Thanks for sharing the final chapter in your data loss problem.
Way back when a Hughes user had a single computer connected directly to the modem. It was then a case of all on the data used was used by "something" on or in that computer or an issue with the modem itself.
Things like switches and routers were limited more towards small business or commercial establishments.
At some point, everyone and everything, wants either intra or internet access but consumer understand did not keep pace with the home/office router offerings.
As true "broadband" became more prevalent in the US router manufactures offered more Bells & Whistles on their offerings and just as importantly many of their "out of the box" default settings were set to accommodate users with true unlimited broadband connections.
Then along came those of us with data capped internet services.
What is not well understood is the many "connection paths" that having a router at the heart of your Network creates:
Here is a functional diagram of a small home/office router:
Broadly speaking there are THREE areas that a router can allow the use of your data:
#1: The most likely least known or considered is the routers "internal" functions. These can cover several areas:
Firmware updates that can use data or even get in a update/fail/update loop. This will chew up data like its going out of style.
The next internal area is are any router "protection" services enabled?"
As an experiment I had enabled two of these three router services and they used just over 1/2 GB in about three days. These would run unseen. They are not "on" any connected computer or device. They run at the "router" level.
Many router manufacturers enable these features by default due to the perception "everyone has limitless broadband".
The next internal router usage area is in various "sync" functions:
Again, this potential usage is at the router level ... you will see the drop in available data on your usage meters but nowhere else unless the router has an internal "data tracker"
To the lost of "internals" we have to look at Guest Accounts, WPS and few other items. In may cases these are enabled by default and overlooked during Network creation.
#2: Wired devices.
Any and all devices that connect to the router by Ethernet cable will have unlimited access to the Network. This will also include access to the routers internal GUI settings page unless the default username and password have been changed.
#3: Wireless access.
By default there is no wireless security .. all frequencies, 2.4 & 5 GHZ are unencrypted ... open network, anyone and anything within range (including your visitors cellphone) can connect and use your data .. unknowingly.
Another wireless device often overlooked is wireless printers. They can offer potential WAP of connections bypassing other security/access settings besides using massive amount of data on their own in the form of firmware/software updates.
In the end the simplest way to see what is running is to get a better grade of router that will show by device, including usage by itself just what device used what data including who, when and where.
ecoalex's "leak" could have been pinpointed very quickly and easily with a router that tracks data.
If you are going to "Network" on a data limited connection arm yourself with the "tools" that allow you to see who, what, when and where your data is going:
It still gets back to router security.
If the routers GUI default username and password have not been changed and secured then the entire network is vulnerable.
If it is connected by wire, it is "in" ... full network access and permissions
If WPA2-Personal wireless encryption is not enabled for all available wireless frequencies then the users data allowance as well as all connected network devices are vulnerable.
If Guest Accounts are not disabled ... it is "in" ... full network access and permissions
If Remote Access hasn't been disabled the network is vulnerable
If WPS hasn't been disabled the network is vulnerable
If all router internal cloud and sync services have not been disabled then the users data allowance is at risk.
If it is connected by wire, it is "in" ... full network access and permissionsAre you speaking strictly of a device (like a desktop) being connected to it with a LAN cable?
Yes, anything connected by wire has access to all network recourses except those limited or controlled by username/password such as the router GUI that holds the "Keys to the Kingdom". This would include any connected "interfaces" such as network drives and so forth.
Ah. I was confusing ""in" full network access and permissions" with "vulnerable."
I was thinking, "Well, that's a bummer. No more connecting my desktop with a LAN to the router while my laptop is updating wirelessly." LOL.
Eh. It's been a long day, so it's no wonder I was confused. Nearly three feet of snow since Wednesday evening. I need a break. LOL.
We supposedly got about 11-12" here along the west Michigan shoreline but is hard to tell because of the high winds. It has climbed all the way to 10' F.
Wool prices are sky-high at the moment