Astrasat Blog

Making the Most of Your Data – Tips & Tricks

If you’re new to satellite broadband or are used to a completely unlimited package, suddenly having a system with a data cap can cause problems! We’ve already aimed to eradicate this with our new Tooway Konnect Unlimited data tariffs, but you still want to get the best from your connection and priority data allowance.

Below is some really useful info for ANYONE with an internet connection on how best to monitor and maintain your gigabyte usage.

Data Usage & Monitors:

Our broadband products and tariffs are mainly differentiated by the monthly data allowance. We think this makes the tariffs fair because everyone can select a tariff that suits their level of internet usage.

This data allowance can be broken down into upload and download traffic.

When your computer, tablet or phone uses the Internet to upload and download things, it uses data. Uploading is when you send an email, upload a photo or video, or log on for a video chat with a client in the US or a relative Down Under. Downloading includes retrieving information when you visit a web page, opening your emails and attachments, streaming web radio or videos from YouTube or using Google Maps to work out exactly where that American client is based.

The amount of data you use depends on what you are doing. Video streaming or downloading a movie, for instance, uses more data than sending an email or uploading a photo. To help you make the most of data, whatever your allowance, we’ve put together some facts, tips, tricks and expert advice on data consumption.


Data usage guidelines

The table below outlines some typical uses for your broadband connection and defines the rough data consumption of each. This is a guideline only as the exact amounts likely to be consumed will depend on your operating system, your browser and the thing that you are downloading or uploading.

Low definition Movie Download

0.75GB Per movie


High definition Movie Download

3.5-4.5GB Per movie

Very High


1GB Per 7.25 hours


Streaming TV Standard definition

0.75GB Per hour


Streaming TV High definition

2.75GB Per hour


Making the most of your insomniac data

All of our satellite broadband plans come with an unlimited night-time allowance that’s included free. This is excellent for scheduling data-heavy activities like downloading catch-up TV programs or HD movies. You can find download schedulers online such as PlayOn, BBC iPlayer and Netflix also have schedulings tool for doing just this.

You should also turn off automatic software updates on all your devices to stop them working their magic during peak hours make sure you do them overnight.

Exhausted apps constantly running in the background

Many smartphone apps and bits of software (even websites) consume data in the background even if you don’t think you’re using them or viewing them.  Developers are dreaming up new, dynamic and innovative apps every day and trying them is all part of the fun of using the Internet, but some of them are very data-intensive. If you feel you’re using too much data, or your data allowance goes quicker than you think it should, take time to look at what apps are live on your phone and could be using up your allowance even when you think your phone or tablet is in standby mode.

Stick like glue to your data consumption

If you’re concerned about your data consumption or want to see how your data allowance is being consumed, there’s a number of ways you can do this:

  • Data monitor apps
    You can download the GlassWire data monitor app from the Google Play store free of charge for Android devices or the My Data Manager & Security app from iTunes if you have an iPhone or iPad. These apps allow you to monitor the usage of data on the device as a whole as well as breaking it down by application. It can, for example, display the quantity of data each app (like Facebook or YouTube) may be using.
  • Laptops or desktop computers
    You can download GlassWire for your personal computers too. GlassWire is a free, open-source, bandwidth monitor that works on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. GlassWire keeps track of how much you use your internet/network connection and allows you to view this information either via a web browser or by using the command-line tools.
  • Security & local networks
    If you’re concerned about your data consumption and feel that your data allowance disappears more quickly than expected, we would recommend ensuring that your Wi-Fi network is totally secure. Otherwise, you might find your neighbours or passing vehicles are using your network. Our key advice here is don’t use simple or easy to guess passwords, or worse still, no password at all. This will prevent any rogue devices or users from automatically, even accidentally, joining your network; this is quite common if you live in a location where multiple visitors might pass through.


For Windows Users

If you’re a Windows 10 user, we have good news for you. Their April 2018 system update (version 1803) provides you with some great tools to make sure your broadband doesn’t grind to halt mid-BBC iPlayer documentary or cut-out on that Skype call to your nest-flown kids.

As well as being able to check and reset your data stats, there’s even better news for those of us on capped data plans. Now we can set data limits and background data restrictions when using a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection, which is a great way to reduce unnecessary usage and stay under your data limit for the month.

The right side of the tracks

This isn’t too complicated to set up

  • In the ‘Search’ box at the bottom of your screen, type ‘settings’;
  • Click on the cogwheel icon that comes up to open the ‘Settings’ page;
  • Click on Network & Internet to open up that section;
  • Click on Data Usage to open up that section (this is where the magic happens);
  • Use the “Show settings for” drop-down menu, and select the wireless or wired network you want to restrict;
  • Under “Data limit,” click the Set limit button; and
  • Then you can choose your limit type (monthly), your reset date (1st) and your limit (GB).

You can limit unnecessary usage by restricting what apps and features will use up data in the background and set up notifications to let you know when you’re close to hitting your limit.

The really important thing to take note of is that this Windows 10 data system will only monitor the data usage on that particular device and not every device in the network. So, if you’ve got a wife or husband or partner or kids or grandkids, you’ll have to keep an eye on their data usage too when calculating your monthly consumption.

For iPhone or Android

If you or someone in your broadband-connected household has got either a MacBook, an iPhone, an iPad, an Android device or uses Windows 7 or 8, you can look at My Data Manager. You can download this knee-knockingly smart app from either Apple’s App Store or Google Play for Android users.

When you first download the app to your device, it will ask you to enter your data plan details, including your billing cycle and data cap. Enter your tariff information at this point and you can use the Wi-Fi tracker to stay right on top of your month’s usage. You can then set up alerts to be notified when you have reached a certain point in your monthly limit (say, 50 or 80%).

One of the best things about My Data Manager is that after a few weeks of use, you’ll really get an accurate sense of what apps and actions are gobbling through your data, which will allow you to start making smarter better-informed broadband choices. Two of the other great things about My Data Manager is that it can track data usage across all the members of your data plan, whether there’s just the two of you or a whole big old barn-storming family; and it can manage your data across the different devices that make use of your broadband plan.

Why choose a Sonos Speaker System from

If you want to make the most of your at-home entertainment system with cinema-quality sound, indoors and out Sonos has the solution for you. Better yet, now offer a range of Sonos solutions tailored to you at the best prices.


So why choose Sonos?

Sonos is a speaker system that connects wirelessly to your computer, phone, tablet or TV so you can watch cinema sound quality movies or play music in any room or every room of your home


Make your speaker part of the furniture.

Quality Products

Sonos speakers have been described as “the best-sounding smart speaker you can buy”. Having spent time developing their range they now offer voice control like an Amazon Echo or Alexa device with superior sound quality to their competitors.

A beautiful soundbar can transform your TV into a cinema


Sleek and Stylish

With a striking TV soundbar or subtle speakers around your room can recommend a Sonos solution unique for you and each piece in the range looks awesome! You can keep it simple in black or white, or choose some of their designer-collaborated sound systems to add a point of interest to your premises. 

A Sonos speaker can fit any home

Completely Customisable

If you don’t want bulky speakers taking up space or ruining the style of your room Sonos has a full range of options and add-ons. So if you need 1 speak, or 100 you can find something that suits you with built-in options for ceiling or walls, or moveable pieces you can carry around. You can also use TruePlay to analyse your room and optimise the sound of the speaker based on where it has been placed.

Sleek touch technology to control

Simple Set-up

Easily connect your speakers over WiFi to create the sound system you want, and expand it at any time. Enjoy clear, richly-detailed sound that fills the room. Easy to use, setup only takes minutes, and control is simple with the Sonos app, Apple AirPlay 2, and your voice.

Ceiling mounted speakers are almost invisible

If you want to supplement your satellite broadband with a Sonos system or are looking for a top-quality sound experience get in touch so we can offer you the best prices you’ll find online.

Satellite Broadband vs Traditional ADSL Comparision

concrete block_smRemember back in the day when you would hear a connection noise on the line if you wanted to use the phone while someone else was on the internet? Well with traditional broadband it’s still the same today. Data is transmitted back and forth from your property using the same copper telephone lines that enable you to make phone calls, the only difference is that a DSL (digital subscriber line) splitter is used to allow this single telephone connection to provide both the ADSL service and voice calls at the same time.

ADSL can generally only be distributed over a short distance from the telephone exchange, typically less than 4km, and the further away you are from the exchange, the worse your connection speeds will be. The upload and download speeds on ADSL broadband tend to differ greatly due to a desire to avoid ‘crosstalk’ creating interference on the line where multiple lines meet, for example at the exchange.

In comparison, satellite broadband sends your broadband signal to a satellite 35,786km above the equator and due to its location in orbit; it can provide equal quality of coverage to every home or business within its footprint. It doesn’t matter how far away you are from the satellite, or how remote your property is, as long as the receiving dish can get line of sight to the satellite.

Traditionally, ADSL broadband is promoted as being faster and more reliable, however we looked into the service provided Business man_smby France based providers and found that on average, subscribers are receiving download speeds of between 1-15 mbps, with only 512 kbps guaranteed and upload speeds less than 1 mbps unless you are within 1km of the exchange.

With satellite technology improving exponentially, satellite broadband customers can now expect download speeds of 22 mbps and upload speeds of 6 mbps for less than the lowest packages from Orange.   Whilst the initial outlay is more expensive, the reliability and speed more than compensates, especially for multi-dwelling properties or those in remote locations. is offering up to 50% off* the cost of hardware on Tooway ‘own your kit’ packages this autumn. With a wide range of tariffs, flexible packages and no long term commitment satellite broadband is an excellent alternative to anyone struggling with ADSL broadband.

Visit for more information.

*customers account must be active for a minimum of 6 months from the activation date. Downgrading not permitted in the first three months.

Tips & Tricks for fixing satellite problems

Since the digital changeover earlier this year, many homes have lost or have poor or intermittent signal on their Freesat, and SkyTV dishes.   With lots of misinformation on the internet, many are left confused about what to do so the expert team at have come up with a handy list of tips and tricks to try before calling out an expert.

  • Check the rotation/position of your low-noise block downconverter (LNB).  The LNB is the receiving device mounted on your satellite dish that collects radio waves.  It will be attached to an arm facing back towards your dish and look like this. dishpointed

For details on how to position this properly, visit

  • Check the Db rating of the LNB which will be written on the head, it should be 0.1Db.
  • Check all your cable connections are correctly and securely screwed in.
  • Make sure there is no dialectic wire is touching the copper signal body.
  • Reduce you cable length as much as possible and make sure there are no kinks, or that it has perished anywhere.
  • Use in-line amplifiers to re-generate signal when long cable is required.
  • Update box software.
  • As a general rule to receive Freesat or SkyTV in France you now require a 1.25m ground mounted dish installed away from the elements.

If you have no success with the above, we recommend contacting a registered professional to check your equipment and advise the best result. specializes in fast satellite broadband and SkyTV, product installations and support.  For more information and advice, visit or call Andy on +33 6 24 68 17 28

Lost your signal? Satellite issues, your questions answered

Satellite Astra 2E has now reached its final position with all UK channels making the change early last week. It’s taken a week for everything to settle properly, but we can now report on the following:

The confirmed footprint for Astra 2E features below with the numbers 45 and 60 referring to the satellite dish size required to obtain the signal.  This is not guaranteed 100% for those living in France, but for the most part seems to be correct.


So what are the options for those who have lost signal throughout the rest of the country?

The first and potentially easiest fix is to check the quality and potentially replace your low-noise block downconverter (LBN).  For more information on what an LBN is, click here:

If this doesn’t help, then the next step is to increase your satellite dish size.  The map below highlights the size of dish used with success in various parts of France.  For the most part, all channels are fully recoverable and with good reception by installing a 80-150cm dish.  The exact size is very much dependent on your location.

Key – Yellow – 85cm dish, Red – 100cm dish, Green – 120cm dish


As with Astra 2F, Astra 2E is likely to change seasonally, decreasing from April to September, meaning the dishes that work now, may not work then.

Other alternatives to installing  a larger dish:

  • Get UK SKYTV installed by a registered provider in France, such as  Monthly plans cost the same as in the UK, with an additional £120 + vat per year for the viewing card and installation costs.  This is a guaranteed fix and provides you with all the UK programming permanently with no loss of signal.
  • Use a proxy or VPN server to obtain a UK IP address and watch UK programming on demand via BBC iPlayer, ITV player, 4 on demand etc
  • Watch via internet tv using sites such as – signal is not great via the free service but is significantly improved through subscription.
The last two options require a reliable, high speed internet connection which unfortunately, is not available in many areas of France.  If ADSL is not available or unreliable in your area, we recommend looking at getting satellite broadband installed ( and selecting a package with a 20mb/s download speed and minimum data limit of 10GB – this will ensure a fast, reliable internet connection enabling you to watch all your favourite programming online in HD.
You can also watch through your television by connecting with via a set top box or HDMI cable.  For more information, contact us today on

Loss of Freesat in France – latest update

As of midday today, ASTRA 2E has reached its final position and all UK channels have been switched over, enabling ASTRA 1N to relocate to its new position.  There have been mixed reports of varied signal strength but for the most part, unless you live in North France or Belgium you will no longer be able to receive UK channels with a standard 60cm satellite dish.

It is possible many will be able to regain the signal with a larger satellite dish and we have had reports of good (not perfect) signal as far as Antibes with satellite dishes in excess of 110cm. However, remember that in France, planning permission must be sought from the local Mairie for mounted dishes exceeding 1m.

Failing success with a larger dish, the remaining options include watching via the internet or subscribing to UK SkyTV or Satellite Broadband in France via a registered provider, such as 

Loss of BBC, ITV and Channel4 in Europe….permanent or temporary?

On February 1st, ASTRA 2E, the replacement satellite for the soon to be recommissioned ASTRA 1N, reached its final destination in the orbital arc of 28.5/28.5 degrees East with the switchover occurring in the early hours of Thursday morning. Extensive in-orbit tests have confirmed that the satellite is now fully operational and performing to specifications, however, it is expected that fine tuning will not be complete until Feb 12th so at this stage, its best to wait and see what happens.

If, by Feb 12th, signal has not returned, then a larger satellite dish (circa 90cm-110cm) will most likely regain signal (although not guaranteed). If not, then you can subscribe to SkyTV and get them back.

coverage map

No one knows the exact answer right now because final tuning and changeover is not complete, but if you want more information contact Andy at on +33 6 24 68 17 28.

Or check out official sources:

Freesat, we have a problem….

On September 30th, 2013 International Launch Services successfully launched the replacement satellite, Astra 2E for satellite services company, SES.  Astra 2E has now reached its final destination at the 28.2/28.5 orbital arc and over the coming weeks, the channels currently presiding on Astra N1 will be relocated to Astra 2E to allow Astra N1 to return to its permanent location at 19°East.

Watch the launch here:

The channels currently located on Astra N1 include those provided by the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV.  Channel 5 has already taken up its permanent location on Astra 2F, so if you currently receive Channel 5 with no problems, then this latest switch over should have no affect, other than perhaps, the need to retune generic (non Freesat or Sky) free-to-air receivers.

If you have permanently lost Channel 5, it will not be possible to receive BBC, Channel 4 and ITV when these channels move to Astra 2E as it has the same reduced spot beam coverage of Astra 2F.  Whilst SES suggests access to this new, tighter spot beam focused on the UK will only be available in areas identified in the map below, this is based on a satellite dish size of up to 60cm and doesn’t take in to account larger dish sizes.



It is likely that expats outside this area may still be able to pick up the signal with dishes of 80cm or more.  The exact dimension requirements are, unfortunately, varied based on location and line of sight to the satellite.  For expats living in the Languedoc area, you can test your line of sight to the new satellites using applications such as DishPointer – available on both Apple and Android phones.

It is likely that Astra 2E is still going through a period of location adjustment before the signal settles, however, rule of thumb is, whatever has happened to Channel 5 at your property, the result for the remaining channels will be the same.  The only solution to which is either installation of a larger satellite dish, or subscription to a pay to view service such as SkyTV.

If you currently receive SkyTV channels via freesat, these will remain available until the launch of Astra 2G, expected in the first half of 2014, after which point these will also move to the same orbit as 2F & 2E, with the same outcome expected.

For advice or more information on the alternative options available, please contact us.

What’s SAT about?

Recently there have been an increase of reports in expat media outlets and forums throughout France and Europe regarding British expats, second home and holiday home owners losing Freeview access to UK Channel’s 5 and often 4.

This follows the retirement and replacement of the SES satellite Astra 2D with Astra 2F.  Astra 2F has a tighter and more focused UK spot beam which has reduced the accessibility for views not based in the UK.  Whilst this currently only affects channels 4 and 5, it is likely to reduce the availability of other channels later in the year when Astra 2E goes in to commission and even more so when Astra 2G is launched in 2014.

More information can be found in this blog from the BBC: