Finding the cause of missing data can be a challenge. While we can not look back into the past we can prepare for any future events.
I have written a lengthy "roadmap" that may serve as a framework on how to approach the problem.
It is a repost but I think the steps apply in your case:
The first question is: "Is the leak on the Hughes side of things or on my side of things?"
The Hughes modem is in constant contact with the Hughes Gateway facility. That traffic between them is known as "chatter" and is classified as "overhead" and is not charged against a users data allowance.
The Modem Isolation Test that Liz linked to is designed to 100% positively exclude every piece of the subscribers equipment from being able to connect AT ALL.
The procedure looks like this:
It is pretty straight forward:
1: Take a screenshot of the status meter
2: Disconnect the LAN cable from the rear of the modem
3: Note the time of disconnect
4: Wait a period of time ... overnight perhaps
5: Reconnect the LAN cable
6: Take another screenshot of the status meter
7: Note the time of the reconnection
8: Review the results:
Look at the before/after screenshots of the status meter. Was any meaningful amount of data used ?
If yes, post the two status meter screenshots as well as the disconnect/reconnect times and the forum Mods will take the issue from there.
If no data was used during the disconnect period then we can only conclude that something on your network, seen or unseen, is using the data.
In that event post back to this topic and we will proceed to assist you in finding the cause of the leak.
The above is the first step. It answers: "Is it Hughes or is it me?"
When the Ethernet cable at the rear of the modem is disconnected all that is left is the "Hughes Loop":
All of the data used, if any, other than minor amounts that hadn't caught up with the usage meter yet has to be on the Hughes end.
If no meaningful usage was recorded then we have to conclude that the usage is being used on the user's end of the Network. We just don't know Who, What, When & Where yet.
To that end we have to have some insight as to what a "Network" is and the "shape" of it .. the number of connection paths that exist.
In the Way Back When ..... a residential subscriber's "Network" would look like this:
Even the above is more complex than at first meets the eye. A single computer has 65,536 comm ports that can potentially connect to the internet.
Some of those are going to be very visible. Port 80 is used by browsers. You can "see" that the browser is open, that the browser "program" is up and running. If we open an email client program such as Thunderbird we can "see" the program running and we know that two more ports are connected, one each for incoming and outgoing mail server connections.
That leaves thousands upon thousands of ports that can connect unseen in the background and not only consume data but cause programs that we know are running to appear to run slowly because of the concurrent connections.
Now the above is on a single directly connected computer. Any data usage is going to be confined to this single machine .. but this single computer has a much larger "territorial surface" than many users are aware of.
In addition to the above from the Way Back When the internet has undergone some drastic changes. Webpages are no longer static text based web pages but are instead very complex sites made up of many "modules" that contain auto-start videos, auto-refresh graphics often in high resolution, numerous scripts and a host of other little details that use data like mad.
The only real way to tell what is running ... forefront and background is with a program like Glasswire.
Glasswire will ID every program and process running ON THE SINGLE WINDOWS BASED COMPUTER upon which it is installed.
This is going to work very well for the above shaped "Network", that being a single computer connected directly to the modem.
In the past "Networks" were simple, the internet was less "intensive" and the majority of Hughes users were somewhat "Geeky".
It used to be that anything more complex than that shown in the above example was related to businesses. Those businesses knew their personal limits and contracted for Network setup and administration. They had their own "IT Departments".
Residential routers came on the scene and they allowed users to add more and more devices. Each of those devices multiplied the number of potential leaks. All of the above .. per device ....
The complexity really multiplied but the knowledge of the average user did not keep pace.
Lets look at what a typical user "Network" looks like today:
The number of "connection paths" has skyrocketed and along with it the potential for "leaks"
Lets look closer at a router:
A router consists of three potential traffic areas:
#1: Its firmware/hardware:
This would include automatic update checks, Remote Access accounts/vulnerabilities, WPS settings/vulnerabilities and "front end" username/password setup to name a few.
#2: Wired LAN connections and the types of devices connected as well as their settings. Specifically end users not understanding the differences between "hard off", "sleep" and "hibernate" as well as other system settings such as Wake On LAN, Wake On Ring and even extending to "scheduled tasks".
We need not even go into the details of forced updates and data "sharing" inherent to Win10 and being back ported to Win7/8/8.1
#3: We come to the most difficult to control ... Wireless activity
We can start with what encryption level, if any, has been set up. We also need to consider the username and password that limits access to the routers front end so that unauthorized users can add themselves to the wireless users list. It needs to be changed from the default values.
We also have the multitude of settings of the many types of devices that can connect wirelessly be they computers, notebooks, tablets, cell phones or even thermostats.
It is often not apparent when all apps on all devices have had their update ability turned off. Very frequently an update will cause other settings to change to their default values.
Considering the number of "connection avenues" provided by a router it is mandatory that it be included in any troubleshooting steps ...
If you are missing data:
First run a modem isolation test to see if the fault is with the modem
If not, then simplify you "Network" by removing the router during the troubleshooting phase and install Glasswire.
If you insist on not removing the router then replace the router with one that will track data usage per device.
Here are some screenshots of my Asus RT-AC3100:
Finding leaks is not easy.
Divide and Conquer is the name of the game.
"We go through the majority of our data apparently doing speed tests"
As I recall a forum Mod supplied you with Tokens to replace the data used during the running of speed tests.
"with no change in performance"
Not enough data has been collected as yet to fully develop a baseline system performance curve. Based on that data, a decision will be made on if your performance is substandard and then advanced to engineering.
"I spend more time working for Hughes Net, attempting to do their recommendations than I do working for myself."
You were asked to run three series of tests in 24 hours ... early, mid-day and late. Each series was to consist of 3 to 5 tests. That is to say .. 9 to 15 tests in total @200 MB each. That is a usage range of 1.8 to 3 GB in total test data.
Beyond that you were asked to toggle turbo page .... again not a time intensive activity. That can be done within seconds.
Additionally you were asked to post some screenshots. File handling such as the creation of a PNG file and posting of same really is a normal everyday function that every computer user does. The fact that you had yet to learn how is not the fault of Hughes.
A satellite internet cannot be expected to have the same "robustness" of a ground based system.
All of the advertising that I have seen is geared towards the Echostar17 Gen4 system and not the older less capable Spaceway3 system that you are on.
The Spaceway system plans offer "up to" speeds of 5 Mbps and Hughes makes every attempt to maintain at least 60% of plan max.
This is not always possible due to a number of conditions. When a subscriber feels that their speeds are substandard then an effort such as we are conducting right now is begun.
The fact that your service is in a remote location requires that you participate in the troubleshooting process.
You are not expected to become a "geek" or computer expert ... I believe that so far we have provided detailed steps on how to perform any required steps.
As to the phone Rep telling you that you varying degrees of performance ... she is correct in a general sense. A satellite connection is a shared resource. You share capacity with all users of your system platform, you share capacity with all users on your beam.
Now once again ... the forum Mods here in the Community are at the corporate level and have the ability to escalate your case directly to engineering if warranted.
What that takes is the requested series of speed tests and the posting of same.
As to some of the other things .. it would seem that at some point that phone support had reason to believe that your issue was perhaps rooted in something on your network hence the referral to HTS.
The fact that HTS did not find something definitive at this point is neither here nor there for a number of reasons.
"Hughes seems wholly unconcerned with the sub performance of their service"
I cannot help but feel that the above is an inaccurate statement in light of the fact that the corporate level forum Mods are awaiting the posting of the speeds tests.
One bright spot on the horizon is that Hughes will launch another satellite scheduled for December 8th.
At this time I am at somewhat of a loss as to your intentions ...
You seem to be looking for an "easy button" and there isn't one;
You have been asked to supply data in the form of speed tests and I really haven't seen them being perform and post in the requested format .. early, mid and late so that a performance curve can be developed.
I do have some suggestions:
#1: Make sure you are connected directly to the modem .. no router during the tests
#2: Enable Turbo Page
#3: Create an account at testmy.net ... yes I know, they have a glitch.
Follow this method:
click on the "sign up" at the upper right as you did before. That will give you the following error screen:
If you look at the upper right of THAT error screen there is another "sign up" link.
Clicking that will present the following:
Creating an account has several advantages.
Your tests will be save in one spot and they will "accumulate" so that the Mods and Engineers will be able to quickly see the trends and time stamped results
You will only need to post a link to your saved results page ... like this:
If you look closely you can see how much data has been used in testing within the period:
If you are unable to complete a test under those conditions then post that fact in your core support thread and get a screenshot of your modems SCC main page so we can see if any conditions or errors are present at the time. The SCC can be found by opening a browser and entering 192.168.0.1
As to only getting a single official response ...
#1: They are few in number and are short staffed today as it is.
#2: There likely is not enough data collected in usable form to determine the performance of your system.
Unfortunately the Mods being at the corporate level (along with upper Engineering employees) work Monday through Friday. While tests can be ran on the weekend it likely it will be Monday that the data can be reviewed and acted upon.
There is more to this than you may be aware.