Something is eating my bandwidth...

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Cronos, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. Cronos macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2014
    Something is eating my bandwidth.

    I have a mobile network and a mobile router that tracks my usage.
    The router tells me I´m using about 0.5MB/s. That is, half a megabyte per second. Or 10 megabytes in 20 seconds....

    I cannot for the life of me understand what is eating my bandwidth.
    The sad thing about this is that I have only 3 GB monthly limit. At this rate, I am done at midnight.

    While writing this post I´ve used about 50MB...

    What is eating my bandwidth?!

    I have a 12" Macbook, and I am very new to the Mac world. (Former PC user).
  2. noobinator macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2009
    Pasadena, CA
    Are you using time machine backups? That could eat your whole data in an hour or less.
  3. deeddawg, Mar 22, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016

    deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Just to be sure, you're not mixing up MBps and Mbps are you? Factor of eight difference.

    Activity Monitor will tell you which processes have been sending/receiving data, look there to start with.
  4. duervo, Mar 22, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016

    duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    If you have your photos imported from your phone and elsewhere, and you have iCloud Photo Library turned on (System Preferences -> iCloud -> 'Options' for Photos), then it's probably uploading all your photos to Apple's iCloud, and it could also be downloading them to the rMB too if you have an iOS device that you use to take pictures and videos.

    Note: It's on by default. I had to turn it off on all my apple devices because my iCloud storage was filled up as a result of it, and Apple wanted to sell me a higher tier of storage.
  5. Cronos thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2014
    1. I don´t know what Time Machine is. I don´t have en external backup drive. And don´t do any backup actively to my knowledge.

    2. It´s MBs and not mbps for sure. I know the difference. Thanks anyway.

    3. I have turned off iCloud photo sync (It had a ´minus´sign, and not the regular ´check´mark. Anyways, I´ve switched it off).

    I have now also switched off System Preferences > App Store > Download Newly Updates In Background
    (maybe I was slow turning this off, and once it has started it doesn´t finish until it´s complete...?)

    That was another 50MBs.

    I´ve used 840MBs in under 24 hours on doing practically no surfing...
    --- Post Merged, Mar 23, 2016 ---
    This is my Activity Monitor. The blue spikes are when I turn wifi on...

    Attached Files:

  6. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    You're going to need to pay attention to Activity Monitor DURING the time you have data transferring as the listed processes don't seem to be accounting for the data transfer.

    If that doesn't tell you what's going on, the next step would be to install something like LittleSnitch or Wireshark to do a more in depth analysis of your network traffic.
  7. Howard2k macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2016
    Stupid question, but someone has to ask it. Is your network secure? Could there be other devices using that data? 0.5MB/s is a pretty significant leak.

    Maybe turn off the Wifi on the Mac for 15/30/60 minutes and see if you see a corresponding drop in usage on the router stats.
  8. Cronos thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2014
    Not a stupid question at all.
    But I am very sure no one else is on this net. I am alone in the woods with no other people within a mile. And when I switch off wifi on the mac, the drain stops.

    It is definitely something on the Mac, and it´s not one of the regular apps, because when I close everything I can,
    the leakage is still there.

    That was another 200MB (including 21MB LittleSnitch and 30MB Wireshark download).
  9. Howard2k macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2016
    Brutal. What about turned on but logged out? That would at least narrow down the ownership of the process.
    So reboot the Mac, just leave it at the log on screen, then it hasn't had any user context loaded.
  10. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    Could also be iTunes Match if you have some media that Apple seems to think should be uploaded.

    Out of 21,430 items in my library, iTunes uploaded just over 3,700 of them. That was over 41GB of data for me.

    You have subscribe to that. So, if you aren't subscribed to it, then it shouldn't be that.
  11. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Reboot so this gets reset to zero, then go back to that same Activity Monitor screen and click the column I marked to sort by data received. It should be pretty obvious within a few minutes who the culprit is from this column.

    You can also sort the sent the column the same way to check for data going out.

  12. Cronos thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2014
    The strangest thing happened last night.

    After I downloaded and installed Wireshark, I did two scans. On the second scan Wireshark went "ballistic" (1500 entries in approx. 30 seconds), and after that the drain seems to have died... I spent well over an hour connected to the net without hardly any bandwidth usage at all. Problem gone?

    I really have no explanation at all. And I hope it stays this way.

    Thanks for the good input so far. I will return if the error returns.

    That was a good 1.3GB used in 1.5 days....

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