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432 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 113952 2-Feb-2013 16:30 Send private message

Hello All,

Ive been trying to find out where my internet usage is going.

I'm on the Orcon genius plan. Sometimes I upgrade to 60gb data, other times i drop back to 30gb data.

In the last few of days Ive been watching the usage meter, and it just doesnt feel right. Ive since started to investigate where the data is going so I can "stem the flow".

Each of the last two days has had ~1.7gb of total usage (inbound + outbound - zero rated data)
Nobody has been using the internet much the last two days. After asking around household members with the devices below offered up the following usage:

Day 1.
20 Minutes of Youtube usage.
40 Minutes of web browsing (stuff, nz herald, google. news | Adblock enabled to strip those flash ads)
30minutes of *cough* late night blue movie streaming | Adblock enabled to strip those flash ads.
30 Minutes of web browsing (stuff.co.nz, slashdot, geekzone, anandtech | Adblock enabled to strip those flash ads)
10 minutes of misc streaming video (stuff.co.nz & similar | Adblock enabled to strip those flash ads)
30 minutes of online gaming (Team Fortress 2)

Day 2.
10 Minutes of Youtube Usage
20 minutes of web browsing | Adblock enabled to strip those flash ads
20 minutes of web browsing | Adblock enabled to strip those flash ads
20 minutes of web browsing on ipad (so no flash ads)
40 minutes of streaming pandora radio high quality (5mb per song, about 10 songs)

If i do some very rough calculations (considering NONE of the streaming clips were HD, more like 480p, but TF2 uses quite a bit of data, I play on Orcons server so should be mostly zero rated)

Then maybe Day1 should have been about 600MB usage max, and Day 2 about 200MB usage max.

I've tried calling Orcon twice. Both time the customer service agent checked my router. Neither one could help me break down the usage anymore than whats on their website. The 2nd guy told me I had "11 ethernet devices". Which is total rubbish, the Orcon genius modem only has 3 ethernet ports available to use, and I'm only using one. Without a switch/hub.

I have one ethernet device:
1x Custom PC Tower Windows 7 Circa 2007 - Automatic Updates Turned Off

We do have a lot of wifi devices, broken down as follows:
1x HP Windows 7 Laptop Circa 2010 - Automatic Updates Turned OFF
1x Custom PC Tower Windows XP Circa 2004 - Automatic Updates Turned Off
1x ideos Android Gingerbread Phone Circa 2010
1x Samsung Galaxy Gingerbread phone Circa 2010
1x Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 inch Android 4 Circa 2012
1x iPad2 iOS 6.01 Circa 2011
1x iPhone 4 iOS 6.01 Circa 2010
1x iPhone 5 iOS 6.02 Circa 2012
1x Macbook Air 2012 OS X 10.8.1

For wireless security I have WPA PSK Encryption, Hidden SSID, & Mac Address Whitelist Filter.

The orcon customer service agents both insisted that hackers are working around the clock, and my WIFI network has been compromised, and advised that I should turn WIFI off.

As you can see with all the WiFi devices, turning wifi off is not really an option.

Also I don't believe there is anyone parked outside or next door mooching my wireless because:

1. The signal is quite weak, i cant even get a wifi signal 1 meter from the house, in the driveway. Theres almost no way someone on the street could use it.

2.It is a quiet cul de sac street (where the neighbourhood children play on the road is so quiet), fairly tight knit community where we would quickly notice an outsider hanging around.

3.Im the resident computer geek, and have visited all my immediate neighbours in recent times to look at odd things on their computers. Most are elderly and don't know the first things about wireless. (Maybe their hacker grandson has been staying over??)

I'm wondering if the usage meter is not reporting correctly. However Im not trying to "bring the pain" on Orcon. Really I just want to know where all the data is going so I can effectively manage (stop) it.

After getting no help from the Orcon customer phone support, I tried to escalate the case. This is difficult with Orcon. The service support agent tried repeatedly to not escalate the case saying "they wont be able to help you anymore than I have". Then told me the manager was quite busy and wouldn't be able to to talk to me in a timely manner. I told them I didn't mind, and they could call me back. I was told to expect a call back the next day. This never happened, and its been two days now.

I have been monitoring my devices closely the last couple of days, checking the computers network usage in the resource monitor/activity monitor. Seeing if any rouge applications/services are sending or receiving data.

I noticed a trickle of data from the print spooler service on the Ethernet cabled win7 machine. This seemed to just be lan traffic as part of the printer sharing. But Ive disabled the print spooler service in the meantime just in case. (Will re-enable it when i need to print)

Ive tried changing my pre-shared key as a precaution.

My next options would be to setup some kind of firewall that does monitoring of data. This sounds like it will tie up quite a lot of hardware, time, frustration, as linux & iptables etc are not something im expert in)

Or disable wireless devices until I can find one that makes a significant difference. But this is in an environment of usage and might be hard to spot a clear trend.

AND Turn off gmail syncing on the phones or switch them to 3g only for a while.

In the past Ive seen people who are with telecom can get them to breakdown what port/address is chewing through the data. Orcon cant/dont want to do this.

Any suggestions are welcome...

TL:DR?
~800MB estimated usage VS ~3.7GB actual usage over 2 days.
How do i track it down?

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432 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 44


  Reply # 754803 2-Feb-2013 16:36 Send private message

Note: Ive been checking the modems list of devices over the last few days and found no allocated ip address's that are from 'foreign' devices.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 754804 2-Feb-2013 16:42 Send private message

You Tube and streaming video are the likely culprits. Depending on quality they can eat up a lot of data really quick. Even if the user does not watch the video until the end it likely still downloads the whole thing. Our 2 kids LOVE You Tube, but we have to limit their use otherwise we can easily chew through 5 - 8 GB per day.

1.7 GB with all those devices and that use doesn't seem that much to me.





Artificial intelligence is no match, for natural stupidity



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  Reply # 754805 2-Feb-2013 16:45 Send private message

Do you use SkyDrive? If it can't sync properly it seems to chew data trying

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  Reply # 754807 2-Feb-2013 17:00 Send private message

iCloud seems to be the most common problem these days with people who are using lots of data.

BDFL
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  Reply # 754828 2-Feb-2013 18:24 Send private message

There are plenty of things using data in the background. What PCs you have? Windows or Mac? Do you have Crashplan, Google Drive, Dropbox, SkyDrive, Torrents? Do you have a program like Hola or TOR? Do you have a WiFi access point and have you changed password lately? Are you absolutely sure of all the programs running in each PC? When was the last time you updated your AV/antispyware and run a full scan?

Try turning off your modem for two days (yes, sacrifices) and then check the usage.





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  Reply # 754848 2-Feb-2013 19:25 Send private message

my guess is it's most likely one of the 2 windows computers either uploading games via peer to peer eg steam or something; or some virus sending spam around the globe

is there a free version of netlimiter? it can breakdown your computer's data transfer and you should see if/where the culprit process/application is

some kids click on everything and everything

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 754863 2-Feb-2013 20:26 Send private message

scuwp: You Tube and streaming video are the likely culprits. Depending on quality they can eat up a lot of data really quick. Even if the user does not watch the video until the end it likely still downloads the whole thing. Our 2 kids LOVE You Tube, but we have to limit their use otherwise we can easily chew through 5 - 8 GB per day.

1.7 GB with all those devices and that use doesn't seem that much to me.



+1 my son just went through 7gb today on YouTube - god knows why he needs to watch so many minecraft videos!

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  Reply # 754864 2-Feb-2013 20:28 Send private message

7GB of HD videos is about three and half hours of continuous content (assuming it's similar to 2GB per full movie in iTunes HD).

Do kids go out of the house these days?




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 754918 3-Feb-2013 00:51 Send private message

Three Teen/Young adult kids staying with me over January:
* Data usage during last cycle: 247.74 gigabytes

Now they are staying with their mother:
* Daily average use 606.54 MB

Current usage would be lower, but there were a couple of linux iso downloads and git clones.
You can guess why I went to unlimited.




#include <standard.disclaimer>

xpd

GTA5 Nut
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  Reply # 754950 3-Feb-2013 09:21 Send private message

Might want to check about the games servers being o-zoned... I know the games site forum says yes, but when following the link, the games server are not in the O-zone list.




XPD / @DemiseNZ / Gavin
 
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  Reply # 754956 3-Feb-2013 09:28 Send private message

freitasm: 7GB of HD videos is about three and half hours of continuous content (assuming it's similar to 2GB per full movie in iTunes HD).

Do kids go out of the house these days?


2 x kids, 1 1/2 hrs each of watching videos on and off through the day (they don't watch TV), plus all the 'normal' use of the internet from the rest of the family and all the background data across 9 devices.  Yep sounds about right to me.

Fact is as data caps grow, and things become faster, we consume more, and need bigger data caps.  Its a vicious cycle.

I only wish my usage was as low as the OP's !  I still think given the activity he has listed the usage IMO is reasonable.  The days of surviving on a 5GB plan are looooooong gone.  

 






Artificial intelligence is no match, for natural stupidity





432 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 754971 3-Feb-2013 10:03 Send private message

Thanks for your responses.

UPDATE: Yesterday usage was ~0.4GB with a "usage profile" that is much like my 'Day 2' listed above.
Its frustrating to use the internet the same way, and one day is magically 10x more than another.


Also my total data usage in the OP was checked before the days finished (before midnight?). I now see that almost exactly 2GB was used each day.

@scuwp: I'm not sure youtube is the culprit. We dont have kids/teenagers in the house. The default quality is only 480p & on occasion when Ive used a youtube downloader a one hour clip might only be 130-200MB.
(Yes video bitrates can vary wildly). 1 Hour of combined SD streaming video shouldnt be 1.5GB.

@Wade: Nobody here uses skydive. Thanks for the tip though, its interesting to know.

@sbiddle: Thanks. Possibly the best tip given as we have a handfull of apple devices. We dont use iCloud fully, only for the photo sharing feature. I will turn this off on all devices now. Nobodys been taking photos on iDevices recently but I understand it could still use data anyway.

@freitasm: Thanks. A lot of this is covered in the first post. Wifi Password has been changed, and mac address filter is used. We have windows & mac pcs. No torrents on any machines, no hola or tor. The only cloud services used are google drive (which has 6MB of data stored) and icloud (mentioned by sbiddle). Avast AV is on all the windows PC's. It is up to date, but Im not sure when the last scan was. I will run a scan today thanks!

@joker97 Thanks. Im going to check for malware today. Also ive been looking at smoothwall but in my head im trying to get around using the genius lite all in one modem to send all traffic to the smoothwall box, and then back to the genuis lite modem as a gateway? Id have to manually tell the devices to use the smoothwall IP as their gateway? Then set the smooth wall box to use the modem IP as its gateway?

@nitrotech wow 7GB just on youtube in one day? How many hours are they watching youtube for? Do they watch in 720p? 480p?

@freiasm: 7GB of SD video should be about 8-13 hours of video? We wont go anywhere near HD while data is being chewed through like this.

@scuwp: I hear you. I remember not long ago 3gb would last us 30 days. Now it doesn't even last 2 days. Thats why we often use adblock to stop pointless data usage in flash ads etc. I still don't think 1hour combined youtube usage at SD quality should make up the best part of 2GB.



432 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 44


  Reply # 754975 3-Feb-2013 10:22 Send private message

Source: http://www.whistleout.com.au/Broadband/Broadband-Usage-Guide

"We downloaded an internet usage meter and logged just how much data YouTube eats up of our cap every month. Despite our own familiarity with all things technological we were still surprised at some of the results.


We tested all of the video resolutions offered by YouTube and found an average usage for each one. Here are our findings.

For accuracy we measured the speed at which each video downloaded, as well as the amount uploaded per second and the final amount of data that had been downloaded. The final amount of data downloaded for each resolution type has been displayed as what would be expected for a 5 minute video.

240p
  • Bits Per Second (down): 400-500Kb
  • Bits Per Second (up): 5-9Kb
  • Data used per 5 minute video: 8.333MB
360p
  • Bits Per Second (down): 900Kbps - 1.1Mbps
  • Bits Per Second (up): 15-20 Kbps
  • Data used per 5 minute video: 13.333MB
480p
  • Bits Per Second (down): 1.5-1.6-1.7Mbps
  • Bits Per Second (up): 20-26Kbps
  • Data used per 5 minute video: 20MB
720p
  • Bits Per Second (down): 20+ Mbps
  • Bits Per Second (up): 320Kbps
  • Data used per 5 minute video: 37.5MB
1080p
  • Bits Per Second (down): 20+ Mbps
  • Bits Per Second (up): 320 Kbps
  • Data used per 5 minute video: 62MB
We’ve traditionally been big fans of 720p videos on YouTube and always knew that they used up more data than the standard 360p and 480p versions. However, we were surprised to find out that for every 5 minutes of video footage we loaded we were using up 37.5MB of our monthly cap."

Source:http://www.vodafone.ie/internet-broadband/internet-on-your-mobile/usage/
"
Typical data usage
Service                                                      Average data size
TVWatching a 30 min episode of a series           90MB
You TubeMusic Video – 4 mins                        11MB
:SNIP:
Video streamingThe amount of data used depends on how rich the content is. A 4 minute music video on You Tube uses approx 11MB of data, whereas a 4 minute song on You Tube with a static image will use 7MB"





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  Reply # 754982 3-Feb-2013 10:48 Send private message

Those Mbps figures for 720p and 1080p are wildly inflated.





432 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 44


  Reply # 754986 3-Feb-2013 10:52 Send private message

Yes I think being an ISP it is in their best interest to publish 'worst case' scenario data usage, otherwise people would complain that their information is misleading.

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