Why is my usage so high? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 2012-05-07, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Why is my usage so high?

I currently have a Bell Turbo Hub installed, and my usage is ~4GB per month, which is fine for me (I have a laptop, a wifi enabled TV I only use for firmward upgrades, a Blackberry w/ wifi, an Internet radio, and occasionally bring my work laptop home -- boyfriend and kids visit on w/es with wifi enabled handhelds and their laptops). I am quite happy with the usage, given the throughput isn't that great, I don't expect to have signiciantly high bill at the end of each month. I am now on my 3rd month of usage, and have come in at $55 for the 5GB cap.

My poor neighbour, who like me, was forced to move off WiMax, is not having the same luck. Between his wife and daughter they have 3 laptops and two desktops, although his daughter has been off at University until last week. His first bill came in at over $300. I haven't seen the bill, so I am not sure of the exact usage, but he says a lot of the usage is at 4AM. We are rural, so there is no one (not even me, and I am his closest next door neighbour) can see his signal, and I had set it up for him, so I know that security has been applied, so unless you have the key, you can't connect. He says they turn the computers off at night, but they are the type that might think turning off the monitor is the same as turning off the computer.

So, I am going over there tonight to have a look to see if one of his laptops/desktops is doing huge upgrades or running some special app in the middle of the night whcih requires a lot of downloading. I need to know where to look, and my PC/Windows diagnostics skills are a bit rusty. Any suggestions on where to look? Also, apart from the usage meter, is there a app to track what apps are doing what and when? Can I get historial performance info on what applications are using the network? Any suggestions would help.

In the meantime, I told him to just turn off the Netgear router when he goes to bed, and turn it back on in the morning.

Thanks in advance...Trish
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 2012-05-07, 03:52 PM
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Windows updates are scheduled, by default, to install at 3AM. That should not typically amount to more than 1GB per month. If a large update is failing every time, that could be the problem. If so, the failed updates should show up in the Windows update log. (Click on Windows Update and select "View update history.") You might want to change Windows Update settings to "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download or install them."

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 2012-05-07, 04:00 PM
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1. Turn off any computers at night or when not in use for more than X hours.

2. Do not allow auto-updates. Always check the updates yourself when they are available to see what they are, whether you need them and then approve appropriately.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 2012-05-07, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Will have a look at the Windows updates. Never thought about that, but they have had problems in the past with things not updating properly. Guess we will find out.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 2012-05-08, 11:17 AM
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Another possibility, (if they are mistakenly only turning off the monitors, as you suggested above, and the computer(s) continue to run) is malware, using the computer(s) as zombies in a botnet, that is being activated for whatever purposes at those times. It happened to me and burned through 2gb of usage over one night before I noticed the problem.

Be sure to do a thorough malware scan on the computers. I recommend downloading and burning to CD on your computer before your visit, the Microsoft Safety Scanner, available here: http://www.microsoft.com/security/sc...b/default.aspx


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 2012-05-16, 05:20 AM
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Your computer could be hacked and someones remotely using your computers connection as a proxy to download illegal movies and games... this covers their tracks and you could end up responsible for their actions.
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