coles1's profile

Frequent Visitor

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12 Messages

Mon, Sep 30, 2019 11:00 AM

Closed

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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New Poster

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3 Messages

2 y ago

Starting last month Xfinity started telling me I’m using all of my data. They charge $10 for 50GB once you go over which is a huge rip off. We’ve changed nothing we’ve streamed almost everything we watch for years and NEVER come close to 1.2 TB but now I magically go over every month!? Last month is also the first time I’ve ever got an AD for their unlimited plan that’s never available. I’m hearing many reports from people about the same thing happening to them. Something isn’t right on their end, my highest month ever was 800 GB last year (until now), normally it’s 600 or below with 3 TVs streaming. To use that much data I’d have to have thousands of hours of movies streaming, it’s nearly impossible. I’m honestly tired of Xfinity but there’s not really another option around here.

Regular Visitor

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2 Messages

2 y ago

My data usage has averaged 70G to 250G since January 2020.  In November and December, this started to increase for no apparent reason even when i had less devices on my network.  On 1/15/21, i received notification that i was at 75% of 1.2TB.  Realizing that was impossible, I began to call xFinity for days.  I have kept a diary/log of my calls with screen shots and am frustrated that no one can tell me why my data usage is showing so high.  Today's usuage with a few more days left in January is 1826GB.  On 1/22/21,  have filed a complaint with the FCC.   I will not be paying additional money to xFinity for data usage that no one can explain.   Anyone have any other ideas?

New Poster

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3 Messages

2 y ago

Maybe thousands of hours is a bit much lol but it’s still difficult to use 1.2 TB. We’ve still never came close to it in the past. Either way it seems very unethical to roll out these limits on people when a lot of people have stayed home more than usual. I’m 99% positive we are not using that much data. According to my router it appears to be MUCH less.

New Poster

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3 Messages

2 y ago

Same here, I’m about to file a complaint as well. It’s all over the place... it’s clear Xfinity is scamming thousands of people and CS isn’t helpful. I’ve had almost everything shut off for a couple days but have magically used 100GB more (extra $20). I started seeing this problem in December & now I magically go over every month. We haven’t changed anything & normally average 800 GB or less.
strega7

Regular Contributor

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393 Messages

2 y ago

@logically, keep in mind that the $49.99* with Spectrum is their new customer promotional price.  If you follow the asterisk to the bottom of the page, it tells you that after 12 months, "standard rates" apply, but doesn't say what those rates are. I didn't follow it any further since they don't serve my area anyway.

 

Just for comparison, my new customer promotional price with Xfinity was 29.95 for 24 months. 

flatlander3

Problem Solver

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536 Messages

2 y ago

@cfa2 

Suggestion?  Sure.  Did this for a friend who had to find a hijacked device problem in his house.  Yeah.  A camera.  Firmware exploit:

 

Assuming you configured your gateway correctly and aren't using the horrid default settings causing the problem, (Firewall -- highest level, portscan block enabled, disable ICMP, disable UPnP, disable any kind of remote access,  disable any kind of file sharing like netgear readyshare, no port forwards, changed the admin password.....etc)   Advice is cheap.  Engineering time isn't. Here's a $0 data logger solution to help track the problem with stuff you already likely have: 


Spare laptop x64, or one you aren't currently using.  8G USB stick minimum -- larger is better.  Ethernet cable. (i386 laptop solution is different)
We don't care if the hard drive works, in fact, we won't be using it.  When you remove the USB stick we create, it's back to normal. We just want the CPU, WiFi and RAM on the laptop.
Down and dirty.  Stock Linux.  Couple of packages.  Edit one text config file.  That's it.


Hardware Setup:  Xfinity-Gateway ethernet port <-ethernet cable-> Laptop

Theory:  We turn the laptop into a WiFi access point.  You connect groups of devices to it.  Phones/tablets first. See if they are the data pigs.  Then add stupid stuff like "alexa" and "smart devices..plugs/outlets/thermostats.." See if they are the problem.  Then remove those, and add a laptop at a time.  This has limitations.  About 9-12Mbps throughput max through the access point.  Enough to blow your 1.2T cap though in a month running 24/7. Also, lots of devices connected at the same time are hard on this setup on a USB stick.  If you actually install on a hard drive, it would work better, but you don't have to.  Just boot from the USB stick.  It also has limited physical range. This is not a whole house solution.

You are going to make a bootable USB drive with a free utility called unetbootin.  Find it on github (search) or here is their website: https://unetbootin.github.io/  (windows/mac/linux).  From the top dropdown window, select Ubuntu for a distribution.  Select 18.04_Live_x64 for a version -- yes, use that one.  You want to  add a "Persistance" file so your install can remember your configuration between boots.  Type 3000 in the box  for 8G USB.  Type 4000 or more for larger USB sticks. (ubuntu itself will use 4+GB on the stick). It downloads and makes the bootable USB drive with one click.  This Erases the USB Stick!

Now boot the USB stick.  F12 or F8 on power up to get a boot menu.  Sometimes F2 or Alt-[some key].  
Depends on BIOS.  You may have to look it up for your laptop.  On the blue unetbootin menu that comes up, use default, or Try Ubuntu.
NOT INSTALL!!

When Ubuntu starts, the button in the lower left on the screen is where your programs are.
show applications --> software & Updates
Check the box that says "community-maintained free and open source software(universe)" -- you need stuff. Hit close, and then hit the button that says "Reload" to update the package cache.

show applications --> terminal  
Type this at the ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ prompt:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install net-tools sockstat darkstat vnstat tcpdump  

(y=yes to install)

Ubuntu can be an access point.  In the upper right corner, hit the down arrow symbol. Select the tool symbol  wrench/sdriver.  Now look at the top of that window. There are 3 horizontal lines between the switch off symbol and the window buttons (min, max close) on the top of the page.  It's a menu. Click it and Select turn access point/hotspot on.  The SSID=ubuntu.  The wifi-password is shown and is auto-generated.

We're going to setup darkstat to listen to the ethernet interface.  In terminal type:
ifconfig

The ethernet interface is enp3s0 on this box -- you will be different.
enp3s0: flags=4163  mtu 1500
       inet 192.168.10.48  netmask 255.255.255.0  broadcast 192.168.10.255

The wireless interface running the hotspot is here -- you will be different too.
wlp2s0: flags=4163  mtu 1500
       inet 10.42.0.1  netmask 255.255.255.0  broadcast 10.42.0.255

You need the device name for ethernet (enp3s0) on this laptop, and it's IP address 192.168.10.48.

In terminal, edit darkstat's configuration file:
sudo nano /etc/darkstat/init.cfg

Remove the #'s to uncomment lines to make them work.  # is a comment and ignored.  Since my ethernet port address is
192.168.10.48 and the device is enp3s0, I change the INTERFACE, LOCAL and BINDIP lines to say  

INTERFACE="-i enp3s0"
LOCAL="l 192.168.10.0/255.255.255.0"

BINDIP="-b 192.168.10.48"

You change the last octet of the ethernet ip address on the LOCAL line to zero (192.168.10.48 to 192.168.10.0).  Your network topology may be different.


Here is the complete configuration file -- match your network and devices, don't just copy and paste:


# Turn this to yes when you have configured the options below.
START_DARKSTAT=yes
# Don't forget to read the man page.
# You must set this option, else darkstat may not listen to
# the interface you want
INTERFACE="-i enp3s0"
DIR="/var/lib/darkstat"
PORT="-p 666"
BINDIP="-b 192.168.10.48"
LOCAL="-l 192.168.10.0/255.255.255.0"
# File will be relative to $DIR:
DAYLOG="--daylog darkstat.log"
# Don't reverse resolve IPs to host names
DNS="--no-dns"
#FILTER="not (src net 192.168.0 and dst net 192.168.0)"
# Additional command line Arguments:
# OPTIONS="--syslog --no-macs"
(CTRL-X to save)

Will the enp3s0 ip address change?  Maybe when you lose power or reboot your gateway, but probably not often. You can make a dhcp reservation for the laptop from your gateway for it and it won't.

Now in terminal, restart darkstat:
sudo /etc/init.d/darkstat restart

If everything went OK, you can open a web browser on your network to your ethernet ip address:port 666: http://192.168.10.48:666  If you get nothing, your config file isn't right, or you typed in the wrong IP:port.  Take another look at the config file, fix it, then restart darkstat. Quotes/syntax is important.   You get historical total graphs, and data tables that show you what is currently talking.  Also, every location talking to your laptop IP out there in the weberverse. It could be an evil connection from outside your network messing with you, or devices connected to the WiFi access point.  Look for it.

OK great.  Now whatever connects to the access point is data logged, so lets start by connecting groups of things.  Make sure "AutoJoin" is off on your devices, or 'forget' your gateway wifi password so they don't switch to the regular wifi.

Find your data pig. If it's in the group of devices currently connected to your access point, the data counter will go insane.  It's one of those.  You can also change the config file to just lisen to the wireless wlp2s0 interface (on my laptop) and 10.42.0.0 network, ip address 10.42.0.1 too (INTERFACE,LOCAL,BINDIP lines).  That will show you the specific device on your access point spewing data. You will only be able to see darkstat from the laptop then -- http://10.42.0.1:666  but you can narrow down specific devices.  You also have a full linux, portable distribution on a USB stick for other tools like wireshark if you really want to get into data probing. (sudo apt-get install wireshark)

 

By the way, if you've done this, you are one step away from a real time adaptive firewall / data throttling solution that fixes this issue for good.....but that's another story......


HISTORY
      darkstat  was written in 2001, largely as a result of a certain Australian cable Internet provider intro‐
      ducing a 3GB monthly traffic limit.
--enjoy

Regular Visitor

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2 Messages

2 y ago

@flatlander3 thanks.  It's very technical but I have a friend who maybe can help me.  

logically

Frequent Visitor

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6 Messages

2 y ago

I left sprint because they offered promo offers to new customers while not rewarding their loyal customers.   The old carrot/donkey treatment is insulting to most.

johnviet

Contributor

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27 Messages

2 y ago

I don't believe that I am going that much over my data plan. What is Xfinity trying to do? This is highway robbery. I'm going to start shopping around.

Gottahavit

Contributor

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93 Messages

2 y ago

be greatful if you live an area where you can shop around.  The only option we have here is a 3mb dsl, although starlink will be here in a month and I may start looking at that.  For the prices we pay there should be no cap and no metering.

New Poster

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1 Message

2 y ago

Xfinity wants to pretend that this 1.2gb limit is a huge amount of data. It is not, especially for a family with numerous children being forced to stream all day school, parents that need to work from home, and a global pandemic forcing social interactions strictly via the internet. Xfinity’s talking point is “only 5% use more data”. What they don’t state is that 2 yrs ago this number was 1%, nor do they share how many people are using right up to the 1.2 limit. This is a cruel policy to impose in the mists of a global pandemic when families can not vacation, kids can’t play sports, and mental illness is on the rise because of social isolation. Suggestions:
1. If you are near the data limit during this grace period (when any overage fees are waived), blow pass the limit. Use the same amount of data as you need. Suppressing usage gives XF more talking points that using more data is rare.
2. Write your state and federal representatives. XF is a monopoly utility in lots of areas. Imposing this limitation during a global pandemic when data needs are crucial, and rising, is immoral. Congress and some states are already considering legislation and this needs to be encouraged.
3. If you do have a worthy option, even if you are not near the cap, consider changing. Data usage goes up every year as video resolution increases and we become more dependent on fast, robust internet. It may not affect you now, but it soon will.

New Poster

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1 Message

2 y ago

So I have not seen this idea kicked around yet , does comcast remove cloned modems from the usage meter? I have some cable experience, and cloned cable modems may cause phantom usage on accounts, isn’t that right?
So the people that are seeing their usage continue to grow, with the modem offline, might be victims of this? Or has the data metering improved enough so that modems outside the head end are eliminated from the data cap? My reported usage does not add up. all my computers added up to ~ 150GB of data, not even close to 1.2TB of data. I have ignored the usage meter, as it has never been an issue for my household, except now my usage has steadily grown, with no major changes in our internet behavior.
I have secured my modem, router, new passwords for comcast. but it still rises. As i own my modem am debating about buying a new one, so that any cloned modems would not add to my usage.

strega7

Regular Contributor

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393 Messages

2 y ago

@interscust8549  There have been a few reports over the years of people switching modems and having their use drop dramatically.  Various theories as to why that might be have been mentioned, so I think results are definately not guanranteed.  If you do it, please let us know the result.

 

Frequent Visitor

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7 Messages

2 y ago

Sorry. It is now 2021 and the same issue continues, at least, in South Florida. This feels like a manmade pandemic. Any solutions yet?

Ccalvert23

Frequent Visitor

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16 Messages

2 y ago

I can confirm. We were averaging 600 GB per month then Oct 2020 we hit 1000 GB by the 20th. I measured usage across router and found the offender was actually the data usage through cable (watching Netflix, peacock, and on demand) through xfinity. I was able to see a huge difference watching Netflix through smart TV. Since you can't measure data usage across cable and the xfinity data meter is useless, its hard to say if the amount used is correct or not. In November, I was given a 2 year deal to use xfinity modem with unlimited data replacing my Surfboard modem and magically, our data usage hasn't exceeded 400GB in a month since. So there's that.
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