Trying to track broadband usage on Lion

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by bowjest, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. bowjest macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm brand new to the forum and have a small problem I hope someone can help me with.

    I've noticed of late that I seem to be using a lot of my broadband allocation on a daily basis even when I'm not doing much of anything at all (that I am aware of).

    For instance, I was out most of today, but I have just logged into my service provider's site and see that I have apparently used some 666.58MB of data today. I just don't see how that is possible.

    I logged in this morning, fired up Mail.app, read some mails, had Firefox running (with about 8-10 tabs active) and that was it. I've not watched any TV online, downloaded any programmes or music, so how can I have gone through over half a gig of data and was out from about 11:45am and 3:30pm?

    I have about 4 email accounts I use (business account, two private accounts and a throw away account for registering for software trials, etc.). I recently set Mail.app to check for mail every 1 minute, but just changed this back to every 5 minutes about half an hour ago. Could that be making such a big impact?

    Is there any way I can reliably monitor things? I'm afraid I've either got some sort of virus or something that is burning through the data or someone is piggybacking my network.

    Any advice would be very welcome.

    Thanks,

    bowjest
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
  3. bowjest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #3
    Thanks, GGJ.

    I'll download that and see how I get on.

    ----------

    Just another thought: I use IMAP mail. Could that account for high daily usage? By that I mean, each time I click on a mailbox to see what I have, does it "download" the mails again and again, wasting usage?

    Thanks,

    bowjest
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    Emails won't contribute significantly to bandwidth, unless you're sending or receiving very large attachments continuously. Some primary sources of bandwidth usage are surfing sites with multimedia content, such as large or many images or audio or video files, torrent or other file sharing apps and services, including Dropbox, etc.
     
  5. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #5
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    Interesting! I routinely exceed 250GB on Comcast and they've never said a thing about it.
     
  7. bowjest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #7
    I've downloaded SurplusMeter, but what connection type should I select?

    It defaults to PPP modem, but shouldn't I use Airport as I have a MBP on a wireless network? The help notes don't really help, I'm afraid.

    Any advice much appreciated.
     
  8. bowjest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #8
    Ccrew and GGJ,

    Thanks for those links and further input. Completely missed them when I first got up (need more coffee!).

    Y'all are absolutely right: I do a lot of online research and so have about 12-15 tabs open in Firefox at any given time. Using SurplusMeter I was able to see that every time I fired it up, those tabs were sucking up the bandwidth.

    I've only got 5 tabs open at the moment and each time I open FF it draws about 2.5MB just to load and stand still.

    I think for non-important stuff I'll go back to using Lynx/Lynxlet. :) I kinda miss the old cl days a bit at times. :))

    This normally wouldn't be a problem, but a member of the family has been sick for a while and so has been watch TV on the iPad and that's really racked up the usage. I live in the UK where there is no truly unlimited service (most quote a hard limit; ours is 60GB a month).

    Thanks again for your help and I'd just like to say that unlike another forum I used to frequent from time to time, you guys have been really helpful and friendly. Y'all answered quickly and were actually interested in helping out (and not in lecturing me on what I don't already know).

    Have a good one,

    bowjest
     
  9. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #9
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    There are plenty of unlimited internet providers in the uk. I use BT and it is unlimited (they throttle p2p at peak times but I don't use any p2p stuff so it doesn't bother me. They used to have a soft cap of 300GB but removed it when they added the p2p throttling.
    Sky also do unlimited if you are in of their areas; same with O2

    If you are with a supplier who has a hard cap of 60GB, I'd look for an alternative rather than worry about tracking every bit of traffic ;)
     
  10. bowjest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #10
    Hi Phil,

    That's interesting. My father-in-law is with BT and he told me about middle of last year that there was a soft cap of about 30GB and that if you exceed that there may be an additional charge.

    I'll check with BT and see what their service is like in this area. A truly uncapped service would be great - if the price is right.

    Do you mind telling me what you pay per month?

    Thanks
     
  11. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #11
    BT do have limited packages too (some with a 10GB cap and some with a 40GB cap), but the one we have (BT Broadband Unlimited which costs £25 a month) truly is unlimited apart from the previously mentioned throttling of p2p traffic at peak times: I very rarely use under 100GB a month and I've never had a single issue.

    BT are actually pretty open about limits, throttling, etc - it's all available here: http://www.bt.com/broadbandusagepolicy
     
  12. Mr.Mumblings macrumors newbie

    Mr.Mumblings

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    #12
    Trafficbit

    You should give "Trafficbot" a try. It's in the mac app store for only a few bucks. It also has an add on that let's you disregard any bandwidth that's a result of your local network. So it only counts internet usage. The add on is available on the developer's site here: http://www.akkloca.com/
     
  13. bowjest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #13
    Thanks, Phil and Mr. Mumblings,

    Phil, this is the rub: my 60GB a month is less than half of BTs price for unlimited and until a change of circumstances (which won't last) caused this blimp, I've never had a problem with going over the limit.

    I'll see how it goes and will look into the BT option further.

    Mr. Mumblings: thanks for the further suggestion. Will check that out.

    bowjest
     
  14. mrganderson macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    Sounds familiar

    Ive just had the same problem. both my wife and i have just got iPads and I've got a new iMac,
    I was amazed at just how much our download had increased. Ive been with BT for a couple of years and had a 10g limited for just 5.20 per month. We have never used anywhere near 10g until the last couple of months. I'm glad its not just me who's had this problem. i even changed passwords on my router as i thought someone must have been logging on to it and downloading films or something. Turns out it was us,
    Yesterday i changed broadband package with BT. Now have option2 with 40g for £13.25 a month. hopefully this should be enough;

    Interesting thread though.
     
  15. bowjest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #15
    Thanks, mrganderson.

    That's why we changed providers and went for the 60GB option (we were on 10Gb initially and then talked them up to 20GB as loyal customers).

    My wife and I both work from home a lot now and with the addition of the iPad (iPlayer online is just too easy to access now - which is the current problem because a member of the family is ill and in bed most of the time) our usage just jumped through the roof.

    Once things get back to normal again, 60GB per month will be fine for us, I'm sure.
     
  16. bowjest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #16
    Ok, I know this is going to sound like I'm obsessing or something, but just as a test, I turned on SurplusMeter this morning and apart from initially checking my mails and logging in here and into another forum, I've not had any other apps running except for iTunes (so I can stream some shows to my AppleTV).

    I've noticed a curious thing over the past hour:

    At 12:52 I had used 45.8MB in downloaded data
    At 13:07 the amount was 56.5MB of downloaded data.

    Does iTunes routinely communicate with a server or have I got some process running that is drawing data from the internet?

    It's not a big deal, I'd just like to know what has used 11MB in the last hour when I've not had any apps running other than iTunes to feed by AppleTV setup.

    Thanks,

    bowjest
     
  17. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #17
    Are you running Time Capsule with Time Machine backups by any chance? If you are using Surplus Meter to monitor traffic, it is measuring traffic at your ethernet port and that will include local network traffic like backups to a Time Capsule or networked drive.

    I am using NetUse that actually monitors the outbound port on your router so it will only measure external Internet traffic and not internal traffic like to your Apple TV for example.

    It is a $7.99 app though. Look on the App store page and the dev has a free utility to test if the paid app will work with your router. You can also set it to alert you if you approach your ISP's monthly data limits.
     
  18. bowjest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #18
    Thanks, Weaselboy.

    I'm currently only ever running manual backups to an external device.

    I'll have a look at the link you sent.

    Many thanks,

    bowjest
     

Share This Page