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Having issues with monthly data limit & I don't know the cause; need advice

#1TheC0ndemnedOnePosted 10/1/2013 8:37:43 PM(edited)
Starting around the beginning of September, I've been having problems with quickly exceeding my monthly data allowance. (We've surpassed the limit 1-2 weeks before the 30-day cycles were restarted two or three times now).

I'n using the WildBlue/ViaSat "Exede" plan. The monthly limit is 15 GB. Going over this limit results in speeds being reduced to those comparable to dial-up.

However, from 12 AM to 5 AM, there is supposed to be a period where I can download and upload unlimited amounts of data. Also, even while throttled, 12 AM - 5 AM is supposed to be an unlimited period and the speeds are supposed to be back to normal. I make heavy use of this and I try to keep downloading and uploading to a minimum from 5:01 AM - 11:59 PM. Despite these efforts, I've been struggling to remain under the limit for the past 40 or so days.

I've had this service since about December of last year. I haven't had any problems like this until now. There are two other people in my house, and none of us know how to pinpoint where this data is going, who's doing it, and at what times. Here are possible explanations:

*There's a program or virus that one (or more) of us are using or unknowingly have that's sending large amounts of data during regular hours.

*The ISP is not "flipping the switch" on the unlimited data at the specified times. Therefore, downloads started shortly after 12 AM and/or ending shortly before 5 AM might count towards the monthly limit.


Here's where the problem gets worse: we don't know how to check these things. We think that WildBlue's data tracker doesn't work in real-time, so we can't see exactly what time this data is being sent and received. There is also no easy way to check when the switch is flipped for the unlimited data period.

We simply have to trust that our ISP will do it at the specified times, which we don't. It seems that this is a manual process (or a terrible automatic one) because when our speeds got reduced last month, we stayed up to 12 AM one night to see exactly when the speeds would return to normal. It was about 12:50 AM before they finally did, which led us to believe that our ISP can't be trusted in this regard.

We even had a support technician on the phone to try and sort this out. She was a dingbat and told us that it was probably an issue with our modem. Even after doing what she told us to do, the problem persisted, yet she still believed it was a problem with the modem. We even received a new one in the mail a few days later. However, fast forward a few weeks and we're having the problem once again, as expected. Why on Earth would the switch for the unlimited period be something that's within the modem?



It's stressful around here with unanswered questions, dial-up speeds, and having paranoid people pointing fingers at each other. It's disappointing that staying awake past recommended hours just to start and monitor some downloads (so as to prevent going over during the regular, limited hours) has proved unfruitful.

Any ideas on how to pinpoint this issue would be greatly appreciated.
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#2ygfbvPosted 10/1/2013 8:38:27 PM
probably an improperly secured wireless network or a roommate torrenting that thrones gameshow.

WPA2 is your friend, set a secure pass that's at least 20 chars, enable a MAC whitelist, disable SSID broadcast, etc
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#3TimePharaohPosted 10/1/2013 8:42:28 PM
TheC0ndemnedOne posted...
I'n using the WildBlue/ViaSat "Exede" plan. The monthly limit is 15 GB.


lolwutidonteven. I go through that a day
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#4wizardmonPosted 10/1/2013 9:02:33 PM
If it's really becoming a problem, use adblocks from the hosts file level to prevent you from loading useless ad data (I suggest MVPS hosts or something), noscript so you aren't loading data from 17 different websites everytime you load a page (These forums for instance will connect you to 8 - 10 different web servers every time you load a page).

If it's still a problem, firefox can choose not to load images till you click them, Youtubes can take tons of your data away, a single 3 to 6 minute long video could be up to 600~MB
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#5TheC0ndemnedOne(Topic Creator)Posted 10/1/2013 9:19:04 PM(edited)
ygfbv posted...
probably an improperly secured wireless network or a roommate torrenting that thrones gameshow.

WPA2 is your friend, set a secure pass that's at least 20 chars, enable a MAC whitelist, disable SSID broadcast, etc

Thank you for the suggestions. I'll see what I can do tomorrow.


wizardmon posted...
If it's really becoming a problem, use adblocks from the hosts file level to prevent you from loading useless ad data (I suggest MVPS hosts or something), noscript so you aren't loading data from 17 different websites everytime you load a page (These forums for instance will connect you to 8 - 10 different web servers every time you load a page).

If it's still a problem, firefox can choose not to load images till you click them, Youtubes can take tons of your data away, a single 3 to 6 minute long video could be up to 600~MB

I use NoScript and a basic Adblock add-on (Adblock Edge with no additional plugins for the add-on) already, but thanks for the other suggestion. However, I'd like to point out that this has only started happening in the past 60 or so days. Out of the 9 or so months that I've had this plan, I've only started rapidly approaching the limit within the last two months.

What's even more odd is that I use the Internet less than I used to. During Summer, I was on it much more often (12 hours a day at times). Now, I'm only on it for five or six hours a day max (not including when I leave my computer on overnight to download things from 12 AM - 5 AM; I did this during Summer, too).

Also, I'd like to point out that it's currently 12:17 AM and I'm still at reduced speeds (Images loading slowly and speedtest.net won't even load). That example I mentioned where I was at reduced speeds until about 12:50 AM was not a one-time thing.
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#6ihumpmypillow89Posted 10/1/2013 9:22:04 PM(edited)
As a former user of WildBlue I will say that the data tracker is complete s***, it's the total data usage in the past 30 days. And I used to hit the cap just about every month and that whole 12-5 thing is bulls*** you don't get your regular speed back so my advice is to look at the router and see if that has data logging capabilities. otherwise have everyone open up task manager and open up resource monitor from the performance tab and see who's using the data.

Plus adblockers help out a lot, they may be immoral but I've had to use them for years otherwise I wouldn't be able to use the internet.
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#7TheC0ndemnedOne(Topic Creator)Posted 10/1/2013 9:30:31 PM
ihumpmypillow89 posted...
look at the router and see if that has data logging capabilities

I'll check again, but I believe that it doesn't. (It also doesn't have UPnP and some other feautres; I should probably get this junk replaced.)

ihumpmypillow89 posted...
have everyone open up task manager and open up resource monitor from the performance tab and see who's using the data

All right. This looks like it might be hard to keep an eye on/keep track of, but it's much better than nothing. However, one person in our house uses a Mac and an iPad, which are usually connected to the Wi-Fi. There's also an Apple TV box. Is there a similar program for Apple devices?

We're suspicious that one or more of these Apple devices might be part of the problem, since it seems like much of iOS and OSX operate behind the curtains.


I'll see what I can do tomorrow. I'll keep this bumped and consider any more suggestions. Thanks for the help.
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#8Ultimate_UmbreoPosted 10/1/2013 9:33:17 PM
You use Steam or have Automatic updating on a game console? If yes to steam, turn it off when you're not using it and don't have it automatically start up. Steam can munch data pretty quick because it automatically dls patches. If game console, disable that feature.
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#9Hicks233Posted 10/2/2013 8:36:01 AM
It you're using skype then it can use you connection to route other calls if I remember rightly.

Chances are though that either someone is piggybacking on your connection or someone is loosing track of what they're downloading, innocent mistake.

Hope you get to the bottom of it though.
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