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Has my router been corrupted

shermans
Rising Star
Posts: 1,062
Thanks: 29
Fixes: 1
Registered: 07-09-2007

Has my router been corrupted

I am on a 2Gb Plusnet monthly broadband tariff which is just about sufficient for my needs.  I might these days go over and have to buy an extra Gb for £2.  I am not a heavy user and never, ever, for instance, stream videos, or do games.  In fact,  do not even own a TV !  I have too many other interests.
My billing period starts on 10th of each month.  This month on the 11th,  Plusnet advised me that I had already used my 2Gb allowance, plus a further 1Gb.  In other words, 3 Gb in one day - a day when I was hardly at home.  I just do not know what is going on.  But I suspected naturally some sort of virus or malware, and so I did an immediate virus scan - result, completely clean.  So I then used the Microsoft 'msert.exe' to scan, and the result was again absolutely clean.  So it cannot be a virus.
I then thought that maybe someone has managed to access my router.  That is unlikely, because I live in a very rural location, in a cul-de-sac a mile from the village, with very few neighbours.  As it is an old cottage with thick cob walls, I need a booster in any case for the Wi-Fi to get from one end of the house to the other, and so I cannot believe that anyone could see my router from the road either.  Nevertheless, I have changed my router password, changed my newtwork password and made the router invisible.  But again today, nearly a further Gb has been used once more, even though I was out most of yesterday..
I have checked "View my usage" on the Plusnet website, and all the data is shown as web browsing.  But it does not break it into the time when the data was accessed or whether it was uploading or downloading, nor are there any other clues as to what is happening.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could identify why this is going on all the time time ?  I use the free Avast! anti-virus.
Thanks.
7 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,237
Thanks: 1,321
Fixes: 31
Registered: 16-10-2014

Re: Has my router been corrupted

Have you been offered an upgrade to Windows 10, it may well be that is what is being downloaded in the back ground. One assumes of course that your PC is on at the times of download.
MatrixRob
Grafter
Posts: 78
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Registered: 16-11-2015

Re: Has my router been corrupted

Has your Device been left on and connected to the internet whilst unattended?
Do you have Windows 7/ 8 or 8.1 on your device?
If you have, it's probably as Mook said and I also suspect.
Has windows 10 upgraded/ downloaded in the background?
In order to check this:
On the device, firstly use the Folder Options and set to show all hidden items as instructions below:
You can do it by clicking Start button, typing “Folder options” in search box and by hitting the enter key.
Once the Folder Options dialog is open, click the View tab, and scroll down to select 'Show hidden files', folders, and drives under “Hidden files and folders”.
Now close and reopen windows explorer/ file explorer and look for a folder called '$Windows.~BT' in the either/ or: the Root directory usually C: or C:\ Windows directory
If it is there, then it's a forced or voluntary update to Windows 10 which downloads in the background when online.
If you do not want windows 10 upgrade there is a bit of work to do to supress any further update/s for Windows 10
I have previously listed patches to remove if you don't want the upgrade, see link below:
http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,142683.32.html

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
Albert Einstein
shermans
Rising Star
Posts: 1,062
Thanks: 29
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Has my router been corrupted

No,no,,no,no,no - yes.
From the days long ago when I did have a telly, that was Jim Trott in the Vicar of Dibley, if I remember correctly !
Anyway, I run XP still and so Windows 10 download cannot be the cause.  I do have a new Windowa 10 computer, but it is rarely used because I just do not have time to set it up with all the software I need (and I HATE Windows 10 !).  It is not left on, and so unlikely to be the cause, but I suppose just possible if there is some further W 10 update.
However, MatrixRob's reply set me thinking.  What I do leave running all the time is my Tablet, and of course that seems to be forever updating rubbish which I never use - I do not know how to get rid of three quarters of pre-packaged apps, simply because I do not know what I would be deleting.    Hence the "Yes".
The only app which it might just possibly be is "Navigator", my sat nav on the Tablet which has UK, France, Germany and Canada downloaded.  They are very big files (several Gbs) and I suppose that they could have automatically downloaded the latest country maps and data, without my knowing, which would of course explain it.
MatrixRob
Grafter
Posts: 78
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Registered: 16-11-2015

Re: Has my router been corrupted

Ok you wouldn't get the Windows 10 upgrade whilst on Windows XP anyway.
I hope you have a good and up-to-date firewall, antivirus and malware protection for XP
This may be the unknown answer in itself, Windows XP, Microsoft support for this OS ended last year.
If I were you I'd check the versions of the maps and when they were released/ updated for 'Navigator' just to put minds at rest.
No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
Albert Einstein
shermans
Rising Star
Posts: 1,062
Thanks: 29
Fixes: 1
Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Has my router been corrupted

I have been trying to upgrade my security as best I can, but I am now rather confused about the difference between my modem / router Gateway password and my WiFi password.  So firstly, am I right in thinking that the Gateway password is effectively the password to my home network , because it does not seem to be the SSID password.
The problem arises from the fact that I have two WiFi modem / routers piggy-backed to give me more WiFi reach.  I live in what used to be two cob cottages, which means that the house is effectively like a train, long and thin, going from one room into the next, through very thick cob walls.  The WiFi signal from my old Linksys WAG354G, about as old as WiFi gets, is not strong enough to get from one end of the house to the other.  Therefore, it is linked to a newer Plusnet Tompson modem / router by an ethernet cable.  Internet access is through the original Linksys router which acts just as the master modem with the Tompson as a WiFi extender.  That means that I have two SSIDs, and two passwords, one for each end of the house.  That is no problem because of course once installed in mobile devices, they switch transparently from one to the other.  In fact, it was a Plusnet member who recommended this set up about five years ago and it works brilliantly.  I have tried the newer Tompson modem / router on its own, but the signal is not as strong as the old Linksys, which is why I have not changed the system.
Now, changing the password for the Linksys, which I can do easily, would still allow someone who had cracked the password for the Tompson to access my network through the Linksys, because there does not appear to be any security between the two router / modems.  The Tompson came pre-installed with a password by Plusnet.  I have managed to get into the configuration of the Tompson, and I think that I can change the password from the pre-set one.  But it gives me the option of WEP or WPA+PSK, as of course does the old Linksys,  I am still only using WEP on the Linksys, but I think the pre-istalled Tompson password is WPA+PSK.
So my question is how do I best secure my system under these circumstances ?  Do I change both router / modems to WPA + PSK ?  Or do I leave one as WEP and the other as WPA+PSK ?  If I have to change the WEP to WPA+PSK, how do I do that ?  With WEP on the Linksys, I am invited to enter a password as text, which the software then encrypts with a hex number.  But if I select WPA+PSK, I just get a box into which to enter something - it may then, of course, encrypt it as a hex number, showing hex code on the next screen when I hit "Save", but if it does not, I could screw everything up and not be able to get back in !  With the Tompson, it is equally as unclear what to do.
Then finally, is it safe to use the same password, as I do, for both the WiFi and the Gateway ?  I do not really understand the difference.
Can anyone help ?
Community Veteran
Posts: 471
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Registered: 26-09-2015

Re: Has my router been corrupted

There are three completely distinct password roles involved here. 
First is your Plusnet account password, this is entered into the router which connects to the DSL, and used to access your account pages.  I would suggest not using the same password for anything else.
Second the wireless SSID password (maybe called key or passphrase depending on the wireless security option you've chosen).  That password allows a user or device to connect to your wireless network, and in a normal installation would allow them to talk to the Internet.  It would not allow the user to access or reconfigure your routers, or to access your Plusnet account.  Personally in your situation I'd have both routers set to the same SSID, same security for example WPA, and the same wireless password.  This is how my network is configured at home, similarly for our customers other than those using fancy wireless security.
Third is the password for the router.  This allows you to enter the web admin pages of the router, and change it's configuration and behaviour.  I would definitely not have this the same as the wireless SSID, and I might or might not have different passwords for the two routers.  Network users don't need these passwords to use your network, only to change the router configuration.

Gel
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 1,475
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Has my router been corrupted

Your router/ modem should have possibility of adding a security layer by enabling MAC Access restriction, so only devices with MAC codes authorised by you can access the router/modem?  Undecided
In my TP Modem it's hidden away WIRELESS/ WIRELESS SECURITY/ WIRELESSMAC FILTERING.