Can't tell which device is using data

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  • Problem
  • Updated 2 years ago
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  • (Edited)

I have called and called and messaged on here for help managing my data.  I use the tool to monitor data (it's incredibly vague, so it's only  somewhat helpful) All they can tell me is that I am using excessive data on certain days, they always tell me the same thing. over and over.  I can clearly see on the daily usage that one day I must have used a whole lot of data between 12-5am but nowhere can anyone tell me what device might be the culprit and how much data was sucked up exactly.  We manage to use all of our data in 7 days every month. this is after I have disconnected all of the devices from the internet, changed the router password, and only allow one device to connect with the new password.  when I call they tell me that everything looks great on their side and I must need to pay 100 to have someone look at my setup.  I start a conversation on here and pretty much get ignored.  I finally reduced my package from 18g to 10 since I spend pretty much the entire month in liberty pass that I might as well try to save money since no one can actually help me figure out what is going on.  I wish I could stream anything, but it always buffers, even during priority data.  I do make sure I let everyone in my area know my experience with Exede. I cannot wait to be done with this contract.


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Jeannie Nickel

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  • frustrated. stil.....

Posted 2 years ago

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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Exede really doesn't know what devices are connecting to the service through your router - they're simply making an educated guess based on information included on requests nade through the service, and devices listed through the MyESVT tool may not be accurate. Only a router knows for sure what devices are sharing the internet though that router and even those may not be reliable indicators.  

3 months ago you indicated that you were able to identify 7 of 9 devices being used.

With that many devices, your best bet would be to see if your router has any built-in usage monitoring features. Most have some basic usage monitoring but even those can be vague As vague as the Exede usage monitoring)  - higher end routers (or a custom firmware) may be needed to provide the level of detail you're likely looking for. So your router may be able to provide usage counts on a device basis.

Beyond that, only your devices know for sure how data is being used on each (barring having a really high end router supporting additional management protocols typically not found in consumer level routers). Some devices have built-in usage monitoring features, while others require installing a third party traffic/usage monitoring application designed for that purpose. Monitoring usage at the device level is performed independently on each device (not across all devices).

Each router and device implements usage monitoring differently (or can implement through different third party applications). Identifying router brand and model, as well as devices and operating systems may yield some targeted recommendations for those devices..

Three months ago you also indicated you have a Windows 8.1 desktop, 3 iPhones, 1 Android and 2 iPads. I can't make any recommendations regarding the iPhones, Android or iPads; however for Windows 8.1, I'd recommend installing Glasswire (Networx is another option) but Glasswire will tell you in no uncertain terms what/where/how/when data is being consumed on that device (and that device alone). See:

https://www.glasswire.com/ 

While Exede undoubtedly is capable of tracking your every Internet move (and probably does track - see the Subscriber Privacy Policy at http://www.exede.com/documents/master/exede-subscriber-privacy-policy.pdf) they'll only provide you with the vague information you've already received. It's more a practical and privacy related issue than anything else. They simply don't want to open up Pandora's box from a legal perspective (witness Apple's fight with the FBI a few months ago).
(Edited)
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Gwalk900, Champion

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Having a router in the mix makes it nearly impossible to pin down the culprit(s).

Lets look at a basic home network:

The above example has GlassWire installed on one of the wired computers and it will measure all of the data used by that computer but we also have to consider all of the other connection avenues that having a Router connected allows

Also to be most effective GlassWire needs to be set up to exclude "local traffic" but more on that later.

We need to take a closer look at the router itself:

The above block diagram shows THREE  potential avenues of use:


A router consists of three potential traffic areas:


#1: Its firmware/hardware:

This would include automatic update checks, Remote Access accounts/vulnerabilities, WPS settings/vulnerabilities and "front end" username/password setup to name a few.


#2: Wired LAN connections and the types of devices connected as well as their settings. Specifically end users not understanding the differences between "hard off", "sleep" and "hibernate" as well as other system settings such as Wake On LAN, Wake On Ring and even extending to "scheduled tasks".

We need not even go into the details of forced updates and data "sharing" inherent to Win10 and being back ported to Win7/8/8.1


#3: We come to the most difficult to control ... Wireless activity

We can start with what encryption level, if any, has been set up. We also need to consider the username and password that limits access to the routers front end so that unauthorized users can add themselves to the wireless users list. It needs to be changed from the default values.

We also have the multitude of settings of the many types of devices that can connect wirelessly be they computers, notebooks, tablets, cell phones or even thermostats.

It is often not apparent when all apps on all devices have had their update ability turned off. Very frequently an update will cause other settings to change to their default values.

Considering the number of "connection avenues" provided by a router it is mandatory that it be excluded during initial troubleshooting steps.


During the troubleshooting phase the "network" MUST be reduced to the minimum number of variables.

It needs to have the router removed from the equation so as to look like this:

The number of variables has been brought down to a manageable level.


It now is time to download and install some software to track usage and identify what program and what process is or has been running and using data.

For this we need Glasswire:

https://www.glasswire.com/ help/

An important point here .....

GlassWire will only monitor the single computer upon which it is installed.

Later as the router is reintroduced, GlassWire will have to be installed on every Windows computer that is connected to the router


Another point to be made here is that if Windows IS the root of the issue ... it uploads/downloads sporadically .. it may take time to "catch it in the act".

So as to not "torque" the amount of usage displayed by GlassWire we need to change a couple of settings ... we don't need to count (later on when more devices are connected) "local" traffic.

Here are my suggested settings:

(click on picture for larger image)


Understanding the results:


Each computer, one by one needs to go through this process.

Once all wired computers have been "cleared" we can add the router back in to the mix with one major exception .... we have to disable the "radio" ...

We then want to test the "network" consisting of all "cleared" wired devices and the router "guts" to ensure they work well together as a whole.

Now comes the stickey part the re-introduction of the routers wireless function.

Its tough because I know of no software that will load on the variety of devices that CAN connect ... cell phone, tablet and so forth.

On laptop computers you can of course load GlassWire but that still leaves many potential avenues open.

The "Poor Mans" method requires great discipline. ALL devices other than a single one have to be and remain in a "hard off" state and that is not easy to do.

Run that single device over time and monitor usage carefully while still running Glasswire and the "difference" is ... the amount used by THAT device.

Of the devices ... Apple stuff is probably the worst ... VERY large updates on a random basis and the updates are very prone to "break" during download causing them to restart from the beginning ... massive data loss there.

It is essential that the router be properly set up !

Guest access MUST be disabled in the routers internal GUI

No "open network" :  

WPA-PSK [TKIP] encryption at the very minimum !

Clear all devices one by one with the understanding that the usage may be sporadic.

There are higher end routers that WILL track usage by individual device but these may be out of reach (about $200) for the casual user. That is the only way to be SURE of what is going through a network.

There are a number of Routers available that with the inclusion of third party firmware will allow a user to track usage by device within the Routers interface.

That would include these Asus Routers:



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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Hey! What are you doing over here? "Abandon hope all ye who enter here" or there as the case may be ;)
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Gwalk900, Champion

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Just either slumming or sharing info on a common issue :)
We who try to help are outnumbered you know.
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david, Champion

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This needs to be a sticky at the top of this site with big flashing colored arrows pointing to it with a big flashing "read me" sign under it.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Exactly, but unfortunately most casual readers won't take the time to read it unless compressed to 140 characters or less.

Despite being a Hughesnet guy, GWalk900 has done a service to the Exede community also with a detailed look at troubleshooting data usage issues from all angles in a single post. In particular, don't overlook item # 2 which explains how data can be used in your absence.

Lacking a sticky, a bookmark is in order for future referrals...

If nothing else following the trouble shooting steps will allow those claiming that the usage meter is incorrect to better substantiate the claim (yes, Exede errors do occur but empirical evidence suggests they are rare lacking install problems). 
(Edited)
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Jeannie Nickel

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SInce I had last posted I changed the router password so I could really monitor what was being connected and increased my cell data to unlimited so my ipads, iphone, android, and kindles  no longer have  access to the wireless in the house. I have been able to recently see what my router says is connected, So that is getting better. but that is from all of the reading I have done on this site.  However right after I roll into my new priority data, I immediately have 2-5 g gone. this after I have  tediously babysat what has connected(I think anyway, exede's list of connected devices is not helpful so I am relying on my router) So I still have data issues that I just don't have time anymore to waste on it. I call customer service for help and I am pretty sure they are just reading the esvt tool back to me.

The worst part of all of this is we all work between 6-5 daily so the only internet time we might have is during the busiest time of day, and I'm fairly certain they oversold this area.  While I understand having 3rd parties sell and install the product, they were not completely up front and honest about what my service would be like.

I appreciate your response and tips. I downloaded glasswire a few months ago, but really have not spent a lot of time trying to figure it out. maybe i'll try to carve out some time . It is likely that I will be canceling exede . I can't justify paying for something that no one can really help with.

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Diana, Viasat Employee

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Hi Jeannine,  A suggestion is to look at each of your devices. Most devices show data usage. That will help you to determine what device is using the most data. We would not want to invade your privacy by so. We understand your frustration. We are always here to help.  Exede Diana
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Jeannie Nickel

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Thank you, I have gone into each device now. My Kindles don't seem to show data usage, but at this point it does not matter, I've completely removed their access to the wireless. I'll just go elsewhere to download a book.  While I appreciate exede's not wanting to invade my privacy, it is frustrating to have to work so hard to manage data. if ATT can do it , I always know exactly what each device has used. maybe that is because they have each device attached to the account , but that is the kind of information I would like to see.

On another note, I find it frustrating that there are quite a few people in my area that have 150g and are giving glowing reviews to exede on facebook. Maybe if I had a reasonable amount of data and didn't feel like the internet nazi at my house,I might feel the same way.