Secret Uploading Hits the Pocket

  Phrixos 12:46 17 Apr 2012

Recently, BT informed me that my Infinity Broadband usage went way over my 40GB limit last month—to 64GB. Utterly mystified, I used their Usage Monitor. Accordingly and as of the 16th of this month, I have downloaded just under 16GB—which, even at that, was a little more than anticipated yet still within reason. Imagine my surprise, however, to find that I had somehow managed to UPload a further 7.6GB, which, so I am told, is deducted as part of my 40GB allowance. Doing the sums, I worked out that during those sixteen days and at my average paltry upload speed of 1.35Mb, I would have had to have spent 3.8 days solid, uploading data! So I called BT and asked for an explanation. BT pointed out that, depending upon what software is running on my computer (include anti-malware—and any malware) and because a computer is uploading data almost all the time, a 1/3 propportion of upload to download is to be expected. Among the biggest "ofenders are the usual automatic software upgrades, like Adobe—and, of course, Microsoft. This bombshell compells me to highlight a new need: for users to know— with respect to each installed program and per month—how much background uploading activity a program is likely to involve. Failing that, users are likely to find themselves regularly paying though the nose for unwarily exceeding their traffic limit. So, users, let's get busy pressing software companies to present de rigueur, some indicator of how much hidden uplooading their software is likely to involve.

  wiz-king 13:24 17 Apr 2012

I use Tautology and can see my connection clicking over every 10 seconds as my router calls home! and it will also give daily, monthly and yearly totals for uploads and downloads.

  interzone55 15:35 17 Apr 2012

I can't see how a program will create huge uploads when updating.

If Windows or photoshop or whatever is updating there will be a tiny upload to report the current versions, then a big download of the update.

I think you need to check to see if there's anything else going on - check that your wifi is secure, so that no-one is piggybacking a bitorrent client on your network.

  Phrixos 15:42 17 Apr 2012

Yeah. I use BitMeter. Same sort of program and which, given its simplicity and dependability I have no plans on changing. The trouble with all such programs is, however, that they only monitor the traffic on one machine, not the total of traffic going through the router. When you've got more than one machine in the house and visitor's machines coming and going, the likes of Tautology and Bitmeter don't do the job.

Other than that, the issue I outlined concerns least of all the need to monitor total upload. It concerns knowing which programs are responsible and each to what degree.

  Phrixos 16:24 17 Apr 2012

Hello Alan14 and thanks for replying. (You too, btw, wiz-king).

My system reports everything is secure. Aside from that, I am very rural, with the few houses that are nearby about a hundred yards away. Anyone else wanting to piggyback me would have to hide in a hedge somewhere, with a laptop.

It's not that I trust BT so much, since I don't, but I feel I have to go with them on this one, since, given what you say, Alan, how could BT expect to get away with tell me this sort of thing is normal?

  wiz-king 17:56 17 Apr 2012

My anti-virus updates every hour but most other things are set to update on Sunday in the early morning - its quite a flurry of up/downloads then. HP for the PC and the printers x2; Dymo printer; Brother printer; Canon camera software; Microsoft - OS, Office; Sony ebook reader; Adobe flash: all 'phone home' at some time.

  bremner 18:55 17 Apr 2012

There is very little chance that normal use could result in such high upload figures.

Do you use Skype or another application to video chat.

Do you online game.

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