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Huge data drain the past three days that we can't explain

New Member

Huge data drain the past three days that we can't explain

Up until a few days ago, our usage was doing good.  I am vigilant about making sure everyone does heavy downloads before 8 am in the morning.  We were at the expected usage.  And I was monitoring it regularly.  And then a couple nights ago, the usage jumped up over 1 gig within just a few minutes.  I checked the activity monitor on my computer, but there was no big jump on the computer.  I had my iphone and ipad on and connected all day, without any unusual data leak.  My husband had just come home from work and he was playing scrabble when the usage went up, but I checked his phone.  Leaks we've had in the past came from the kids downloading apps, podcasts set to check for new updates every 6 hours, friends sending us photos on the cloud, and the iphone automatically transferring photos to the imac.  Through trial and error we've learned how to tweak those things.  

The next day (yesterday) the same thing happened.  We had the ipad and my iphone connected all day.  And we hardly used any data. Then my husband came home from work, and the data shot up over 1 gig again!  I thought for sure something on his phone was causing the data leak, but his phone hadn't even been connected to the internet when he got home.  And even if it had, what would cause over 2.5 gig of data to leak so quickly?  It doesn't make any sense.

So last night, I took photos of the status meter, and unplugged the LAN cable.  Then I plugged it back in today, and took another screen shot.  

BTW, I look at the bonus bytes.  I've done some pretty heavy bonus byte downloads this month -my usual podcast downloads, plus I've been binge watching a tv show on Amazon this past month.  It seems like for how careful I am with the anytime data and how much bonus byte data I've been using, that the bonus byte data should be quit a bit greater. 


I disconneded the LAN cable at 9:49
I turned off my cell phone at around 10 pm.
My husband turned his cell off at around 11 pm.
My husband turned on his cell at around 9:30 
And I plugged my LAN cable back in at 10:48 am.


Is there anything another information I can give you for you to help me figure this out?

We're getting really frustrated.  We're spending over $100 a month on internet, and we're so limited.  My husband would like to use the internet to listen to Pandora, but for $100 a month we stress more about our few 15 gigs than we enjoy it.   
8 REPLIES 8
New Member

Re: Huge data drain the past three days that we can't explain

I had wifi on since 10:48 am this morning. I watched it carefully, and it stayed at "2.5 GB over" the whole time.  It was at "2.5 MB over" when I got off the computer.  My husband's iphone has been on airplane mode most of the day.  No one was on devices while I was off the computer.  Then I got back on just a few minutes later.  It wasn't much more than 15 minutes later, and it now shows that we're "3.3 GB over" !!!!!  Seriously.  This is nuts.   I was away for about 10 or 15 minutes.  What would cause it to run up 800 MB in just 15 minutes when no one is using the internet??!!!  This is crazy.


Moderator
Moderator

Re: Huge data drain the past three days that we can't explain

Hi Karen,

Thank you for posting your screenshots. These show we can eliminate the HughesNet modem as the source of the unidentified data usage. The next best step to narrow down the source is process of elimination; it's easiest to have one computer plugged directly into the modem and observe to see if you see unusual spikes then. If not, then you could try adding the router, but keep any wireless devices connecting to it. Routers, if not updated or functioning properly may use your data. If the router is fine, just keep adding one device to the network at a time as you observe your usage.  

When directly connected to the modem, we normally recommend GlassWire as a data monitoring tool to help pinpoint what programs are using data and how much, but GlassWire is currently only in the beta testing stage for their Mac version. I found this data monitoring program for Mac: http://peakhourapp.com/ It seems to do the same thing GlassWire does, however, there is only a 10 day free trial available, aside from purchasing the program.

-Liz
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New Member

Re: Huge data drain the past three days that we can't explain

I'll try the peakhourapp trial.  Maybe a ten day trial is long enough to show me what's going on.  This is really frustrating.  We're paying so much for this, and when I see the usage spike up when no one is even using the wifi it's like watching my money fly away and we're getting nothing for it.  At first I was sure it was my husband's cell phone.  Because it always happens in the evening when he's home.  But like I mention, the other day it ran up while he was home but his phone wasn't even connected to the wifi.  Months previous, when we saw large spikes, I was pretty much able to figure it out. 

I'm a bit clueless about the router.  You mention if it's not updated.  Do you mean downloaded updates?  Or gettting a new router?  Because this router is pretty new.  And I've never been prompted to download updates for it.  
Moderator
Moderator

Re: Huge data drain the past three days that we can't explain

Hi Karen,

Depends on the router manufacturer, some may push their router firmware automatically, some may just have them available on their website for you to download and run manually. I would suggest checking your router manufacturer's website to see how to ensure your router is up-to-date.

Netgear, for example, has a hybrid of both firmware rollout methods: they have a feature you manually run to check for and automatically download the latest firmware for your router: http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/23442

-Liz
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New Member

Re: Huge data drain the past three days that we can't explain

Hi.

We just started a new pay cycle today.  When I turned on my computer this morning, 30 mg was used up already.  Which is not a huge amount.  But it looks like that was used up while we were sleeping.  I downloaded some tv shows for the kids before 8 am, I took a pictures of the status meter, shut off the wifi, and turned off the computer.  

It looked like this before we left in the morning:  

We got home late.  Got the kids to bed, washed the dishes.  My husband turned on the wifi and then a few minutes later I turned on the computer.  Our usage was up to around 250 -- and the wifi had only been plugged in for a few minutes.  And from there it just kept climbing for the next hour.  I turned off one device after another, but I can't figure out what is going on.   



 
I turned off one device after another.  But I can't figure out what's going on.  I thought maybe a movie that I had only partially downloaded in the morning might have started downloading again when the wifi was turned on.  But I don't see anything going on there at all.  We just lost a day's worth of data in one hour and we didn't do much of anything other than play Clash of Clans and Scrabble.  

And it's definitely not coming from the computer:


I did try a trial of the Peak Hour app.  But I didn't see that it monitored much more than what your status meter monitors.  It doesn't tell me what different devices are doing. I haven't downloaded the Netgear update yet.  I've meant to do it during the bonus bytes period, but keep forgetting.

I'm sure you're getting tired of me.  I'm totally confused about this.  Is there anything else that you can suggest?  Three of our devices are apple.  Maybe checking at the apple store to see if they can advise something?  
New Member

Re: Huge data drain the past three days that we can't explain

Okay..  So last night I tried to mess around with the wifi, by having one device on a time. It seemed to start draining when I turned the ipad on. I don't know how "real time" the status meter is though.  I unplugged the wifi and all the devices when I went to bed.  I woke up around 6:30, when there was still about an hour and a half of bonus bytes time.  I plugged the wifi back in and turned on the ipad, then was busy for a couple hours.  I was hoping that if the ipad was causing it, whatever was draining the data would run it's course during that hour and a half we had left of bonus bytes.  Or that the data drain would show up on the bonus bytes.  Unfortunately, bonus bytes doesn't show a more precise count.  When I checked around 8:30, it's still 1.1 gig used like yesterday.  But I had lost over 70 megabytes of anytime data.  My ipad was the only thing connected.  


I forgot to check NetGear for an update this morning.  I'll have to make a note to myself to do it tomorrow morning.  

I'm really amazed that so much data can be sucked away like that without doing anything.  
New Member

Re: Huge data drain the past three days that we can't explain

I finally looked at the router information, and downloaded the update.  Hopefully that helps!   I poked around the Netgear genie for the first time. Under "attached devices" it shows our computer and our other devices clearly marked.  But it also shows one unknown device that I can't account for.  Would that be the modem or something else?  Or is it possible that someone outside of our home has connected to our wifi?

I've heard of that happening, but I've always assumed that only happens when people don't require a password to connect.  I wish there was some way to see how much data each device used.  That's the one thing that could give me some clue about what is going on with our data leak.  Since I posted yesterday, Our data has gone up another 800 MB.  I was gone most of the day, and I know my husband has been careful about usage with all of this going on.  
Moderator
Moderator

Re: Huge data drain the past three days that we can't explain

Hi Karen,

Thanks for the updates. The Status Meter may need some time to catch up if you've just completed a large download. Good job on narrowing your search to your iPad. I had another customer with unidentified data usage concerns who also found that his iPad was the source of most of the usage spikes. 

Hopefully the Netgear update helps. Once you get that done, you may want to revisit your security settings on it to prevent any unknown devices from connecting. 

-Liz
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