Understanding your data allowance, what uses data and how to keep track of your data usage
Some of our Viasat Business Internet plans are metered, meaning you purchase them based on how much total data you expect to use in a month. What's great about our metered plans is that we don't stop, slow, or de-prioritize your service when you meet that earmarked allowance. You just pay an additional cost per gigabyte (GB) as you need it. We send our metered customers internet data usage email notifications every week so you can see when you're getting close to your data allowance, or have exceeded it.
We recommend logging in to your online account management tool, My Account, regularly, especially in the first few months of service. This helps avoid surprises and gives you a feel for your pattern of usage, so you can ensure you're on the right plan.
If this is your first time logging in to My Account, or if you're having trouble logging in, please reference How to log in to My Account for Viasat Business customers.
Once logged in, you'll land on the Account Overview page. On this page, you'll see a Data and Billing Cycle section and just below it, a Data Usage section. These sections will display important information about your billing period: the beginning and end date of your current billing period, the days remaining, and current data usage. To learn more, read How to check your Viasat Business plan data.
How to manage your internet data consumption
A GB is roughly the equivalent of three hours of web browsing, 20,000 webpages loading, 1,000 files of information, or 500 e-books. Another way to look at it: a credit card swipe at a point-of-sale terminal uses about 1 kilobyte of data. You could swipe a card a million times before you’d use 1 GB of data.
1. Beware of back-ups
Backing up data is essential for a business. Storing data on business software as well as in the cloud is an ideal way to preserve vital customer lists and business contacts, copies of contracts, transaction records, employee information, tax and other important documents. But back-ups consume lots of bandwidth. You may be able to adjust the settings on your backup programs to prevent duplicating saved data, or to reduce the frequency of backups. These save both time and data.
2. Limit video time
Streaming and downloading video consumes more data than almost any other online activity. If employees are using your Wi-Fi on their smartphones, they may be watching video and doing other activities that consume the data you need to run your business.
3. Adjust video settings
If you do allow video use on your service, reduce video data by ensuring you're utilizing the Video Data Extender feature available for metered plans to help save data usage by limiting streaming videos to DVD quality (typically 480p). This feature is on by default. Also, sites like Facebook will load and play videos automatically, so turning off this feature can save a lot of data usage. 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.
4. 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. Also, be sure to have your Wi-Fi network password protected so you can control who gains access to it.
5. 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.
6. Check file sizes before emailing
Before hitting send, check the size of attachments, and if possible, downsize them. Consider using links instead of emailing a lengthy document. Downsize photos to 500 kb or less before sending them to save data usage.
7. Utilize the Viasat Browser
Viasat Browser was developed by Viasat to help speed up and improve your internet browsing experience. It loads pages up to two times faster than traditional web browsers. It also uses sophisticated ad-blocker technology coupled with built-in data saver modes to block data-intensive auto-play streams and ads from preloading, preventing inadvertent data consumption, while providing extra layers of privacy and security protection. Learn more about Viasat's New, Faster Internet Browser.
8. Change your plan
If you’re consistently exceeding your data allowance and incurring added expenses, we can help you find a plan better suited to your needs. Call Business Care at 855-313-4111.