[SOLVED] Suddenly high data usage

Ferdly1

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Last month my data usage doubled and this month so far my usage is equal to month of November. Trying to figure out why. Was hoping to find some simple software to help me figure where the excess usage is coming from. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 
I have always used wireshark I guess because I learned to use it well before glasswire existed.

There are 2 issues with using the ISP modem. First most people seem to not care about stuff like this so the modem will not have a data monitoring feature. These people also don't even run ad blockers they just seem to tolerate all the garbage on their screen.
The next and much larger issue is to get high speed data transfers modern equipment has the NAT function done in hardware and bypasses the main cpu. So the cpu can't see the data even if it wanted to run reports. Just turning the bypass feature off will cap the data rate to about 250mbps and it is even less if you start running
fancy data collection programs.

The CPU is just not strong enough on fast connection.

To do this what you would do is use the ISP device purely as a modem. You would then place a firewall/data collection pc behind it to also run the router/nat function. Since adding the wifi function to a pc-router is messy you normally just put a AP on the lan side to provide wifi to your end devices.

I actually run script blockers on my main machine as well as ad blockers. It can be painful at times but it does prevent a lot of junk from running in the background I don't know about.
 
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Ferdly1

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I eliminated some things. Firefox for one was running even when i wasnt using it. Google now owns firefox so its basically useless But basically the majority of usage coming from 4k tv. Those are data hogs. I also noticed more and more stuff becoming 4k quality. Like a large number of netflix movies. I also watch a lot of you tube not sure of its quality. Now they are coming of with 8k tvs. Data will go thru the roof with that. I am able to figure out a little thru resource monitor and glasswire. Any one have anything better to monitor usage. You can also see you data usage on comcast website under devices. Also plan on turning off notifications. Everytime you download a product that product keeps tabs on you thru upgrades by sending notifications, i have tons of those. Any other ideas would be appreciated. I did also upgrade to unlimited plan. But we know how that will go.
 
It appears you already have better knowledge than most on how to monitor the data.

You need a device in the path that can monitor all the data and create reports. Glasswire and wireshark tend to be the cheapest way but to collect data from multiple machines you would need some kind of switch that has the ability to mirror/monitor/span other data ports to your capture machine.

The method that would work the best would be to replace your router with dual nic pc running some kind of unix router/firewall solution. Many firewall packages will produce reports or you can run glasswire or wireshark if you like those reports better.

The large problem you are going to have is all data is encrypted. You can not always tell what is really running. You will just see a bunch of traffic to a bunch of random IP in cloudflare or google hosting centers. You can though tell the device/mac address in your house that is doing it.
 
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A added thought on firewalls. I know people both to reduce the data load and increase privacy have huge lists of blocked addresses. This is done to block ads and other tracking crap that in effect steals your bandwidth. Many also have lists of all the microsoft spyware/telemetry IP.
 

Ferdly1

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Ok but everything goes thru the isp modem. So seems to me I should be able to track all data thru the modem, wifi as well as wired. I have installed glasswire free version. i found some programs I deleted thanks to it. Even though i hated to I deleted firefox, now that their browser is google based it is basically useless. That and the fact I saw it running in background when i was just googling. Also found programs that were constantly updating which i eliminated, A lot I werent even using. The free version of glasswire is ok was good but i plan to remove it. It provided no wifi data. Every program that you load that does automatic updates adds to data. Thats the tough one I see. I also eliminated news feeds and ads on my browsers. I mean come on my webpage was filling with endless ads and news articles. I don't mind one or two but it just got rediculous. Basically there is so much garbage being created hard to keep up.
 
I have always used wireshark I guess because I learned to use it well before glasswire existed.

There are 2 issues with using the ISP modem. First most people seem to not care about stuff like this so the modem will not have a data monitoring feature. These people also don't even run ad blockers they just seem to tolerate all the garbage on their screen.
The next and much larger issue is to get high speed data transfers modern equipment has the NAT function done in hardware and bypasses the main cpu. So the cpu can't see the data even if it wanted to run reports. Just turning the bypass feature off will cap the data rate to about 250mbps and it is even less if you start running
fancy data collection programs.

The CPU is just not strong enough on fast connection.

To do this what you would do is use the ISP device purely as a modem. You would then place a firewall/data collection pc behind it to also run the router/nat function. Since adding the wifi function to a pc-router is messy you normally just put a AP on the lan side to provide wifi to your end devices.

I actually run script blockers on my main machine as well as ad blockers. It can be painful at times but it does prevent a lot of junk from running in the background I don't know about.
 
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Ferdly1

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I read you can use one of thats pi servers to block ad content. Never tried it. Thing that gets me is my wifi usage. Most programs can monitor wired but not seeing anything on wifi usage. My big concern is netflix and you tube. With the introduction of 4k tv and now 8k coming out data usage going crazy. Was thinking of making my 4k tv a lan device that will consume a little less however i know from using my surveillance 4k camera which is lan it uses lots of data. Right now to block ads and news I just set up my browsers as blank no ads or news coming thru so far
 
You can see wifi usage you just have to intercept it after it has been converted to ethernet. Capture of wifi signals directly even if they are not encrypted is not as simple as it used to be because of stuff like mimo.

So first you need a switch that has the ability to give your PC a copy of any data passing through so you can use glasswire or whatever to get the data.

Next you would use a AP that you plug into the switch rather than let devices connect directly to your main router and bypass your capture.

Since the data coming out the AP appears the same as if it was any other ethernet device you will get ethernet packets but they will still use the same mac address they used to connect to the wifi network so you can tell the which actual device is using what. Of course the payload is still likely encrypted by the application but you will still have IP addresses and total bandwidth usage
 
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Phillipson

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This sounds confusing, I recommend simplifying the issue. Your data usage has doubled
  • Has there been any recent changes?
  • Have you isolated a possible culprit?
Starting from scratch is useful. Isolate the issue, then determine a course of action. Diving deep into a problem causes confusion - thus distraction. Spread / Expand the issue out and find the root. If a device on your home network is over utilizing the bandwidth it should be easy to determine
  • Monitor current devices and deactivate one by one
  • Locate and isolate the problem device from your network
There is software for this. Glasswire is a good one and there are others. My best recommendation would be to purchase a more detailed router. All I believe you need is to isolate the problem. As soon as you discover that, you can begin correcting the issue. Best of luck friend
 
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Phillipson

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And side note; I highly doubt ads or Google is to blame for doubling your data usage. Bandwidth taxes networks on both ends. My opinion is a rogue device found it's way on your network or a known-device hatched a rogue troublemaker. Run anti-virus scans / block MAC addresses via your router interface

The point is, your data usage doubled. This isn't ads nor web browsers. This is definitely being caused your neighbor or malicious software. 4K / 8K TVs demand lots of bandwidth, the easiest solution to determine is by deactivating them and monitoring usage. Best of luck friend
 

Ferdly1

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i have gotten my usage down quite a bit- 4k tv is the main culprit. I just noticed more and more movies 4k compliant. I believe than is the biggest user. l also cleaned up software that was unnecessary in the process. Thanks for yalls input. I also am now paying for unlimitrd however there is no reason to use 1.2 tb of data a month.
 

Ferdly1

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yes it doesn't take long- My wife was watching netflix movies from 9am until 11pm while playing with her cellphone hooked to my wifi chatting on facebook. I on the other hand trade online and keep charts and chat going 24/7. been doing this for years. Last month almost went over. Like I said it doubled. The only thing I realized was netflix had a lot more 4k movies than when i first bought tv several years back. Might even switch back to just hd tv. And yes I thought usage on 4k was 7gb an hour which still doesnt takes long to go over 1.2tb. I didnt do any math , Thats something i read somewhere. i do have unlimited now. But been trying to cut expenses due to inflation we are seeing. Could save some money just by watching data usage. Thanks for all the input. Always fun to exchange ideas !
 

Phillipson

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Well, may I recommend my ISP: T-Mobile

5G Home Internet; believe it. It's something an average person will laugh off - having 5G internet be your primary internet...must be a JOKE! However, since I've started using 5G internet I haven't had a single issue with it:
  • Unlimited data / No throttling
  • Zero logistics involved
  • $50/month no contract
First is checking if either T-Mobile OR Verizon services your area. It doesn't hurt to try it out!

The gateway they'll ship to you needs to be placed in a "perfect spot" (near windows, higher ground). I'm west suburbs of Chicago, IL and I get amazing speeds, up to 400mpbs with 6+ devices connected. For only 50$ month, it's unbeatable. Just make sure you run pings with Command Prompt after installation; verifying possible latency issues

Best of luck! Don't over pay for cabbage!
 

Phillipson

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Jun 14, 2016
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i have gotten my usage down quite a bit- 4k tv is the main culprit. I just noticed more and more movies 4k compliant. I believe than is the biggest user. l also cleaned up software that was unnecessary in the process. Thanks for yalls input. I also am now paying for unlimitrd however there is no reason to use 1.2 tb of data a month.
And yes, I want to add. If you compare aspects ratios (via Google) you'll see the 4K ratio is a considerable amount larger; 4K eats plenty of data. But it's 2022, you shouldn't have to worry about this. My solution: find a better ISP
 
Well, may I recommend my ISP: T-Mobile

5G Home Internet; believe it. It's something an average person will laugh off - having 5G internet be your primary internet...must be a JOKE! However, since I've started using 5G internet I haven't had a single issue with it:
  • Unlimited data / No throttling
  • Zero logistics involved
  • $50/month no contract
First is checking if either T-Mobile OR Verizon services your area. It doesn't hurt to try it out!

The gateway they'll ship to you needs to be placed in a "perfect spot" (near windows, higher ground). I'm west suburbs of Chicago, IL and I get amazing speeds, up to 400mpbs with 6+ devices connected. For only 50$ month, it's unbeatable. Just make sure you run pings with Command Prompt after installation; verifying possible latency issues

Best of luck! Don't over pay for cabbage!
You have to be careful they have changed what they are calling 5G. If you are actually getting 400mbps then this is what they first called 5G. Some of the ATT and verizon nodes can get almost gigabit speed. These systems run a very high frequency many above 25ghz.
Problem is the coverage is very poor and it has more issues getting though walls etc. Not a lot of these nodes were deployed. Very few people live close enough to get this high speed service.

What tmobile did was start to use what a lot of vendors were called LTE+ or LTE advanced but they called it 5G. If you read the fine print they now have 5g-UG for the really fast stuff and 5g-xr for the stuff that is "extended range". It really is not the same as really fast node but it can get close to 100mbps at times so it is far faster than normal LTE. Since this runs on the lower frequency bands it has much better coverage and because they could reuse all the sprint radio bands they got a head start. What you are now seeing is ATT and Verizon have just renamed the fast LTE offering 5G so they can also sell a competing product.

Then again this is nothing new. They used to call all kinds of stuff 4G. Took a long time for the general public to learn why they needed to look for 4G-LTE instead of just 4G.
 

Phillipson

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Jun 14, 2016
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You have to be careful they have changed what they are calling 5G. If you are actually getting 400mbps then this is what they first called 5G. Some of the ATT and verizon nodes can get almost gigabit speed. These systems run a very high frequency many above 25ghz.
Problem is the coverage is very poor and it has more issues getting though walls etc. Not a lot of these nodes were deployed. Very few people live close enough to get this high speed service.
Good call. I do agree, 5G Home Internet isn't guaranteed to work well nationwide. I consider myself very fortunate having the speeds I do. But nevertheless, it's an option that's worth evaluating. And yes, yes, 5G is a competitive product. Thank you for explaining this further
 

Ferdly1

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Good idea but i am stuck with Comcast. I live in the country. You guys in big city have way more choices. However I am not having speed problem- I had 100 mb download which was plenty for eveything I did. It was data usage thats killing me. I now have 600 mb download and usage has not changed except by shutting down 4k tv most of the day.
 

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