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How to Use Less Data on Satellite Internet--for non-satellite users, too!  RSS feed

 
Nicole Alderman
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This tread is for posting ideas on how to reduce the amount of data that accidentally/unnecessarily gets spent when on satellite internet/data plans.

My satellite plan gives 5 gigabytes of data to use per month, with 5 additional GB between the hours of 2am and 8am. For the last few months I've been running out of data a good 5-10 days early and having to go to dial-up speeds (or fork out copious amounts of money for more gigs), which can be rather frustrating. I've set out this month to try and find as many ways of reducing unnessesary data usage as possible. I figure there are other people in the same boat as me, and if so, this thread is for you!

One thing I found to do was to not allow any program to automatically update. Here's a tutorial on how to Stop Windows 10 from automatically updating your PC - CNET. Here's one on how to Disable Adobe Updates

Another thing I did was go to my firewall and stop everything except my browsers from accessing the internet, so now Java will stop trying to update and random programs will stop accessing the internet. Here's a tutorial on Windows 10 Firewall (look halfway down the page for the firewall info)

You can also go into your browser settings and Disable Flash, so that some videos don't auto play. It doesn't stop all of them, though--ABC News still loads and plays it's videos merrily when I open an article, for example. I'm still working on trying to stop that!

Using Opera Turbois also useful for reducing data usage, as it runs all http websites through it's filter first and gives you low-resolution websites. Google Chrome also has a similar app. The only downside to these apps is that you have a little less privacy. Here's some more Web Brosers and Extensions to Reduce Data Usage.

Installing free https://getadblock.com will also help reduce data usage, by keeping you from having to load all those ads and pop-ups. But, your privacy might also be a little compromised by this, too, as they end up looking at all your websites to take the ads out of them.

Also, I use facebook, and I just discovered that you can access the mobile version from your desktop computer, and it uses a TON less data. https://m.facebook.com/. In just the last few months, facebook seems to have become my main data hog, maybe because they increased the graphics on desktop version. But, the mobile version uses insanely less data than the desktop version. It's not as nice to work with, but I'm willing to make that sacrifice! Also, if you use facebook, make sure to go into your setting and diasble video auto-play.

I also unplug my computer from the router just to be on the safe side.

Does any one else have tricks for saving internet usage? Please share them here!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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For the Firefox web browser:

I go into about:config, and set network.predictor.enable-prefetch and network.prefetch-next  to false.

I install a script blocker, so that the only scripts running are from sites that I approve.

In Toolsage-Info:Media there is an option to not download media from particular sites.



 
Rebecca Norman
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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Thank you for your suggestions! I will try your tips when I get back to Ladakh, where our school has a VSAT from Hughes. It's a big pain in the neck, and customer service makes you want to strangle somebody. But our school is just a few km too far from the phone exchange to get broadband over the phone lines, and in any case most winters (like the current one) the optical fiber cable over the passes gets cut by an avalanche so there's no broadband on the phone lines anyway for a few months.

One small thing about Hughes, though. We upped our package one time when we were doing a specific project. We continued to get that "you're 5% over your usage limit" notice every month, exactly like we get when we're on the lower package. This continued even when we'd reduced our usage back to the old pattern but were unable to change the package back down for a few months due to the unresponsive customer service. So I actually don't believe that they count our usage. They seem to just send everybody that over-use message every month. For all I know, we're way over the allotted amount but they just tell us we're approx 5% over every month.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Have you downloaded their status meter? http://services2.hughesnet.com/Status_Meter/

I've started really watching mine, as we kept being over, even though we seemed to be doing less. It appears that a lot of websites are now taking more data to run, with higher graphics and more flash, etc. I'm pretty sure facebook now has higher graphics, which is why I'm now using the mobile version on my desktop computer. It's not as nice, but I'm not going over my data allotment now. When I use the normal version, I watch it use up a 1-2 mb per five minutes when I'm scrolling down my newsfeed. With the mobile one, I can scroll for 15 minutes and not lose a mb.

In the Hughesnet forum, someone posted a really helpful tutorial on how to check your internet usage and to see if and where any of it was "leaking." https://community.hughesnet.com/hughesnet/topics/unexplained-high-data-usage. They also mention downloading a program called Glasswire (https://www.glasswire.com/ help/). I haven't downloaded it, but it's supposedly more detailed than the Hughesnet.

I hope that helps!
 
Regan Dixon
Posts: 133
Location: Zone 4b at 1000m, post glacial soil...British Columbia
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If you're running Windows 10, it's a major data hog.  I turned off the features that I wasn't using, and turned off the automatic updates.  A big thing that helped for me was to install an adblocker.  It was really annoying for margin ads to start playing videos that I didn't want to watch in the first place, and making me run over my allotted usage.  Just. Plain. Rude.  And if that's under control, you can save usage by going offline to compose your e-mails in Notepad or such a program, copy, then paste into your e-mail and send, without being online for all the time that it takes to compose what you want to say.

http://www.groovypost.com/howto/manage-windows-10-data-usage/

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2955491/windows/how-to-stop-windows-10-from-using-your-pcs-bandwidth-to-update-strangers-systems.html

http://geekslab.altervista.org/how-to-reduce-data-usage-on-windows-10/
 
Otto Knepp
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Here's some relevant reading: http://idlewords.com/talks/website_obesity.htm

A few firefox addons I recommend that are relevant: NoScript, Request Policy Continued, uBlock, Random Agent Spoofer(for advanced use)
These addons also help you protect your privacy online. Of course, the biggest thing you can do to protect your privacy is stop using Windows 10. Its quite possibly the creepiest OS ever.

Here's some privacy protecting addons for firefox: HTTPS Everywhere, Better Privacy, Self Destructing Cookies

Hope this helps.
 
Anne Miller
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Thanks everyone for the tips!
 
Cindy Ruprecht
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Location: Twisp, WA
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Thanks for all the gret ideas..would be nice to see some apple ideas. I will put a few of your suggestions to work. Thanks!
 
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