at a high level) than just a single usage number. Was that granularity of data stored at the modem? And if so, then shouldn't it still be available and stored within the modem?

Additionally, if Viasat is getting data from the modem internally, that would imply some kind of storage (perhaps ROM), which would survive a power outage. If so, there should be an internal battery in the modem - any kind of persistent storage in the modem would require some kind of power source. I don't recall having read of that as a feature of the modem, but perhaps it is.

The point I have raised in a separate thread (directed at support reps) is that, if Viasat is going to rely on a measurement tool of some type in order to enforce metering (its not really relevant to me if it is "in house" or derived from a poll of the modem), then they should be able to provide the customer with something more informative than a single, high-level usage number which is of limited use and requires the customer to be a technician. 
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david, Champion

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I don't think most customers want Exede monitoring their data usage that closely. I know I wouldn't want Exede monitoring what web sites I went to on what computers or devices.
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Rique

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David,

The monitoring which was available via the myesvt tool was more generic than that. It would classify usage as "web browsing", "emails", "file downloads", "youtube" and "streaming". 

Riq
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Diana, Viasat Employee

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Hi Rique, I'm sorry you were not able to get the answers when you called Customer Care. Please send an email to viasatlistens@viasat.com with your account and contact information.  We'll be happy to review your account and answer all of your questions regarding your data spike.
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Rique

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Hi Diana,

Thanks. As mentioned above, I've already done that. I did that right away.

Riq
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Edie Privratsky

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I have responded to your other thread.  I am having an issue with excessive data usage as well.  And, Diana, Employee, my first response was to email Customer Care and was then told to call. 
I spoke at length with a representative last Thursday and was then disconnected.  On Friday, I spoke with another representative, a supervisor, and received a call back for a remote session from the technical team. My modem was recycled but I am still experiencing excessive data usage. 

I will be calling again this week but, since the story begins again with each new call, I need to build up some energy and clear some time.  

I was told my excessive usage was due to audio calls.   I live in a very rural area and need a signal enhancer in order to receive cell service.   In order to update my 5+ year old LG flip phone to a smart phone, I would need to upgrade the signal enhancer for around $500.   Needless to say, this is not a priority so my phone is not capable of accessing the internet.  I also do not make audio calls through my PC.   Viasat cannot provide any other information regarding my usage.   

I don't stream, I go to the library in town for Windows updates on my laptop, desktop updates are done during my free hours of 12AM - 5AM.   I am very conscious of my data usage and I record my usage every day.   I cannot understand how my usage has doubled since my billing and I cannot convince Viasat that I'm not hosting a call center, utilizing audio calls, in my home.  

I would greatly appreciate any information anyone can provide.  
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Old Labs

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Send an email message to viasatlistens as suggested by Diana above (including your account and contact information since they can't access your account info based on your credentials here). That will go to the moderators here who are not part of the standard customer support channel and can investigate and provide a private response since this really isn't a direct support venue (more customer to customer self help).
(Edited)
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lsandersj

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I too have a mysterious usage jump.  I have the Freedom 150 plan and having just starting this six months ago and coming from a fiber optic system with no caps I very carefully monitored my usage.  I am very aware of the the data usage for streaming video and use it sparingly.  I have the Video Data Extender turned on as well.
After my first 3 to 4 months I found my average usage to be about 3 to 4 gb a day.  No problem for the 150 allowed.
I also have Dish Network for TV.  Tell me I'm crazy but I can't believe it is not part of the problem.  We had a sudden power outage for several hours and a few days after that I noticed the data usage jump to 13-20gb per day.  
I went into the settings on my Dish TV's and disabled wifi for the Joey, Hopper and the smart TV.   Waiting 24hrs to recheck usage I find it has miraculously subsided.  I also noticed on my Dish recordings there were rentals in the que that were for VOD.  I definitely did not do that and suspect there may have been some activity using the wifi that I don't understand.  Maybe after the power outage some settings changed but this is all speculation on my part in an attempt to fathom the sudden data surge.
I am very upset that I get stuck with the consequences of the data surge (almost out of data before half of the month) and no one will take responsibility for what is obviously some failure in the Dish or Viasat equipment.  
I was very happy with my internet and fully understand and can accept the potential outages during storms.  No longer.
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Bradley

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I highly recommend that you utilize either the app or the text features to check usage more regularly. While it is sometimes aggravating that satellite users need to constantly monitor our data, it’s just a part of having sat internet. Little usages add up. I monitor about three times a day. Just peace of mind for a few minutes time.
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Steve Frederick, Champion

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isandersj, since this data usage jump happened after a lengthy power outage, I suspect that there were changes to the settings on the Dish TV Hopper, Joey, and your your smart TV. You will need to go back in the settings menu of each device and reset them to settings that do not download VOD programs and other things that are now happening. My guess is the Dish Hopper is the device that is using data for things you  may not really need.

I have a good wireless router that has traffic measurement tools and can tell me what device is using my data, and even what that device is using the internet for. I do not have the Viasat WiFi modem, which does not have this capability.
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lsandersj

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Thanks for the responses.  I do check usage often.  I use the Satellite Restriction Tracker and I just started using Netbalancer by Seriousbit.  I also watch the data usage provided by Windows 10.  

Note that I did all the suggested actions post data surge and the data has returned to normal but of course there was no activity logging in place at the time.  Unfortunately none of this identifies what I suspect as you have suggested, and that is the Dish settings changes after the power outage.  I tried to discuss that possibility with Dish and it was total denial along with I suspect a lack of knowledge.

Spectrum cable is 1800 feet from my house and my efforts now are trying to get them to provide service.