Question Xfinity & Data Usage

Dec 27, 2019
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Got a legitimate message in browser from Xfinity saying I had 45gb left of the month. 15-20 minutes later of just browsing and a discord call, got another message telling me I used 100% of my data and I gave 0gb remaining for the month. Any idea of what could be causing this? Second time its happened in the past 4 months. Something working in the background I cant easily see is the only thing I could think of. Family is hitting around 800gb per month on average which I feel is high for usually just my computer being connected and sometimes our phones.
 
That definitely is high. I've hit the 1GB limit, but that was only when transferring like 600K/sec for a month 24x7.

The first thing I would do is look at all the activity lights for any ethernet cards and see if your router has a way to checking how many wireless clients are connected. Ethernet card lights should not be constantly going when a system is freshly booted and idle, and you should recognize every single wireless client. If nothing looks out of the ordinary there, I would disconnect everything but one device and check the xfinity usage. Then add back device after device, checking xfinity each time until you find a spike in usage.
 
Not sure with just a pc and phones. I know people that have multiple tv use huge amounts. I think even the netflix site says it uses 3GB/hr for HD movies. If you had a couple people watching even a couple hours a day you would hit a 1TB cap
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
Got a legitimate message in browser from Xfinity saying I had 45gb left of the month. 15-20 minutes later of just browsing and a discord call, got another message telling me I used 100% of my data and I gave 0gb remaining for the month. Any idea of what could be causing this? Second time its happened in the past 4 months. Something working in the background I cant easily see is the only thing I could think of. Family is hitting around 800gb per month on average which I feel is high for usually just my computer being connected and sometimes our phones.
Have you scanned systems/devices for malware? Also, are you torrenting files to/from your network? You should be able to determine what connected devices are consuming the most data in your router. Have you looked there for any clues?
 
Jul 4, 2019
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My wife streams all the time and we never even come close to the cap unless I'm doing data transfers across the vpn tunnel for work.
My wife and daughter stream all the time and I had to subscribe to unlimited because they had pushed me over 3 months in a row. They watch TV on tablets or phones when playing xbox and then watch it on the xbox when not playing. My router which logs all traffic in, out, and across my lan says it ain't so but the mso don't care they are inaccurate.

As to Xfinity if you have the x1 platform or flex those apps (netflix, etc.) count against your data cap. Otherwise if you rent their gateway the xfi app on any smart device may be able to help you see who is using what data and if nothing else change your wifi name and password so any leeches get kicked off.
 
I just ran the numbers and you'd need to be using 3.08 megabits per second 24x7 the entire month for you to hit 1 terabyte (aka 8 terabits).

And according to netflix, they recommend 5Mbps internet speed for HD, which means that it is using less than that probably by a factor of two, so 2-3Mbps.

That means you need to have a single 1080p stream running 24x7 on netflix to hit the limit. Do you think they're viewing that much?
 
Last edited:

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I just ran the numbers and you'd need to be using 3.08 megabits per second 24x7 the entire month for you to hit 1 gigabyte (aka 8 gigabits).

And according to netflix, they recommend 5Mbps internet speed for HD, which means that it is using less than that probably by a factor of two, so 2-3Mbps.

That means you need to have a single 1080p stream running 24x7 on netflix to hit the limit. Do you think they're viewing that much?
The Xfinity data cap is 1TB -- But, this FAQ -- https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/data-usage-what-counts-towards-my-data-plan says that download AND upload counts. So things like streaming UPLOADS of game play count also.
 
In my own case, something we had to watch for was "autoplay" on all the streaming sites, YouTube included. Along with some gaming, hit my cap three months in a row till I turned that feature off in the control panel or settings of all my streaming services.
 
It may not even be netflix or other video services. After watching how my brothers small children use their phones I could see how he could hit his monthly cell cap in a couple days. The would download free game after free game. Play for a couple minutes and then move on to the next. Sometimes downloading the next game while they were playing the previous. Pretty much downloading at maximum rates almost constantly.

Even youtube they constantly jump from video to video and youtube burst downloads a buffer to start and they may not even watch enough to see the initial buffer.

On wifi since it is faster than cell they likely could use even more data per hour.
 
It may not even be netflix or other video services. After watching how my brothers small children use their phones I could see how he could hit his monthly cell cap in a couple days. The would download free game after free game. Play for a couple minutes and then move on to the next. Sometimes downloading the next game while they were playing the previous. Pretty much downloading at maximum rates almost constantly.

Even youtube they constantly jump from video to video and youtube burst downloads a buffer to start and they may not even watch enough to see the initial buffer.

On wifi since it is faster than cell they likely could use even more data per hour.
But even when bursting like this, you need to be hitting some serious speeds for a lot of hours constantly to hit the caps. The only way I've hit the cap is to literally copy a terabyte across my vpn tunnel--and it took almost a month to do it!
 
Maybe you need to get some kids to help you out and then you can hit your cap :). They would each download copies of the game to their own device. They would play the same video at the same time on their own device rather than watch together. I been to other people houses where each person is sitting in the same room each person watching something on their own screen. I can see how some people can hit the caps even though I never come close myself.
 
Haha, that's one of the myriad of reasons I don't want kids, haha--I'd kill them!

But it totally does make sense when you take the data rate and multiply it like that 2-4x. Still, the kids do sleep and you're not hitting max bandwidth on each video so I still wonder if it is possible to go over that consistently.
 

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