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Large Data Usage

RobDickson
Grafter
Posts: 633
Thanks: 2
Registered: 06-08-2007

Large Data Usage

On Thursday, I went over my limit of 10GB, only half way through the month.
I used a lot of data earlier in the month when I updated Android on two devices, but haven't used a great deal since.
I do use BBC iPlayer quite often, but download after midnight, so this shouldn't count towards my chargeable data usage.
The data usage is fairly minor when the house in empty, so I am confident that nobody who shouldn't be using my router is using it, but I've changed the password just in case.
The data usage shown is mostly streaming, but very little iPlayer should count for this, because I download after midnight. The data usage also shows 2GB for Thursday, which I find very hard to believe.
I have run a virus scan on my PC and this hasn't found anything.
I started using Chromecast over the weekend, but only to stream downloaded iPlayer programmes to my TV. The Chromecast is turned off when I'm not actually streaming.
Has anybody else noticed large data usage recently? Could it be a problem with my account?
12 REPLIES
steed
Grafter
Posts: 94
Thanks: 2
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Large Data Usage

I have the 10GB package and my usage was always around 7.5 GB a month, but I have noticed that over the past several months I have been very close to the allowance limit, or I have had to use the usage in the free time on some days to stay within the limit.
I have only gone over the limit once, which was because a tablet automatically downloaded the new Android operating system twice, without me realising it.
I wondered if the Plusnet data usage was correctly monitoring the data usage, since I am now using 25% more data without any increase or differing use of the internet.
Like you I have ruled out anyone else using my broadband. I don't stream, only the odd youtube clip, but I have 25% showing in "other" on my stats. I have run virus and malware scans and found nothing.
I only use Windows update and virus/malware updates during the free time after midnight.
Some other things that it could be are:
The timing of the free time Midnight to 8am. Are Plusnets clocks set exactly. I know tracking isn't shown in real time and there is a delay.
I made a software update around 5 minutes past Midnight and noticed on the stats that the free usage wasn't enough data to cover the size of the update, and my charged for data for that day was increased from the normal usage range. So I suspect part of the update usage split across the paid for usage and the free time usage, despite not starting the update until past Midnight.
If you have any computers using Windows 10 then they automatically update unless you use wireless connection and set it to a metered connection. If you use a cable to connect to the router then you can't turn off the updates, so this will be using data you may not be aware of. There has just recently been a big several GB Windows 10 update released.
The other thought was Plusnet wanted to get shut of the old legacy products and move people onto unlimited products, and thats why my usage has increased 25%  Wink
RobDickson
Grafter
Posts: 633
Thanks: 2
Registered: 06-08-2007

Re: Large Data Usage

I have recently started downloading immediately after midnight. I had considered PlusNet's clocks being wrong, but, considering how essential accurate time is to t'internet, I doubt this is the case. Still being on BST wouldn't explain it either!
I didn't realise the 10GB package is a legacy package.
I'm not using Win10 yet, but I do download the monthly Windows updates during the chargeable time.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 17,644
Thanks: 636
Fixes: 162
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Large Data Usage

Looking at your usage, it's slowly been increasing month on month, which is pretty much what I'd expect as more and more websites have media content and are more bandwidth hungry than previously.
Quote
I'm not using Win10 yet, but I do download the monthly Windows updates during the chargeable time.

Windows automatically downloaded the Windows 10 update for me without me requesting it, around 3GB and since then there's been a similar sized update for it too.
The switchover times between free and paid for time are something we're very careful about, you might actually see that some usage between these times *isn't* accounted for just to be on the safe side.
What usage does your router show as being used?
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
RobDickson
Grafter
Posts: 633
Thanks: 2
Registered: 06-08-2007

Re: Large Data Usage

Chris,
Thanks for looking at my usage. I'm not surprised by a steady increase, but the 2GB I apparently used on Thursday is concerning. I suppose it could be Win10 being downloaded, but I haven't been given any notification of it happening.
I haven't looked at my router stats. I'll see if I can figure out how to do it later.
Is there a way to view usage by the hour, or split a day's usage into types, using your website?
Rob
steed
Grafter
Posts: 94
Thanks: 2
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Large Data Usage

If I could just tag another question onto this thread please, since it is kind of related.
What does "other" cover in the data usage breakdown. FAQ state "Activities that do not fit into any of the above categories".
The only thing I can think of are Windows updates and virus/malware definitions updates, which I don't have set to automatic download, so I can do them during the Free time. But I still have 25% usage during the paid for time.
matt_2k34
Grafter
Posts: 1,300
Registered: 09-07-2007

Re: Large Data Usage

Quote from: steed
What does "other" cover in the data usage breakdown.

In short, everything that isn't included above it, OR anything that isn't correctly classified as such. For example running SFTP on a non-standard port, would highly likely hit "other" because as far as plusnet's system is concerned, it has no idea what the traffic "is"
An example, mine states for this month:
Quote
Gaming 11.08MB 2.23MB 13.31MB

Which is categorically wrong, as I know I spent several hours on "ARK" on Sat & Sun Night Smiley (It's likely that game traffic got bundled under Other, or another category)
RobDickson
Grafter
Posts: 633
Thanks: 2
Registered: 06-08-2007

Re: Large Data Usage

I've just been charged for another 5GB. There's something not right here!
I don't mind switching to an unlimited package if I'm sure I'm using it.
Is there a way to view usage by the hour, or split a day's usage into types?
RobDickson
Grafter
Posts: 633
Thanks: 2
Registered: 06-08-2007

Re: Large Data Usage

Just realised it's only 3 quid extra for unlimited. I've upgraded, but would still like to find out why I'm suddenly using more.
steed
Grafter
Posts: 94
Thanks: 2
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Large Data Usage

Quote from: Rob
I don't mind switching to an unlimited package if I'm sure I'm using it.

I am in the same position.
What is an average data usage for a few hours of web surfing sites a day. Sites like Amazon, eBay, MSE, Hotudeals. Nothing media intensive.
RobDickson
Grafter
Posts: 633
Thanks: 2
Registered: 06-08-2007

Re: Large Data Usage

I've just found out that it's my ignorance about how Chromecast and iPlayer work. Even if I've downloaded the programme already, all my tablet does is tell the Chromecast dongle to stream from the iPlayer servers.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 11,275
Thanks: 2,718
Fixes: 22
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Large Data Usage

There is a lot happening in the technology world which is gobbling up bandwidth.  Just leaving some web pages 'open' and walking away from your computer can gobble bandwidth without you realising it.  There are a lot of sites which server dynamic (usually advert) material - play videos you've not requested ... before you know where you are you've lost GBytes of bandwidth.  Facebook is just the same.
Then there's Win10 updates - requested or not, its down loading to all eligible platforms, unless you've specifically taken steps to stop it.
Having installed WIN10, unless you've taken steps to stop it, I suspect that your PC will be 'serving' updates to other PCs on the internet - go take a look at the advanced update settings.
There seems to be no concern or respect for user's bandwidth these days amongst content provides, as there appears to be a general expectation that everyone is on unmetered services.
When I switched to unlimited, it was cheaper than my previous limited service.  If you want to upgrade, do not use the portal based account change options.  Ring up COTS (aka Customer Retentions / I want to leave team) and ask for a deal.
RobDickson
Grafter
Posts: 633
Thanks: 2
Registered: 06-08-2007

Re: Large Data Usage

I don't like the idea of my PC being used to share the Win10 update to other PCs. I'll make sure I check the settings when I start using Win10.
I've reported the problem with casting downloads to Auntie Beeb.