Data meter

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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  • (Edited)
Questions about the accuracy of the data meter.
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Jennifer Fair

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Posted 2 years ago

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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Hi Jennifer,

There could be a number of reasons to not believe the data usage total vs what you've used your internet for, however the biggest thing that leads people to believe that data is being incorrectly monitored is simply things running that they are not aware of. Updates, Windows, an unauthorized device accessing your service, not realizing how much data streaming a movie ACTUALLY uses (typically 1-2gb on a HD movie), the list goes on. I'm more than happy to look into this for you. Send me an email to exedelistens@viasat.com
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Josh

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I tested this today unplugged the lan cable from the back of the modem and no1 has been here all day nor on the 2nd and still shows useage. and since the lan cable was unplugged from back of the MODEM please explain how I been using internet all day? this eliminates anything running on my pc or router.
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Old Labs

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You've never indicated whether you've actually observed the usage meter climbing while unplugged using an alternate connection - instead that you're seeing an increase when plugged back in  -  see last post below for a more comprehensive approach and  provide adequate documentation which rules out the delayed reporting possibility.
(Edited)
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Josh

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yes from a pizza hut connection in town while lan cable was unplugged from the back of modem at home and no1 home.
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Jennifer Fair

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No, Brad. Your company says I used 5gb of data in 1hour and 15 minutes by video/audio streaming on July 22nd between 10:45 am and 12:00 pm, which is a bold face lie and almost impossible at the speeds I'm at. 1 of the 3 devices on my wifi has internet access, and that's my device which requires a fingerprint to unlock. I do not have a data eating virus, Apple checked all 3 of my iPads. The enabled logs in my router prove that no one is stealing my wifi. My children's iPads have very specific, password protected restrictions. They do not have internet, App Store or iTunes access, just to name a few of the restrictions. I have called 3 times about this and the last person I spoke to said my homeschooled, no internet access 1st and 3rd graders managed to steal the passwords for the Apple ID, iTunes and App Store so they could download apps to hide things YouTube and Safari so we won't see all the video streaming they do. Not only that, they somehow made their iPads forget the iTunes account that initially set them up, the only iTunes account in my house, my husbands, and they created their own "profiles" but still managed to keep all the information synced specifically to my husbands iTunes. So apparently, I am the proud parent of 2 children that are smarter than the late Steve Jobs and every person that has ever worked for his company. Oh, the best part of the lie your company has told me.......my 6 and 8 year old children lifted my fingerprint with tape so they could unlock my iPad to gain internet access! I have genius children, right? I won't even start on the data that Excede says was used July 23rd and 24th when no one or our devices were home. Don't try your typical YouTube app left open excuse with me either. I deleted the preloaded app from every device I have. You have to go through safari to access YouTube, so yes I'm positive that didn't occur. I do not have Netflix or any other video/audio streaming account or app either. Point blank the data meter is wrong, which is a common complaint of your customers according to this site and consumer affairs. Unlike all the other people who don't have time to research and find a attorney willing to file a class action lawsuit, I do have the time and I'm going to try my hardest to find one. This is theft, plain and simple. I paid for services and did not receive them and this company refuses to either give me my data back or my money back. Shame on Excede for knowingly stealing from their customers!
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zanne

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Jennifer, do you have a router that will let you see your network's usage?
If so, you can look at that data to rule out whether or not you went over your data.
That many Gb just for a few updates doesn't seem right to me, but I don't use Apple products.

Another thing you can do is get Bitmeter on your devices (if they make it for iPad) or see if iPad has something that checks how much data it uses.

If you use those tools, you can log the information and then compare it to what Exede is saying you used.

I completely understand your frustration. I've had miscalculations before too. Currently I think my LNFZ isn't set to the right time so my usage was abnormally high.

Exede really needs to have an up-to-date Usage meter that shows hourly usage (in specific amounts-- not just the bar chart) so we can compare it to things like BitMeter and router usage stats.

People are saying maybe the kid's friends came over: But do the kid's friends know the password?

Is it possible that there is unknown usage going on at Jennifer's house? Yes. but it is also possible there is a miscalculation.
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Craig

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I suggest you install a bandwidth monitor like networx which will tell you hour by hour how much bandwidth you're using and will also tell which applications used the bandwidth.  you can screen out the free zone and get an accurate daily reading.
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Josh

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why craig? they will just tell you they do not support 3rd party meters so kinda pointless. most newer devices have built in monitors that keep up with data useage
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Jim16, Champion

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You will feel foolish when it ends up that you are actually using that data.  I read it here all the time.  The first reaction is to blame someone else and then the real truth comes out.  Children bring their friends over to use mom & dads wi-fi to play games on their phones, " I only use Facebook", the list goes on and on. 
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JEP

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If I had a dollar for everyone that thought Exede was stealing data, I could pay to have a T3 line installed to my house.  But, seriously in the +10 years I have been with Wildblue/Exede the number of data reporting errors that I am aware of where the customer was cheated can be counted on one hand.  It is very very unlikely that Exede is misreporting your usage.  FWIW, my fingerprint logon device will use the Internet unfettered as long as WiFi is enabled.  I don't have to be logged on.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Fingerprint is a glorified lock screen. Things can and will still run in the background. There's certainly been times where the meter has been wrong but those are VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY rare. Last legitimate one I saw was well over 7 months ago. The rest of the time? Stuff running in the background or the dreaded Windows 10 updates (or a Netflix marathon)
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Old Labs

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Exactly and unfortunately many casual users simply aren't aware of the subtle differences between locked, logged off, sleeping, and hibernating states. Fortunately powered off is easily grasped. With sleeping and hibernating, no activity typically occurs but is further complicated by wake on LAN features if that is enabled. With locked or logged off (for all intents and purposes the same), the operating system is still active and running unless automatically put to sleep through power settings later on.
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Josh

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well actually I do think this is a common problem , they probably do not do it on purpose but they are very fast to blame the customer and equipment (which usually is the case,but not always) and yes my data has disappeared many times with everything unplugged. if they did not automatically ASSume and blame customers and outrite say they were lieing I think more people would not make such a big fuss as long as it was corrected when it has happened and properly looked into to see where exactly did the data went, I mean come on any newer model router keeps logs of what connects to it. and from what I understand exede can not see beyond your router just like anyone else can not without a password rite or no?
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Old Labs

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Since it appears you just joined this community today, you would probably do well to contact one of the moderators at exedelistens@viasat.com as Brad has suggested (if you haven't done so already). When you do that, you'll be stepping out of the normal support channel and dealing with them directly/privately.

They're social media moderators and they're not going to get engaged in a public shouting match but privately can assist in resolving any issues you may have (or at least direct you to someone better suited to addressing it). .

As for support on this forum, it's largely of peer-to-peer subscriber support and perhaps some Apple users will be along to assist you from that perspective.

P.S. And as Josh suggests does your router have any built-in traffic monitoring (many do and specifically it's own usage meter) which would allow comparison/verification against what the Exede usage meter indicates.

N.B. Include your account and contact information in that email - your login here is not associated with your Exede account since this forum is operated by a third party.
(Edited)
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Jennifer Fair

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Did the people that think I am wrong about using 5gb in 1 hour and 15 minutes miss the part that my children are 6 and 8?? There was no one else at my house, I live in an incredibly small community and I am over 1/4 mile from anyone else in all directions, with my closest neighbors all being family. I rarely go over my data and when I do, I usually expect it because I've spent a lot of time web browsing or updating apps etc. Incorrect data usage is a very common problem, Google it and read people's experiences. Exceed would not even consider the option that they are the problem. If they said I used the data, then I did, end of story according to them. Sorry, I do not accept that. I know without a doubt I did not stream any videos nor did anyone else connected to my wifi, period. The fact I've been a loyal customer over 3 years and have never used over 1gb/day much less 5gb in under 2hours should've raised eyebrows of at least 1 of the 3 people I spoke to. You do not treat people the way I was treated. They insulted me, my children and my parenting over their mistake. As far as resolving things, I will resolve them my way now. Excede has had their chance to resolve. I wrote this hoping that maybe it could save someone else from going through what I have.
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Old Labs

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Like inaccurate location detection by web sites (regardless of whether you allow your browser to share location), they're just making an educated guess about what devices are connected to your network - and even educated guesses can be wrong.

Only your router would know what devices are connecting to it and then even that would only be accurate if the router were capable of translating the MAC address (part of the MAC address can be used to guess the physical device). MAC addresses are typically not shared beyond the router.

However, the HTTP protocol uses a header on each request to identify the application sending request. These are called user agent strings and there are literally thousands of them used by applications (not limited solely to the browser). They do include information that can be used to derive the device being used but that's not their purpose - user agent strings are simply used to indicate the application's capabilities (i.e. behaves like or similar to something as they are interpreted). In earlier days (and even now) they were used to program around browser incompatibilities.

For example and when in a data pinch, I frequently use a Firefox add-on called User Agent Switcher, which allows me to temporarily change the default user agent string to one that a mobile device browser uses. The result is that well-designed web sites will detect it, make the assumption I'm using a mobile device and serve up the mobile version of their web site, which is less data intensive than the version used by a full-blown desktop browser. When using that technique on some web sites, I often see a 90% reduction in data used by those sites.

Even then web site designers are relying on some faulty logic but I won't complain since I use it to my advantage. That logic goes along the lines of mobile devices can use cellular connections, all cellular connection have severe data usage limitations (as historically has been the case), therefore all mobile connections have severe data usage limitations.

With regard to third party verification of usage, success in citing it largely depends on how well you state your case and more importantly on who you're talking to and the tone of the conversation - conversations that start of  off with "you're a bunch of liars, thieves, and your service sucks" rarely end well due to human nature - not saying that's your case, but rather a general observation even here within this forum. People skills (on both sides of a conversation) can often make the difference.        
  
(Edited)
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zanne

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Interesting. I've found that from time to time, if I put an m. at the beginning of a url it will take me to the mobile version of the website, but not always. I would love to see the mobile version more often for some sites because there are ones that take for frickin' ever to load.
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Old Labs

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Manually using the mobile version works temporarily (the mobi. prefix is also used by some sites while others don;t even rely on the prefix to do the magic). Unfortunately subsequent links from that mobile page will often see the user agent string on subsequent requests and redirect to the full version.

The user agent  switcher add-on takes care of that by modifying the header on each request. I find selecting any of the mobile devices using the add-on works the majrity of times - some sites (Bing is one that I recall) simply don't work with that trick at all (as in fail to load - but who knows what Microsoft does?). I do notice that some mobile versions tend to load slower on Exede (at least when tricking the sites) but suspect that may be because acceleration is being bypassed in those cases or just simply the mobile version behavior.   

FWIW, that add-on is primarily aimed at developers to allow easier testing of web sites for compatibility against various devices and browsers (without having to have physical access to each possible combination known to man). When I do use it, I simple resize my browser window to roughly the form factor of a smart phone to eliminate pixelization of the lower resolution (read that as smaller size) of the images delivered to mobile devices - it gives a smart phone experience despite the fact my laptop won't fit in my pocket. Wouldn't be surprised to find ESVT says I'm using an Android device or Nokia Lumia since those are the user agent strings I will typically use and I have neither.     
(Edited)
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Josh

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let me guess an iPhone and Linux desktop show up? these 2 things always show up when the data  gets rapidly used up but never have been on my equipment.
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Old Labs

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I'll let you know when and if I ever have access to myESVT and no need for guess work - as repeatedly noted I don't have access to it.

However, that wouldn't prevent you from installing the user agent switcher add-on and conducting your own experiment(s).  
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Bev, Champion

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Doesn't matter if you have only one iPhone that is fingerprint locked using your internet, it still could have done updates sent or revived pictures, text, FB, Twitter and other app updates via wifi and, thus used your data.

Ipads do do software updates, same as iPhones, computers anything else you might connect and, they do download those w/o telling you.
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zanne

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But would it really have done THAT much usage though? That doesn't seem right to me.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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This is very possible too. Depends on what apps/updates are running/updating in the background. You'd be surprised.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Jennifer, I'm sorry you had a bad phone call to dispute your data usage but nobody is attacking you on here.I'm sorry if you feel otherwise. Simply because it's a common thing we hear constantly every single day, I merely suggested some of the many many many things that take our customers by surprise. 9.5 times out of 10 it's one of those things I've suggested. When it comes to data as a lot of things happen in the background without a customer knowing about it. If I were in a non-Exede employee standpoint, I'd probably express the same concerns as I'd have probably been taken by surprise by data too. I can definitely understand. The email I offered goes directly to me or one of my colleagues on here and unlike the people on the phone we're in the corporate office and if our usual suspects (Windows 10, apps, streaming) isn't the reason the internet usage spiked we will investigate it for you. Of course you aren't required to do so but if this is something you want us to take a closer look at that's probably a less frustrating way to do so.
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Steve Limbocker

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After speaking with "Tech Support",  they are NOT able to support with documentation how we use data, the device that used the data, only the devices on the network, oh, but they do know, "you've used a lot of data for communications".  That is hysterical because I have unlimited data on my iPhone, and never use wifi on it in the house.  

How can a company charge for bandwidth when it CAN'T support  those charges with documentation of which device used the data?  It has the logs of connectivity.  

Solution?  I've unplugged my satellite modem to my router.  At this point I've used  8.3GB of data in 3 days.  Curious to see how much more I consume without any connections....
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Old Labs

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Finally somebody in a position to adequately test the hypothesis (by checking the usage meter with an alternate connection)  and document whether the usage meter continues to climb with the modem unplugged from the router over the course of a few days - I'd also document whether it continues to climb with the modem powered off; as well as impacts when the modem is powered on and then re-connection of the router (just to be thorough with all possibilities). Remember there's always a minimum 15 minute (sometimes longer) delay before the usage meter is actually updated on the server.

P.S. Clearly they have the capability to of logging connectivity and probably do. Similarly they also have the power in their hands to monitor everything you do along with sites visited and data being used for each also - but that raises some serious privacy concerns for many. I shudder to think what would happen if someone's significant other were to question exactly where data was being used - only to be told someone's spending alot of time online talking to Jake from State Farm, who's wearing khakis and she sounds hideous... might be pretty awkward for the poor phone support person relaying the news. The best you'll get from ViaSat is a very generalized categorical breakdown of usage.

Document it over in the other forum and you may actually find a ViaSat engineer willing to take a peek under the covers. But enter that forum at your own risk if simply complaining... we're not nearly as patient over there as we are here - different audience.
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