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coles1
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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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Responses

New Poster

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3 Messages

5 m ago

I fought with them for 3 months and after being a 20+ year customer they just let me walk away.

 

I switched to Consolidated Cable, jumped from 600mbps to 1,000mbps for $3 more and have unlimited and its on a fiber line so the upload is way faster. 

 

Good luck. 

New Poster

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3 Messages

5 m ago

Same in my house, its just me and my wife and when she went back to school in late August, she's an Elementary School Librarian, my internet usage went up over the 1.2 TB limit, with just me working from home by myself, our kids are grown and out of the house. I spent the last 3 months on the phone with them trying to determine the cause, but conveinently each month when I called back they acted like this was the first call to them about this. They've recently "Upgraded" their metering system per an admin on another thread, right about the time my usage started going over. 

 

Well there is good news if you can get Consolidated Cable, they have 1,000mbps for just $3 more than I was paying for 600mbps with comcast and its unlimited and its fiber. They connected me today and all is well, after 20+ years with comcast they just let me walk away. Good luck! 

New Poster

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2 Messages

5 m ago

I signed up for the free movie week with that free xfinity flex device. Data use skyrocketed. I checked my logs.. it uploaded almost 100 gigabytes of data in 3 days. I monitor my traffic religiously and was super surprised to see this. Just resting, with nothing connected to the device, it uploads just over two gigabytes in a day. I thought for sure it would have been streaming 4k.
All that being said, I have no clue what the heck it could upload 100 gigabytes of. It's my first time having an actual comcast device connected in my home - and the last. I own my own equipment. I'm suspicious of the gigantic remote with listening capabilities. And as for their extensive privacy agreement, I feel their device is monitoring home network traffic and usage, and reporting it. .... But why would it need to if they are the isp to begin with?
All of that behavior stopped the minute I unplugged their device.
flatlander3

Regular Contributor

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176 Messages

5 m ago

@strega7 

 

I hit something today that may help out some folks.  Got an iPhone?  I got an iPhone-8 running IOS 14.1.  An update to 14.2 just came out, so it was busy all night long retrying an update download.   Depends on how your updates are set.  27GB worth, just sitting there spinning and talking to Apple (17.253.49.202).  Yeah, that's them.  APPLE-WWNET.

 

It could have been 800G+ in a month if I left the device spinning trying to update every time it hit a WiFi somewhere and I ignored the update, and didn't reboot it (I'd guess most use cases).  A reboot fixed it, but I didn't know it was hosed and stuck.

 

Did my "habits change"?  Nope.  One of those "out of the blue".....

 

How did I find it?  I got an old 64-bit laptop running a unix distro from pfsense.org.   You can also buy one of their appliances if you want ($130 for the cheap one), but the software/os distribution is free and works the same way anyway, so if you've got a spare pc/laptop around, save money.  Goes like this:

 

Xfinity/World <--> Gateway <--> PfSense Router <--> Internal Lan/WiFi Access <--> End Devices

 

For a laptop, you'll need a second ethernet connection.  It's not really supported, but you can use a USB dongle for that.  Turn off both TCP hardware and software unloading -- the offloading doesn't work on BSD driver stack,  but you'll find usb  works fine without it.  Your data limits are physically ~300Mbps now due to USB, but you won't care.  If you do, use a PC with two network ports in it.

 

Also, don't be using the WiFi on your gateway.  You can't see the traffic or filter/shape it.  Buy a cheap router for $30 bucks for that.  Run ALL traffic through your firewall.

 

From their packages menu, add bandwidthd(free), ntopng(free, for live views), and from the repo, add vnstat (#pkg add vnstat).  I changed syslogd.conf to email me daily status and usage details.  Today's email -- looked a bit odd.  ntopng will tell you exactly who is talking, and who they are talking to in real time.  Just the main page will tell you real time bandwidth usage of everything on your network.  If you want to go down the rabbit hole, you can produce much more detailed logs.  Traffic shape devices too and limit usage on a per device or 'group' basis.

 

OR -- Find your own router solution.  I have no horse in that race, but you need something other than Xfinity gear alone, or a 3rd party gateway alone.

 

I'd suggest folks should either be paying the $360/year for unlimited and just fly blind and oblivious, or doing something else to keep tabs on the data cap yourself.   The alternative of just going with overage charges isn't acceptable to me.  Also, don't put anything on your network that doesn't go through your controlled network -- includes streaming devices, so that pretty much cans their streaming solutions that plug into coax until something dramatically changes.

strega7

Regular Contributor

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393 Messages

5 m ago

@flatlander3 Wow!  Yeah I never think of my phone as a serious data consumer, but all it takes is some bug or bad client/server interaction and any otherwise innocuous little device can burn through a lot of data!  Thanks!

flatlander3

Regular Contributor

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176 Messages

5 m ago

My phone -- as it turns out, is one of the biggest WiFi pigs of all.  Even faster than a brand new laptop I have.  Leaving the phone uthrottled can punch 15Mbps, bursting to 20Mbps on a 5G WiFi connection, and do it continuously if you stream video with it or cast it to a TV.

 

I've got some little RoKu express boxes for TV's.  I cut applications like Sling down to 720p, and there's another setting that is supposed to limit the Sling app to around 1.2Mbps.  No, that setting doesn't work very well.   I ended up creating a streaming "group", and I put the streaming devices in it on the router.  It limits each of them to 3Mbps that way, and it's a hard throughput stop. (silly stuff you can do with pfSense).   That way, any app on the device is locked down to a max rate regardless of the app settings.

 

A video stream -- can be as many as 12 video streams.  You get the bandwidth resolution and bit rate depending on your connection speed to the cloud server where the stream is.  If it has to buffer, it downshifts your stream (and quality).  Locking it to 3Mbps actually makes video playback smoother because it isn't shifting streams to try to see if a better one will work.

 

Neflix app on RoKu pulls around 3-4Mbps bursting at 720p.  If you test other apps, you'll find different data rates too.  HBO and Disney+ can really be pigs if you let them run wild.  I'd guess the Xfinity hardware box can be too, and I bet by default it's set to shove everything down the pipe that it can.  Perhaps, if people toss them in the garbage, they won't include their own broadcast in their data cap.........but it isn't that way now.

 

I've also got remote cameras too that can get out of hand on data if you don't reset the video bandwidth after a firmware update.  They'll gladly shove 1920x1280 at 4Mbps each if you don't cut the bitrate down to something manageable like 128kbps/11 frames per second or less.  Cameras.....and secure ways to talk to them.....that's another topic..........

 

I'm not sure what Nest and others do.  My guess is blast what they can.

 

Just more stuff to look for.

Here4Help

Problem Solver

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109 Messages

5 m ago

I implore everyone that is concerned about how Comcast measures their Internet data or are concerned about Comcast's data meter accuracy, please read this report: http://www.netforecast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/NFR5116_Comcast_Meter_Accuracy_Report.pdf

 

You will learn about how exactly data is counted and in the summary, you will learn that Comcast's data usage meter is within 1% accuracy. 

 

And yes, this is an independent report not paid for/sanctioned by Comcast. 

 

I will be honest I was way off about how data was being calculated and after reading this I am way more informed about how and what is being counted. 

 

Furthermore, if you are using third-party apps (such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, etc. ), make sure you have them set to HD instead of 4K. I found out the hard way that most defaults to 4K and that ended up using a TON of data. 

lassi505

Frequent Visitor

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18 Messages

5 m ago

Here we go again! A few months back I had to go so far as filing a complaint with the BBB due to ridiculous data overage issues and finally got through to someone on the security team and the ONLY thing that was changed was a our firewall settings from low to mid (we needed them to provide credentials to get to that point.) Our media and work habits have not changed in any way. I was never sure if that would be the reason for such high data usage but after that, things were as they should be.

 

After that change, September and October were great, maybe around 800GB's for each month but I wasn't about to stop checking our data a few times each day. Last month I noticed our data was starting to go higher. Not too much higher, I'd say we avg. around 26-27GB's/day in Sept./Oct. and Nov. was more like 31-32GB's, still below threatening to get to the 1.2TB limit but I definitely noticed. What really caught my attention was we were gone for the entire week of Thanksgiving and we finished the month with basically the same amount of data spent as September and October? How????

 

Meanwhile here we are in December and it's already back to the old ways, 107GB's already used in 2 days. Absolutely impossible. 

 

I told you Comcast I wouldn't just go away after everything settled down and that I would keep monitoring in case you clowns tried this again and it looks like you are

BruceW

Gold Problem Solver

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22.3K Messages

5 m ago


@Here4Help wrote: ... And yes, this is an independent report not paid for/sanctioned by Comcast. ... 

The report you linked says:

 


Comcast has engaged NetForecast to independently and continuously audit the accuracy of its data useage meter system.

Doesn't "Comcast has engaged NetForecast" mean Comcast hired NetForecast? Doesn't that mean that Comcast paid NetForecast?

 

I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the reports at https://www.netforecast.com/comcast-reports/, but let's not go overboard!

 

lmh19

Frequent Visitor

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19 Messages

5 m ago

Yes, Yes, and Yes. This Monopoly has to stop, Version is not a rival, comcast's network beats thiers in almost every way, but that does not give Comcast the right to do anything to the data stream that I paid to have access to aka the internet, nor should they have any say in how I access or use it. I don't even want their router/modem but I am stuck with it. Being in IT I am as frustrated as you, I am sitting here staring at my router's settings, MoCA is Active with Privacy Disabled. Is there a button to enable Privacy, No. Is there a button to Disable MoCA, Yes, Does it Work, No. Comcast is strangling the ONE thing that is able to keep us all connected right now and it is disgusting. 

New Poster

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3 Messages

5 m ago

LOOK INTO WHY COMCAST IS BEING SUED IN CALIFORNIA. That will give all of you some insight into Comcast behavior. For example, they said because of the pandemic, they will be giving everyone more data because we all need to use more. However, no company does something that doesnt benefit them in return. YOU MUST STUDY HOW COMCAST BUILT THE LARGEST FREE WIFI NETWORK WITH YOUR DATA, MONEY, AND EQUIPMENT YOU RENTED FROM THEM. Thats why they are being sued. I got hacked and they abused that xfinity hotspot system. The hotspot that we all help put out for Comcast comes from the modem we rent from there. There is an additional port that shares our unused bandwidth out into the public. IF somebody know how to gain control of that, they can DRAIN all your bandwidth if they wanted to leaving you with signal but no data, which has happened to me. Getting your own equipment helps get you out of that, but bottom line is that Comcast is hoping that while the small number of us in here, notice whats going one, the hundreds of millions of others out there wont. Who knew comcast was getting sued? I didnt, not until I started researching how their hotspot works. COMCAST STILL HAS NOT DONE ANYTHING ABOUT MY ISSUE TO THIS DAY. They dont want to... I have had to cut the wire from those two random modems going to my unit, getting my own Ubiquity equipment, etc... That is how I have been able to take back control of my internet and manage it. My data has been steadily going down each month since I realized what a scam everything was. Those of you who keep going up probably have someone using your system and you dont even know. That isnt all comcast fault. Blame Windows 10 for that. WINDOWS 10 was designed for those with knowledge to take advantage of those without. It itself is a powerful spyware designed to capture more data than ever before becuase thats what its all about. YOUR DATA. The data they acquire now will make them more competitive against Google and you are worth the sacrifice because your data will continue to make them money even if they lose your business. LEARN TO TAKE BACK CONTROL. DONT WAIT FOR THEM TO SAVE YOU OR HELP YOU. IN A DAY OR TWO I PLAN TO SNEAK IN AND THIS TIME RIP THE SECOND MODEM OUT AND THROW IT IN THE DUMPSTER. THE THIRD COMCAST EMPLOYEE THAT WAS RECENTLY HERE SUGGESTED THAT BECAUSE HE TOLD ME HIMSELF NOBODY WOULD EVERY DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. THEY WOULD JUST HAVE HIM REPLACE IT, IF IT WAS THEIRS. HE SAID THATS WHAT HE WOULD DO IF HE WERE ME.

Voxx

Contributor

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29 Messages

5 m ago

YOU can also turn hotspot off and also for me I can't even access my hotspot without logging into my network. Also there is a link when hotspot is on showing all devices connected.YOU literally can click remove for that  device if it's  a device you recognize. Turning off Hotspots can take 24 hours.

flatlander3

Regular Contributor

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176 Messages

5 m ago

@syvantran-htown 

 

I guess I missed the part where you were concerned about Xfinity equipment and still use it......cause why? 

 

I remember reading that in January, Xfinity rental modem costs increased from $13/month to $14/month.  I don't rent one, but perhaps someone can look at their last bill and verify that.

 

That means you'll be spending $168 on a cable gateway in a year, or $504 in three years.  The support life of consumer grade electronics is generally 5 years, after which, you won't get any security updates for firmware if the company even bothers to fix bugs -- so you will have spent $840 for rental fees.  That's quite a bankroll considering you can get your own DOCSIS 3.0 Xfinity 'approved' gateway for $59 and free delivery at wallyworld today.

 

That leaves you quite a budget left over for an actual cheap security appliance you put in-line with your gateway (or funds to create your own) that you should be using anyway, and enough cheap dd-wrt WiFi routers with repeating enabled to fry an egg.  There's even enough left over for Ubiquiti gear if it's a concern and you want to go the small office route and deal with the complexity.

 

You're right in the fact that the hardware "port sharing" you find on every enterprise server  motherboard with a BMC/CMC controller these days, where a physical port splits two unique MAC addresses is a security problem.  You can do the same type of thing with a DOCSIS gateway contraption (their hotspot implementation thing).  They say the 'public WiFi MAC' doesn't hit your data cap, and that's probably true.  That isn't why I'm concerned about it.  The problem is both ports share the same memory and CPU -- so that makes it a security problem, but not the one you're thinking of.

 

You cut a wire.  You're still paying to rent the problem.  Save yourself some cash.  Buy some gear, and use the rest of the cash to buy a girl something nice for Christmas 🙂

Contributor

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24 Messages

5 m ago

Comcasts data cap issue is beginning to attract national attention as it has now become nationally implemented. 

 

What is Comasts goal when capping consumers. Exclusion of competing streaming platforms. I can no longer use AppleTv, others cannot use Roku. In their place, Comcast has created an incredibly wonky platform to deliver Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Try to stream AppleTv 4K UHD programming, the Comcast metering goes through the roof. Defacto, Comcast is keeping you within their ecosystem. Unfair trade practices like this are exactly why Comcast should have never been allowed to become a media company. Anti competitive behavior was addressed clearly in their pitch to the FCC to allow them to purchase NBC/Universal. They say they're hands are clean, just charging for higher data use. This is a lie that has been debunked by Wired Magazine and other trusted tech media. It's repressive and harms consumer choice and should absolutley be addressed by the FCC and through Government Regulation. Greed is greed, and in this situation it's obvious. 

strega7

Regular Contributor

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393 Messages

5 m ago


@Markeydusod wrote:

cannot use Roku.


I was just reading a thread in the Roku's forum where people were complaining about the data use on: their 100GB data cap plan, their 300GB data cap plan, and even their 35GB plan.  (The 35GB plan was marketed as "unlimited" but after 35GB it slows down so far you can't stream.)  So, it could be better, but it could also be worse.

 

Of course, there was also a guy in the UK who responded that you can get an unlimited internet plan there for $35 total!. Yeah, yeah, rub it in... 😀

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