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  # 960529 3-Jan-2014 09:17
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The firewall in your PC doesnt starts and stops there. Your modem is a stand alone piece of hardware. It works independently of whatever is connected to it. And it is responsible for up-down traffic flow control. Turning it's firewall on makes sense.

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  # 960530 3-Jan-2014 09:17
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geekIT: [snip]
Talkiet: So you think 4GB out of 30GB is par for the course? Interesting. I wonder what umpteen thousand other Telecom users would think if they knew that around 13% of their plan was being frittered away on some sort of unseen, but unavoidable overhead? Anyway, I've taken your advice and installed Netmeter, though I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to be watching...
[snip]


4GB  out of 30G doesn't ring any alarm bells for me at all. I'm not saying it's correct in your case, but the volume is well and truly within normal bounds. Looking at the daily usage there are a few days where there is a significant amount of upload traffic (40-60%) and that looks to account for a fair bit of what you seem to consider wasted usage.

As for the comment about plan being "frittered away on some sort of unseen, but unavoidable overhead?"... I take it you are referring to uploads and TCP acknowledgements, HTTP gets and all sorts of other utterly critical traffic that without which, would render your connection useless? Not to mention any actual uploads you have done... and quite often you won't know about the uploads - the number of people that inadvertently setup things like cloud syncing is amazing. Might be nothing to do with your computer.... Do you have a smartphone that uploads photos automatically somewhere for example?

The Netusage graph (and it's own traffic accounting) should help you see if the uploads are always co-incident with downloads - however from the usage table you posted, to me, it looks like real usage.

Cheers - N






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Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


 
 
 
 


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  # 960532 3-Jan-2014 09:20
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geekIT: Again, thanks guys.

Freitasm: In all the time I've been on the net, I've never used a modem firewall. A close friend is Ops Manager for a big coms company and he always said it was less complicated, but just as effective, to use a firewall within Windows.



I wouldn't want to work for the company he works for if his idea of "security" is as poor as that. Clearly he needs some up skilling.

Windows firewall can't protect you from DNS amplification attacks. Windows firewall and a hardware firewall both serve very different roles - unless of course your PC is connected directly to the net with and is internet facing with a public IP where Windows Firewall is your primary firewall.

Looking at your stats though nothing really does seem that far out of the ordinary.






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  # 960570 3-Jan-2014 10:20
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geekIT: Freitasm: In all the time I've been on the net, I've never used a modem firewall. A close friend is Ops Manager for a big coms company and he always said it was less complicated, but just as effective, to use a firewall within Windows. So that's what I've always done.


I would very strongly suggest to never do it that way. That may offer protection to your computer itself, but clearly offers no protection to anything else you have on your network, or attacks that target the modem and/or router itself.

geekIT: Talkiet: So you think 4GB out of 30GB is par for the course? Interesting. I wonder what umpteen thousand other Telecom users would think if they knew that around 13% of their plan was being frittered away on some sort of unseen, but unavoidable overhead? Anyway, I've taken your advice and installed Netmeter, though I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to be watching...


This is neither frittered away, nor unseen. Every web site that you go to, you need to request what page to look at, you need to request the images and other content be sent to you - the internet cannot (yet!) magically guess what content you want. At a lower level, these pages and images are transmitted to you in small packets that have to be requested to be sent, and acknowledged they arrived (this is a simplification). These requests and acknowledgements are data going in the opposite direction, so they count as uploaded traffic.

Perhaps it would be better to think of it as upstream traffic, as I guess upload could be taken to mean something that is deliberately uploaded or sent.

geekIT: Timmmay: 3% for you? Sounds much more reasonable than 13%, doesn't it?

The ratio will vary depending on what you are doing on the internet. Both these figures appear reasonable to me.

On the whole, the percentage of upload to download doesn't appear out of the ordinary, however, if there are times when you are clearly uploading significantly more data, there's been some good suggestions above on how to track down what it is.

EDIT: Grammar.

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  # 960576 3-Jan-2014 10:33
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Just did a check of a relative's usage, who is probably very similar in usage patterns to you - 14.7% of total traffic is upstream.

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  # 960606 3-Jan-2014 11:34
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Heres a snapshot of my usage from the TC website, nothing unexpected here for me, and its similar to your stats.

Date           Download usage        Upload usage   Total usage
03/01/2014 46.54MB                   36.03MB          82.58MB
02/01/2014 327.58MB                 168.44MB         496.02MB
01/01/2014 192.28MB                 108.74MB         301.02MB
31/12/2013 697.31MB                 141.70MB         839.01MB
30/12/2013 566.29MB                 380.28MB         946.57MB
29/12/2013 196.00MB                 112.46MB        308.45MB
28/12/2013 378.24MB                 150.74MB        528.98MB
27/12/2013 893.74MB                 220.15MB        1.09GB
26/12/2013 735.27MB                 129.69MB        864.96MB

EDIT: Table paste fail.




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  # 960608 3-Jan-2014 11:36
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The modem/router firewall protects the router itself, which is another device that can (and will) respond to requests from the Internet, regardless of the firewall on your PC which only protects your PC.

Your friend is wrong in his approach to security. Having NAT alone on the router doesn't make it secure. Turning on the firewall is still something that needs to be done.




 
 
 
 


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  # 960616 3-Jan-2014 11:41
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Why on earth would you want to turn off the firewall on the modem?? What is the perceived advantage??

My uploads are 14.4% of dnloads. Similar usage patterns to the OP. Maybe a few photos sent to the cloud.

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  # 960617 3-Jan-2014 11:42
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in regards to the router firewall, can a telecom retail (call me old school) rep tell me why every Thompson router I have recieved, has had the firewall disabled out of the box?



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  # 960887 3-Jan-2014 17:49
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You're right, Timmmay.

OK, I've switched the modem firewall to ON. Zone Alarm is reinstalled and ON. Windows Firewall is OFF.





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  # 960903 3-Jan-2014 19:03

Maybe close this topic? 2 others have confirmed the same experience.

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  # 960930 3-Jan-2014 20:42
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You mentioned you were with Xnet, do you still have a VFX VoIP line with them?




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster and even more now as they are upgrading their rural Conklins. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend $195 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
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  # 960998 4-Jan-2014 08:23
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(coffeebaron, you asked if I "still have a VFX VoIP line" with XNet? No, I've never had the need for VOIP)

As I noted earlier, the consensus of opinion seems to be that I should have my modem firewall ON, so it's done. However, it hasn't affected my 'upstream' data traffic in any way.

Regarding this traffic, many of you are saying that your own usage figures are in accordance with mine - ie, 10%-14% of data traffic is UPLOADS.

Fair enough, if that's the way the game is played. But I would suggest that the bulk of internet users, in NZ and the rest of the world, would be totally unaware of this situation. Also, I still don't understand why the upstream traffic is so hefty. Meaty downloads I can accept: Movies and TV episodes can be anything from 150MB to 10G. But 'straight' data - which is what I imagine packet requests and acknowledgments to be, shouldn't be that bulky, IMHO. I mean, anyone who's ever downloaded an eBook knows that entire novel of 150,000 words is rarely larger than a few megabytes. So where does the volume come from?

And why the variation in volume? Referring to my table of traffic that I posted earlier, the ratio of uploads to downloads on 6th Dec was 64% and on 24th Dec 4.6%.

I don't mean this unkindly, so I hope nobody takes offense, but there's been a considerable amount of supposition in this thread, rather than hard knowledge, and it seems to be that many of you are curiously incurious about this business. I think it's time we heard the facts from a telecommunications engineer.

I'll email Campbell Live and see if it arouses their interest.




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  # 960999 4-Jan-2014 08:32
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Just because you don't like or understand the way the TCP protocol works that doesn't mean there's something wrong with it. Do some reading on TCP. Many of the people commenting on this thread are experienced telecommunications engineers, and they've given you good advice. Once again, do some reading.

I do think something else is going on with your PC though. I assume you've done virus and malware checks on every PC in the house with a few different pieces of software? Disabled all upload capabilities, dropbox etc, on computers and phones? Secured your WiFi?

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  # 961002 4-Jan-2014 08:51
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geekIT: [snip]And why the variation in volume? Referring to my table of traffic that I posted earlier, the ratio of uploads to downloads on 6th Dec was 64% and on 24th Dec 4.6%.


You will get variation because packet sizes differ.

This is a simplifaction in order to explain the concept, but imagine downloading a large file, it may be split in to say a million packets, and each will be full. There will be a million acknowledgements go in the other direction that are far smaller. If you then visit a web site that has lots of small images that are either smaller than a packet, or use a small packet (say 1.5), then you end up with less data coming down for the number of acknowledgements. This will lead to the ratio variation that people are reporting - in the order of 3-15%.

Your 6th December data however would be well outside this variation, and may be something you want to look at further. There have been a number of very good suggestions as to what this could be, as well as suggestions of how to track it down. It's unlikely you will ever work out what happened on that exact day, but you can secure your network and devices to prevent a repeat (assuming of course it isn't something that was intentionally done by someone on your network).

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