Author Topic: ISP Internet Usage to Run Ambient Weather Station? Look here for answer!  (Read 389 times)

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Offline galfert

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In case anyone is wondering how much Internet you would use to run an Ambient Weather Station 24 hours.

ANSWER: Almost nothing.  Less than 9 MB per day or about 380 KB per hour. Or less than 300 MB per month.

Attached is an analysis report graph from my router taken for a 24 hour period for my WS-2902A.
I'm reporting to ambientweather.net, Weather Underground, and WeatherCloud. I'll revise when I set up more services. But probably wont matter much.

For comparison here are some other smart devices you may have in your home:

Ambient Weather WS-2902A: 8.7 MB /day
Nest Protect Smoke/CO2 monitor: 1.45 MB /day
Samsung Smart TV (not used but connected): 25 MB /day
Hydrawise Irrigation controller: 6 MB / day
Smart HVAC controller: 2.7 MB /day
Harmony Hub TV Remote: 480 KB / day
Typical day browsing the web, email, (no YouTube): 180 MB /day

All of these are insignificant Internet use.
On the other hand...an evening of watching Netflix = 6 GB to 10 GB.

The reason for this post is because people think that they must end up using way more data because they are actively sending information up to the Internet constantly with a weather station. What they don't realize is that they most likely already have devices on their network that are pretty active 24 hrs even if not being used. But it still amounts to practically nothing and it will not affect web browsing or gaming or video watching. I suppose these smart devices are getting time updates and check in with company servers to acknowledge status and that they are online, who knows....but it is minuscule regardless.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 09:05:30 PM by galfert »
WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Offline WeatherHost

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Not so much about the data for EACH transmission, but the frequency of those transmissions.  How often are you sending?  Someone using something like RapidFire sending a full load of data each minute or less will use far more than someone sending hourly.

Someone sending graphs or images will use more than someone sending data only.

Banners, tags, widgets, etc. are why I have Signatures turned off.

Offline galfert

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Not so much about the data for EACH transmission, but the frequency of those transmissions.  How often are you sending?  Someone using something like RapidFire sending a full load of data each minute or less will use far more than someone sending hourly.

Someone sending graphs or images will use more than someone sending data only.

Good point. I forgot to mention the WS-2902A sends updates every 14 seconds to Weather Underground. So even if your frequency is greater than that what is it going to be?..Tripple..Quadruple? Still Nothing.

Nobody sends graphs. You just send data. The graphs are derived from the data you send when viewing the data on a web page.

But someone sending camera images will consume more data. And that could add up. But also realize that it is your upload bandwidth. Your download should not be affected to consume other Internet services like YouTube, Netflix. When you are gaming though upload and download are important. So if you are doing camera uploads then you may want to invest in a QoS router and configure it to prioritize for gaming.

Those that serve their own hosted websites with templates well there is just too many variables and different ways of accomplishing things. That gets more advanced and those people probably have a good idea about what they are doing and what resources are necessary. My post was really only intended to beginner weather station people that might erroneously think that a weather station might for some reason consume a exorbitant amount of data. And my point is that it doesn't.

« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 08:27:50 PM by galfert »
WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Offline Mattk

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It's not quite as simple as that and may give some the wrong impression as there can be quite a few variations between different ISP's and the particular router hardware being used.

I have mirrored systems with different routers (same data plan) and the contrast is staggering, one particular router combination runs 1.5mb/day and never over 60mb/month, another uses over 300mb month, same system, same upload just different routers. 

Offline galfert

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It's not quite as simple as that and may give some the wrong impression as there can be quite a few variations between different ISP's and the particular router hardware being used.

I have mirrored systems with different routers (same data plan) and the contrast is staggering, one particular router combination runs 1.5mb/day and never over 60mb/month, another uses over 300mb month, same system, same upload just different routers.

Well I am sorta going to disagree with you partly but with explanations. I believe it really is that simple as I explained. Hear me out...

First I'd like to premise that I am an IT professional. It is what I do and I won't be going into more specifics and nor going tit for tat with anyone about my qualifications. I don't want to get too technical but I'd like to counter some of your points and perhaps offer some explanations to your observations which I'm not discounting and I do believe you.

To your point that different ISP may give different results. Well that is true. Depending on what their MTU is set for then the same data might consume a different amount of bandwidth, and if your MTU is not configured properly. Congestion, delays and re-transmission (its what TCP does) can also cause bandwidth use to go up. If you are using Jumbo frames or not could affect things too. If you are using IPv6 and it is being tunneled. Etc... And then there is the difference in how ISPs count the data. There are different ways to actually quantify and measure bandwidth. But regardless my point remains that given all these differences and others I didn't mention, it still amounts to nothing. It isn't like you are going to be out of bandwidth quota because you set up a weather station. My point is that most people buy an Alexa or a Smart TV and they don't even consider how much data it is going to use. But for some reason when they find out that a weather station will be constantly uploading data they think that it must use up a lot since it is sending 24/7...and my point is that it doesn't and it isn't any different than any one of those other devices that people never even give a second thought.

To you point of 1.6 MB instead of 300 MB. I do think you were referring to MB and not Mb because they are different and there is no such thing as mb. So I'll go with your comparison of 1.6 MB versus 300 MB with different router but same ISP. I think what may be happening here is that one router is counting download use only and the other router is counting both download and upload use. Just a thought and a possible explanation. But regardless 300 MB a month doesn't break the bandwidth quota if you had one.

Again I want to remind everyone the point of my post was to help those that are less savvy understand that a weather station is no different than any other smart device that people are adding to their homes without even thinking twice. Maybe even less if you consider how much bandwidth a security camera might use and those are getting popular now too.

Your opinions are valid. And I'm only sorta disagreeing, but it is in regard to the message we are sending to new users. So lets look at the big picture. And that was my point to take the fear and stigma out of running a weather station in regards to bandwidth use.



« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 09:11:12 PM by galfert »
WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Offline Mattk

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Really not interested in your concern between mb, MB and whatever, people understand the difference and that is what counts. Also you are not the only IT person here, don't play that card and not interested in that claim either.

As for the concerns between low and high usage well it's very important when running M2M routers where the plans jump from 150Mb to 1Gb as it is rather a waste of capacity and cost to need to go to the larger plan just for the sake of a few Mb over. A system pushing 60Mb/month does fine with 150Mb plan, at 151Mb+ then you have to go to a 1Gb plan so yes the router can be the difference in doing this.

What you are obviously doing is running a weather system tacked on to a home plan and in overall usage then the weather stuff is minimal but for stand-alone usage is all important otherwise they will slug you for excessive usage. Trust me no provider is going to miss out on charging you where they can for what they can but when the only difference is the router then it's a mute point when it simply comes down to the router.       
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 12:17:32 AM by Mattk »