Question High data usage by "System" is big problem as we work on 4G data SIM

perlachez

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Jan 23, 2019
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Our healthcare workers work remotely on many different locations so for internet connection they have 4G internet modems with a data SIM inside.

This year we see an increasing amount of users that have used up all of their data for the month before the month is over. This can be as high as 5GB in a day. We can add 5GB (payed) but this means they are offline for a moment. Sometimes we need to do this a couple of times in one month. Sometimes not at all.

When we check the internet settings on the laptop we see that "System" is using most of the data. I have no clue what is happening here. I am 100% sure that the laptops and modems are not used to watch videos, social media, internet radio, etc. I also know that the applications we are using don't use anywhere near this amount of data. Which is proven by the fact that it happens only sometimes, but usually everything is fine.

The only culprit I can think of is Windows Update. But usually these updates are max a couple of GB right? Our users do sometimes have an internet connection that breaks and then is reconnected. Or they switch locations during the day. Does Windows update start re-downloading an update from scratch if the connection was broken while downloading?

Any tips to prevent this of gain more insight to what is happening? Right now it is expensive and not user/patient friendly as the software can't be used without an internet connection.

thank you
 

perlachez

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Jan 23, 2019
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@rgd1101 thanks for your reply!

How does setting the connection as metered help me? (FYI our connection is UTP wired to the 4G modem)

As far as I can tell it doesn't allow me to block specific traffic. I guess setting it as metered can make sure you can't go beyond your available data, but that doesn't solve our problem of the data mysteriously being used in the first place. They need the data to do their jobs so a metered connection that shuts off at a threshold is not a solution I'm afraid.
 

perlachez

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Jan 23, 2019
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@rgd1101 but that is not what Microsoft is saying. Their info is not detailed at all but on the page you provided they do mention that: Some apps might work differently on a metered connection

Also in the FAQ they state:

Any app that relies on an Internet connection to update or display info may be limited in the amount of data it can download or display. You might notice these and other effects:

Unfortunately I can't find any more detailed information on how the metered connection works.

Yes I could test it myself but on the laptop are multiple applications both in the webbrowser as locally installed that all have connections. I guess I could set a low limit to force us to go beyond the limit and then test all different applications. But "might work differently" is not something I am happy to read :)

EDIT: reading it again I'm wondering what they mean by "app". Are they only refering to Windows Apps from the Windows Appstore? That would explain it. In my first interpretation everything is an app. Google Chrome, our healthcare applications, etc.
 
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perlachez

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Jan 23, 2019
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@rgd1101 thank you I'll run some tests!

I did find an older article mentioning Chrome will be taking note of the setting but can't find anything else on it. We need to work in Chrome because of our SLA with one of the webapp suppliers. I guess I will find out soon enough...

 
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