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  FleetBroadband Best Use Practices

To make FleetBroadband services cost effective, we recommend these best use practices:

Install the Optimization Utility - Cut usage and Improve performance up to 700%
This utility when running on any connected computer will both improve the performance of the FleetBroadband connection AND reduce the amount of data transferred up to 80%. This utility works with our powerful servers so that data is resampeled and compressed in both directions. This service is free for all Ground Control FleetBroadband subscribers. For information on this utility, please email support@groundcontrol.com with your account number.


Turn Off Microsoft Updates (and all other application updates)
Because Microsoft updates happen automatically in the background, you will want to them off when on the FleetBroadband network. To do this in Windows, go to the Windows control panel, and open up the Security Center. Inside you will find a selection to "Turn Off Automatic Updates".



Install ZoneAlarm
ZoneAlarm is a very good at finding applications that are trying to access the Internet without your permission (such as any program that wishes to auto-update).



Zone alarm is free for a bare bones version. It may be downloaded here.


Use Ground Control's Firewall at the Inmarsat Teleport
Ground Control offers a Free firewall service that allows ONLY the IP traffic you wish to communicate with, and STOPS EVERYTHING ELSE. This is known as a "Whitelist". Our firewall is superior in that it stops any unexpected traffic from the Internet to go over the satellite link (for which you are charged). Just let us know what addresses you want active, and we'll block everything else.

Optimizing Email
We recommend using a client based program like Thunderbird where you have the option of downloading just the HEADERS of an email account. (This option must be enabled in Thunderbird). With just email headers, you can review your inbox and choose only the email you wish to read (with attachments). This saves a tremendous about of data being transferred, and is far superior to Webmail programs (It should be noted that webmail programs allow you to read an email body without downloading any attachments). Thunderbird is free from mozilla.com


Install SuperAdBlocker
SuperAdBlocker cuts down a huge portion of data transferred from web page by removing the majority of ads and Javascripts that populate so many commercial web pages. This application is excellent to have even if you are not on the FleetBroadband network.



SuperAdBlocker is free to try, and can be purchased for $29.99 from superadblocker.com

Email - We recommend using a client based program like Thunderbird where you have the option of downloading just the HEADERS of an email account. (This option must be enabled in Thunderbird). With just email headers, you can review your inbox and choose only the email you wish to read (with attachments). This saves a tremendous about of data being transferred, and is far superior to Webmail programs (It should be noted that webmail programs allow you to read an email body without downloading any attachments). Download Thunderbird free from CNET.

Other Best Use Practices

Do not leave connected computers unattended. Disconnect computers to be 100% sure no data is able to transfer over the link. Better yet, turn off the FleetBroadband terminal.

Turn Off Browser Images. (Optional) While the optimization utility can reduce image size by 80%, you have the option of completely turning off all images from downloading/appearing in your browser. The configuration is different for each browser, but for Internet Explorer, click on the "Tools" menu option and select "Internet Options". From the window that appears, select the "Advanced" tab. There are a host of things you may turn off, but to turn off images, simply uncheck "Show pictures" and then click "Apply".

Close web pages that could automatically refresh and other programs such as RSS feeds. These can all be quite data intensive. You can become more aware of what is transferring over your computer (even prior to using a FleetBroadband connection) by using the monitoring program described next.

Monitor Your Usage This simple utility shows how much data your computer is transferring real-time in both directions.


Here is a link to Bandwidth Monitor Pro


The Bottom Line
FleetBroadband service costs are expensive, however, if one employs the techniques described above, FleetBroadband becomes a cost effective, easy to use, reliable communications equipment for Broadband Internet and phone.


FleetBroadband Best Use Practices Manual from Inmarsat




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