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Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor

soutyp
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎16-10-2016

Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor

I am wondering if I am the only one having a challenge with supposedly exceeding my data allowance.

I have a Windows 10 PC connected via Ethernet over Power (Netgear) directly to a plusnet router n.b. wireless is not used. My PC shows my total traffic over the internet connection for the last 30 days is 1.14GB yet I got a email from PlusNet this morning saying I am close to my limit and used >2GB this morning during a 1 hour period when I just browsed a couple of web site n.b. no streaming and have supposed consumed >9Gb in the last 20 days on so. 1.14GB does not equal 9GB!

 

When I tried to email support this morning, I got an response saying "we don't respond to emails" and to phone. However when I tried to phone I was quoted a hold time of around 50 minutes.

 

My conclusion is that either something is very wrong with the router - unlikely as browsing the web was fine or something is going wrong elsewhere within plus net.

 

In the past I have worked for several of the largest UK telcos including designing the Telco's own networks, so can't say I am too impressed when I got told by the online chat that everything is fine at Plus net and it must be something wrong with my kit!

 

How do I get this issue resolved and probably more importantly how to a talk to someone who actually can have a conversation at my technical level :-)

 

 

14 REPLIES
PeeGee
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: ‎05-04-2009

Re: Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor

So, Windows 10 via ethernet - v1607 does not have "metered" connections, though you can manually set the option with this tutorial. Does your router log traffic? If so, you can compare the router stats with Windows 10 (which probably does not log the update downloads).

Phil

 

Plusnet Fibre (Sep 2014), Essentials (Feb 2013); ADSL (Apr 2009); Customer since Jan 2004 (on 28kb dial-up)
Using a TP-Link Archer VR600 modem-router.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
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Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor


@soutyp wrote:

 

In the past I have worked for several of the largest UK telcos including designing the Telco's own networks, so can't say I am too impressed when I got told by the online chat that everything is fine at Plus net and it must be something wrong with my kit!

 

How do I get this issue resolved and probably more importantly how to a talk to someone who actually can have a conversation at my technical level :-)

 

You have summed up in two sentences, what I feel like every time I visit this forum. Embarrassed

 

I have been with Plusnet 17 years, and on this forum probably 12+ years, and I think it is fair to say that there is nobody at Plusnet with your (or my) technical level remaining, who is willing or allowed to communicate with customers.  Until perhaps two years ago, it was often possible to engage in technical discussions with staff who clearly understood how things worked, but now no staff will ever admit any shortcomings in what they've done, as it is always easier to blame their suppliers systems, or the customer's equipment.  It seems virtually impossible to get any member of staff to take ownership of a problem and see it though to a satisfactory conclusion.

 

Back to your problem, three things come to mind which you may not have considered -

 

  1. Have you had a Plusnet router before, which you have passed on to someone else ?.

    There have been cases in the past where multiple routers have been simultaneously logged in to the same account, and hence the account usage becomes the sum of the connections.

    .

  2. Have you got secure encryption enabled on all your powerline adaptors ?.

    We have seen cases where neighbouring houses have become inadvertently connected to the router (presumably with the fastest responding DHCP), because the powerline security password and/or encryption hadn't been configured in both locations.

    .

  3. I know nothing about Windows 10, but how sure are you about what your usage monitoring program is actually recording ?

    For example, is it recording just IPv4 packets, if there happened to be active IPv6 on router, would your monitor see that.

    Does the monitor record any packets crossing the ethernet interface, or do they have to match the nominal IP address ?, is it possible that W10 can use a second hidden IP address for the traffic that Microsoft don't want you to see.

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor

Does the Windows 10 usage report include uploads?

In the Windows update settings, do you have Get updates from Microsoft and get updates from and send  updates to PCs on my local network, and PCs on the internet set (the default setting) or have you changed it to PCs on my local network?

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)
soutyp
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎16-10-2016

Re: Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor

Hi,

Many thanks for the replies.

 

I can confirm that:

 

1)  Encryption is enabled on the Powerline adapters.

2) That the original PlusNet router is still being used and has not been given away.

3) Windows Update is NOT configured to do Peer-Peer with computer on the internet.

 

Based on previously having seen similar issues / had to deal with similar issues, my best guess is that:

1) Lots of small transactions are being metered as larger transactions.

2) This could be because there is some device inline proxy cache / WAN accelerator in place and when something like Onedrive is querying for file details, the inline device is caching the entire file and this file caching is being metered although only a small amount of the file ever reaches the ADSL router.

 

I used to see similar issues on Orange many years ago, where Windows Mobile used to be very chatty with very small packets, but Orange metering has a minimum metering size of 50Kb - the result was a big data bill for very little data use.

 

Best Regards

 

Paul

 

 

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor

Can we also confirm that you are not using a Samknows whitebox for performance monitoring ?

as those have become very greedy of usage over recent months, as the scope of their tests have expanded to cover IPv6 and video performance.

soutyp
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎16-10-2016

Re: Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor

Yes, I can confirm that I am not using Samknows or any other third party monitoring software.

To be honest, Windows 10 provides quite granular information. If I want more detailed information, I typically will use "netstat", "Process explorer" or run a network capture.

In terms of the PC, it is Windows 10 with Office 2016, Adobe reader and that is about it besides the driver software for the HP Photosmart Printer.

The PC was new 4 months ago and is of a high spec i.e. latest i7, 16GB RAM, SSD, so performs very well, so no need for monitoring software.

 

 

 

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,746
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor

To validate the data being reported by Windows I'd recommend you install NetWorx

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)
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
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Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor

Is the HP Photosmart Printer connected via USB, or is it on your LAN ?

 

I mention that because of this recent forum topic - "Secure your printers!!!"

soutyp
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎16-10-2016

Re: Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor

the printer is connected using USB n.b. it does not have a wireless or Ethernet connection.

soutyp
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎16-10-2016

Re: Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor

Also, looks like the issue has only occurred since the start of the current billing cycle n.b. up until this billing cycle the Windows usage and usage history were aligned.

What I find challenging is these situations, whether dealing with a Telco or bank it that me as the customer always get told it is my fault, yet when I triangulate by calling up contacts in the industry, 99% of the time I find out it is a known issue by the back off 3rd / 4th line support staff.

 

 

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor

Some ideas !

 

  1. Could you disconnect the modem from the wall for 24 hours (midnight to midnight) ?

    There have been instances where customers have done this yet the usage still went up, thereby forcing Plusnet to take action.

    .

  2. Could you do a similar 24 hour test, but this time have the router connected to the internet, but have the LAN cable unplugged.

    If doing this shows more than a few Megs per day, then you may have some strange router fault or are being subject to an ineffective DDoS type attack (as router firewall rejected external traffic will still register on your account usage).

    .

  3. Have you looked at whether you can get a good deal by 'upgrading' to an "unlimited" product, thereby eliminating the need for usage monitoring for unexpected over-allowance charges.
Gel
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Registered: ‎02-08-2007

Re: Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor

and don't forget too that besides Windows 10, other devices, including your phone may be downloading numerous Android app updates (if an Android) too if it's configured to connect to your router. Mine seems to be d/loading updates most days, and I have very few apps installed.

i phones will be similar I guess.

I am on unlimited package so am not too concerned.

Ensure your Windows10 update settings haven't got box as on attached turned on.

soutyp
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎16-10-2016

Re: Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor

thank you for the suggestions

 

Some kind of DDOS is a possibility.

 

A Telco once tried to bill me for apparently downloading 700Mb of mobile data during a 10 minute period while connected to a cell with only infrequent GPRS data - obviously physically impossible. Needless to say it resulted in numerous conversations with the Telco insisting the data was correct.

soutyp
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎16-10-2016

Re: Issue with data usage not agreeing with PC usage monitor

There is only one device connected, which is a PC via Ethernet over Power. The router is only switched on when the PC needs to be used to access the internet