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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bandwidth Usage

I had already been restrained in posting here by the need to do something about my firewood collecting, resuming my work on my big stained glass Iris Window project, and the several other things.   But a week or two ago an especially powerful inhibitor set in over our heads, when Wildblue, our wireless server, accused us of using too much bandwidth.

They had given us two weeks notice, but my wife had assumed the guise of being our e-mail monitor, because she hears a lot from her friends by that means though I almost never do, and I don't have nearly as many friends anyway, at least not any that use the Internet or that I have heard from by any other means lately, and she sometimes tends to overlook things (more often than she likes to think or wants to hear from me), and she thought that notice was something too arcane or something for her to have to worry about, and she summarily tossed it.   So two weeks later Wildblue summarily (from my point of view) slowed down our internet access to almost unusable, claiming that we, or somebody, had downloaded too much, to the tune of 14,000 mb's during the past 30 days or 122 percent of what was allowable in the package we were paying for, the least expensive.

It was true that, unaware that we had been threatened, I, at long last, after avoiding the thought for a long time, had been checking into the Steam online game system and had downloaded several large games just out of curiosity,  and I theorized that that had put us over the edge, though I couldn't see how it could have been that much.   But my wife, who spends a good deal of the morning reading the NY times and her messages online, couldn't stand being so restrained, and she upped our level, at extra cost, with the idea of dropping back to our usual level of Wildblue, as soon as enough time had passed with little downloading to get that 122% business down to a much better number.  But no sooner had she done that when Wildblue, after having sped things up for a couple of days with the new package, hit us again with another "abuse" penalty, saying that with even the new allowance of 12,000 mb's in place of the former 7,500 per each 30 “rolling” days, we were still in "violation" with that usage of 14,600 during the past 30 days.

They didn't say it exactly that way, at least the way my wife reported it, but that is what it works out to, to my thinking, and now, after the additional $20 she had arranged to pay per month to upgrade to the second level, she is thinking of paying another $10 to get to the top level, temporarily,  which would allow for 17,000 mb’s, and that should get us far enough up above that violation level.  Meanwhile, I think that our very low upload usage, about 4% of what is allowed,. ought to count for something, though I don't know how they arrived at even that low a number, over any 30 days.

I am not sure, though, that even that will do the job, because something about all this strikes me as being a ruse to extract more money from us.  For instance, Wildblue said that we might be the victim of a virus, so I downloaded AVG, which is thought to be one of the best antivirus programs, and I successfully installed it on two of the three computers we use in our tiny home network,  but unsuccessfully on the third, due to a previous AVG instalment that I had let lapse after the free trial period some months ago, and, as AVG, judging by the time it took,  was a pretty big download for each computer, that must’ve gotten us in position for that second violation.   That strikes me as being too much of  a Catch 22 situation, and I’m afraid the same thing will happen when I try to get AVG finally installed on the third machine.

I suppose it could be said that three computers is too much to keep going, though I strongly doubt that we use all three together, online, as much as a lot of people use only one.

Meanwhile I’m glad I have written this post.   I believe the exertion has made the whole thing a little clearer to me.



Blogger LeftLeaningLady said...

Do you have a wireless router and is it password protected? If (all of a sudden) your downloads have changed, but your habits have not, it is possible someone else is stealing your bandwidth. It happens all the time! Password your wireless and I bet the issue ceases.

I do hope your firewood and window are going well!

9:41 AM  
Blogger Steve Bates said...

America's greedy ISPs are outdoing themselves these days. If you lived in, say, France, you'd pay less, get higher speeds and larger bandwidth usage limits, if indeed any limits at all. And AT&T is about to make it worse here. There is one word that suffices to describe the phenomenon that is gradually turning the US into a Third World nation: greed.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Kat said...

I am haveing the same problem only mine is uploading, I have gotten rid of every program that I thought might be shareware and still over the limit. Then I upgraded and with in 3 days was over that. I am at a loss we dont even use the computer alot and we go over super fast, I stoped all the auto updates, I dont know what else to do...

12:26 AM  

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