Metered connections

After perusing the forums it occurred to me that GlassWire as a company may not be (fully) familiar with the concept of metered internet access that is used by more and more people.

People in rural areas in the USA are often limited to satellite and/or 4G LTE. Most of those account impose data caps, after which the user may be cut off, throttled, or charged.

If I am not mistaken metered connections are even more common in some other countries.

In the US both Verizon and AT&T offer installed 4G LTE services. Verizon’s offer (HomeFusion) comes with an antenna that is mounted permanently to the house while AT&T provides a more portable unit. These services differ significantly from the regular mobile plans since the user is not throttled but has to pay for each additional GB ($10 per GB as of December 2015). A lot of customers are complaining about “ghost data” and some end up with staggering monthly bills (ranging from hundreds to even thousands of dollars).

In addition, more and more people are tethering their laptops to their mobile phones for internet access. Although mobile plans usually just throttle the speed after the data cap, this can still be very awkward.

GlassWire is one of the few products that offers a fairly straightforward option to gain insight into the data usage for people on metered connections. Although it works fairly well for that purpose, it seems to me that metered connections are not a focus for the product. For instance, it does not provide a good way for laptops to differentiate between networks. It would be great if GW could implement some features specifically for people on metered connections.
Since this market seems to be growing it might provide an opportunity for GW as well.

Granted, GW wouldn’t be able to cover mobile devices (at this time?) but being able to monitor desktop computers and laptops would be of tremendous benefit.

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Thank you for the suggestion. I have a relative who uses a satellite connection so I understand this data limited market a little. The main problem I see is that we can’t access the router currently to see all data but hopefully we can add that functionality in the future.

I guess with GlassWire maybe we should add a “profile” setting where you can see when you’re on your home network, and then see seperate data while away. Is that what you mean by differentiate by networks?


Arie, You can see more detail in my response to another of your posts, but I also use Verizon 4G LTE. I’m currently monitoring my usage via my router (as Ken suggests would need to be done) – see my other post for more.

But in direct response to the “ghost data” idea, I can verify that the Verizon data usage that they report on their website for your account is precisely accurate. There is no ghost data. The major user error is in not understanding just how much data people use (specifically HD video streaming) and in not monitoring their usage so that they don’t incur overages.

For a specific example, my wife and I have individual laptops and we are both heavy internet users. We basically must count on using 0.75 GB a day simply for browsing. Windows 10 requires 2.5 - 3 GB for each major cumulative update (typically monthly). That much alone takes us over 20GB a month. We do no video streaming at all other than some minor YouTube or Facebook videos. That does not cause an issue.

But I do agree and have also asked for the ability of Glasswire to monitor router information That is indeed a huge undertaking.

It occurred to me that in checking Data Usage on the Verizon website, my wife only saw the bar chart for usage “types” (browser, video, cloud, etc.) but missed the detail charts. Under the main bar chart which shows total Usage, there is a link for “data utilization”. That shows the “type” bars and below that (off screen) is a table of usage at intervals during the day. On the right above that table are two icons for table and graph. The graph is far more useful as it shows daily total use over the billing period. It is that graph that matches the Netgear Genie totals.

(For others who may be interested, Verizon allows you to set up email warnings when you reach 50, 75 and 90% of your monthly limit. Checking usage daily is not necessary unless, like Arie and I, you might be a little paranoid about the “stories” of Verizon excessive bills for “ghost” usage.)

I don’t mean to turn this into a 4G LTE forum. Glasswire provides me with great service as it is today. With remote connections to all the PCs in my network, I can quickly determine “near realtime” whether in any give day week or month I have traffic throughput (usage) issues that might cost me heavily at the end of the month. And I can easily find out what apps may be generating the high usage (though “Host Process for Windows” is overused, I can still determine when that means a Win10 update). In fact, this is how I found out that the Win10 uptates were consuming more than 10% of my monthly data limit – way more.

What Glasswire cannot do today is to tell me, as Arie reported, what my total usage in my local network is. Even if I remote connect and add up all my PCs, I still don’t have usage for my other connected devices. That is where my Netgear router’s usage tracking is helpful. (The Verizon router is VERY awkward to use to get this info.)

So that is an area where Glasswire could add great service, but which imposes major additional requirements on the tool. Each router or router manufacturer will have a different way to tracking total throughput, so the first effort is to determine the most popular routers. Some routers, like Netgear, have tracking options built in – that would be fairly easy to access. Others like the Verizon router, however only provide a timestamp and total traffic volume up to that point – far more problematic.

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Hopefully we can add this ability in the future. We have some ideas we’re working on… but it will not work with all routers.

No, no one should expect detailed support for all routers. I personally think basic id and possibly throughput info would be a great feature to have, but there are far too many obscure, seldom used routers to try to “manage” them all. It’s very clear that some providers either issue a router that has minimum functionality and support (inexpensive) or they commission a custom release – the main point is to save money, not to provide service. I don’t see router management as the primary mission of Glasswire.

I wish we could make our own router. Maybe a Kickstarter? :+1: