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 (VDE) to help you stream more online video, using a lot less data. The VDE is turned on by default, but it can be turned on and off any time. This free setting will allow more video streaming on wireless devices while using less data - your video will automatically stream at DVD quality (optimized for 480p). Note: Not all video sources are identifiable and able to benefit from VDE. 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 to avoid surprises and provides an idea of your pattern of usage and how you and other users in your household may need to adjust. To view your Usage Meter, log into your account. To set up usage alerts, Buy More data and monitor usage anytime, download the MyViasat mobile app.
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. Tip: Be sure to secure your router to avoid hidden 'data poachers'. Check this article, "Control who's on your home network" for more info.
4. Adjust video settings
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 un-metered daily data use that comes with our Classic, Essential and Evolution plans. (Not available in all areas.) Check out this article for popular FAQ's about the awesome benefits your Free Zone offers.
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, click here for more helpful info for protection against these malicious programs. Plus, check out this important article about keeping your computer secure and safe, "What you need to know about computer security".
7. Adjust your email settings
To take control and download only the attachments you want, a simple change to your email settings can enable you to pre-approve or prevent data-heavy image displays and automatic attachment downloads - which can also eat up your data. 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.
- Consider using links instead of emailing a lengthy document. For instance, include a YouTube video link over a data-heavy PowerPoint with video.
- For more options and information on how to check your file size, just search the internet for, how to check file size before emailing.
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:
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. If you find your data usage draining, try searching the internet for Chromebook's high data usage for ideas on how to help save your data.
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. Two good articles that may be helpful are, Tips on updating software and Some third-party routers need firmware update
12. Monitor 'Over the Top (OTT)' video devices like Roku and Apple TV
Over the Top video devices 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. Also, check out this article, if you haven't already - it's packed with good tips on streaming videos you may find helpful in saving your data when using these devices.
13. Gaming on Viasat Internet
Streaming games, such as shooting games and sports games, are not permitted on the Viasat service. Performance of some games may lag or not work at all due to the inherent delay/latency of the signals that travel to and from our satellites and back to earth. However, other games, such as strategy games and role-playing games work well with satellite internet. For more information gaming over a satellite internet connection and what games will and will not perform well, these articles may be helpful: Reviews of how some video games perform on satellite internet, https://www.talia.net/gaming-satellite-internet and http://Ahern's YouTube channel
We hope you find this this article helpful. It's full of links and helpful information customer's like yourself, have been asking for to help learn about data and how to use it wisely. If you’re still consistently bumping up against your cap, consider options such as Buy More data you can purchase on the MyViasat mobile app, your account and through our text messaging - click here to check out these self-service options. Or, you may find its time to move to a Viasat plan with a larger data cap - there’s never a charge to change plans, How to change my plan.
Learn more in our Data allowance article.