My first usage of the Hotspot feature of my new LYF (Jio owned company) C459 low-price 4G smartphone as my WiFi Internet connection on PC desktop was disappointing! [I bought it from Jio.com website for Rs. 3899.] In speed tests (fast.com and Ookla), I typically got poor speed of tens of Kbps and sometimes low hundreds of Kbps on the PC, though at times it gave healthy Mbps speeds. On the LYF phone itself speed tests gave me good Mbps speeds!
I thought there was something wrong with the LYF C459 Hotspot feature or that I had tripped up on some configuration issue. I browsed the net for solutions and tried some suggested solutions to improve HotSpot speed on LYF phones but that did not solve my problem.
Later I realized that it was a large automatic Windows Update download (feature update to Windows 10) in order of GBs, that hogged the WiFi connection from PC desktop to LYF phone as I had not set that connection as a metered connection!
After setting the WiFi connection as metered, Windows Update did not automatically use that connection for its big download. That then resulted in healthy Mbps speeds being shown in speed tests on PC desktop when connected via WiFi to the Hotspot on LYF C459 phone device.
I have not checked how long the full battery charge lasts when I am continously using the LYF C459 as a Hotspot device. But I think it will last for a few hours. I also have the option of using the Hotspot while the phone device is being charged.
Important health note: I suffer from breathing related allergies which includes an allergy to even small amount of chemical gas released by rechargeable batteries in devices like smartphones and laptops. In my short usage of this LYF C459 phone (uses 2000 mAH Chinese company manufactured Lithium ion battery), I think that its battery does release small amount of chemical gas which triggers my allergy. So I need to use it in a manner in which I do not get exposed too much to any chemical gas it releases. But that’s my individual health issue which may not be an issue for most people.
Readers who are not interested in the detailed log may please skip reading the rest of this post.
1st Feb. 2018: I think using Hotspot from LYF C459 phone has two serious problems:
1) The speed available at PC via the Hotspot is usually poor (hundreds of Kbps, sometimes even tens of Kbps) though at times it does get into healthy Mbps range.
2) Using the Hotspot seems to consume Data (balance) from Jio account very, very fast! Today I have used up over 90% of 1.5 GB daily quota from the 9xxx number! Yes, I did do some app update downloads but that was maybe three or four such updates. They were in tens of MB. That would make it say 80 MB. And some speed tests on phone using fast.com and Net Velocity. Add 200 MB making it around 300 MB.
For the remaining 1 GB of data usage I think it was a few speed tests on desktop (say 100 MB) and 20 to 30 minutes of youtube video. That should not have taken up a total of 1 GB!! I suspect that the Hotspot app is responsible for high data usage without providing that data at good speed to the WiFi client.
Maybe my above tentative views will be proved wrong down the line. But I do think that JioFi 3 router is far superior as Jio 4G Internet access device as compared to LYF C459 phone being used for that particular purpose.
2nd Feb. 2018, 00:35 (12:35 AM)
Around 10 to 15 minutes ago, I tried out the LYF C459 Hotspot again. But this time before connecting to the Hotspot from the PC (over TPLink USB WiFi adapter), I ran the BitMeter program.
The 9xxx number (SIM in LYF C459) had around 60 or 80 MB remaining from its 1.5 GB. Initially even though I was not downloading data from the browser (or little amt. automatically from tabs having Facebook, gmail etc.) I saw a lot of downloading being shown on the BitMeter window. Roughly between 0:20 and 0:22, a total of around 60 MB got downloaded+uploaded (0:20 – 4.94 MB, 0:21 – 29.8 MB, 0:22 – 24.5 MB, 0:23 – 0.6 MB, 0:24 – 1 MB). At 0:23 perhaps the 4G Data availability had dropped to 0. [Later jio.com did show 0 or very close to it (sometimes it shows 0.1 but the speed drops to post FUP speed of around 64 Kbps.]
There also was a Notification on the PC about some system update download.
I then checked whether the Wifi connection to HotSpot was marked as metered. It was not! So it is possible that large consumption of data on Hotspot on 1st Feb. 2018 was due to Automatic download.
I then set the connection as metered (to prevent automatic download on that WiFi connection) using Administrator login.
On checking now (at 00:49 AM), Windows Update states the following:
Updates are available. We’ll download them when you are not using a metered connection, or you can download 1.18 GB-4.50 GB using your current data connection (charges might apply). You might still need to connect to unmetered Wi-Fi for some updates.
— end Windows Update message —
Around 0:30 or so, jio.com showed data availability renewal on the 8xxx number (Huawei USB 4G dongle) but not on the 9xxx number! Strange that the renewal time seems to be different between the two Jio numbers!
At 0:53 AM, jio.com showed that 1.5 GB Data had become available on LYF SIM (9xxx).
Now the PC is connected to LYF Hotspot via WiFi.
At 0:55 AM on PC, fast.com full run test gave 8.2 Mbps! [Excellent results]
At 0:59 AM on PC, Ookla Speedtest full run test gave 8.56 Mbps DL and 3.84 Mbps UL! Server: You Broadband India Hyderabad [http://www.speedtest.net/result/7021014342] [Excellent results; Also saw that Bitmeter is showing similar speeds as reported by Ookla Speedtest during the test.]
At 1:02 AM on PC, fast.com full run test gave 6.5 Mbps.
At 1:04 AM on PC, Ookla Speedtest full run test gave 7.46 Mbps DL and 3.79 Mbps UL. Server: You Broadband India Hyderabad, http://www.speedtest.net/result/7021028998.
Hmm. So I am getting excellent Hotspot speed now. Data usage on jio.com for this 9xxx number is not reflected yet (1.07 AM) as it is still showing 1.50 GB out of 1.50 GB.
Should check it first thing tomorrow after I wake up. It should show a data usage that reflects the above 4 tests. I have not done any other significant web activity (the jio.com page visits and refresh to see data usage should be minor data usage).
2nd Feb. 2018 10:49 AM
Checked Usage data for 9xxx number.
It shows 1.42 GB available from 1.50 GB.
Jio.com website usage details are as follows:
Consumed : 79.21 MB
02 Feb 2018 00:35:28
Consumed : 66.09 MB
02 Feb 2018 00:18:18
— end usage details from jio.com —
The second entry of 66.09 MB and 00:18:18 which I interpret as start time of Internet connection, seems to correspond to around 60 MB getting used from 00:20 to 00:22. Some or most of the additional usage may be that done after 0:22 (till next connection possibly initiated at 00:35) at post 4G speed of 64 Kbps.
At around 00:35 the earlier entry below tells us that the 1.5 GB per data had got renewed. So the first entry above of 79.21 MB usage for connection possibly initiated at 00:35, corresponds to data usage from the two fast.com and two Ookla Speedtest speed tests done after 00:35, from 00:55 AM to 01:04 AM. Note that in the Jio.com data usage details above there is no entry after 00:35 entry which leads to the conclusion that the 00:35 timestamp in the jio.com data usage details corresponds to start of Internet connection (and NOT end of Internet connection).
Did some speed tests now (11:09 AM). The LYF mobile is on the window sill resting against mosquito net (and glass sliding pane on the balcony side; so sandwiched between the two panes) with Hotspot on. PC is connected to LYF Hotspot via TP-LINK USB WiFi adapter. Speed test is on PC desktop
At 11:09 AM on PC, fast.com full run test gave 2.6 Mbps
At 11:15 AM on PC, Ookla Speedtest full run test gave 1.0 Mbps DL and 1.6 Mbps UL. Server: You Broadband India Hyderabad, http://www.speedtest.net/result/7022155163.
At 11:17 AM on PC, fast.com full run test gave 2.3 Mbps
At 11:18 AM on PC, Ookla Speedtest full run test gave 4.11 Mbps DL and 1.31 Mbps UL. Server: Jio Hyderabad, http://www.speedtest.net/result/7022160014.
At 11:20 AM on PC, Ookla Speedtest full run test gave 1.76 Mbps DL and 0.81 Mbps UL. Server: ACT Fibrenet Hyderabad, http://www.speedtest.net/result/7022160014.
Hmm. So speeds are Mbps speeds as against Kbps speeds which is good enough for me during daytime (off peak hours). That I think clearly shows that LYF C459 Hotspot is good enough for me from speed of connection point of view. It has also been reliable during these tests so far without any connection drop. The critical point is that the setting of the connection to Metered connection has prevented Automatic Update of Windows to use that connection.
I wonder whether manually doing the Update will allow this metered connection to be used. Just tried it. All Settings (from bottom right icon click) -> Update -> Download.
It started the update on this metered connection. Bitmeter shows DL speeds in the range to 1 to 4 Mbps. Note that the Windows update download started from around 36% (which it had done yesterday as part of automatic download).
Now I tried fast.com on PC (connected to LYF Hotspot via WiFi) just to see what it reports (while Windows Update download is going on in the background). It started off very slow with < 10 Kbps, moved on to tens of Kbps, and then into low hundreds of Kbps, before finishing with a final report speed of 260 Kbps. This corresponds to what I was getting yesterday afternoon/evening when without my knowledge, Windows Update download was going on in the background! That explains it. So satisfying to know why I got such poor speeds yesterday afternoon/evening.
BTW just saw the jio.com usage details for 9xxx number on 1st Feb. 2018 which gives us the clear picture. Here are the entries (deleted the Rs. 0 part as it is noise for this analysis):
Consumed : 33.57 MB
01 Feb 2018 16:38:39
Consumed : 234.85 MB
01 Feb 2018 15:29:33
Consumed : 1.00 GB
01 Feb 2018 14:52:11
Consumed : 70 KB
01 Feb 2018 14:50:32
Consumed : 60 KB
01 Feb 2018 14:50:03
Consumed : 157.16 MB
01 Feb 2018 14:36:56
Consumed : 23.13 MB
01 Feb 2018 11:34:49
— end of Usage Details entries for 1st Feb—
The 14:52 and 15:29 connections took up 1 GB and 234 MB! That’s what ate up most of the 1.5 GB data quota!
A little before 12:15 PM (2/2/18), the BitMeter display showed a big drop in connection speed (almost 0 Mbps as against 1 to 4 Mbps earlier) which continued for few minutes and so was not a transient drop . Tried checking usage in jio.com but the website was opening too slowly (I think bulk of post FUP 64 Kbps speed was being taken up by automatic Windows update; Did not see an option to pause Windows Update in the Settings->Update window).
Disconnected from Hotspot. Switched to Huawei USB 4G Jio connection (8xxx). BitMeter speeds picked up to around 1 Mbps. Checked jio.com usage at 12:15 PM for 9xxx and found it to show 0 MB available from 1.5 GB. So Windows Update took up all of the remaining around 1.4 GB Data available for the day in 9xxx Jio connection. Jio.com Usage details have not been updated so far to show usage details for the 1.5 GB consumption on 9xxx done today. Windows Update had moved from around 36% to around 70%.
At 12:24 PM, Windows Update is showing 73% of downloading updates completed.
At 12:27 PM, Windows Update is showing 74% of downloading updates completed.
5:15 PM entry
Some time down the line, the 1 GB quota per day of the 8xxx Jio number also got exhausted with some percentage (around 15 to 20 percent) of the Windows Update download yet to be done. The email notification for 8xxx number said, “You have used 100% of your high speed internet quota from Data account of MRP 399 on your Jio Number 8[xxx] as of 02-Feb-18 15:49 Hrs.”
In jio.com the 5.00 GB Add On entry became the 1 of 2 entries under Summary of 8xxx number, with 0.01 MB being shown as available from 1 GB per day 399 plan. But the Internet speed continued to the post FUP speed tens of Kbps or low hundreds of Kbps! So while the 5 GB Add On entry was shown as an active plan and prioritized as the 1st of 2, with the 399 plan being lowered in priority to 2nd of 2, the 5 GB Add On did not come into play!
Called up Jio support number 1800-889-9999 and eventually reached a human support guy. Explained the issue to him but he was not able to give a quick solution. Instead he made a Service Request, Prepaid VoLTE-8xxx SRxxx, which shows up in jio.com as Data-Slow Speed, and said that it would be responded to within a max. of 48 hours! The call took quite some time with me running a fast.com test and telling him about the low speeds.
As I thought about it later on, I felt that as it is a freebie, jio.com has some hoops introduced which trip it up. Quite unfair of jio to give or lure the customer with free vouchers and then make it cumbersome and bothersome to use those vouchers! But such is life!
Decided to try using a new Add On paid with my own money. Went for a Rs. 21 Add On giving 1 GB more with existing plan’s validity. That got activated on its own as soon as I bought it. Using fast.com to check the speed gave me a healthy 4.2 Mbps! Checked that the 1 GB Add On had got listed as 2nd of 3 in Summary of 8xxx plans.
Then Windows Update seem to continue its download with BitMeter showing high usage. Windows Update finished 100% of download of update (before 5:15 PM) after which BitMeter usage dropped. Bit Meter usage last sustained peak was at 5:10 PM which may be the time when Windows Update finished (100%) of download.
Checking jio.com balance at 5:34 PM shows 563.74 MB of Data available from 1 GB Add On (listed as 2nd of 3 active plans under Summary). Note that its expiry is same as the base 399 plan’s expiry which is 18th April 2018.
At 5:35 PM All Settings-> Update-> Windows Update window shows the message, “Preparing to install updates 54%”. So while the download has got done, the update process is still ongoing.
At 5:51 PM, jio.com shows 471.73 MB Data available of 1 GB Add On pack. I also got a Notification email about 50% Data exhaustion of this Add On.
3rd Feb. 2018, 12:33 PM
Jio.com shows that the 1 GB Add On purchased yesterday has 297.55 MB left and that it is placed in 3 of 3 position. Current data usage is from the 1 GB quota of the 399 plan which is placed in 1 of 3 position with 868.49 MB being free. The 5 GB Add On is placed in 2 of 2 position with no additional news about resolution of problem of it not coming into play yesterday.
Also yesterday (2nd Feb.) late evening the major Windows update process completed with one or two automatic reboots at least. The user inteface of Windows system on PC has now changed a little. So this is a major feature update from Windows delivered via Windows update. That is why perhaps the update size was so big – running into some GB.