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What uses broadband allowance?

Sadie
Grafter
Posts: 64
Registered: 13-12-2011

What uses broadband allowance?

Hi, the last couple of months I've received a warning from PN that I'm approaching my allowance.  For instance I've used 8.6 of 10GB in 12 days.
I do have my PC switched on virtually all the time and I do have lots of tabs open, just for convenience.  I don't watch TV programmes on line, but I do watch perhaps 2 or 3 Youtube videos a day, probably onlyf 3 or 4 minutes a time.
Does having lots of tabs open use broadband allowance?  Or is it simply because I'm connected all the time?   
42 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,678
Thanks: 900
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: What uses broadband allowance?

If you visit lots of web pages with adverts (especially those which change all the time) that will swallow a lot of usage. Using an advert blocker add-on to your browser would help.
http://adblockplus.org is the one many people use.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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x47c
Grafter
Posts: 878
Registered: 14-08-2009

Re: What uses broadband allowance?

Merely having tabs open or indeed being connected to the interet does not use allowance
BUT
All data you download to your PC or upload from your PC counts as usage.
Likewise all data both up and down from devices connected to you router counts as usage and this includes wireless devices if you have them.
People often forget about things like sky boxes and other things doing upgrades which are connected to the internet and some of these software upgrades often done overnight can use a lot of usage.
(for the pedants yes when you are connected but not doing anything there is a very small amount of 'keep alive' data going back and fro on your connection but it really is just a few bytes of stuff.)
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,678
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: What uses broadband allowance?

Good point about the upgrades. Windows and any other software should be set to alert you to new updates but not download them automatically. You should do the updating manually after midnight.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Sadie
Grafter
Posts: 64
Registered: 13-12-2011

Re: What uses broadband allowance?

Quote from: jelv
If you visit lots of web pages with adverts (especially those which change all the time) that will swallow a lot of usage. Using an advert blocker add-on to your browser would help.
http://adblockplus.org is the one many people use.

Thank you - I've installed that now, although I think there must be an adblocker already installed on my PC because I don't see any adverts.
Sadie
Grafter
Posts: 64
Registered: 13-12-2011

Re: What uses broadband allowance?

Quote from: x47c
Merely having tabs open or indeed being connected to the interet does not use allowance
BUT
All data you download to your PC or upload from your PC counts as usage.
Likewise all data both up and down from devices connected to you router counts as usage and this includes wireless devices if you have them.
People often forget about things like sky boxes and other things doing upgrades which are connected to the internet and some of these software upgrades often done overnight can use a lot of usage.
(for the pedants yes when you are connected but not doing anything there is a very small amount of 'keep alive' data going back and fro on your connection but it really is just a few bytes of stuff.)

How/where do I check for upgrades?  Sometime I get a message when I turn off my PC that it will switch off when Windows has finished updating.  I don't have a Sky box, and I haven't got anything else connected.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,678
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: What uses broadband allowance?

For Windows 7 go to the control panel and select Windows Update. Select Change Settings. From the dropdown select "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them". When updates are available you'll get a yellow shield notifying you in the system tray at the bottom right hand corner of the screen. Other windows versions are similar.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
jamesanstee
Grafter
Posts: 475
Thanks: 5
Registered: 20-04-2012

Re: What uses broadband allowance?

If you use wireless and you connection is not secured then anyone could be connecting to it and using your allowance.
Sadie
Grafter
Posts: 64
Registered: 13-12-2011

Re: What uses broadband allowance?

Thanks jelv - switched off automatic updates as suggested.
Jamesanstee - sorry, I've got to ask 'how do I do that'?  I'm pretty certain that the person who set this all up for me would have made sure my connection is secure, but I don't know how to check that.
Apprentice
Grafter
Posts: 614
Registered: 04-11-2008

Re: What uses broadband allowance?

@ Sadie
When you have time have a read through this >

http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/wireless_broadband/?source=keymatch
Sadie
Grafter
Posts: 64
Registered: 13-12-2011

Re: What uses broadband allowance?

Thanks for help.
I've now contacted PN who have checked all my BB connections/security/settings etc., and have come to the conclusion that at one particular instance something happened last Tuesday causing my usage to spike.  In fact I used as much allowance on that one day as the rest of the month all together.  I've run Comodo anti-virus - found nothing; CCleaner - nothing of any note; but Malwarebytes detected two threats which have now been deleted, so now it's fingers crossed that that was the problem and all will be well.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: What uses broadband allowance?

I assume you mean Tuesday 9th. If so that was the last time Microsoft issued updates - they do so on the second Tuesday of every month ("patch Tuesday") - and there were a lot this month.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Dan_the_Van
Rising Star
Posts: 297
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Registered: 25-06-2007

Re: What uses broadband allowance?

Although automatic updates add to your monthly download, they are not the main cause of  problem. You are best advised to leave updates turned on or at least notify you when updates are available, you may miss out on an important update if updates are turned off.
I would look at the type youtube videos you are looking at, are they HD? The will add greatly to your usage.
Unless you have already done so take a look at your usage breakdown found in the members centre. You will see which activity has the highest usage.
You are aware you will be charged if you exceed your monthly limit.
Dan
Sadie
Grafter
Posts: 64
Registered: 13-12-2011

Re: What uses broadband allowance?

The Tuesday referred to is Tuesday 15th.
My Windows and other programmes are all up to date, and I've set it to prompt me that updates are available so I can do them overnight from now on.  PN support did check all my updates and saw that there was nothing out of the ordinary.
The only Youtube videos I watch are sort of crafting-type - illustrating how to do knitting stitches etc; the occasional short 'funny' animal antics - that's all.  They are not HD, and never more than a couple of minutes at a time.
Virtually all my allowance has been used on web pages, and 1% on streaming (I can't remember what this would have been, but PN support said it's negligable).
My usage for the 7 days to 11th Oct was 1.53GB, then carried on very low until the following Tuesday when it suddenly spiked at 4.4 MB on that one day.  Since then it has been going down again but still incredibly high - 2.3GB; 1.65GB; and 1.26GB yesterday.
There is nothing under my usage other than web browsing and that tiny little bit of streaming.
So if anybody has any other thoughts as to how I can identify what the problem might be, I should be very grateful.

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,678
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: What uses broadband allowance?

Quote from: Sadie
My usage for the 7 days to 11th Oct was 1.53GB, then carried on very low until the following Tuesday when it suddenly spiked at 4.4 MB on that one day.  Since then it has been going down again but still incredibly high - 2.3GB; 1.65GB; and 1.26GB yesterday.

There's mixed units in that post - slip of the fingers? If not the 4.4 is abnormally low and suggests you hardly did anything that day.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)