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Topic # 14801 20-Jul-2007 23:05
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how do ISP's calculate how much data we have used? - based on the ip address? is it?

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  Reply # 79083 21-Jul-2007 11:03
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Well the IP address changes every time you get a connection but the ISP's always know who was assigned what IP address at any time. I guess the MAC address of the network device is also used - but that can be spoofed. So, perhaps its the line itself.

I remember a time a few years ago when I got an ADSL bill from my then provider for $12,000 for 60Gig of traffic. I know it did not come down my line because the traffic counter in the router confirmed exactly how many bytes I had consumed - and it was about 3 Gig. I complained and was credited for the whole amount. So, the ISP was simply not able to confirm the consumption.

I am still not sure why we are even charged for consumption. Surely it ought to be based on bandwidth!

Cheers Mike

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  Reply # 79089 21-Jul-2007 11:47
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It depends... Some provide static IP addresses (such as TelstraClear cable modem service) and others require your username and password to configure the DSL connection - so here is your  to the account.







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  Reply # 79161 21-Jul-2007 23:51
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oh. i c. slingshot claims that they dont provide static IP but i noticed that my IP never changes. i m with slingshot. on their website they stated that they had problems with keeping track of how much the users downloaded. i am sure that i used to have dynamic ip (used to cheat rapidshare), now i have static :(

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Reply # 79166 22-Jul-2007 08:57
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No, not necessarily...

ISPs have a limited pool of IP Addresses, and they try to assign the same address to the same connection as much as possible - but it's not a static IP address, like the ones you can contract or the ones assigned by TelstraClear on a cable modem network.

Their systems know which IP address is assigned to which user at any time and count that traffic - each IP packet has the destination IP address.

What probably happened is that their systems got out of sync - it happens from time to time, even on static addresses.

So, not I wouldn't say you now have a static IP address, and I would say they are probably counting correctly again.





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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 79254 23-Jul-2007 10:07
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quadiator: how do ISP's calculate how much data we have used? - based on the ip address? is it?


I dunno, but IHUG tried to convince me I'd used 10.8 GB in one day via my "3.5 Mb" connection. (Which never manages 1.5 Mb on a good day!)

My IP with them was static (I VNC into my system at home when I'm overseas) and I'm organising a static IP with my new provider (xnet).

Back in the dark ages when [Telecom] first rolled out 'JetStream' I signed up with Xtra for the very first plan they had and they even managed to stuff the data allowance up. Then they repeatedly billed me for "excess usage" even though my logs showed otherwise. Finally I had enough and canned it completely, only for them to not only keep billing me for three months afterwards for a service I no-longer used, but for *excess data usage* on a service I'd not had for three months!

Their helpdesk monkies refused to accept that there was any problem with that...

Here's another fun story. Sorry if it's a little OT:

"I'm the de-facto IT person for a very small rural South Island town (and surrounding community).

The town exchange has some dodgy gear, the result of which is randomly/regularly locked ports on ADSL connections.

The fine techs of Downers (whom I have mucho respect for) have been nagging Telecom for new equipment for months, to no avail.

One of the fun aspects of this is the response of Telecom and Xtra whenever I report ADSL faults.

Usually, after the requisite 5 hours on hold, then being put through to somebody who doesn't speak much english and who is vaguely familiar with the concept of computing, then having the call cut-off while transferring me, they try to waltz me through the script ("It's your computer; it's your modem; it's Helen Clark...")...but it's never a problem at their end.

After pleading with them for something like twelve lifetimes, they grudgingly put in a job for Downers to check the port at the exchange (after assuring me that they've already fixed it remotely themselves...only not...), but qualified with all sorts of dire threats regarding massive penalty bills when they most assuredly find no problem.

Within a day or two one of the Downer boys shows up at the exchange, plugs in, says "Oh look, the port is locked, goodo!", and resets it. Internet, here we come!

Now, I'm sure this is not news to you, but here's a slightly better one than usual: the local school had been without Internet access for more than a month. They have a contract with some horse-riding, cattle-wrastling, stetson-wearing, six-gun packing "professional" from out of town (Yeehaar!), who was unable to do anything but cluelessly slap them with huge invoices for four weeks.

Finally they gave up and called me. After the school person described the all-too-familiar problem, I immediately called Telecom/Xtra and asked them to unlock the port.

"There is nothing wrong at the exchange," they told me, as usual, "it must be in your computer's network settings".

"No," said I, "the settings are correct, it's the port at the exchange."

"It is not the exchange." the Xtra support person exclaimed pithily (and smarmily). "I am pinging your router and it is fine sir. I can see you have not rebooted your device in over a month. Please try doing that sir then call back if you are having any more problems."

"But," I replied, "the router is packed in a box on the back seat of my car..."

Two days later, Downer called-in at the school and informed them that the port was locked, but they've reset it now. And so the school got it's Internet access back and lived happily ever after. For now.

This is great because this year the school's teaching focus is on...wait for it...Information Technology."


[Moderator edit (MF): removed profanity, user warned]

>[Shturm edit: Moderator removed unflattering name for Telecom NZ, Ltd - not a profanity. User couldn't care less]

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Reply # 79255 23-Jul-2007 10:10
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Shturm:

Back in the dark ages when Telescum first rolled out 'JetStream'


Names like this have no place on Geekzone. Please refrain from using them.

FYI - there is tool which does do an ATM ping to the router. Perhaps they were misreading it or it was displaying the wrong info.




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  Reply # 79258 23-Jul-2007 10:16
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Most DSL providers will measure your bandwidth based on username, via their authentication/accounting server(s). And to the person who claimed you can't do 10GB on 1.5mbit, you can do close to 20GB per day at that speed.

I personally have some days where I do between 60 to 70GB (however I get full 7.5mbit downstream).

cokemaster: FYI - there is tool which does do an ATM ping to the router. Perhaps they were misreading it or it was displaying the wrong info.


Heh - like to see how you can magically read a non-responsive ATM ping as looking "normal" :P

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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 79259 23-Jul-2007 10:21
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cokemaster: FYI - there is tool which does do an ATM ping to the router. Perhaps they were misreading it or it was displaying the wrong info.


I'm aware of that but how do you ping a device which is not connected to a network, or even powered on? The "tech" claimed to be pinging "my" router, not equipment owned by Telecom NZ, Ltd.

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  Reply # 79261 23-Jul-2007 10:24
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And if you read the rest of my post which you have quoted, you would have seen the possible reasons. Using this tool it is possible to see if a router is plugged in (as long as its getting DSL sync) and turned on, even if it hasn't connected to the internets (ie. set up incorrectly, wrong username etc).

Anyway, going on topic - Certain providers bill by line number by memory but most appear to do username.




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Wannabe Geek


Reply # 79263 23-Jul-2007 10:30
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cokemaster: And if you read the rest of my post which you have quoted, you would have seen the possible reasons. Using this tool it is possible to see if a router is plugged in (as long as its getting DSL sync) and turned on, even if it hasn't connected to the internets (ie. set up incorrectly, wrong username etc).


Uh...wha...?

Sorry to drag this out, but the Telecom NZ, Ltd/Xtra "technician" claimed to be pinging (and receiving a response from) a device which was not plugged into the network or even powered on.

Got that? It was in a box on the backseat of my car, parked outside the building.

Yet that amazing tool of his was still able to ping it and see that it hadn't been rebooted in over a month. Man, I wish *I* had access to network tools like that! It'd make my job so much easier.

I guess they use similar magic tools to derive data usage.

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Reply # 79264 23-Jul-2007 10:36
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The router was in your car. But was the modem connected?

I mean, you complained about a line problem, so I presume they have at least a modem there? On DSL lines the IP address is to the modem, not user data device (unlike cable modem services).






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Wannabe Geek


Reply # 79265 23-Jul-2007 10:45
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willnz: And to the person who claimed you can't do 10GB on 1.5mbit, you can do close to 20GB per day at that speed.


My calculations suggest that under absolutely ideal conditions (ie everything 100% perfect) you could d/l just over 16 GB of data in 24 hours at a data rate of 1.5 Mb/s.

My very periodic burst rate from a fast site, such as Microsoft Update or similar, barely reaches 1.5 Mb/s. Usually it's much less. The odds of d/ling 10.8 GB of data from anywhere in one day are slim, and especially so from most servers.

Not to quibble, but if I was an auditor and I saw a data-usage pattern like this (say)...

1. 183 MB
2. 322 MB
3. 198 MB
4. 176 MB
5. 401 MB
6. 224 MB
7. 10793 MB
8. 302 MB
9. 207 MB
10. 294 MB
11. 103 MB
12. 132 MB
13. 191 MB
14. 286 MB
15. 225 MB
16. 311 MB
17. 282 MB
18. 162 MB
19. 152 MB
20. 222 MB
21. 328 MB
22. 346 MB
23. 316 MB
24. 227 MB
25. 143 MB
26. 174 MB
27. 196 MB
28. 244 MB
29. 286 MB
30. 297 MB
31. 281 MB

...I'd smell a rat, particularly since all the many previous months showed nothing like it. But then that's just me.

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  Reply # 79266 23-Jul-2007 10:46
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freitasm: The router was in your car. But was the modem connected?

I mean, you complained about a line problem, so I presume they have at least a modem there? On DSL lines the IP address is to the modem, not user data device (unlike cable modem services).




No. Nothing was plugged into the network. No routers, no modems, no acoustic couplers. Nothing.

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  Reply # 79268 23-Jul-2007 10:56
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Shturm:

Sorry to drag this out, but the Telecom NZ, Ltd/Xtra "technician" claimed to be pinging (and receiving a response from) a device which was not plugged into the network or even powered on.



The term technician is used almost as loosely as "engineer".

These days are you even speaking to someone from Xtra or Telecom let alone somebody with a technical background until your fault has been escalated upwards.

The only problem I've had was the initial install when the call center operator assured me that the problem was a locked port and he had reset it. Next day the fault was looked at again by someone else who understood what the mistake was and did a reset that worked. Obviously the system isn't fool proof :)

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