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Better Usage Monitoring System?

mplusnetuser
Grafter
Posts: 103
Registered: ‎03-02-2011

Better Usage Monitoring System?

I'm just about to switch to a lower usage package, and so will need to be paying more attention to how much data I'm using.
As I understand things, we get an email notification at 80% usage (which may or may be useful, depending), and at 100%. There's the summary page available here: https://portal.plus.net/view_my_broadband_usage/index.php , and we can set a limit here: https://portal.plus.net/data_transfer_watch/ (I've input £0.00). And that's about it? Am I overlooking any other features?
I could set the everlasting login cookie to keep the My Broadband Usage page always visible (as an Opera Speed Dial, in my case, though there's too much cruft around the data to make it legible), but that's not always practical or safe (as Plusnet themselves advise). (Incidentally, that page says "Usage from the last 2 hours is not shown on this page", but in my admittedly limited experience so far, that appears to be wrong. Whether it's a legacy description, or just overly cautious to show the worst case, it looks to me that the data is almost live: a few minutes delayed, not a few hours. If I'm right, couldn't that be changed: ideally, to dynamically say the actual current delay.)
But there seems to be no way to export/publish the current usage data (without identifying information) into format(s) which are more easily monitored/manipulated? Say, an RSS feed. Or a lean version of the My Broadband Usage page (i.e. just the data, not the surrounding Plusnet navigation stuff), available outside the logged-in area. Or some kind of widget. Or user-configurable email triggers. Or 'live' graphs (as Plusnet do for other things: http://www.plus.net/support/service/network_performance/broadband_bandwidth_usage.shtml ). Or something.
It seems to me that Plusnet could fairly easily do something(s) to make monitoring much easier and more flexible for customers?
19 REPLIES
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: ‎16-06-2010

Re: Better Usage Monitoring System?

Hi mplusnetuser,
Usage can take longer to populate, hence the two hours. If we were to say it was any quicker and it wasn't it would generate unnecessary questions I imagine. I wouldn't say that the things you suggest are something fairly easy, but Thinkbroadband offer a usage meter which you might find useful.
Although with the ideas you have come up with you may find this interesting
Jojo Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,744
Thanks: 954
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Better Usage Monitoring System?

http://www.softperfect.com/products/networx/ is far better than the thinkbroadband meter!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: ‎16-06-2010

Re: Better Usage Monitoring System?

There ya go, the voice of experience Smiley I must try that one at home Smiley
mplusnetuser
Grafter
Posts: 103
Registered: ‎03-02-2011

Re: Better Usage Monitoring System?

Hi Jojo,
I don't think a company proclaiming itself "good honest broadband" should really be saying something it knows not to be true, just to reduce user questions. At very least that page should say "Usage from the last 2 hours is may not be shown on this page". Anyway, that's an aside.
Yes, thanks Jojo and Jelv, a software usage meter is one workaround/supplement (I use DUmeter myself), though they all rely on being able to log all data through the router, and of matching Plusnet's own logs, and their records still aren't (easily) accessible remotely.
I hope you'll not give up on improving Plusnet's own service in this respect, and maybe forward my suggestion to the people responsible (or to the new Engineer, on arrival!)
mplusnetuser
Grafter
Posts: 103
Registered: ‎03-02-2011

Re: Better Usage Monitoring System?

Speaking of changing packages, I changed via the Product Change wizard a few weeks ago, and received confirmation at the time on the web site, to take effect from the next billing period, starting 11th March.
But I didn't get any email confirmation, and I can't see anything within the Members area which acknowledges that I have changed. Is that normal? How can I tell that everything is okay, and due to change in a couple of days, please?
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Better Usage Monitoring System?

if you are changing to a lower priced package, it is at the Billing date.
you can see what package you are on, look at VMBU - link on the bottom left of this page
mplusnetuser
Grafter
Posts: 103
Registered: ‎03-02-2011

Re: Better Usage Monitoring System?

Quote from: pierre_pierre
if you are changing to a lower priced package, it is at the Billing date.
you can see what package you are on, look at VMBU - link on the bottom left of this page

Yes, thanks, I know my present package, and the date it's supposed to change. How do I know it will change? How do I know the request has been accepted, and is due to be actioned? What record is there of the change request? Will an over-charge on my Direct Debit be the first sign that it has not been set to change?
Infinity
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 6,182
Thanks: 272
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎19-06-2011

Re: Better Usage Monitoring System?

For Apple iMac I use
http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/20884/surplusmeter
and enter the details into my own spreadsheet, which shows total usage, and projected usage for a billing period.
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: ‎16-06-2010

Re: Better Usage Monitoring System?

Quote from: mplusnetuser
I don't think a company proclaiming itself "good honest broadband" should really be saying something it knows not to be true, just to reduce user questions.

I didn't say that. We believe that's how it works. I imagine there may be reasons where it populates quicker but in the main it does take 2 hours.
RPMozley
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,119
Thanks: 30
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎04-11-2011

Re: Better Usage Monitoring System?

The problem with these monitoring programs is that they don't account for other devices usage, so calculating the total can become rather difficult.
I had posted something previously on this subject and had floated an idea that might be possible to implement, depending on how information is configured. See last post...
http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,100333.0.html
That's RPM to you!!
whelpton
Grafter
Posts: 104
Registered: ‎06-06-2011

Re: Better Usage Monitoring System?

Quote from: mplusnetuser
But I didn't get any email confirmation.

I have sent you a confirmation in regards to the package change.
matt_2k34
Grafter
Posts: 1,300
Registered: ‎09-07-2007

Re: Better Usage Monitoring System?

Quote from: RPMozley
The problem with these monitoring programs is that they don't account for other devices usage, so calculating the total can become rather difficult.

Networx actually can link all the data from all machines into the report on all machines (i.e. it doesnt suffer from what you're saying)
Personally, i rarely check VMBU - i use Consume on my iPhone - whack in user details and rollover date and it updates quickly Wink
I dont se
Quote
If I'm right, couldn't that be changed: ideally, to dynamically say the actual current delay.)

Well..no ? Cause plusnet is monitoring traffic in 'real time' for hundreds of thousands of connections... You do understand how much data that would incur just monitoring - right? I dont see the problem with the 'two hour' delay message - it makes you aware that the number can still go up - particularly if you are using much in the evening, go over into the off peak time - You'll probably find the Peak time data is still increasing well past midnight.
Regards
RPMozley
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,119
Thanks: 30
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎04-11-2011

Re: Better Usage Monitoring System?

Quote from: Matt_2k34
Networx actually can link all the data from all machines into the report on all machines (i.e. it doesnt suffer from what you're saying)

Well that's fine if all you have are windoze PCs as Networx only runs on them. If you use a Mac or Linux it won't account for them and then there are other Internet connected devices like games consoles, TVs and all other types you can think of. Not a simple matter as you can imagine.
That's RPM to you!!
Infinity
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 6,182
Thanks: 272
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎19-06-2011

Re: Better Usage Monitoring System?

Quote from: PlusComUK
For Apple iMac I use
http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/20884/surplusmeter
and enter the details into my own spreadsheet, which shows total usage, and projected usage for a billing period.

But ........
Having just transferred many files from old iMac to new iMac using Wi-fi, that WLAN usage is recorded too.
Until I remembered to disable monitoring that is !