coles1's profile

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12 Messages

Mon, Sep 30, 2019 11:00 AM

Unusually high data usage megathread

Jessie helpfully locked the thread pertaining to this for being "off topic" after merging all relevant threads into the irrelevant terabyte thread.

I thought we should still have a place to discuss this ongoing problem. I took 20 pages of documentation into a store today and was told all they could do was charge me 70 dollars to send out a tech. Out of desperation I conceded.

Any thoughts? Anyone had any resolution yet? Some folks on Twitter seem to have made slight headway and had their accounts credited but aren't sure how to help since they seem to think they just got lucky.

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CCTeds

Gold Problem Solver

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18.9K Messages

2 y ago


@gthassell wrote:

@ComcastTeds, thank you for your response.  I do see that a credit was applied (effective yesterday) for $50, though I would have preferred to have my "free" overage month restored, but thank you for that.

 

I think my biggest concern is really wanting to truly understand what exactly is / was driving this, especially since the largest data consumption reported was over a very short period of time (11/19 - about 350 gb) - and based on the notices I received, this seemed to happen overnight - so this doesn't seem very logical.

 

In digging into things a bit more, I would offer a suggestion to you, the Xfinity team, and to others here in the forum, that one possible cause - and has been reported elsewhere on the internet - is that Disney+ was reported to be driving high bandwidth usage.

 

I did order Disney+ the weekend prior to the large spike in data consumption, but only watched two issues of the Mandalorian.  That's it.    The only thing I can think of is that the Disney+ app on my AppleTV (which is only set to do 1080P video) - could be pulling in "streaming" data, even though I was not watching anything.

 

So while it does not seem logical, I would suggest to others to see if you ordered Disney+  and if so, would suggest that perhaps there is an issue with the App where it is pulling data even when video is not being actively "watched."

 

I really don't know if that is the cause or issue, but I did re-boot my AppleTV as part of my own attempts to diagnose the root cause here, and that did seem to drive a decrease in data consumption.   I just can't seem to wrap by brain around 350GB of streaming to one device in a 12-18 hour period.

 

I hope this may provide some additional insight to the team, and to other customers here.

 

 


Thanks again for your patience and your feedback above.

My understanding is that Disney Plus default streaming playback is 4K and HDR - which is great quality - but with no way to down rez.

Streaming 4K HDR content would use a lot of data compared to a previous month (prior to Disney Plus).

This may not be the only answer to all of the recent concerns noted here but it could be part of the answer for some of these concerns based on the timing of Disney Plus.    

Frequent Visitor

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13 Messages

2 y ago

I have spoken to numerous people regarding this.
Yes troubleshooting done
Password changed
Everything logged off completely every night
Gateway restarted
Pods and gateway health checked by technical support
Xfi hotspot disabled
Still no answers on how from midnight Dec 1 to 7am Dec 1 47 gb used
November showing over a tb used yet was in the hospital first part of the month therefore was Not home using the internet for the entire month.
Tho the credit is appreciated it doesn’t give answers and solutions.

Frequent Visitor

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6 Messages

2 y ago

well, I don't think it was Disney+ - Just streamed the latest episode of the Mandalorian (about 45 minutes) - and double checked to see that it was at 1080P (which that AppleTV has always been set at) and in the hour I was watching, the real time data usage for my entire network was 3GB for the inbound port from the Modem to my Security Gateway.   (10PM central time to 11PM Central time).

 

I'd be very interested to see if there was a higher usage reported by the metering system.

flatlander3

Contributor

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176 Messages

2 y ago


@gthassell wrote:

well, I don't think it was Disney+ - Just streamed the latest episode of the Mandalorian (about 45 minutes) - and double checked to see that it was at 1080P (which that AppleTV has always been set at) and in the hour I was watching, the real time data usage for my entire network was 3GB for the inbound port from the Modem to my Security Gateway.   (10PM central time to 11PM Central time).

 

I'd be very interested to see if there was a higher usage reported by the metering system.


I use pfsense for a firewall.  If you do, you can watch it in real time.  Wifi is disabled on the cable modem, put your wifi on the internal network.  Figure your cable modem and it's firewall are compromised -- they're all junk anyway.

 

What can you realistically pull from a streaming service?  Depends on the pipe you got, but the limitation isn't going to be your cable modem (150Mbps-300Mbps).  It's going to be the slowest "hop" between you and the streaming service.  Use traceroute to see how many machines it passes through.  For me:

 

SlingTV usually runs around 2.5-3Mbps with burst traffic up to 4Mbps (sometimes higher).

 Netflix can run a bit higher with burst traffic up to 6Mbps

Amazon Prime video isn't as "bursty" and usually hovers in the 3-4Mbps range, but there's spikes.

 

2.5Mbps (Mega Bit Per Second) = 1.13GB/hour (Gigabytes per hour)

4Mbps = 1.8GB/hour

6Mbps = 2.7GB/hour

15Mbps = 6.75GB/hour

 

Now on a mac laptop, I can get bursts up to 12Mbps, but the problem there is the bandwidth isn't sustainable.  I'll get a really good hi-def stream, but then it will downshift streams and the video will be choppy.  When you watch a stream from a service, it's not one stream.  It's broken up to as many as 12 potential streams with various bit rates.

 

That's where pfsense comes in.  I can throttle bandwidth per device, cut it to a reasonable 5Mbps and then videos will play nicely on my mac.  Streaming devices -- roku/firestick.  I just cut them off at 4Mbps and they'll play just fine at 1080p.  Takes care of the "burstyness" problem.

 

At the same time, I'm recording "per device" stats (bandwidthD works nicely) and can see what everything has been doing in almost real time, along with months of history -- also logs to a postgres sql server.  Vnstat for quick statistics.  Ntopng has some good capture and real time capabilities -- works welll with wireshark.  Watch what's going on.  Search inbound traffic by IP and capture packets to see what they're doing.  There are a few other programs you can use for monitoring/capturing too.

 

What should you do on your modem?  Turn of ICMP (no pings allowed to external IP).  Disable UPnP (no device should be able to blow a hole in your firewall).  Fer Ghads sake -- disable remote access!!

 

Advanced Class:  Install Snort (adaptive firewall).  Pick a low port like 81 and port forward that to your firewall interface.  Now when someone portscans you, the adaptive firewall blocks the machine that did it and messes up the script kid if they don't have timeouts coded -- if anything, you're doing the web a favor by slowing down their port scan.

 

Lots of "other tricks" too.  Maybe another time.

 

Now the question:  What does Xfinity count?  It's not traffic.  We do not agree on real traffic vs what they report.  I'd keep tabs on it yourself for any "disputes".

 

CCTeds

Gold Problem Solver

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18.9K Messages

2 y ago

Providing some additional information, background and tips  below from our team that does the data overage reviews.  

Customer owned devices 
- One example are devices like Ubiquiti uNiFi, which our team most commonly sees as an issue with data usage.  The device has an internal metering system along with a periodic speed test built into it. The speed test can accrue massive amounts of data usage without reporting to its own internal metering system because it’s part of its system functions, not a device using data even though it is using data. We report its usage because we monitor for all data traffic going to and from the modem/network, not per device connected to their network.

- The number and kinds of devices connected to your network matters.  Suggestion is to log into your router to see and verify all the devices connected to your network" (very applicable with customer owned devices). 

Metering System: 
-  Comcast does not have direct access into the metering system to the extent to be able to artificially input or output data usage results or information. Our metering system is regularly audited as well where information on it can be gathered from https://www.netforecast.com/.
It includes everything from the yearly audits to how the metering system works on a technical level. This is done third party outside of Comcast.

 

Comcast data metering accuracy reports at the link below:
https://www.netforecast.com/comcast-internet-usage-accuracy-reports/

- The metering system is delayed by up to 24 hours. "I watched my meter and it went up by 100GB in the last 3 hours and I just booted up my computer for 15 minutes!" is not accurate - the metering timeframe is not 1:1 - its delayed because it needs to validate data and remove any data that we do not count towards the metering system. This includes things like firmware updates we push out and any other possible data we may push to the network for normal operations.

- Greatest opportunity with Windows 10 devices.  Windows 10 has a built in data usage meter for its own data tracking per application/software used on the device for 30 days(Settings -> Network & Internet -> Data Usage tab).

- Similarly could be done for other devices, ex: “Go into Netflix settings and make sure that it pauses after not watching it for a while”, etc.

Overall:
There is no trend or consistency indicating an issue in metering, but rather these have all been unique issues per network requiring the subscriber to troubleshoot/review their network.

The common trend topic is “there is no way I can use this much data”.  While the number amount of data a customer can see on the meter is more than what they know to be using, doesn’t mean it isn’t being used.

Common data users:
- Streaming devices left on even when TVs are turned off – continuously streaming and/or misconfigured settings on streaming devices
- Data backups (including cloud backups)
- Large file downloads for entertainment (video games, updates, locally downloaded movies/videos from online services, etc.) or business purposes (files of information/data for business needs, Data backups downloaded from or uploaded to, etc.)




CCTeds

Gold Problem Solver

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18.9K Messages

2 y ago


@mark6785 wrote:

Single man with 2 rescue dogs here.  I do not game just TV and web surf. 2 month user of xfinity here. Previously was with ATT and never even came close to using 1 terabyte of data. Switched because of terible service. Probably made a mistake.  First 2 months I went over 1 terabyte data and I didn't know it untill I just happened to answer a call on my phone from someone in NY. I went into the locale Comcast store and was told that to use that much data I would need 6 kids gaming 24/7 for a month.  Sales person told me her family with  multiple tv's and 2 kids gaming does'nt even come close to 1 terabyte of data in a month.  Then she tells me that I should screenshot my data usage and call their tech support and don't let them tell me to go see a store salesman. 4 days into Dec. , comcast tells me I have used 148GB. Looks like I'm gonna go over 1 terabyte in DEC.. FYI, I bought my own Netgear router but Comcast would not let me install so their tech came and installed. Probably gonna have to cancel Xfinity if I can't get a remidy. Thanks Mark in FL>


Thanks for your work with rescue dogs! 

 

Apologies for the issue and the experience that you described above.

 

In the interest of the customer experience, I have applied a credit to your account while our team researches and reviews your account further. The credit will appear on your next printed statement and you can view the credit online via My Account.


Thanks for your patience.

 

For all - the link below and my post above has some general information on how to avoid overage charges and tips to conserve data usage:
https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/data-usage-avoid-overage-charges


 

New Poster

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1 Message

2 y ago

The most data I’ve ever used in a single month was close to 700 gigs and for some reason I’m over the terabyte by 40 gigs the first five days in December. It’s absolutely impossible. Nothing has changed at the house.
flatlander3

Contributor

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176 Messages

2 y ago


@Marcusatx wrote:
The most data I’ve ever used in a single month was close to 700 gigs and for some reason I’m over the terabyte by 40 gigs the first five days in December. It’s absolutely impossible. Nothing has changed at the house.

Well, actually comcastTed has a point.  Plenty of stuff can go wrong on your network.  My use?  When service started, I was around 650-700 and assumed it was streaming as well.  Just the breaks for streaming right?  Perhaps not.

 

First high spot almost blew the limit.  Monthly xfinity useage goes like this:

998GB = no way man.....now I'm looking.

915GB = Whoa....time for hardware to analyze this

799GB = Sure, I was doing some remote cam work with a new zoneminder, but still.  My numbers don't match with a framerate/bandwidth calculation.   Also, I noticed a change in routing, and an increase in latency between me and 3 remote locations (yeah, I can graph that too -- call it packet football).  That was Xfinity -- I assume a net nanny of sorts as there is less bot traffic.  Routing change for sure.

448GB = New firewall ruleset.  Latency back to normal.  Remote device changes as well to conserve a bit more data.  I no longer trust my cable modem or it's firewall -- for anything.  Consumer cable modems are junk.

190GB = Adaptive firewall ruleset is in control, no change in my streaming habits or remote gear.  Just set some traps to make the firewall a bit more draconian.

234GB = Yep -- that was me messing with stuff doing backups, otherwise it would be around 200GB.

 

Do my numbers agree with Xfinity reported?  No.  We still don't agree.  I would expect my numbers and theirs to be within a gig or two...some rounding errors maybe.

 

Concerned?  Less now, but you should be if you can't see every device on your network, and unsolicited foreign IP contacts.  I pick up a minimum 20 port scans daily and there's other sketchy traffic.  Should any one of them pick up a service or port you are not on top of,  or something your cable modem responds to, you could be getting hammered from multiple locations in a few minutes botnet style.

 

Should you have to be an IT administrator?  Well.....yeah.  I guess that's a good idea from now on and probably always was in the first place. 

New Poster

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2 Messages

2 y ago

  • The Monthly Data Usage report is not accurate for December.

I know about, and agree with, the issue in the fall regarding inaccurate data reports. My router tracks my data usage and the numbers were in-line with Comcast for October and November. I track my data usage daily, comparing Comcast's report to my router's report. 

 

I understand my router's report and the Comcast data usage report will never match, but they always stay within a +/- 5% accumulation range when Comcast collects accurate data usage. 

 

The December data usage reports from Comcast are not accurate and off as much as 30% - 60%; even taking into account a 24-hour delay in usage reporting. As of 12/6 Comcast's Data Usage Report shows that I've used 128GB of data, my router report states 80GB of data - 60% difference. Again, these large data discrepencies did not exist in October and November. There hasn't been any firmware or hardware change on my end since July.

 

What can be done to correct this issue? Daily bandwidth reports are available upon request.

 

@ComcastTeds 

New Poster

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2 Messages

2 y ago

Thanks for the credit but my real worry is the overage. As of 1pm today I'm at 216 GB and will have to find a solution before the 20th of Dec. or I'll be charged BIGGLY. I have been tracking my data usage and it seems to be about 60 GB a day (24 hour period). 1024 divided by 60 =17.0666666 days. 11 days left before I start to rack up extra charges and it's Christmas time.

  I called Netgear and talked to a tech ( 90 day support with purchase). While on the phone, reset the modem/router and new password and opened up a case with them and checked to see how many devises, 1 laptop 3 tvs. No outside interferance according to the tech and on monitoring the modem/router through their app..

        Will now check prices for Verizon (as they are my current phone data provider ) to see a finale price for service to run 1 laptop and 3 tvs from them.

New Poster

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1 Message

2 y ago

Seeing this thread brings me a little comfort to know that I'm not the only one having this issue. 

 

My problems started back in August, after changing my plan and modem in July.  My reported usage jumped significantly starting in August, where I went over the cap for the first time since it was implemented.  Since then every month has been pushing the cap, which doesn't match the historical trend of reported data usage.  Historically for me a "big" month would be 600GB.

 

I was one of those customers affected by the billing software chage.  I received the credit and had the "data cannot be displayed" issue for September usage.  Even after the the billing software change was rolled back, I am still seeing excessively high usage reported by Comcast.  I finally got tired of it and started collecting Netflow data off my router. My data collection numbers aren't even close to what Comcast is reporting for usage.  There is clearly something still wrong with the data usage system.  Comcast reports that I have used 158GB of data for the month of December.  My Netflow data says that I have used 102.935GB of data.  Comcast is reporting 54% more data usage than what I have measured at my router.

 

It's nice to see that there have been a few Comcast employees posting in this thread, Comcast really doesn't care about customers, as evidenced by their last known NPS score of -3.  But in all those posts I haven't see any mention of actually fixing anything, just lots of bill credits for the inconvenience.

 

Can someone from Comcast please contact me and help me resolve the issue?

New Poster

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2 Messages

2 y ago

"The December data usage reports from Comcast are not accurate and off as much as 30% - 60%; even taking into account a 24-hour delay in usage reporting. As of 12/6 Comcast's Data Usage Report shows that I've used 128GB of data, my router report states 80GB of data - 60% difference. Again, these large data discrepencies did not exist in October and November. There hasn't been any firmware or hardware change on my end since July."

 

Monthly Usage As of December 7th: Asus Router: 118GB, Comcast 260GB. 

In 24 hours, according to Comcast, I have used 130GB of data, versus 38GB reported by my router.

 

Can someone at Comcast help me with this issue?

 @ComcastCares @ComcastDNS @ComcastVijaya

 

New Poster

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1 Message

2 y ago

My data usage soared from 385GB to over the 1024 GB limit in October and close to that in November. I work and my viewing habits did not change. I went in and picked up Xfinity box to pin down culprits. It only during my viewing habit times. Something is very wrong.

New Poster

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1 Message

2 y ago

same here. somehow I blew through 500gb in one day on Nov 7. I called Comcast and got connected to the security team and got nothing resolved. In fact I left the call feeling like it was my fault for not monitoring my data usage daily or for using my own modem rather than Comcast’s. I ended up going over and using up a courtesy overage.
Then it happened again on Dec 5. This time I somehow blew through the 1TB in one day. I disconnected my modem @ 919gb but still manage to blow through another 163gb and reach the 1082gb mark. Haven’t had internet in my house since. I got connected with a more competent person on the security team today and he opened a case number for me. He suspects it’s my modem sending inaccurate data usage? To me it seems like the Comcast metering issue hasn’t been resolved yet with all the people here continuing to see the same issue.

New Poster

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2 Messages

2 y ago

I ended up on this page while looking into why my WiFi hasn’t been working for the past 24 hrs and after reading here, I remembered that I received my 1 and only 90% warning in September. This was especially odd because all 4 people in my family are students or teachers who were home all summer together gaming, streaming, using a new nest cam, and browsing the internet all day long. How did we use MORE data after returning to school for half our day?

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