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High Data Usage – Why?


dsimpson

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Back in June, I replaced my air card/router with a JetPack and, as a result, had to give up my unlimited 3G service. I posted about that here.

 

http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=117678

 

With 3G service, my wife and I used, on average, about 6 GB of data each month. On two occasions, I had a high usage that I could not account for. But for years, we averaged 6 GB. When I upgraded to 4G, I got a plan that allowed 15 GB each month. With the faster speed, I knew my monthly usage would increase but I am surprised at how much. Since I switched to 4G my monthly usage has been almost my entire 15 GB allotment. My browsing habits haven’t changed much. We rarely use our new smartphones to browse the Internet. No streaming except the occasional You Tube video. Any ideas?

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Lots of things can impact bandwidth usage - on 4G, a lot of programs, ads, apps & videos default to higher resolution assuming you have a better connection. Auto updates of programs, cloud syncing, OS updates.

 

So even that 'little bit of YouTube' could be having a big impact. Go into your YouTube settings and manually scale that back down as best you can. The bandwidth usage between standard and HD can really take a bite out.

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In addition to the resolution issues Cherie (or Chris) pointed out, one of the problems encountered when switching from 3G to 4G is what happens in the background. For example, with 3G, starting to watch a video, then stopping may result in just a small amount of unwatched video downloaded to your computer. With the faster 4G, you will likely download more, even the entire video by the time you stop watching the first 30 seconds. The same can happen with ads, web pages with photographs (they may be set to download the entire group of photos while you are looking at one).

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I use a Jetpack and Verizon on the road. Have a 20Gb plan for business and general use. 20Gb works well with my web development needs and video uploads. All was well until Ms Joan needed to catch up on her soaps one afternoon. 45 minutes of the Young and Restless burnt 1Gb of bandwidth. Needless to say, viewing video is the bandwidth killer. We try to watch YouTube on the campground WiFi if possible.

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Thanks for the tips. A lot of food for thought. It is quite discouraging to know that my data usage can go from 6 GB to 15 GB even when my browsing habits remain pretty much the same. Websites can say, "He's got a faster pipeline now. Let's load him up." I downloaded Ad Block Plus but I don't know how to change "YouTube settings and manually scale that back down." I can understand and relate to what vermilye is saying but I was expecting that when I upgraded to 4G. I just wonder how many GB per month that effect is adding to my usage.

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Ad Block + used to not have a version for Internet Explorer. Now they do. If you are not running it, listen to Bill and do. I used to hate those auto run advertising videos popping on. Now one occasionally, does but only occasionally, not on every other page as before. Also all those ad pictures stills but multiple on each page also add up. You can also vote with your feet and walk out on websites and the products advertised that way. It won't hurt them but you can feel better about it. I don't do FaceCrook and have no twitter account. I do use Ello but rarely. I really don't want to play HS popularity contests and I can win that game. My friends email and call and stop by. We trade off hosting each other for dinners as a couple, and go places together with each of our friends. So my 350GB of 100Mbps Cable Internet it is not critical just annoying. But it is fun for others and that is what we pay for, then pay for again. Try Adblocker + for whatever browser you use.

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If you have an IPhone, you may want to check your Cellular Data settings. A new "feature" with the operating system is using Cellular Data if your WIFI (network) signal is weak. You have a real potential to burn some data if you do not turn this "feature" off. I burned some data with this one. Turned off the assist and doing much better. You can find the on/off button at the very, very bottom of your Cellular Data settings. The link below will show you how to turn off this "feature".

 

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201299

 

Article on new "feature" lawsuit.

 

http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/10/23/lawsuit-accuses-apples-ios-9-wi-fi-assist-feature-of-burning-through-5m-in-data

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We had a similar experience after purchasing our Jetpack. After a few months of close calls related to overage, I called Verizon to inquire. Magically, the rate of data consumption declined DRAMATICALLY. Coincidence? Perhaps.
Mark

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Are you running an ad blocker in your browser, like Ad Block Plus (https://adblockplus.org/), which works in most browsers? Those ads can use much more bandwidth than you think and they will feed you more ads when your speeds are faster.

I successfully downloaded Ad Block Plus (it said it was a success) but when I do a search for it I can't find it. I don't feel comfortable when I can't find something I just downloaded! Any idea why I can't find it using the search function in the start menu? Nor can I find it using control panel and the uninstall program function..I'm using Firefox.

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We also keep our phones wifi shut off so apps don't auto update, we save updating apps for other trusted wifi sites. Same for our IPads and laptop, only update and run videos at trusted wifi sites. If using Facebook, Twitter, etc., make sure the auto run video is off. Those things have helped us maintain comfortably below our 10 gb.

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I successfully downloaded Ad Block Plus (it said it was a success) but when I do a search for it I can't find it. I don't feel comfortable when I can't find something I just downloaded! Any idea why I can't find it using the search function in the start menu? Nor can I find it using control panel and the uninstall program function..I'm using Firefox.

 

AdBlock is an "extension" to both the Firefox and Chrome browsers. It isn't a Windows program and, therefore, doesn't show up in the Control Panel list of programs, nor can you find it with a search function. You can "find" it by going to the appropriate screens where your browser's extensions are listed.

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We also keep our phones wifi shut off so apps don't auto update, we save updating apps for other trusted wifi sites. Same for our IPads and laptop, only update and run videos at trusted wifi sites. If using Facebook, Twitter, etc., make sure the auto run video is off. Those things have helped us maintain comfortably below our 10 gb.

 

I went online and checked my data usage for all my devices - Jetpack and 2 smartphones. The smartphone data usage is very small - 39 MB and 97 MB. That's MB not GB.

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AdBlock is an "extension" to both the Firefox and Chrome browsers. It isn't a Windows program and, therefore, doesn't show up in the Control Panel list of programs, nor can you find it with a search function. You can "find" it by going to the appropriate screens where your browser's extensions are listed.

 

For Firefox, click on Tools, Add-ons and go to the Add-ons Manager. Then click on Extensions.

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KandJBm,

If you are running Internet Explorer (IE) with Ad Block + here's how you see it and can configure it. At the top of your IE screen, above the tabs is the "grab" bar - right click on any part of the empty space and a drop down menu will come up showing which toolbars are selected (checked). Check the "status" bar and voila! The status bar appears along the bottom. ON the bottom right you will see the ABP stop sign insignia down there. Click on it and the pop up menu appears. Go through them and see what is on by default.

 

For my computer in IE I prefer to have only two of the tool bars checked, The Status bar and the Command bar, I also have the lock the tool bars checked so only those three are checked when I right click on the top of the blank area of IE. See it now?

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I have a program called NetWorx that allows me to monitor my network traffic. In my case, I have set it up to monitor the Wi-Fi traffic.

 

https://www.softperfect.com/products/networx/

 

Among other things. it has a speed meter that displays current, average, and maximum transfer rate beginning when I click the start button. While connected to the JetPack but before launching any browser, the average rate is about 600 bytes/sec download and 500 bytes/sec upload. Some program(s) is(are) communicating with another Internet location. I sure would like to know what that is.

 

I am hoping that this program will provide information that will help me determine why I am using so much data. I have it running on both my computer and my wife's computer. I'll let you know what I find out.

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The exact same thing happened to me when I bought a new jetpack from Verizon and signed a new contract in June, 2014. I teach online, so internet is critical to me. My usage went from my regular 14-16 gigs per month, using it as much and as often as I wanted, to using almost a gig per day, using my jetpack only a bit over an hour a day. They had a double your gig promotion, so I got 40 gigs for the price of 20, but was still going over each month.

 

I spent a lot of phone calls yelling at Verizon and trying to convince them I was not downloading videos or doing anything differently. I ended up going to McDonalds and other places to get enough free internet so I could get my work done. I have never been so frustrated and furious at a company and their tech staff who kept blaming me. I had the same assignments, same classes, same number of students, no new software, etc. Just started using 5 times as many gigs for the same things.

 

Then, about last April, 2015, it was like someone clicked a switch, and I am back to being online 4-6 hours a day doing anything I want to do and using only 15-16 gigs per month! It was as sudden a change as the original had been.

 

Now, one thing I HAVE done is gone back to my old jetpack, but I did that in August 2014 when I was still using a horrible amount of bandwidth.. (It just needed a new SIM card.) In reality, I don't think the new jetpack in itself caused the high usage because I can use it now with the same usage as my old one.

 

I think my signing up for the new contact and buying the new equipment somehow caused someone at Verizon to flip a switch of some sort or categorize me somehow and up what I was using. And then, last April, someone switched it off. The thing is, it was not a gradual change--it happened both times literally overnight. The frustrating thing is that there is absolutely no way to double-check what they say you use each month, so you are at their mercy.

 

Anyway, I can't give you any answers, but somehow I think Verizon knows. In any case, KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Interesting that NH2 also had this experience.

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Doug, You certainly do have an issue. I good firewall program will tell you what programs are connecting to the internet and allow you to block them. I use Comodo free internet suite. There should only be one internet connection, unless the second connection is another computer or even your smart phone. If your smart phone is connecting, turn off wifi. Chuck

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