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Mobile Broadband Data Usage Monitor - Help / Advise required - thanks

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Hi fellow KUKDealers A question to the computer wise. I am looking for a simple / easy to install (and free) data usage monitor for mobile broadband on a Windows XP laptop. And before anyone … Read More
elitom Avatar
7y, 11m agoPosted 7 years, 11 months ago
Hi fellow KUKDealers

A question to the computer wise.

I am looking for a simple / easy to install (and free) data usage monitor for mobile broadband on a Windows XP laptop.

And before anyone mentions it, yes I could Google the answer and do some research / experimentation, but I actually need the answer quite quickly as you will see below.

For the last year or so my Dad has been using a 3 broadband dongle, but the contract is coming to an end so I am looking for an alternative if possible.

Basically the 3 service is Ok when it works but it does drop the signal quite often. He is in a generally good area for 3 but is in a kind off hole very locally.

So the reason for the data monitor. Over the last year, according to my 3 bills he usage is very low. Averaging 250MB per month and no more than 300MB max. He is 77 years old so only checks his email a couple of times a day, bit of Facebook and shopping for books on Amazon. Maybe the odd bit of research or his merchant navy forum, but I would bet he is on for way less than an hour a day. His usage over the last year has been very consistent.

A couple of weeks ago I set him up with a Vodafone top-up and go dongle as a trial. The service is much more stable and a little faster so he is happy, but over the last two weeks the Voda dongle credit is indicating a usage of approx 800MB / month. The idea was that the £15 topup would last approx 3 months but it looks like it will barely last one month!

Therefore I need an easy to use / install data usage monitor that I can talk him through installing and using. He lives 150 miles from me so it will need phone support!!!

I need to know if the Voda data usage is accurate or the 3 data usage was way off the mark, (and maybe we just keep that option, or whatever !

Any ideas?

Thanks

EliTom

Any ideas based on experience from the learned folk here?
elitom Avatar
7y, 11m agoPosted 7 years, 11 months ago
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#1
NetMeter is a free programme and will give you daily, weekly, monthly totals and more. Google will give you download site.
#2
OK, forgive me if this is wrong... but even if he has a meter that he can refer to, you'd still have to go by what the supplier says it is.. unless you ring them up and challenge their statistics of course.
Just an idea (don't bite my head off for suggesting please), but why not go with a home broadband deal instead that has unlimited usage (or even just limited as they're usually 20/30/40GB anyway) and phone bundle with free anytime calls included? - unless of course he happens to be one of the unlucky people that has a very long distance to the exchange and makes the broadband not worth having of course?
I just thought that was unlikely as mobile broadband coverage tends to be somewhat contained to built up areas and patchy in the countryside.
#3
paddy.stone
OK, forgive me if this is wrong... but even if he has a meter that he can refer to, you'd still have to go by what the supplier says it is.. unless you ring them up and challenge their statistics of course.
Just an idea (don't bite my head off for suggesting please), but why not go with a home broadband deal instead that has unlimited usage (or even just limited as they're usually 20/30/40GB anyway) and phone bundle with free anytime calls included? - unless of course he happens to be one of the unlucky people that has a very long distance to the exchange and makes the broadband not worth having of course?
I just thought that was unlikely as mobile broadband coverage tends to be somewhat contained to built up areas and patchy in the countryside.


Yes in theory you are right Paddy but in his case it is not ecomonical.

He is in sort of shelterd accomodation, he is on a retired persons estate in a small bungalow that has no fixed line.

Also Mother is in a care home very close by and they call each other alot. Furthermore Mother has to pay to have a fixed line as well.

So the best solution for the whole family is to have low user mobile phones for my parents on O2. This way they get unlimited calls to each other and to us.

Also the 3 deal is £5 / month for 1GB. The idea was that if his data usage was similar to 3 the voda dongle would also work out at approx £5/month, but with a more reliable service.

He does not want to pay BT £10 plus a month for a fixed line then add an ISP to that when it is possible to get mobile broadband that suits his needs for approx £5 / month all in.

He would still want his mobile and this works well as his only phone.

I will challenge voda about there dat usage but need the evidence. At teh end of the day if it is ats it is then we will not continue with voda and try TMobile / Virgin as i have Virgin Media XL broadband at home so can get 1GB mobile for £5/month.

Hope this makes sense !

cheers

EliTom
#4
Yep makes perfect sense now mate.... I just assumed he was able to have a fixed line etc etc. I think the way you have gone about it is spot on now I have more info to go on :thumbsup:

BTW, how do the parents get on with using mobile phones? my dad is 77 also and mum is 75 soon... both have had mobiles for at least 5+ years as I've made sure they have... yet they still ask me "how do I lock the keypad again?" and "how do I access the address book?" almost on a weekly basis :roll: - I always explain as simply as I can again how to do these things and they still forget.... and they aren't senile or anything like that either.. just a bit technophobic I guess and afraid of making mistakes. I think I'm gonna have to stump up for a bit more advanced phone (even though they won't use most features) just so that instead of a "candybar" type phone they could have a slide phone like mine that auto locks the keypad for them when they slide it shut and can program the phone to have a shortcut for the address book that they will remember... just a bit hesitant about buying a more expensive phone because Dad has lost 3 phones in the last 2 years while fishing etc. he lost his last one 2 weeks ago and only told me 3/4 days ago.

Anyway, good luck with it all... sounds like vigin might be the way to go for sure, subject to coverage of course. Can't get much coverage with any of them where I live so not an option for me to have mobile broadband, plus we can't get virgin cable either, so stuck with an 8mbit BB connection, but to be fair get speeds of approx 780KB/s for most of the day now that CPW has taken over tiscali, so can't complain too much as it could be much worse.

Let us know how you get on with it all.
#5
paddy.stone
Yep makes perfect sense now mate.... I just assumed he was able to have a fixed line etc etc. I think the way you have gone about it is spot on now I have more info to go on :thumbsup:

BTW, how do the parents get on with using mobile phones? my dad is 77 also and mum is 75 soon... both have had mobiles for at least 5+ years as I've made sure they have... yet they still ask me "how do I lock the keypad again?" and "how do I access the address book?" almost on a weekly basis :roll: - I always explain as simply as I can again how to do these things and they still forget.... and they aren't senile or anything like that either.. just a bit technophobic I guess and afraid of making mistakes. I think I'm gonna have to stump up for a bit more advanced phone (even though they won't use most features) just so that instead of a "candybar" type phone they could have a slide phone like mine that auto locks the keypad for them when they slide it shut and can program the phone to have a shortcut for the address book that they will remember... just a bit hesitant about buying a more expensive phone because Dad has lost 3 phones in the last 2 years while fishing etc. he lost his last one 2 weeks ago and only told me 3/4 days ago.

Anyway, good luck with it all... sounds like vigin might be the way to go for sure, subject to coverage of course. Can't get much coverage with any of them where I live so not an option for me to have mobile broadband, plus we can't get virgin cable either, so stuck with an 8mbit BB connection, but to be fair get speeds of approx 780KB/s for most of the day now that CPW has taken over tiscali, so can't complain too much as it could be much worse.

Let us know how you get on with it all.


LOL - know the felling.

My Mum is 75 and has had stroke and has no movement on her left slide (hence the care home bit), but can still use a phone :) She has a Nokia slide phone and basically knws how to answer calls and she finds the half dozen numbers she uses from the recent calls list by pressing the green button. Thats as far as it goes for Mum but she manages just fine :)

Dad is not a technophobe but at 77 he does forget some things. He has a samsung slide phone but can use most features. He even sends the odd text message to kids he knows just to annoy them / surprise them! So from my expeerience slide phones are the way to go. I would recommend the samsung E250
He would be lost without his laptop / dongle. If he goes away for the weeknd anywhere or comes to us the one thing you know he will have is his laptop. I even suggested not using the dongle for 24 hours to check that the data used did n ot change - that was a non starter !!!
He uses online forums for the merchant navy - uses facebook - buys of Amazon and ebay.

so yes get your Dad a slide phone like the samsung E250. My Dad has no problems using his.

My parents both have O2 simplicity £15/month tarrifs with unlimited O2 to O2 calls and 300 mins each on top which is all they ever use. Total cost for both is £35 / month for unlimited phone and internet (for their usage) with two seperate residences.

hth

EliTom
#6
LOL - I just thank god that mum and dad aren't interested in using the net... I am quite a patient guy and have studied computing and self taught a lot of stuff too, but can't handle the thought of trying to teach them anything on the computer - it was bad enough with my sister :roll:

Thanks for the info on the E250, will have to look into that some more.... I do like samsung though, I have an L810v STEEL myself and love it :thumbsup:

Sorry to hear about your mum having a stroke etc...
glad she's getting on with stuff, in fact I applaud both of them for taking on new (to them anyway) technology and seeing what it has to offer, and making the best of it :)

[think I'm overdoing the smilies now - must restrain myself]
#7
paddy.stone
LOL - I just thank god that mum and dad aren't interested in using the net... I am quite a patient guy and have studied computing and self taught a lot of stuff too, but can't handle the thought of trying to teach them anything on the computer - it was bad enough with my sister :roll:

Thanks for the info on the E250, will have to look into that some more.... I do like samsung though, I have an L810v STEEL myself and love it :thumbsup:

Sorry to hear about your mum having a stroke etc...
glad she's getting on with stuff, in fact I applaud both of them for taking on new (to them anyway) technology and seeing what it has to offer, and making the best of it :)

[think I'm overdoing the smilies now - must restrain myself]


Go on be brave - get them a laptop and they can become silver surfers :-D

Mum has no interest in tghe internet but Dad would not be without it.

He has just installed Net Meter and is now busy comparing this info with vodafones charges :w00t:

EliTom
#8
doogan9
NetMeter is a free programme and will give you daily, weekly, monthly totals and more. Google will give you download site.


cheers doogan9 - now got Net Meter running on his laptop and he knows how to get the daily reports from it so will compare with the daily charge from Vodafone,

Give him something to do for a few days :whistling:

EliTom
#9
Off topic slightly but http://www.lycamobile.co.uk/ offer free calls to others on the same network. May be of interest for free calls for them. Sims are free too:thumbsup:
#10
jtx
Off topic slightly but http://www.lycamobile.co.uk/ offer free calls to others on the same network. May be of interest for free calls for them. Sims are free too:thumbsup:


only for the month of August :x

*Lycamobile to Lycamobile UK calls are free for the first ten minutes, Calls over ten minutes will be charged at ten pence per minute. Fair Usage Policy applies including a limit of three thousand minutes per month, calls made over this allowance will be charged at ten pence per minute. This promotion is only valid after one top up in August. Promotion starts on the 01.08.2009 and finishes on the 31.08.2009

EliTom
#11
mumbojumbo
Hi. If you're using a Huawei modem with Huawei's "Mobile Partner" Connection manager there's a usage monitor in the dashboard. Remember you are charged for traffic BOTH ways, so that's data downloaded plus data uploaded - you need to remember to add the 2 together, as they're usually shown separately.


yes its a Huawei E160x or 106x something like thst!

with the voda topup and go package (vodafone lite) the usage monitor is disabled in the voda front end software.

The Net Meter shows both up and down plus the total so will compare taht with the cost used at 1.46p/meg and see how it compares over the next few days or so.

EliTom
#12
elitom
Go on be brave - get them a laptop and they can become silver surfers :-D

Mum has no interest in tghe internet but Dad would not be without it.

He has just installed Net Meter and is now busy comparing this info with vodafones charges :w00t:

EliTom


TBH I can't even afford a laptop/netbook for myself right now even, lol

Hope you get it sorted and give voda a grilling over their figures :?

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