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How to maximize your data



Quick tips to help you get the most out of your data plan

To get the most out of your Viasat Internet service and stay within the bounds of your data allowance, consider these suggestions:

1. Video Data Extender
All Viasat service plans (except unlimited data service plans) have a feature called the Video Data Extender, and it will help you stream more online video, using a lot less data.The Video Data Extender is turned on by default, but you can always turn this feature on and off at any time. This free setting allows you to watch more streaming video on your wireless devices while using less data because your video will automatically stream at DVD quality (optimized for 480p). You will be able to enjoy more of what you love, especially on small screens! Note: Not all video sources are identifiable and able to benefit from the Video Data Extender. Click here for more information on the Video Data Extender feature.
                    2. Check your usage regularly
Make it a habit to check your data usage regularly throughout your billing cycle — especially in the first few months of service. This helps you avoid surprises and gives you a feel for your pattern of usage – and how you and other users in your household may need to adjust it. To view your Usage Meter, log into your account through the Customer Portal.

3. Limit video time
Streaming and downloading video consumes more data than almost any other online activity. Pass that fact along to other users on your home network, then go one step further and install a Flash blocker on your browser to prevent video from loading automatically. 
                    4. Adjust video settings
Reduce video data consumption by lowering your screen resolution. Options are available on Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and most other video streaming sites. Read more in our Help Center article. If you're not on an unlimited plan, you can also control your video quality automatically with Viasat's Video Data Extender - for more information for what it does and how to turn it on or off, check out the Help Center article. Click here to learn how to reduce data usage specifically on Netflix. 

                    5. Tweak your usage habits
Save your heaviest consumption for late night or early morning and take advantage of the Free Zone if your plan has one: five hours of unmetered daily data use that comes with our
Classic, Essential and Evolution plans. (Not available in all areas.)

                    6. Keep outside users out
Spyware, malware and other programs can consume data without your knowledge. Use software or a program to detect such threats and keep them out. Plus, be sure to have your wireless router password protected so your neighbors aren’t getting a free data ride on your service!  For more information, take a look at our article Control who’s on your home network
                     7. Adjust your email settings
A simple change to your email settings can enable you to pre-approve or prevent data-heavy image displays and automatic attachment downloads. Just find the “settings” menu on whichever email program you’re using, and choose the correct option.

                     8. Check file sizes before emailing
Before hitting send, check the size of photos and other attachments, and if possible, downsize them.

Downsize photos before sending them to 500 kb or less with Mac’s iPhoto or Windows programs like Windows Live Photo Gallery or Gimp or Google’s Picasa.

Consider using links instead of emailing a lengthy document. For instance, include a YouTube video link over a data-heavy PowerPoint with video.
                    9. Turn off auto-play video features
Sites like Facebook will load and play videos automatically, so turning off this feature can save a lot of data usage. Disabling auto-play won’t prevent you from watching videos. You can simply click on any video you want to watch and it will start playing almost immediately. In order to disable and/or limit the auto-play feature on any device, navigate to the ‘Settings→ Video’ for the relevant application, such as Facebook. See below for how to turn off the video auto-play feature on desktop computers:
Here’s an article on how to disable auto-play on popular browsers.
Here’s Facebook’s post on the topic.
10. Keep an eye on Chromebook computers.
Since these run on Google Chrome as the operating system and are always connected to the internet, Chromebooks will likely use more data than other devices just to perform normal functions.

11. Manage software updates.
All kinds of applications and apps require software updates from time to time; some happen automatically without you realizing it. Some of these are minor updates that don't use up much data, but some can be quite large. An OS update for Windows or Mac can be several gigabytes, for example. Learn how to manage those updates here.
                    12. Monitor 'Over the Top (OTT)' video devices like Roku and Apple TV.
These are connected devices that focus on streaming video, so having one connected to your Viasat service can mean you'll go through a lot of data quickly. Be sure you've got a data plan that can keep up with this level of streaming.   
                     Last resort:
If you’re consistently bumping up against your cap, Buy More data on our website. Or you can move to a Viasat plan with a larger data cap (there’s never a charge to change plans). 
Learn more in our Data allowance article.


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