Why is there no realtime data monitor?

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I would have replied to a previous similar topic, but they all get closed. I am one of those who can get up at 2 AM, download updates which are turned off otherwise, track my usage with a meter, and then find that it was billed as data consumed, as if the LNFZ didn't exist. And YES, I know all the steps to make sure nothing else is online, ha ha. No DVR connected, wifi turned off on the smart devices, no one else in the house, no one else nearby to swipe internet, everything password protected and firewalled up the yin yang. 

This problems would all go away if Exede had a real time data use monitor. After all this time - after years of requesting such a feature - considering all the similar products out there which could be easily licensed - considering how many users have offered to assist in developing such a feature - after all this time, the fact that there is no data monitor can only be interpreted in one way. Exede is not properly tracking and billing for data use.

How else can this be interpreted? If it were the other way around - if users were finding ways to steal data, you can bet your internet that Exede would find a way to track, monitor, document and bill for it. It's too big an omission to be included under the umbrella of "corporate incompetence". The one-way nature of the error, where subscribers pay all penalties without proper documentation, is stark evidence of this. Exede does not provide any documentation of WHEN  data use took place, only documentation of HOW MUCH total data was used, but the billing is based on WHEN the data was used, since there is a time period where HOW MUCH does not matter. What a coincidence! 

I consider taking my data allowance, and giving no documentation of use, and giving me no recourse to be fraudulent. If I don't pay the balance or dispute it, they cut me off and there is no recourse. There is no one in Exede or in a regulatory agency to enforce performance. 

I don't mind paying a premium price for satellite internet, because I live in an area where I don't have many good options. I do mind being defrauded by my service provider because they know that I have no where else to go if I am unhappy. There is no reason for Exede to be honest in their billing policies, because most of the customers have no other option. There is every reason for them to be dishonest, because they want to make as much money as they can before high speed internet from other providers reaches a competitive level. 

I'm out of contract, and there are other options available. I may be able to get a small personal cell amplifier and switch over to LTE data from Verizon. Providers like T-Mobile offer free streaming of many viewing/listening services, and unlimited free bandwidth. I could switch back to Hughes Net, who was also backwards in technology but at least never stole from me, and now has high speed internet service.  I have no interest in moving the new new "unmetered" version of Exede, because that would be rewarding a thief with my continued business. 

If anyone has got a complaint in progress, please reply to me before this message gets locked so that I can join in. If anyone has a list of addresses or phone numbers of regulatory agencies where new complaints can be filed, would you send it? 

I am indignant not just on my account. I'm out of contract and can go elsewhere. I'm indignant on behalf of those who are locked into contracts, who are taken advantage of and lied to. It's not fair, and it's not right, and it's not honorable. 

Shame on Exede.
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Kentuckienne

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  • INDIGNANT and CONTEMPTOUS

Posted 2 years ago

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Steve Frederick, Champion

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I have been with Exede since April 2012 and have never once found the Exede meter to register more data used than what my ASUS router registers, I think you may have other things using your data that are going on in the background. ViaSat/Exede would have no reason to falsely report data usage. With over 650,000 subscribers, they must be doing something right.
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Kentuckienne

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Just because YOU haven't had problems doesn't mean others don't. Performance may vary with location - what beam, what routers, connections, etc. Plus, you miss my point: it's not just HOW MUCH data is used but WHEN. Data use during LNFZ does not contractually count against one's allowance, yet often it DOES. 

By your logic, the biggest banks who defrauded investors with credit swap default products could not be guilty, as they had many hundreds of thousands of subscribers. 
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Brian Shackelford

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K - 

I have had this happen a few times on my account and some diligence, patience, and a few phone calls along with some record keeping on my part they were able to get it squared away just fine for me.  
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Brian Shackelford

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Steve - 

It does happen, but it should not be consistent.  Prior to some of the updates rolling about a year ago, I believe it occurred due the the modem needing to restart to kick in the LNFZ.  My was not.  I actually bought a timer that power cycled my modem at 12:10 AM and then again at 4:55 AM.  That fixed it for a long time until the timer broke. I haven't had this problem for a long, long time. Now I am the Liberty Plan and I no longer have to worry so much about it.
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Dave Eicher

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Still think some things download even when you think it is not. Different programs that you have on the computer/phone/tablet do downloads also. Windows you may control some, unless Windows 10, but otherwise, other things are on going.
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Kentuckienne

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No, that's not correct for me. If I have disconnected my phone and tablet from the wireless network, they only download over the cellular data network. I wouldn't go near Windows with a 10 foot pole, and can go into the Unix underpinnings of OSX to see exactly what's going on with the network. I can absolutely control when my computer is accessing the internet, period, for downloads or for anything else. This is how I KNOW when I'm being charged for data that should be free. And all Exede would need to do is to expose to the user the DATA THAT THEY CLAIM THEY ALREADY HAVE - if Exede claims to know the exact and correct timing and volume of data transfers, then why so secretive? If the number can report up into a billing cycle, it can report up into a use meter for the users to see. 
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Dave Eicher

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I have called them before and had an employee tell me when and where data was used. Have you tried that?
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Elaine

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I also live in the country and am in a contract.. They know they are they only one's that come out here so they know they have you. I have upped my plan to the liberty from 10-12 plan and still am running out of data... The reply was to dump my cookies and cache... I am the only one that uses  a computer.. My husband is gone during the day and uses the internet to route where he is going the next day. No Kids.. No phones updating.. No computers updating, No streaming videos, Very little Youtube if at all... and now to have to buy more is just ridiculous.. but they know it.. and know they have us country people at their mercy.
Oh and I have even used my mobile hotspot on my phone and still my data is slipping away.... 
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JEP

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Elaine - I run Bitmeter on each of my PCs. Another excellent program is Glasswire.  You can see what applications are using data on your PC.  You can adjust the time sliders at the bottom of the window to look at time slices with 1 minute resolution.
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Dave Eicher

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Elaine look up the program called Bitmeter. It will show you daily, hourly and monthly usage. Don't be surprised at the things that go on in the background of your computer. About the only way for it not to be running downloads and uploads is to unplug it at the modem.
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Dave Eicher

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I turned mine off for one hour, actually for almost two hours. Unplug it and I still did a 1.47 MB download and a 362KB upload.
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JEP

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Unless you checked your usage with a non-Exede Internet connection, that test is invalid.  The logging of data usage is done periodically, so there could have been unreported usage when you turned your modem off.  Plus turning it back on again, your computer could easily use several megabytes before you even have your desktop completely loaded.
(Edited)
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Dave Eicher

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Which I did. That was Bitmeter. I waited till after an hour was logged on to their Hour readings. I knew I was totally unplugged during that time. Also anything over that 1 hour should go the the next hour reading.
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JEP

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Whose Internet service did you use to check your Exede usage?  Verizon?  I believe it is next to impossible to use Exede to verify your Exede usage for modem off periods.
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Dave Eicher

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Exede is my internet service. Then using Bitmeter to read hourly readings after I hooked modem back up.
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Alex, Viasat Corporate Communications

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Kentuckienne: We do have plans to offer a more robust data monitor in the future; it's just taken longer than we expected. We understand it'd be a handy tool to have and will let everyone know as soon as we get close to having it ready.
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Brian Shackelford

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Alex - 

Perhaps you can Elaborate a bit more on what the challenges are in developing this tool?  Is it the way the data is stored isn't conducive to being able to produce these reports?  Is it your system cannot provide the data in real time?   I realize you cannot divulge the secrets of the universe here, but it seems this request has been out there that I know of for a couple years.  Now, I obviously don't know everything, but that seems like a long enough time to facilitate something like this.

Viasat could not have possibly not considered the need for something like this even from the beginning of offering service.  On top of that, it sure would cut down on complaints and customer inquiries into "where did my data go" that your folks are always having to answer.

This may come across as snarky comment, but it isn't meant that way.  I think it is just a bit humorous that a company that can build a Satellite to provide high-speed internet with a throughput of roughly 150 Gbps throughput  and about to launch a second one with throughput around 350 Gbps is saying that they are still in the planning stage to offer more robust data monitors.

Please read it as it is meant.  If you aren't working on it, just say that so the masses out hear can spend our 5 minutes and express our disappointment and get over it and move on.  I would rather hear the bad news expressed up front than hints of a promise that will likely never come to be.

That all being said, I monitor my data myself and don't need this tool, but speaking for the others that do not do so, it would be nice to just know one way or the other.
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Kaotic Technologies

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The poi t is.

There should have been a way to teack data from day one.... it takes 20 minutes to write a sime lrpgram to track data. I am at a loss that exede still does not provide a way for the customer to track data...and I also agree it makes the comlany and data situation look fishy. My 2 cents
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JEP

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Supposedly at one point there was consideration to giving the user access to a scaled down version of eSVT.  That would give the user a plethora of information on their connection health and history as well as data usage and general categories of data usage.  Just like you can get if you talk to the right folks at tech support.  I think something may have put the kibosh on that.  So maybe the programmers had to start over. Just guessing on my part.  I am however, sure that it Is more than a 20 minute job to implement a tracking program across the set of users.
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Brian Shackelford

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I just realized the reason there is no real-time monitor is that I believe the data usage is tracked in the modem itself and not at a central point.  In other words the modem has to periodically update the usage at Exede and then Exede adds it to the customer usage in the system.  With that in place, there probably isn't a great way to report this information to the user in a real-time basis.
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Kentuckienne

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That's not an acceptable excuse. If the modem is tracking the data ... and the modem is right there, in the customer's house, connected to the customer's computer ... then it takes very little work to build a small application to run standalone or in the browser on the user's computer to relay the info to the customer. Let's say, it queries the modem every hour and keeps a log file. So easy, then, to display to the user in easy to understand pictures, graphs and words the data sent each hour. This would clear up any issues with whether or not "free zone" data is being charged for - it IS being charged - and how much data is used. 

Also, if the modem is generating a lot of traffic when nothing is running, indicating a problem perhaps with the satellite connection, it would show up. This is absolutely a dead easy thing to do! The modem already has some kind of tracking program built in - if you go to 192.168.100.1 you see a nice gui in the browser window showing modem status, uptime, and bytes being transmitted. The "user monitor" is 90% there already. 

Now, if there was no problem on the eXede side and no improper billing of customers, don't you think they'd be all over that like white on rice? Give the customers a simple tool to prove that everything is OK? But if everything WASN'T OK .. if there WERE improper billing going on - then giving customers a monitor is the last thing in the world you want to do. Then you have to answer their calls and emails, deal with facts being posted online, and make refunds. 

But oh, no, I must be wrong, I'm just a little old idiot what's got no background whatever in data centers, IP software, Java, operating systems, TCP/IP monitoring, software development, etc. Right? 
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JEP

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Kentuckienne - Wow, you should write that easy application.  Charge $5 and you could easily sell 100,000 copies.  Sounds like a worthwhile weekend project.  (After all, eBay was written and put on line as a Memorial Day weekend project.)


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Kentuckienne

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Absolutely. Give me the source for the modem interface. 
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Brian Shackelford

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But oh, no, I must be wrong, I'm just a little old idiot what's got no background whatever in data centers, IP software, Java, operating systems, TCP/IP monitoring, software development, etc. Right? 
To be quite frank with you I have no idea.  I am not sure in your post you specify your age, background, software, programming, OS, monitoring or development experience.  So therefore I cannot agree or disagree with the above statement.

The bottom line here is that the tracking is two fold.  On the modem and then that data is periodically saved to the Exede servers and reset.  The only way to get a realtime utilization app would be to pull the data from Exede and add the utilization from the modem to it until the next reset at which time you would need to rinse and repeat.

You could, I suppose, just continue to monitor the modem utilization and watch for the resets and once the data resets save the current total and start adding the new interval of usage to the saved total (basically what I think Exede is doing).  Downside is this would need to be an app that runs on a computer 24x7 or else it would miss one of those intervals and the total would be wrong.
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Kentuckienne

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1. Modem sends data to eXede? Then modem can also write data to a file, incrementing a total. Since there is a web interface to the modem, I fail to see why the same page that  shows the rest of the data can't also show this cumulative total.

2. Well, perhaps this is important. I understand the modems reset just before LNFZ. Is this what's going on? Modem uploads data to eXede, then resets, then resets again at the end of LNFZ without sending data. Wouldn't it be very easy for a modem to either fail to reset at the end of LNFZ, so that the data use during "free" time is sent up line? Or there is an error loading data into the file on the eXede side? 

3. Looking at the web interface, my modem has been online for almost three days. No information is displayed about any resets. So there is no way for me to tell by looking at the interface what's going on. 

4. I'm not the world's greatest programmer. But I've written applications used by F500 company to interface with large mainframe databases for critical HR applications, one to run payroll for an international shipping office, along with various other assorted write-this-now-thanks jobs. Once you get good enough at programming, you get moved to project management as I was. The first program I wrote - because I didn't have any other resource than an IBM PC - was a 400 line macro in Lotus 1-2-3 that analyzed data coming off a RS232 cable from a detector on a gas chromatograph, which then printed out a graph of the result, analyzed the chart, and printed the conclusion. Saved me a ton of work. Over the years I've been forced into various database and object oriented programming languages. Do I remember them all? No. But it's not rocket science, people.

All we want is a simple real time data monitor. Or at least, a window that shows when the modem thinks it's LNFZ. This is not hard at all. I'm tired of hearing how hard it is. If ViaSat  doesn't have any employees savvy enough to create a simple monitoring tool for the surfbeam modem, why should I have any faith in their ability to correctly track and charge me for data used? Since by saying it's too hard, they are basically saying THAT THEY HAVE NO WAY TO ACCURATELY TRACK DATA. 

Let's hear some response, any response, other than "It's too hard."
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Steve Frederick, Champion

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My ASUS wireless router keeps track of my internet usage of all devices on my network. The numbers reported by the router are always within 0.5 GB of that being reported by the Exede meter, and most of the time the Exede meter is reporting a smaller  number than my router.

With all your extensive programming experience, you should be able to write a program for ViaSat and make a few bucks at it too. Or maybe not.
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david, Champion

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I agree with Kentuckienne on this one. This is one of the few real beefs I have with Exede. The LNFZ indcator would be dead simple. The modem already knows whether the LNFZ is on or not. Just light up a red or green light on the interface that's already there.

As for a usage meter, I also agree with her. It just would not be that hard. As for why Exede refuses to implement either one, I have not idea, just that they do refuse. I don't think it's because they're stealing peoples data, though, the vast majority's data reads correctly and the LNFZ almost always (notice I said almost always, not always) starts when it's supposed to.

As far as doing it yourself, I haven't noticed Exede giving anyone access to the modem or source code. I sure there are many people on Exede that could turn out a perfectly acceptable meter and LNFZ indicator if they would.
(Edited)
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Old Labs

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Patience grasshoppers - it's supposedly coming soon and will likely be a subset of the information provided by the eSVT Job Aid already available to agents and installers (and originally designed for their exclusive use). Since that includes a large amount of information not applicable to or suited to subscribers, securely splitting that information out and safeguarding it may not be as easy as everyone assumes it to be - exposing an internal system to the public carries some risk and is never easy unless tossing due diligence out the window with a 5 minute implementation. Even then, best efforts to maintain that data integrity will undoubtedly leak out (just as the integrity of the installer keys for provisioning the modem was compromised on this very forum a few weeks ago along with the location of some other installer only documentation).          
(Edited)
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Diana, Viasat Employee

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Hi All, Thanks Old Labs, As we have stated before, we are creating a monitor for our customers which provides more information than the current one. Old Labs is correct  in that it takes time. ViaSat wants to make sure our customers gets the best meter - with no issues.  Please be patient.  It is coming  and soon!  

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