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#190940 17-Jan-2016 13:46
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Hi, we have had the new 4G rural wireless broadband for 3 weeks and have burned through a whopping 85GB.  This came as quite a shock as we were consistently 25-30GB on fixed line adsl.  We're having trouble understanding this as we have done nothing different and the devices are all the same.  Typically we stream a few tv shows on Netflix or the like and that's about it.  We generally select the slowest speed to stream as even though its much faster at 25mb/sec (compared to our previous meager 0.7mb/sec) it can still stop a bit and who needs that.  I spent two hours on the phone with Spark this morning and was transferred all over the show, no one could help me and the most I got was a tiny 3GB top up to get us through the next few days.  Tomorrow the appropriate help desk will be open to phone me and they may or may not be able to help.  I got a lot of 'you know, dear, if you're streaming, you are going to use a lot of data', I was getting very sick of explaining that we're not watching any more than usual and we'd never gone over 30GB.  Does anyone else have this problem?  Is this because its 4G?  Is it possible that there is some sort of reporting error?  Any insight gratefully received :)

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  #1473194 17-Jan-2016 15:04
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YouTube will stream at differing rates (picture quality) depending on connection quality and download speed. Better speed equals more data consumed.

Are you sure there wasn't anything zero rated on your old ADSL connection?




Edit: auto correct

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  #1473539 18-Jan-2016 10:08
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We usually pick the slowest speed, like I said, but even if occasionally a faster speed is automatically selected that still wouldn't account for the massive data usage, we don't have enough free hours in the day for all that.  It stalls at higher speeds so that's why we just stick to the lowest and its perfectly fine.


I'm not sure what you mean by the old broadband being zero rated.


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  #1473626 18-Jan-2016 11:20
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By zero rated, I mean content that doesn't count towards your cap, viz unmetered. i.e. TiVo zero rated on Telecom(Spark), Orcon umetered Sites: Trade Me iSky & NZ Herald.

Who was your ADSL provider?

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  #1473638 18-Jan-2016 11:25
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If you've got 3boys as per your username, maybe ask whether one of them is doing something different on the net now. Is your network secured, could a neighbour be using data? Has it been a heavy month for OS/app updates? Is one of your devices stuck on a mail sync issue given the altered network config? So many variables.

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  #1473656 18-Jan-2016 11:50
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Faster speeds means the internet will be used more by the family members

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  #1473680 18-Jan-2016 12:18
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We have VF 4G RBI with average speeds up to 50 mbps, now down to around 17 mbps during school holidays. I have found it easy to monitor our data usage and stay under 80 gb. We don't stream every day but we do stream fairly regularly. I agree you should check for unauthorised usage. Someone could be piggybacking on your wi-fi.



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  #1473681 18-Jan-2016 12:19
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1. No we weren't using anything zero rated


2. Our ISP is Spark


3. Our 3 boys are small and only allowed a device on a Sunday for a short time (mean but less arguments)


4. No big updates, no mail issues (not big emailers, not into social media)


5. Yes there are many variables but our habits have remained the same yet quadtrupled data usage


6.  For us, all the faster speed meant was that we no longer get frustrated at our shows stalling, we didn't suddenly start watching tv 18 hours a day.  It would honestly be impossible to use all that data the way we use it, slowest speed, less than 3 hours a day, 5 days a week.  Wondering about a hijack and have put scanner app on, but maybe I'm just getting paranoid.  Nearest neighbour is 500m away and sincerely doubt they would have the time or the energy, let along the wherewithall, to hack our wifi.  We live rurally and there hasn't been any cars parked in the yard all day :P


Last night we watched tv for 90 minutes and used 400mb of data, so what gives, why the big totals? Yet to hear from Spark off their own bat so will ring this afternoon.  Can't imagine getting very far.


Thanks for the input.


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  #1473720 18-Jan-2016 12:41
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3boys:  4. No big updates, no mail issues (not big emailers, not into social media)


one or more of your devices could be consuming data without your knowledge, mail sync issues are just one suggestion. try turning some devices off and see what's happening to your consumption.




3boys: Last night we watched tv for 90 minutes and used 400mb of data, so what gives, why the big totals? Yet to hear from Spark off their own bat so will ring this afternoon.  Can't imagine getting very far. Thanks for the input.


I think you mean 400MB of data, that's about 600kb/s streaming, sounds pretty typical looking at the footnote on this TVNZ ondemand calculator. (Megabytes to kilobits, minutes to seconds, bits vs bytes)

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  #1474273 19-Jan-2016 00:01
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If you lodge a billing dispute then they might be able to setup monitoring to see what's going on.

The adaptive streaming from YouTube and Netflix is very good at up scaling and thus consuming much more data.

A very significant portion of internet usage is YouTube.


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  #1474287 19-Jan-2016 05:48
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do your three boys activity change the video bandwidth to a lower one? you would be suprised how much youtube videos use in a short period of time on HD, especially if you chop and change between vids a lot (i have a three year old and he changes vids a lot)

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  #1474316 19-Jan-2016 08:24
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This might not work if they're using xbox or other devices to playback, but youtube has this:


YouTube Help Video quality


1.Go to this link Youtube Account Playback


2.Select I have a slow connection. Never play higher-quality video


3.Click the Save button




Netflix has something similar here:


How can I control how much data Netflix uses?





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  #1474317 19-Jan-2016 08:26
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Have you added any new devices to your network since before Christmas? Didnt get the wife an ipad or something that now enabled icloud drive or similar?

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  #1474414 19-Jan-2016 11:04
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Um, no the wife (me) did not get a new ipad :(  Thanks for all the suggestions, the ones about youtube certainly very valid and will be diligent with checking the quality (you can't save the quality on a mobile device I don't think).  But even if you take into account a few more youtube videos than usual (we don't use it much, and our kids aren't free range), and maybe the odd app or two being a bit piggy, its still hard to see how we've used 55GB more than usual in only 3 weeks.  That's pretty excessive and I know our devices and habits have remained the same.  Yesterday I spoke to Spark and we did discuss hijacking for a while.  On 4g wireless you can't see your daily usage breakdowns (except for the last 24 hours) so am going to get the three weeks worth and see if there's anything odd.  Basically they said I'll just have to monitor it over the next month and watch for anything odd.  So after 4 hours on the phone over two days I'm none the wiser.  I've also put device scanners on to see if there's any strangers hopping on.  But honestly there's probably 100 000 people or more in this world capable of hacking your wifi password and piggybacking, on top of that there's probably ways of them remaining hidden too.  Its a dark world out there, especially when you consider all the viruses and malware etc

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