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Account usage levels

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Account usage levels

I am planning to change plans shortly and am trying to work out my usage. I do not see any recognisable connection between the amount of time spent surfing and the usage shown for my account on the PlusNet "Connection Settings" tool.

On some days when I have simply been surfing with no downloads I am shown as having 'used' upwards of 60 Mb bandwidth. I left the computer connected overnight but with no programmes open and even that used a couple of Mb with only 1 email waiting for me when I logged on.

Is there an average "consumption" per hour when surfing (assuming no downloads) and should I be consuming bandwidth when connected but with no prgrammes running ?
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Account usage levels

Does your ADSL modem or router have an activity light? If so if you close down all programs, is there still activity on your line? If so you have something else running tha is using up your bandwidth and you need to find out what t is.

Do you have a firewall? if not get one.

Do you have any anti-virus software running? if not get some and do a full disk scan.

Have you scanned for spyware/mlware/adware and trojans? If not do so.

Use a task manager to check what you have running in the background. Use something like TaskInfo 2003 then check what is running with a website tat tells you what the individual programs doo (see link below).

You may be being scanned by other IP addresses or other PCs are trying to infect your PC or have a virus that is 'phoning home' or trying to infect other PCs. All of this activity on your ADSL line adds up to usage.

Are you running any P2P / filesharing apps. If so, these can use up lots of bandwidth without you realising it.

See General: Essential Security software for links to apps that can perform all the above.
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Account usage levels

Dont forget that some routers also periodically use the net, also if you have windows xp it will automatically connect to the net to check for update (if you have the option enabled). Then theres programs like MSN messenger, these use bandwidth and people often forget they are there open and connected to the internet,
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Account usage levels

Thks for the comments. I am on Win 98 and have no programmes running that I know about (will certainly check for hidden progs).

I do have a wireless router connected. However, on days when I was on holiday with the computer shut down but the router left on, no bandwidth usage is recorded.
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Account usage levels

hmm wireless... how have you secured the wireless part of it? There is a posability that if you havent that that could have been accessed via someone else. I've had that happen at work, someone brought their laptop in and complained the internet was slow, so I got called to look at it. Only to find he wasnt plugging in via cat5, but instead was using wireless which had picked up someone else's AP and logged into that. You should have seen his face when I explained we didnt have wireless access, he thought the police where going to be around for him any second Tongue
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Account usage levels

This is used at home and I would be amazed - based on my own experience of signal strnegth - that it could be used outside the house. However, I have it secured by limiting access to cards with identified MACs (?). Also there was zero usage during the exact period I was abroad which would be a remarkable conicdence if someone else was freeloading.
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Account usage levels

Out of interest how much bandwidth would (say) one hour's streaming audio / video from the BCC website use ?
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Account usage levels

chances are it should be safe, using MAC blocking alone isnt the most secure way of doing things but it does work for all but the more skillfull warwalker (the term used for people that look for and gain access to WLANS). But it doesnt sound like thats the issue from what you have said so I would guess its something on the machine.

Maybe you could install something like netlimiter and use it to minitor exactly what us using what bandwidth.
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Account usage levels

roughly 2-4gbs a day got me just over 100gb this month
graingerjjb
Grafter
Posts: 77
Registered: 04-10-2007

Account usage levels

If you are using wireless I would also suggest you disable SSID broadcasting to stop anyone from picking it up plus restrict connections to only certain MAC address'.