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Why sudden massive data usage since upgrade to Gen5

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Why sudden massive data usage since upgrade to Gen5

I recently upgraded to Gen5.  This is in a vacation home with only limited usage maybe 6-10 days a month at most.  Nothing else has changed. All the devices connected to the internet are the same and I am using it about the same as I always have. But suddenly I am seeing massive data usage every day.  One day showe up to 17 GB! I have tried streaming a 30 min. TV show with the data saver turned on.  In that past that would be maybe 350 MB.  Now when I check before and right after watching the TV show it is 1.8 GB!  I had HughesNet Gen4 for years and never used more than my 20 GB per month.  I upgraded so that we could occassionly watch a movie or a few more TV shows.  So how is it even possible to burn through 17 GB in a single day? That would be like 3 HD movies or 2 Ultra HD Moview (I don't even have ultra HD). And again, the data saver has been on from day one.  It just doesn't make sense. I am very frustrated.  I'm paying a fortune for this service now with 50 GB, but concerned I'm going to burn through it in days. I have tried calling customer support, but as usual I'm on the phone for 45 min., they can't resolve the problem, then I get cut off and have to call back.  It is just the worst customer support.  Any info. would be appreciated, especially from a HughesNet tech support person. 

Distinguished Professor IV



You mentioned in your other post that you are using an Apple Airport Extreme router due to the issue with the 5Ghz radio in the HT2000W.  I'm not at all familiar with that router, but does it have a built in traffic monitor like some other routers do?  If so, and you ONLY connect through that router, you should monitor the usage with such, even if it doesn't break it down into separate devices.  


Because of the speed of the service, it's absolutely possible to burn through that much data in a day, and even much more than that, but figuring out just where the data is going is the trick.  


The following thread has quite a bit of info regarding this topic, including a modem isolation test to determine if the data is "leaking," or if something on your network is actually using it without you knowing.



Also, one other thing.  Though you mentioned it's a vacation home, if you have a DirecTV receiver there and it's connected to the service, that can drain data without notice, and a LOT of it.  It's best to turn off/disassociate its connection to Hughesnet.    


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Interesting points.  I do not know if the Apple Airport Extreme has a traffic monitoring feature.  I am pretty familiar with it and do not recall see any of that in the system control software features. But I'll have to take a look.


I do have DirectTV attached to it, but I also had it attached to my former Hughesnet Gen4 internet and never had any issue with it using unexpected amounts of data.  It seems to only use large amounts of data if you use watch On Demand content, which we do not use.  But I'll have to pay attention to that and see if any unexpected data being used then.  


After monitoring for several days, the data does only seem to be used when we are actually using the internet.  There is no unexpected data usage at times when we are not home or asleep, etc.  It is just that when we do some activity that uses data, it seems to use far more than it did when we had the Gen4.  Even with Gen4, we occassionaly streamed a full length HD movie on our Apple TV.  But that would use about 5 GB of data for a 2 hour movie.  Now when we tried it with Gen5, it used just over 7 GB of data for a 2 hour movie.  So just wonderin why it is so much more for essentially the same activity (and same HD quality setting on the AppleTV).

Associate Professor

I have one theory, but can't exactly verify it...

There are different bit-rates that can be used at different resolutions, as well as codecs.  For example, 720P can be 8bit or 10bit, then you have H.264 and then H.265.  Depending on the combo, one will use more data than the other.  H.265 saves data, but if the video is 10bit, it would use the same data as an 8bit H.264 stream.  Some streaming services while they autodetect for resolution, will also pick different encodes to get the best color quality on top of the best resolution.  But, I can't say which ones would do this, it's difficult to figure out exactly.  But that could explain the overall difference when watching a 720p video.  The service sees you have extra bandwidth, so they send extra information on the encode to provide better color quality.

Hmm, yes, perhaps it is something along those lines. I know several websites with streaming video auto-adjust resolution based on bandwidth. I didn't think that AppleTV did that since you can set the desired resolution for TV and movies.  But perhaps you are right that there are still different bit rates and that still alters how much data is used.  

Good morning all,


Just wanted to jump in here and note that Amanda posted this in a similar thread:




Thank you all for your insights on Gen5 data usage. We recently brought this concern up with our engineers who let us know that they will be conducting their own tests using the same types of software and equipment mentioned here, such as Glasswire. I believe it was also mentioned either on this thread or another, that the issue could be related to a Respond-To-Ping feature. Engineering let us know that they are sure this is not causing the problem. 


We appreciate your patience while this is investigated and will provide any updates as we receive them.





If you have a tech or billing question and need help, please start a new thread in the appropriate board. Unsolicited Private Messages may not get replies.

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Honorary Alumnus

Hello @Liz

Loaded question #1:

Has Hughes changed the type of data that may be subject to "compression" on Gen5 systems versus Gen4?


Distinguished Professor IV


With hindsight being the 20/20 it always is, I certainly wish I would have taken snapshots of Glasswire vs Gen4 to compare with Glasswire vs Gen5.  There is most definitely a marked difference, though I can't prove it as I don't have the snapshots.  I can only say that I know it.  


With that said, though, I still don't believe I'm being "charged" by Hughesnet for more data than I am actually using with Gen5.  Gen4 just provided MUCH better "gas mileage", if you will.  I still suspect the difference has to do with compression, or even where the data usage is tallied by Hughesnet in relation to it.    




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I appreciate your response and it is good to know that the engineers at HughesNet are looking into this. I hope that sort it out very soon.


I have seen many elaborate and detailed responses to this topic in various threads on this subject.  But I, and I'm sure countless others, simply don't have the time or expertise to spend hours and hours researching this, getting software like "Glasswire" as many have suggested, and monitoring it endlessly for days to try to prove to HughesNet that there is a problem.  This is in a vacation home where I want to relax and vacation in my limited time there, not spend countless hours monitoring my internet usage.  Or trying to figure out why my data usage on the new HughesNet Gen5 is exponentially larger than on Gen4 even though I'm doing exactly the same activities online.  When I pay $120 a month for internet service, which is double what I pay for much faster internet at my primary home in the city, I at least expect that HughesNet will sort this out and not expect me or other users to figure it out or to have to prove to HughesNet that there is a problem.


I do not have to use Glasswire and spend hours on this to know that clearly something is off in how HughesNet is tracking data usage for the new Gen5.  It is just so glaringly different than it was with Gen4 doing exactly the same activities.  You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see there is a problem here. As I previously mentioned, I previously had HughesNet Gen4 for several years.  As it was a vacation home, we never once used more than our 20 GB per month data limit in over 4 years with that service.  We even watched maybe one or two 1080p HD movies a month on our AppleTV.  So I am just dumbfounded that now with Gen5 I somehow supposedly burned through 17 GB in a single day!  This is simply not feasible given our online activities didn't change.  At my primary residence where I have Comcast and speeds of over 200 Gbps with data limits of over 1 TB a month, we stream 1080p HD movies on AppleTV or HD content on Netflix almost every other day.  Yet our total monthly usage is only about 95 GB per month on avearge.  We spend 3/4 or our time at the primary residence and maybe 1/4 at the vacation home where we have HughesNet.  So again, if we stream all kinds of HD at our primary residence and never break 100 GB per month, how on earth could we burn through 17 GB in a single day on HugheNet?  I have recently monitored my useage, before and after watching a single 2 hour log 1080p HD movie on AppleTV now with Gen5.  It burned over 7GB for that single movie!  (And no, it was not Ultra HD, we do not even have that). When we did exactly the same thing on Gen4, it only burned about 5 GB.  So what is up with that? Now with Gen5 we seem to routinely be burning through about 2 GB a day just doing routine stuff online like email, web surfing, Facebook, etc.  Before on Gen4 doing exactly the same activities we would only burn through maybe 500 - 600 MB max in a day.  It simply cannot be just because Gen5 is faster that it must be burning more data.  We are doing exactly the same thing.  The speed should be irrelevant if we are doing the same exact acitivies and using the same resolution for any video streaming content. Our internet at our primary residence is 8 times faster than Gen5 and yet we aren't burning data anywhere near that rate. 


So again, something is clearly wrong!  The entire reason we upgraded to the 50 GB Gen5 plan was specifically so that we could now stream some movies on AppleTV or Netflix a bit more often at our vaction home.  50 GB should be more than enough data to not have to obsessively monitor our usage given that we are only there about 6 days a month and given that we do the same thing all the time at our primary residence the remaining 24 days a month and still use less than 100 GB a month there.  


HughesNet is a very expensive internet service provider, but our only option (other than Excede) at this vacation home, so I certainly hope HughesNet's engineers sort this out very soon.  Please keep us informed as to the progress.

We have the same problem at our vacation home. Installed Gen 5 less than two months ago. Burning through data and tokens. We only use for email and some social media. Not happy.

Distinguished Professor IV



If you'd like help with determining why your devices are burning through so much data, it would be best for you to start a new topic.  


Simple email and some social media shouldn't be burning through so much data and it needs to be determined why that is happening. 

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We have the exact same problem. Almost identical in our vacation home but we spend even less time and have fewer needs for data. We have directtv and two honeywell thermostats wifi enabled that are always present and I bring 1 ipad the few times I am here.Thats it! I am going to figure out who else provides service and change if I can. When I called Hnet they were polite but had no clue. What a scam. I have two comcast and one charter in other locations and they are superior almost without any flaw ever. When I hear the commercials for satellite and hughesnet I have to chuckle at what false advertising they are allowed to project. Bait and switch for sure.

Don't know about the thermostats, but you would be shocked to know exactly how much data your DirecTV box uses. It's even worse if the wifi it sees is marginal because of nack'ed wifi packets.


Not a scam.

* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
Distinguished Professor IV



If you'd like to investigate the problem, I suggest creating a new topic to keep your issue separate.


With that said, DirecTV receivers have been known to use data for things other than "on demand", and they can use a LOT of it.  This may, in fact, be what's causing your data usage issues.  


In addition, your usage issues aren't HughesNet's fault.  There is no "scam".  YOUR devices are what use the data, and if one or more is using a lot of it that's not Hughesnet's issue to figure out.  They supply the internet and the data. How you, or your devices, use the data is on you, not them.  Again, though, with that said, if you'd like help with the problem please create a new topic.   

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Assistant Professor

My Nest thermostat only uses about 6 MB a day.

I'm the one that started this thread. Hughesnet is not a scam and I don't think that they are intentionally attempting to screw people over with data usage.  Yes, I too would go with Comcast or some other provider with unlimited (or exceptionaly high limited) data if that were an option here, but it is not.  The only other option in this area is Excede and from what I researched the new Hughenet Gen5 has higher speeds and higher data limits.  I have measured speeds with Gen5 off and on and routinely am getting much faster than advertised speeds. So this is my best option and I am fine with it and glad that I can now get internet this fast in the middle of nowhere at over 11,000 feet elevation. My only concern is whether there are any bugs in this new system in how the data usage is being measured and tracked and is Hughesnet looking into this? Because it seems that many others are experiencing the same things I have, which is that some activities now are using much more data for the exact same activity than previously with Gen4.  I do not have countless hours to investigate this and given the very high cost of this service, it seems that Hughenet should have the responsibility to investigate this not me.


I have not had any mysterious data usage or loss when I am not using data.  I have a security system that can control thermostats, lights, and a camera connected to the internet as well as a WiFi weather station and also DirectTV and AppleTV. But when I look at indivdual days of data usage over the past several months for days when I am not at the vacation home, the total usage for all of those devices is only about 10-20 MB per day. This is almost identical to what it was before when we had the previous Gen4 Hughesnet. That is acceptable and not a problem for me.  DirectTV does not seem to be a problem for me either. I have looked at data usage before and after many activies and I have no mysterious data loss when I am not intentionally doing somethig online. I do not stream On Demand movies on DirectTV and have seen no unusual data usage there that is any different than before.


Where am I seeing a difference is when I do intentional online activities. Like looking at Facebook, streaming music or video, etc. I am doing exactly the same kinds of activities as before with Gen4 and using the same data resolution for video streaming as before with Gen4. But in some cases, the data usage seems to be many times higher. This is where I have concerns.  I do stream movies and TV shows from time to time.  Yes, I fully understand that uses a lot of data. But since it is a vacation home that I use only 6-8 days a month, I can do that now and then.  I did that before with Gen4 as well even on occassion a 1080p HD movie (maybe 2 a month total).  But I still never hit my 20 GB /month data limit.  Now with 50 GB, I seem to be comng perilously close to using my limit doing exactly the same activities. I had hoped with the new 50 GB plan I could do about twice what I did before. But it seems I can only do about what I was already doing. This is my frustration.  I paid more so I could now do more, but I don't seem to be able to do that, because the same activities seem to be using far more data for some reason.  If I previously streamed a one hour TV show in 720p, it used about 750 MB - 1 GB per hour.  If I previously streamed a one hour movie or TV show in 1080p (rare I would ever do that) it was about 2 GB per hour.  But now suddenly with Gen5 it is almost double that.  And just basic activities like Facebook are also much higher than before. When I have looked online at what streaming of those various video resolutions is supposed to use in data, those numbers from before with Gen4 seem to be accurate.  But double that is not. So again, why the sudden massive difference doing the same activity? Why is a 1080p HD movie now using 4 GB per hour instead of 2GB per hour?  It isn't because of mysterious activity going on when I'm asleep. It is just much higher usage doing a very specific activity compared to before with Gen4. 


I don't have Glasswire, because it is not available yet for the Mac.  But I look at data right before and right after an activity like watching a TV show or movie just like I did before and there is a noticeable double.  So again, why so much more data with Gen5 compared to Gen4 doing exactly the same thing?  It is a dramatic difference.  

Distinguished Professor IV



I agree that it would be nice to find out why it is that Gen5 uses more data for the same activities, or at least does with some of us (myself included).  I haven't really thought much about lately due to still not being "charged" for more data than I'm actually using and not yet having come close to running out of data.  But, with that said, I can definitely understand the frustration, especially for those who had to increase their data package after upgrading to Gen5 in order to do the same things they did with Gen4 without running out of data.  


Less/no comression in comparison to Gen4?  Gen4 not really tallying data the way it should have (which was in our favor) while Gen5 does?  Gremlins?  It'd be nice to know, but I think what's going on with the present beam issues will delay us finding out, if we ever do. 😞    

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It is some odd phenonema for sure.  Here is my experiences... Been with Hughes on and off since the early 2000s.  Forget what year I first started but I moved here to the sticks in 2001 so would not have been too much later than that.  I started with a 5GB package.  Seemed every month I would "just" about max that out or did and would limp by in FAP.  So I upgraded to 10GB. 


Seeming like I was doing the same stuff I somehow always about maxed out or did max out that 10GB and limped by in FAP.  Sorry no, I am not buying more tokens (hehehe although I did a couple times).  Jumped shipped to a local direct line of site internet and they installed a antenna in my tall pine tree.  Worked ok but was flakey.  But with that I never maxed out my service and was great every month.  Then came along Gen 4. 


Jumped back to Hughes with a 10GB and immediately maxing out.  Upgraded to 15GB and thought I was in the butter zone.  Seemed like I did the same stuff.  Maxed out.  Went to 20GB.  Maxed out.  Switched to ATT wireless.... 50GB a month!  Wow.... thought I was in Super Butter Zone.  Nope... always at max about 1 week before the month would end so the last week I would turn off the service and turn on a couple times during the day to get emails but tried to limp by on my TMobile service that barely comes in here.  $10 per month extra per GB at ATT made me switch back to Gen 5. 


Back to Gen 5 and thought wow... a FAP speed that was not like pulling teeth.  I can see 1 to 3Mbps during FAP still OK but figured I was Mr 1GB a day back when I was on Gen 4.  Figured I would get the 20GB Hughes Gen 5 and max out 20 days in and limp by for 10 days.  Fast forward to now... 8 days into my new month, and I have 3.2GB remaining before I am into FAP.  So by tomorrow, just 9 days in, I used all 20GB doing basically what used to in Gen 4. 


Sure during Christmas we all splurge and gain a few... but then get back into a routine and don't over-eat Netflix and such, so in the coming months will see how this all pans out.  If I am still maxing out at 9 days in using all 20, I may jump to the next amount but my bet, MR PHENONEMA will rear its ugly head and I will max out again.  LOL.


Just playing here but yeah, it seems I am about doing the same in Gen 5 as I did in Gen 4 but my 20GB is getting me by 1/2 the time it used to.  I am now Mr 2.5GB per day!  heheheh



btw... it almost seems everyday browsing uses up more data that what I used to experience.  With a movie on Netflix, I can clearly see how much a show cost me in data.  Expected amount I see after I watch it and see what it used.  But then everyday data for common stuff like emails and web browsing, I am using much more than expected compared to the past.  Wonder if faster speeds are allowing websites to display stuff I used to not see like graphics and such in higher resolutions as it thinks I have fast enough internet to handle it.


Distinguished Professor IV



I'm wondering if, in order to provide higher speed, they had to forgo some of the compression they used with Gen4, especially since the ES19 is, more or less, a clone of the ES17, though with a higher overall throughput.  And before anyone jumps on that thought, yes, I know, the satellite is only a single component of the larger system, so other things could be contributing to, or a part of, the difference, as well.  


These are only suppositions, of course, but something's definitely different.   

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I did a bunch of tests to determine if there was a difference between what's being received (and sent) and what's being reported in my data usage. I thought there might be a compression issue with things like images and other media. Turns out there isn't... at least from my laptop that's literally 3 feet from the modem (and really should be wired instead of on wifi).


That said, I noticed my wife, who does most of her work downstairs uses a ton of data when running her electronic gradebook and other things. I've seen her rack up 3-400Mb on just a few hours work. I've also noticed that when I'm using apps like Twitter on my phone downstairs (with images and videos turned off) the timeline seems to use more data than usual.


Therefore, the only thing I can surmise that might be an issue is the sensistivity of the wifi and nack'd packets, which might be increasing data usage. It might be ultimately contributing to some people's speed problems in multiple ways as well. The issue is that I'm not exactly sure how to test this theory.

* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.