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28 posts


# 109773 26-Sep-2012 11:39
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Okay so decided to try starting a new thread after I traced my data limit blow out problem to my partners Mac mysteriously uploading crazy amounts of data.

Perhaps I better kick off by asking if anyone else has experienced this problem or similar?

Bellow is a quote and a link to the other thread......

fuzzythinker: Okay so got a call and an email with a usage report from Vodafone which basically explains the amounts of data trafficked up and down and when.

Johnr will no doubt be pleased to hear the report came back saying that Voda had got their numbers right!

In any case the report has enabled us to narrow down the issue to my partners MacBookPro.

Whatsmore the traffic has mostly gone into uploading.

Using the process described bellow (thanks to RunningMan) we checked out what was currently happening on the networking usage front.

kingjj: [snip] Not sure where the equivalent would be on your partners Mac.

Activity Monitor, in the Utilities folder (inside Applications folder).

Click on the network tab and it will tell you what's happening.

Even now seems to be quite a few packets going both up and down. I'm not to sure what this should be normally but my hunch that the issue hasn't gone away, but as this machine has been off most of the time traffic through the router has returned to normal.

What I need to do now is home in on where the problem is coming from within the machine and make sure it doesn't happen again.

Unfortunately at this point my partner started freaking out that her precious Mac could 'have a virus' so machine has been shut down and going to have to deal with the problem when she is out.

in order to do that I need to know:

Is this a Malware / Spyware / unknown nasty causing the high data traffic, and how to check that for a Mac?

Could it be part of an OS or app update process?

What other possibilities might their be and how to identify / eliminate (Mac users please help!) (note pretty sure its not Iphoto).


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4150 posts

Uber Geek

  # 691613 26-Sep-2012 11:55
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Get something like little snitch and have a look at what is driving network activity,
(it is a commercial product, but has a fully functional free demo period)

6434 posts

Uber Geek

  # 691652 26-Sep-2012 13:01
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are you seeding heaps of torrents without realising? That would be my first thought for unexplained heavy uploads


28 posts


  # 691693 26-Sep-2012 14:11
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NonprayingMantis: are you seeding heaps of torrents without realising? That would be my first thought for unexplained heavy uploads

Good thought but no. No torrents, no gaming, no reverse streaming no obvious explanation.


1522 posts

Uber Geek

  # 691707 26-Sep-2012 14:23
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Your not using any cloud based backup software i.e. iDrive? Are you 100% certain its upstream traffic and not downstream traffic?

28 posts


  # 691717 26-Sep-2012 14:29
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BTR: Your not using any cloud based backup software i.e. iDrive? Are you 100% certain its upstream traffic and not downstream traffic?

No iDrive either.

Bellow data report sent to me from Vodafone after i queried there tracking numbers.

Shows 7.5 gigs of upload down the bottom.....

SESSION akl-ldv01001SSG008276305d15001335
Sep 22 2012 21:30:55 NZST     akl-ldv01001SSG008276305d15001335     0  165927710    0 3141731498    0MB,   0MB
SESSION akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242
Sep 23 2012 08:28:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0          0    0          0    0MB,   0MB
Sep 23 2012 08:58:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0    8000756    0  169703623    7MB, 161MB
Sep 23 2012 09:28:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0    8976566    0  177915615    0MB,   7MB
Sep 23 2012 09:58:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0   10385221    0  184170388    1MB,   5MB
Sep 23 2012 10:28:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0   12251243    0  191641704    1MB,   7MB
Sep 23 2012 10:58:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0   15902810    0  242694642    3MB,  48MB
Sep 23 2012 11:28:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0   16034212    0  242883078    0MB,   0MB
Sep 23 2012 11:58:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0   16321240    0  243589081    0MB,   0MB
Sep 23 2012 12:28:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0   16954152    0  245045636    0MB,   1MB
Sep 23 2012 12:58:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0   17068583    0  245206652    0MB,   0MB
Sep 23 2012 13:28:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0   17071032    0  245208612    0MB,   0MB
Sep 23 2012 13:58:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0   20380820    0  321440170    3MB,  72MB
Sep 23 2012 14:28:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0   39656616    0  849648521   18MB, 503MB
Sep 23 2012 14:58:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0   86774568    0 2345745289   44MB,1426MB
Sep 23 2012 15:28:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0   88647619    0 2366674526    1MB,  19MB
Sep 23 2012 15:58:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0   92205013    0 2421689965    3MB,  52MB
Sep 23 2012 16:28:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0  106353048    0 2724580869   13MB, 288MB
Sep 23 2012 16:58:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0  119247996    0 3042308837   12MB, 303MB
Sep 23 2012 17:28:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0  139171629    0 3563182497   19MB, 496MB
Sep 23 2012 17:58:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0  160025710    0 4155187005   19MB, 564MB
Sep 23 2012 18:28:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0  177334314    1  377782308   16MB, 493MB
Sep 23 2012 18:58:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0  191554136    1  755460569   13MB, 360MB
Sep 23 2012 19:28:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0  239572439    1 2429127675   45MB,1596MB
Sep 23 2012 19:58:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0  268701238    1 3390247414   27MB, 916MB
Sep 23 2012 20:28:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0  268852877    1 3390373870    0MB,   0MB
Sep 23 2012 20:58:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0  273074874    1 3398254325    4MB,   7MB
Sep 23 2012 21:28:17 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0  286988788    1 3504006953   13MB, 100MB
Sep 23 2012 21:38:28 NZST   akl-ldv01001SSG071953069e5a164242     0  287519555    1 3506202043    0MB,   2MB
TOTAL IN=274MB,OUT=7439MB (7713MB)

792 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 691729 26-Sep-2012 14:50
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But is that IN and OUT from their end, or yours?
If the reporting is running on their connection, it may show that the traffic is headed OUT of their systems, to you (ie you downloading)

2152 posts

Uber Geek


  # 691730 26-Sep-2012 14:51
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Can't you just drop to a shell and fire up tcpdump?

Or even install Wireshark and monitor what it's doing?

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4407 posts

Uber Geek


  # 691925 26-Sep-2012 21:47
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Has she been loading photos onto the machine? If so then try switching off Photostream and see if that makes a difference.

I have found that whenever I load photos into iPhoto/Aperture I seem to get Photostream uploading a volume of data well in excess of the total size of all the files. I've never figured out why, but it seems to be extremely inefficient.


10953 posts

Uber Geek

  # 691931 26-Sep-2012 21:56
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Utilities > Activity Monitor > Network is the most basic way to look at this.

There is a data received / data sent stat provided from the last restart.

Sort the process list by CPU usage.

When you are not doing anything else with the machine and when the network graph is maxed out for a time have a look at the process list and see what the top four or five processes there are named. [Edit: A screenshot of the process list at this time posted to geekzone might shed light as well]

Some of the tools mentioned in earlier posts will be more precise and pin it down faster but may require a steeper learning curve for you before you get meaningful results.


1522 posts

Uber Geek

  # 692003 27-Sep-2012 08:05
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Are you using drop box?

2514 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user

  # 692062 27-Sep-2012 09:58
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excuse me if what I say is stupid, we had excess data use on our iphones at work, the issue was

1, There were e-mails that got stuck when sending/recieving and the phone was constantly trying to send it.

2, in icloud there is a setting "documents and data" if this is on, which is seems to be by default every little thing you do it seems to upload to icloud.

I know you said it was not icloud but this could be worth checking.

Or I am totally wrong!

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