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# 208724 24-Feb-2017 21:10
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I have an old Telecom HSUPA USB Modem T-Stick Model MF 636 made in China by ZTE Corporation.

 

I use it as an emergency wifi source for when wifi is not available on holiday or when our home broadband is down.

 

I have a SIM card with a prepaid amount on it and I buy blocks of 300mb of data when I need to use the T-Stick.

 

Because our house internet was down recently, I purchased a block of 300mb of data from Spark for $10 which can be used for 1 month.

 

So I plugged in my T-Stick to my laptop (very slow 7.2 Mbps enabled) and I spent about 15 minutes on Trade Me much of which was waiting for pages to load.

 

After this time, I checked my Spark account and found to my surprise that, not only had the full amount of 300mb of data been used, but also a further 170mb had been charged against my account at 30 cents per mb reducing its balance by $50. So it cost me $60 to browse TradeMe for 15 minutes and absolutely no video was downloaded during that time! Good one Spark, $4 per minute to use their internet!

 

So I phoned Spark and a lady in Manilla said that my computer may have been downloading updates in the background and because I had used this amount of data, it would be unfair to other users if Spark was to refund any of the $60 I had spent for the 15 minutes of browsing. I tried phoning again later and, after much discussion, another lady in Manilla said that as a one-off goodwill gesture Spark would refund me the $50 excess usage, but they couldn’t credit me with any of the $10 paid to get the 300mb because I had obviously used 470mb altogether. I said that my web browsing on TradeMe would probably have used no more than 20mb of data but I was given the impression that I was very lucky to get the $50 excess charges refunded!

 

I was told by Spark that I should make sure that Windows 10 updates are turned off when using the T-Stick. However, it doesn’t look like any major Windows updates were downloaded during the 15 minutes I was on internet and I can’t think what else would download approx. 450mb of data without my being aware of it. In any event, I couldn’t see how you can stop Windows 10 from doing automatic updates (can anyone tell me please how to do this)?

 

Now, mobile phones when on mobile data can be set to not download program updates, but Spark said this was impossible for the T-Stick to do. So, I have concluded that the T-Stick is completely worthless as the computer can download all sorts of things in the background and run out your expensive mobile data in no time!

 

If anyone else uses a T-Stick for Spark mobile data I would be interested to know please whether you have experienced a similar problem and how you avoid your computer downloading a lot of unwanted data when you are browsing!

 

Fred


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  # 1725939 24-Feb-2017 21:17
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If you are connecting via a hotspot you should set it to a metered connection which will stop updates and background data. This was a feature introduced with Windows 8.

 

 


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  # 1725941 24-Feb-2017 21:21
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as above, you should set it as a metered connection.

 

 

 

however if your browsing image heavy areas of trademe, 300MB would not be impossible to manage in 15 mins.

 

whats to say you antivirus doesn't download any updates? could easily clock up there too.

 

 

 

Maybe you run skype in the background, it connects up, there is data used there too!

 

 

 

If you use a mobile phone in hotspot mode, the same case would apply.





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Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.


 
 
 
 




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  # 1725943 24-Feb-2017 21:31
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hio77:

 

as above, you should set it as a metered connection.

 

 

 

however if your browsing image heavy areas of trademe, 300MB would not be impossible to manage in 15 mins.

 

whats to say you antivirus doesn't download any updates? could easily clock up there too.

 

 

 

Maybe you run skype in the background, it connects up, there is data used there too!

 

 

 

If you use a mobile phone in hotspot mode, the same case would apply.

 

 

Thanks very much for your posts, sure I have Norton antivirus, but I don't run Skype in the background. But all this goes to show that buying 300mb of data for $10 these days for a T-Stick is a useless idea as you don't know what your computer is up to! I could buy 3GB of data for $50 but even that's a lot to pay for emergency use only!

 

When I was on holiday, I paid $25 to get 50gig of data that lasted 1 week. Now at least that was worth it and I could even watch Netflix and Youtube without worrying about using up my data allocation!

 

Fred


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  # 1725948 24-Feb-2017 21:49
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frednz:

 

But all this goes to show that buying 300mb of data for $10 these days for a T-Stick is a useless idea as you don't know what your computer is up to!

 

 

Doesn't it mean that you need to configure things to ensure that they work the way you expect them to? 300MB is fine for emergency use because that is all many people use in a month, but they have properly configured mobile data connections whether on a mobile phone or other computer.

 

I know that Vodafone always warns users to check their actual usage from the start so there are fewer surprise. I expect that Spark have the same warnings.




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  # 1725949 24-Feb-2017 21:58
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Hammerer:

 

frednz:

 

But all this goes to show that buying 300mb of data for $10 these days for a T-Stick is a useless idea as you don't know what your computer is up to!

 

 

Doesn't it mean that you need to configure things to ensure that they work the way you expect them to? 300MB is fine for emergency use because that is all many people use in a month, but they have properly configured mobile data connections whether on a mobile phone or other computer.

 

I know that Vodafone always warns users to check their actual usage from the start so there are fewer surprise. I expect that Spark have the same warnings.

 

 

Sure, that's a great idea for a computer geek, but for many users it might be difficult to achieve this on a laptop. I think a better idea is for Spark to somehow have a system for T-sticks that charges customers only for the data used on websites they have actually visited. If there had been a real emergency, my 300mb purchase of data would have been useless for all practical purposes!

 

Fred


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  # 1725950 24-Feb-2017 22:00
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2degrees carries over data for up to a year. Don't know t&c.

Other than that, set metered connection.

There are programs that give you control of any outgoing connection, used to be called personal firewalls. I'm sure there will be one with a simple profile that allows only Chrome, IE, Firefox until you say otherwise. Maybe I've seen @Rikkitic mention that

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  # 1725951 24-Feb-2017 22:00
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What ISP are you with for broadband?

 

 

Vodafone have their 'Always connected promise' and Spark have their 'restore kit' you call them up and ask about this when your broadband goes down and they may offer you a data pack on your Vodafone or Spark number.

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  # 1725953 24-Feb-2017 22:06
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gzt: 2degrees carries over data for up to a year. Don't know t&c.

Other than that, set metered connection.

There are programs that give you control of any outgoing connection, used to be called personal firewalls. I'm sure there will be one with a simple profile that allows only Chrome, IE, Firefox until you say otherwise. Maybe I've seen @Rikkitic mention that

 

Are you sure these plans still exist? I was trying to find them this evening. 





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  # 1725955 24-Feb-2017 22:12
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Prepay they do: https://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/mobile/prepay/. I did not look at account plans.

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  # 1725957 24-Feb-2017 22:15
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VodafoneNZ offers a data bundle valid for 6 months

 

Linux


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  # 1725983 24-Feb-2017 23:01
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gzt: Prepay they do: https://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/mobile/prepay/. I did not look at account plans.

 

They all say valid for 1 month now, are you sure this has not changed?





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.


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  # 1725986 24-Feb-2017 23:05
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hio77:

gzt: Prepay they do: https://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/mobile/prepay/. I did not look at account plans.


They all say valid for 1 month now, are you sure this has not changed?


No idea. Might be a question for the 2degrees forum. My browser returns the following text for that page above:

"Our Prepay Plus plan has low standard calling and texting rates to anyone in NZ, and is the perfect plan if you use Add Ons. Our Carryover Packs let you call and text Aussie at no extra cost, and also give you Carryover Minutes and Carryover Data that last for up to a year, not a month."



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  # 1726038 25-Feb-2017 09:28
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sbiddle:

 

If you are connecting via a hotspot you should set it to a metered connection which will stop updates and background data. This was a feature introduced with Windows 8.

 

 

 

 

I guess there might be some disadvantages to setting your internet as a metered connection perhaps resulting in a reduced level of security? When I tried this setting with my normal unlimited home broadband, a warning message came up: "Norton 360 cannot communicate with the Symantic servers because your current policy is "Economy".

 

So, are there any major disadvantages of using a "metered connection"? Do people use the "metered connection" setting with their normal home broadband to avoid the computer running slow?

 

Cheers

 

Fred

 

 


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  # 1726058 25-Feb-2017 10:55
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frednz:

 

sbiddle:

 

If you are connecting via a hotspot you should set it to a metered connection which will stop updates and background data. This was a feature introduced with Windows 8.

 

 

 

 

I guess there might be some disadvantages to setting your internet as a metered connection perhaps resulting in a reduced level of security? When I tried this setting with my normal unlimited home broadband, a warning message came up: "Norton 360 cannot communicate with the Symantic servers because your current policy is "Economy".

 

So, are there any major disadvantages of using a "metered connection"? Do people use the "metered connection" setting with their normal home broadband to avoid the computer running slow?

 

Cheers

 

Fred

 

 

 

 

It's not something you would use on a normal home broadband connection. It's something you'd use if you're tethered to a hotspot or 3G connection or use slow public WiFi and don't want excessive data usage or background apps syncing data which could saturate the connection.

 

 


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  # 1726079 25-Feb-2017 11:26
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I so wish you could turn off the none planned rate on pre-pay - if i run out of data, fine, stop the internet, but please do not charge me $100 / gb - this is the reason my pre-pay has $0 balance, i might use the txt to pay for parking in auckland when i am visiting as i normal do not have coins, and yeah .50 extra a lot, but better than car parking building rate of $20 an hour, but not an option because of the $100/gb no opt out charges.


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