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Mysterious off-peak usage

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Mysterious off-peak usage

We have just noticed 2 identical entries of 3.27GB off-peak usage for the last two months on our Business Plusnet account. The strange thing is, we all go home at 6pm and don't return until 8am the next morning. I've posted a query but Plusnet have just said that it must be our usage and have asked me if we have a wireless router. What are they think? Is someone using our router at night?

We normally use less than 1GB of peak usage per month. The router has security features enabled and ur email server is set to only run during normal office hours. I've also just set the router to disable traffic during the night.

Can anyone help me?
10 REPLIES
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Mysterious off-peak usage

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Mysterious off-peak usage

I did read that post, thanks. 3.27GB seems a bit excessive for an error though.
grimme
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-08-2007

Mysterious off-peak usage

Hi,

On the Business accounts, off-peak would account for any usage between midnight and 4pm, so if you start work at 8am and finish at 6pm, only the last 2 hours of your working day would count as peak usage.

Our current off-peak usage nearing the end of the month is 3.92GB and have a similar working time.

We don't have a wireless router, but I know there are several other offices nearby that have wireless and some are not secured against unauthorised access, meaning that their bandwidth can be used by other people.

HTH
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Mysterious off-peak usage

Are you sure about the times? I think you've got them wrong. We have a Small Business PAYG account and when I open the VMBU tool it clearly states that the off-peak times run from 12 midnight to 8am. It also says that on this page: http://www.plus.net/business/broadband/small_business.shtml

I eventually received an reply from Plusnet and they asked me to switch off the router at night so that they can try and find where the problem lies. See the post headed PlusNet admits VMBU is inaccurate for their reply.

Our wireless network is secure (we think).
grimme
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-08-2007

Mysterious off-peak usage

Ah, yes, if you have the PAYG version it will be midnight to 8am only off-peak.

I just saw the "PlusNet Business" part of the original post and thought you would be on a fixed cost package.

Ours is Business Premier and we do get an off-peak of 4pm-8am slot.

With regard to the Wireless router, if you get someone with a wifi enabled laptop or PDA to see if they can "see" your router, (especially one that has "never" seen your network before and therefore won't have been setup) does it show that the network is security enable and/or requires a key to access?

Alternately if the wireless router hands out the IP addresses to the computers, you could restrict the number of IP addresses it hands out or restrict access so that only the MAC addresses for each of the wireless network adaptors within your office are allowed to connect.

HTH
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Mysterious off-peak usage

Just got a message back from support. Looks like we might hold the record for the most inaccurate VMBU records.

Previous three months off-peak usage according to VMBU was 1.9GB (APR), 3.27GB (MAY) and 3.27GB (JUN). This all happening while our office lay empty and our staff slept.

Supports response:

Quote
Based upon extraction of usage data from the CBC database server.....

Between the 16th April and 15th May:
2251.6MB total, 123.7MB of this was between midnight and 8am.

Between the 16th May and 15th June:
3935.9MB total, 259.67MB of this was between midnight and 8am.

Between the 16th June and 15th July:
4168.7MB total, 259.3MB of this was between midnight and 8am.


Wow! How wrong is that? Needless to say they are now investigating it.
grimme
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-08-2007

Mysterious off-peak usage

Hi,

It does look as though VMBU is wrong in a big way, though I did think that their actual charges were supposed to be based on the CBC data!

Your off-peak figures do seem to be still rather high, on ours at the weekends when not a lot of traffic goes through, it's usually 2-4mb per day which would be 124mb month if the same usage was for 31 days.

I would perhaps suggest that you eliminate the possibility of others using your PC's by putting BIOS passwords on them and making sure that all apart from the server are switched off as people leave at the end of the day.
Also, most routers are able to output log files of activity, so I would check these to see if there is some activity during the off-peak period.

Have you noticed, looking at the VMBU daily data statistics, if there's any difference in off-peak figures since you set the router to not be used at night?

HTH
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Mysterious off-peak usage

In answer to grimme's query....

I have noticed that the off-peak usage has gone done to a trickle (around 1MB or so) at night now that the router has been scheduled to run during the day. I think our email server was waking up a bit early and pulling the email in before 8am (it's clock is a bit shaky) .

Plusnet's mix up of peak/off-peak data does explain why we received notification of exceeding our bandwidth allowance despite the VMBU tool on showing less than 1GB of peak usage.
grimme
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-08-2007

Mysterious off-peak usage

Good to hear that it's gone down a bit since you amended the router.

I know others have posted about the off-peak times of Midnight - 8am being a bit hit-n-miss when they have been scheduling downloads on the home accounts, so I guess the Business accounts might also have timing issues.
N/A

Mysterious off-peak usage

Just a quick update....

I checked our daily usage on the VMBU tool every day last month. We used around 100-150MB peak and a dribble (<10MB) off-peak per working day. This was confirmed by a spreadsheet that support sent me. I thought the problem was fixed.

Today I took a look at their summary of last month's usage on the VMBU tool. What is it showing??

2.42GB free usage
387.33MB paid for usage

The figures are completely wrong.

What a laugh!