Question re. usage meter

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got your attention?

I hoped I might.

Now that you are reading, I honestly believe based on my own real world experience (the dish in my back yard) and the posts from countless other knowledgeable,  level headed, experienced users on this and the other forum, that the meter is essentially accurate.  Like many, I've never had a usage spike that I've not been able to figure out.  

99.9% of usage complaints are from people who are actually using the data, they just don't have the time, tools, or expertise to figure out how and why.

But, what about the 0.1%?  Is the meter wrong for them?  Probably not exactly.  Dish alignment and bad weather can both result in data consumption that seems out of whack.  Think of it this way, you are talking to someone over a bad telephone connection, "what?"  "huh"  "say that again"?  You have to repeat yourselves multiple times to get the point across.  Satellite will work the same way, if something is interfering with a good solid connection,  the data may have to be sent multiple times for you to get it cleanly.  This all adds up.  Hardware problems also happen, perhaps you have a bad modem, corroded connections, etc.  These types of things also contribute to the signal quality, and therefore, your data consumption.  

Over and above all that, let's say there is a tiny percentage of people who's hardware is fine, aren't experiencing any degradation due to weather etc, yet still experience data loss.  Why won't exede admit that there is a problem for them?

Well, that is simple, and it's called. . . the flood gates. . .

Exede admits there is a problem with a very small amount of people, and the flood gates open, everyone who has ever lost data jumps out and says "ME TOO!  THIS MUST BE WHAT HAPPENED TO ME!" and these chat boards are overflowing with false claims, those half hour waits for telephone support becomes two hour waits, everyone who has legitimate problems ends up suffering because of mass hypochondria.  

For the vast majority of users, the meter is correct.  It's your responsibility to know what is on your devices and how to control them.  Exede cannot be expected to be psychic and know everything about every device.  There have been countless threads with data lowering tips, great free tools for keeping your own usage logs, etc etc.

Now, since it's 4am my time, and my son, who is our internet's primary user for his school is asleep, I'm gonna watch some youtube.  I've got a snow blower to fix, and I'm sure I  can find a video that will show me how.  Because my son's school is more important than keeping my walkway clear without me having to break out the shovel, I have my fun during the free time.  We all make sacrifices to live the lives we want to live.  One of those sacrifices is high limit internet, make the best of it, and enjoy your life, you'll live longer.
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Starring Matter

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Posted 5 years ago

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Maggie Dallal

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I'm curious if you work for exede?

It pretty obnoxious to write I don't have time, tools or expertise to figure out why my data is being used up. I'm not looking to get a masters degree in satellite communications. I'm going on the word of the company that they were selling me 10 gb of data.

However they failed to mention they don't measure their data like every other internet service. There data measure over 6 times as much (according to exede employee) compared to cable, mobile etc. That's misleading and they misrepresent their product.

On top of that customer service is less then helpful. I have called and emailed and no one can get back to me. Plus I can't cancel my service without large penalty charges.
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Exede Kimberly

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Hello Maggie, I had closed our email because I had not heard back from you. I am happy to continue with you if you can send me a new one. Typically with being Exede Satellite Internet, we do not inform customers that we meter differently than a cell service.
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Maggie Dallal

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I have emailed you 2 times. I will try again.

Well that is misleading. We have can,e Internet and from what I have learned it is also metered the same as cellular. As is high speed data lines for traders. Everyone else in the industry meters the same way according to my cousin who installs high speed wires for Wall Street.

Especially irksome because I told the sales person I was looking at cellular hot spots as my other option.
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Exede Kimberly

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Allow me to clarify. Data is measured the same no matter the platform. With higher speed satellite internet, data can be used a lot quicker with different tasks such as facetime, streaming video, social media, ect without a second thought. That is what I was getting at when stating that the way they are "metered" differs. I have received your email and will respond asap.
(Edited)
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Maggie Dallal

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Then why wouldn't my phone use data even faster? My down load time is 34 mbps
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Maggie,

The difference is in the way the web sites determine whether you're using a mobile device or not. When using a SmartPhone, web sites can easily and generally  determine that it's a mobile device (the assumption made sometimes correctly and sometimes incorrectly is that your on a cellular data plan). For true tablets the determination is different. For PCs an even different determinations    

Using a PC you can force some (but not all) web sites to display the mobile versions of their pages by simply using m rather than www in the URL address. For example, from a PC, note the difference in content that is delivered when browsing to:

m.abcnews.com vs www.abcnews.com

or

m.foxnews.com vs. www.foxnews.com

So yes, a byte is a byte is a byte is a byte... exactly 8 bits.

The difference is how web sites or apps determine what your environment is and whether to deliver you rich content (more bytes) or not so rich content (less bytes).

The web site assumptions become even more flawed when satellite is introduced into the mix, and unfortunately on satellite, we have to be constantly aware of that making manual adjustments to compensate for some faulty assumptions on the part of web site designers. ViaSat has little control over how web site designers and developers choose to deliver content, and for many of those. they are somewhat oblivious as they sit contently on their FIOS connections (whether full-fast or half-fast) having little incentive to optimize their user experience.

Monitoring usage and adjusting habits becomes extremely important on limited satellite plans. Many have neither the time nor inclination to do that but the easiest way is to invest in a router having suitable traffic monitoring capabilities and which monitors all data from all devices passing between the devices, router and hence ViaSat modem. My router's statistics are accurate to within .005 GB of NRTC usage meter and if a direct subscriber to Exede I suspect that they would be accurate to within .05 GB based on the screen capture's I've seen here due to differences in precision.

At the same time, the same router traffic monitoring would answer some questions posed elsewhere regarding the logical differences between actual speeds vs. advertised speeds. Just because the speedometer on my truck says 120 MPH, doesn't mean my actual average speed is 120 MPH - much less except for visits to raceways or salt flats. The same goes for the information super highway except for visits to special places along that highway.

Should ViaSat make that clearer prior to the sale? Probably... it would save both sides a lot of grief, and marketing satellite internet to those have other viable options makes little sense to me right now (but that's just me) - although that opinion could change in the future.     
 
And to Starring Matter... it's good to see someone every now and than who has his priorities straight.  
(Edited)
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JEP

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Old Lab - Thanks for providing a proper explanation for the "mobile vs PC" data discussion.  I think that unless Exede advertising included a giant frowny face icon with the words "You will disappointed", that 90% of the people complaining would still be complaining.  I'm talking about the people that didn't do their homework, not those with bad installs or equipment failures (very small percentage).
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Not too to worry Jep.

As part of the settlement for class action suit I've now joined, I'm pressing for a Surgeon General's warning as well as a graphic depiction of what can happen on each contract which will then be signed manually with a pen and notarized. Warning disturbing image follows:

         
(Edited)
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Maggie Dallal

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Thanks for your insight. Totally get that quality of content is delivered differently in mobile site etc. My issue is that on my phone - same site, mobile version, same activity - different amounts of data used. I did this the other night again while at house. I used cellular data. Then did it with wifi on excede connection. Used 1 g while surfing for an hour on exede and .1 on cellular. That doesn't add up.

I'm gonna switch to mobile hot spot bc I get way more for my money. I'm just protesting cancelation charges because the difference was not disclosed. I have searched the web for information on this and can't find it. No one can still give me a reason why these numbers (same device, same website) are differing and that is sketchy. The idea that faster connection is to fault is illogical bc I have faster on cellular most times.

On top of that I have asked exede for help and they closed my ticket. Haha what a joke.
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JEP

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Maggie - That must be some heavy duty surfing your are doing.  1 GB an hour averages out to be >2.2 Mbps continuous!  I strongly suspect there is a lot more activity going on in the background on your PC.  Satellite Internet isn't for everyone.  Good luck with your cellular hot spot.
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Maggie Dallal

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Yea no joke. There were pictures on the website. So I get that. But the discrepancy?!?bmetwr was at 8gb before then 8.9 after an hour.

I don't have a PC!!!!!! There's no desktop or laptop in the house!!! We just moved in and I only use my phone or iPad. I was using my phone so I could compare data again.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Maggie,

Since your going the cancellation route, none of this matters but there's always a logical explanation (even if it eventually comes down to yes Exede does indeed use more data but ViaSat would need to address that from their end).

But the explanation could also be as simple as that when your phone connects via the cellular network the information made available to a web site may be different than that made available when a WIFI connection is made to the router/modem resulting in richer content being delivered despite all external appearances. To determine that requires using more industrial strength tools such as Wireshark to see what's really going on underneath the hood.
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Maggie Dallal

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Haven't cancelled yet. My husband won't pay fee.

Before the Internet was hooked up we ran my phone as a wireless hotspot and my sister used it all day to work from her laptop. Again low data usage but running off a PC.

It still doesn't make sense that cellular is using 10 percent of the data that satellite does for same activity. I was sure to have all other apps off so nothing running in background. I was exclusively on Safari.

what is wire shark?
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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An advance network protocol analyzer - https://www.wireshark.org/

Suitable for techno-geek consumption... if you have access to one of those in your neighborhood and he/she likes a challenge.
(Edited)
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Maggie Dallal

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Ha nik. Can it run in an iPhone? Thanks
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Not a Mac guy, but some indication that it can be done over here (beware you're entering uber-techno-geek land and through the looking glass):

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1598407/iphone-and-wireshark   
(Edited)
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JEP

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Maggie - Wow, no PC huh?  The data usage discrepancy is a puzzler.  Hope you can figure that one out, cuz I would like to know the answer also.  I do know on my Android phone, I have the "data restriction" flag set, which means it won't do big downloads or update applications on the cell signal, but waits until it has a Wi-Fi connection.  You might check on that one, if the iPhone has something equivalent.
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Maggie Dallal

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Not yet. It's a second home and haven't decided what to get as we use Apple TV and Mac a lot at home with the kids. But may not be practical since sneezing uses up my monthly data allotment.

Yes iphone can update apps etc but There were no updates that night. Out main home had wifi with vios so that is where we get our updates etc and why we don't need a PC right away.
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lowdog

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Starring Matter, you are like me, but I am no 'techie'. My main complaint with ViaSat, Exede Internet is billing accountability. I dutifully take daily screenshots of the speedometer-styled billing cycle cumulative usage meter. The numbers show data used in gigabytes, percent of allowance used, and number of days remaining in the current billing cycle... no problem. That data can be manipulated and entered into an Excel spreadsheet.

But ... my issue is with billing statements. They show the categories of usage fee, taxes and equipment rental but do not disclose the amount of data used. I download all of my monthly statements for natural gas (home heating and hot water) and electricity to monitor my daily and seasonal consumption. With Exede I am on the Exede-10 promotional plan with 20GB per billing cycle for the first six months. In March my plan allowance will be 10GB. All that I am doing is learning my data usage habits. With my previous ISP I was never under a data allowance or had not come near exceeding a billing cycle data allowance.

Take a look at your utility billing statements. They will show gallons of heating oil, hundreds of Kilowatt hours of electricity, gallons of water.... Even your wireless statements show data usage. Have you ever filled your car with gasoline from a pump that did not show number of gallons pumped?

I have called customer support at Exede several times asking for current data usage. Yesterday was the first time the rep told me my current data usage! That is progress! Now let's see if the billing department can tally that and include it with my bill cycle statement.
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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Since you can see your usage on the meter provided, I don't understand why you really think it is important to have it shown as a line item on your bill. That would just add to the overhead costs that ViaSat has to absorb, and ultimately pass this cost on to its customers.

Unlike all the other examples you pointed out, where you are paying for the service by the unit, with Exede you are paying a fixed amount for the number of GBs for the plan you chose. You pay for that whether or not you use it during the month.
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lowdog

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I am coaching/teaching myself and a house guest how best to utilize the data allowance. Come March 2015 the promotion allowance of 20GB will be slashed to 10GB. I need to know how best to manage that allowance. I do have NetWorks running on the laptop. If I disconnect the router I will not receive and data even though the ViaSat modem is still functioning for my wireless devices to access.
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Liz Vande Voort

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I have to agree with lowdog on this one. I went to look for my historical data usage during promo period because I know I will need to bump up my plan, but can't find it anywhere. Hopefully customer service will be able to tell me how much I've used in the last few months so I know if I can make it on the 15 GB plan.
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lowdog

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If I'm paying for a quantity of data, I'd like to know how much is being left on the table. Then I can order more movies on Amazon Prime and stream content without fear of slamming into the brick wall!
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Everyone, including myself, has been requesting a better usage meter with some history for up to three years now. At least it's something we all agree on.

In the meantime, we resort to other methods - Satellite Restriction Tracker, router traffic monitoring feature, third part tracking applications, etc.

My router's traffic monitoring was the most useful one that allowed training myself on my usage habits. Eventually with practice and and time - it sort of becomes second nature, and I only check in on it occasionally when something dramatically changes, whether my habits, a new device or an obvious Exede change. But in my case modem and router are on 24/7 and it's pretty much dead on with what the usage meter says.

Oh well, software updates across 4 machines complete, time for sleep...
(Edited)
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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Old Labs, you are right on. We have hopes that Exede will come up with a better data tracking app, but until then I have my router keeping track for me. My router and modem are always on 24/7/365, and in the last 3 years, I have seen both within a very small percentage of each other. I keep a closer watch on my data usage when my kids come to visit, they all have the luxury of fast and unlimited cable internet, and tend to be data hogs.
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Don Anderson Sr.

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The bottom line is that the price we pay for internet is we should be getting unlimited uage being as there are no wires, no linemen needed for it and we pay for the equipment and the electric to operate and supply it on our end plus the labor. The larger sites (Facebook etc.) are the ones that use up most of our data this  restricts websites that would love to have you visit them but data restrictions limit them also. Internet access should be unrestricted how it is used should not be determined by an ISP. I wish I could have had a trial period before signing up for 2 years. The problem with wireless service is there limited competition and all the prices are about the same.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Don,

I think you left out a few costs and investments ViaSat has incurred in building, launching, placing a satellite into orbit, supporting it and and the ongoing costs of supporting the Exede product itself in determine the plan prices.

Not exactly cheap, and looking at the Exede quarterly financials you might find "price gouging" isn't occurring in terms of return on investment.

As far as unlimited data goes, we're dealing with a fixed amount of resources up there over the equator someplace.

P.S. Sorry about the Pack, I was hoping for a different Superbowl match up than we have now.  
(Edited)
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Exede Kimberly

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Hello Julie, I am sorry it took me so long to respond to your
post here. Been having trouble responding. I did respond to your email
earlier today and look forward to straightening this out for you. As far
as the KB article goes, the information included above is not %100
accurate. If you'd like to go over that article together to clarify
what's going on, it will need to be done off public forum as those
articles and their numbers are employee facing information. Thank you.
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Colorado Bobby

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Well reasoned post. Tnx

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