This Year’s Holiday Network Setup And Data Use In Austria – 18 GB

2015 data usage austria vacationI've been in Austria again this summer for a couple of weeks and thanks to's unlimited data bundle for 18 Euros a month on a prepaid SIM I didn't have to artificially limit my data use. Last year, I ran through 16 GB of data during my 3 weeks stay and slightly topped it this time around with 18 GB because I was in the country for a couple of days longer.

I suspect it would have been much more as I mostly streamed HD content this time around if it wasn't for the fact that unlike last year the sun was shining a lot and thus there was less time to use bandwidth intensive applications, read, streaming videos. While LTE is now ramping in Austria as well, my prepaid SIM was still limited to their 3G network but there was no congestion and the network felt snappy with sustained data rates usually well beyond the 10 Mbit/s mark.

Like last year, I had a Raspberry Pi with me, this time a Pi 2, to serve as a Wi-Fi access point and VPN client gateway to tunnel the data traffic of all my devices via tethering to a Samsung Galaxy Express smartphone to a VPN server first before releasing it to the Internet. Yes, I like my privacy and I don't want to be DPI'd. Unlike last year, however, I didn't use my VPN server at home in Germany that is limited to a throughput of 5 Mbit/s due to my VDSL line's uplink speed limitation. Instead, I used my VPN server in Paris that is connected to a fiber line to be able to make full use of the available 3G bandwidth.

For streaming videos to a tablet instead of to a PC like last year, I had a second Raspberry Pi with me so I could run another Wi-Fi network and VPN tunnel to another destination to cater for regional content limitation, i.e. geoblocking. I could of course have changed the VPN endpoint on the main Pi as necessary and I have scripts to do that on the fly, but a Pi is light and small enough to fit into the suitcase so why limit myself?

The usage graph screenshot on the left is quite interesting. Unlike last year where the curve was pretty much a straight line, the curve this year is a bit different. During the first week I was traveling through the country a lot and the curve is quite flat, i.e. little video consumption. The pattern changes quite a bit about a third into the trip and one can plainly see the difference of Internet use with and without online video viewing.

I very much enjoyed the trip and wished there were more network operators like Drei in Austria that are a bit more generous with the mobile data buckets than just a couple of GBs per month.