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Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)

Monitor Downloads

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Does anyone know of any software that monitors and logs all downloads? I am running Microsoft Windows Vista.

Over the last calendar month my total download has increased from an average of 7.43GB per month to 20.56GB!

My habits have not changed in the last month. I don't download music, videos, TV programs etc. etc. I do have Sky on demand and have tested it, just in case I ever need it, and did download three 1 hour programs = 3 x 644MB in the first couple weeks of this month. Never checked the monitor until I got the email on the 23rd from BT saying I had used 14GB this month. Then on the 26th I recieved another email saying I had used 18GB! 

So apart from the normal Windows and security software automatic downloads; the odd photo and pdf documents I don't download.

Yes I play on community sites - sixtownships etc. and play one game - wwf on fb - but nothing that I am aware of that would suddenly start downloading at approx 3/4 to 1 GB per day. That's what the BT broadband usage monitor has been recording  but I have no idea what is causing this sudden increase.

 

New BT month starts tomorrow so I will be checking daily on BT's recorded usage.

      

 

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Where do you propose to run this software?  If it's on your computer then how is the usage of other devices connected to your WAP/Router going to be monitored?

 

Some (if not most) ADSL home gear logs packets transferred, or can be persuaded to do this.  You can approximately translate these into gigabytes by finding the packet size (generally about 1.5KB) and doing the math.

 

Is your Sky box hard-wired to the Router/ADSL box?  If so pay attention to the lights on the Ethernet port it is connected to.  The Sky box itself may have a tiny activity LED on the Ethernet connection. Spin it around and watch this. Sky sounds to be the most likely culprit UNLESS neighbours or others are taking a free ride on you WiFi.  I'd be watching my activity LEDs for a quick answer.  What's going on will be broadly evident that way, without the need for exact measurements.

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Thanks for the reply Threegee - no BtTupdate this morning on their Broadband usage monitor so will have to wait until tomorrow to see what the first recorded download usage is for October. 

BT Hom Hub 5 - PC & Sky wireless. Sky connecting to Hub via On Demand MINI Wireless Connector.

 

I will interrogate the neighbors (youngest 72 years old) over the garden fence with tea and Rington's Ginger Snaps. 

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Doesn't the BT Hub BY DEFAULT allow all the neighbours (within range) and those walking past in the street to piggyback onto it, thus hoovering-up your resources.  Perhaps you might want to consider being anti-social and disable this 'open' option.

Edited by Symptoms

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Eventually found the BT Home Hub (activity) Log and discovered there was another WiFi address using my hub! So along with the 2 I knew about, my old Desktop PC and the newly fitted Sky WiFi Mini download/on demand box, was the wife's Nokia Lumia Windows phone that will have initiated connection when the hub was installed 5 weeks ago.

Started monitoring on download usage via the BT Broadband monitor for the new calendar month on the 1st.

On the 2nd - 0.93GB recorded over the first day - so if I keep at that average I will again go over, and be charged, my 29GB monthly allowance.

Switched of the wife's WiFi.

On the 3rd - sods law - BT decided to upgrade their Broadband monitor so it was down all day.

On the 4th - 09:00 - monitor still down.

On the 4th - 15:00 - monitor back in use and still recording my usage as 0.93GB.

Roll on Monday - check usage and switch off Sky download box. 

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Eggs ... you don't have to bar Mrseggy, just give her the security keycode (unless she's the one hoovering everything up).  I was referring above to switching the BT Hub  to TOTALLY secure and allowing access only to those with the keycode.  As I understand it part of BT smoke & mirror trick is to leave just a bit of every installed hub 'open' to gain maximum 'free' Wi-Fi coverage for Joe Public ... perhaps others here may be able to confirm this. 

Edited by Symptoms

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Cheers Symptoms. Just working my way through all the possible unqualified answers/reasons i might get from BT help desk when I ring them back. Just want to prove to myself, even though I am 99.9% certain already, that none of the three devices in this household are inadvertently downloading anything that would up BT's calculation that bI have increased my downloading 150% since the BT Home Hub 5 was installed. Unfortunately, Sods Law, the BT usage monitor has now been out of service for 3 days already this month. BT say they are upgrading, perhaps they are getting it ti work correctly on my usage!!!!

 

Although the rest of the world appears to require 'unlimited downloads' I just can't ever see me requiring, or wanting to pay more, for what little I use. I will keep monitoring, talking to BT etc., without changes, to see if I can resolve the situation before the end of this months allowance is eaten up. But always open to advice, or as I used to tell the trainees we used to get in at work when a problem arose - 'I'm older than you and seen, and probably caused that problem, before that's why I know the answer.     

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Eventually found the BT Home Hub (activity) Log and discovered there was another WiFi address using my hub! So along with the 2 I knew about, my old Desktop PC and the newly fitted Sky WiFi Mini download/on demand box, was the wife's Nokia Lumia Windows phone that will have initiated connection when the hub was installed 5 weeks ago.

Started monitoring on download usage via the BT Broadband monitor for the new calendar month on the 1st.

On the 2nd - 0.93GB recorded over the first day - so if I keep at that average I will again go over, and be charged, my 20GB monthly allowance.

Switched of the wife's WiFi.

On the 3rd - sods law - BT decided to upgrade their Broadband monitor so it was down all day.

On the 4th - 09:00 - monitor still down.

On the 4th - 15:00 - monitor back in use and still recording my usage as 0.93GB.

Roll on Monday - check usage and switch off Sky download box. 

Switching off the -Sky Wireless Connector - TV On Demand Straight from your Sky+ HD Box (MINI SD501) - I know this should have no affect on my normal download usage but that was my next step, just so when I next discuss with BT Help Desk (at least it's an 0800 number) to say I had tried it.

 Checked 05/10/2014 – Mtce -AGAIN

Checked 06/10/2014 - Your allowance usage from 01 Oct to 04 Oct

You have used 3.0 GB of your monthly 20 GB allowance and have 17.0 GB remaining. Your average monthly usage is 8.67 GB.

Checked 07/10/2014 - Your allowance usage from 01 Oct to 05 Oct

You have used 3.0 GB of your monthly 20 GB allowance and have 17.0 GB remaining. Your average monthly usage is 8.67 GB. ????????????????????????????????? same as 06/10/2014 ???????????

Checked 07/10/2014 - Your allowance usage from 01 Oct to 06 Oct

You have used 3.41 GB of your monthly 20 GB allowance and have 16.59 GB remaining. Your average monthly usage is 8.67 GB.

2. Sky On demand box disconnected – 09:00 08/10/2014 –Windows phone still off

Checked 08/10/2014 - Your allowance usage from 01 Oct to 07 Oct

You have used 3.84 GB of your monthly 20 GB allowance and have 16.16 GB remaining. Your average monthly usage is 8.67 GB.

Checked 09/10/2014 - Your allowance usage from 01 Oct to 07 Oct

You have used 4.4 GB of your monthly 20 GB allowance and have 15.6 GB remaining. Your average monthly usage is 8.67 GB.

 

Looking at those dates and figures BT is recording my total daily usage, Upload & download, at an average of approx 0.5GB per day, over 3 days, compared with the average 0.93GB per day for September. My Habits haven't changed; the BT Home Hub Log still only showing my Desk Top PC IP address as connecting, so I am going to leave it as it is until Monday then switch the 'On Demand' box back on and if that appears to cause the download usage to increase I will be surprised!    

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You are making me question our downloads Eggy.

We are all becoming more connected.

Unlimited WiFi and downloads maybe the answer but how long till someone works out a way to charge you for thinking time.

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Eggs ... I still think you need to CONFIRM that your resources aren't being hijacked by some spotty youth living next door.  Ensure that your Hub is SECURE (see above).  Once you are sure of this then you can have some confidence that the results of your investigations paint a true picture of your useage.  Remember, that spotty youth could be spending all night on the filthy 'throb net' and the first you'll know about it is when the Peelers bash your front door in, and we'll see telly footage of you being carted off followed by a large plakka bag containing your PC.

 

What BT package do you have?  Ordinary broadband or a flavour of Infinity?

 

Oh, perhaps as part of your investigations you could try you Sky box via an Ethernet cable (not via Wi-fi) and see what happens?

Edited by Symptoms

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Symptoms - as far as I can see, having gone through all the topics and settings on the BT Home Hub 5 Manager, and made what updates I think will not lock me out of my WiFi world. For my benefit the WiFi world is a boon, without going into specifics a world without cables to trip over and units to get down to (never to get up again) is my world!

Since my first notification, from BT, iro me reaching my monthly 20GB download limit I do daily checks and I believe I am now secure from 'piggy backers'.

 

My package with BT is :-  Unlimited Anytime Calls - Inclusive calls to UK landlines and half price calls to UK mobiles at anytime - My Broadband 20GB BT Infinity 1.

Within the BT Home Hub Manager screens I have checked the SETTINGS etc use the BT help scripts:-

'To prevent unauthorised access to your Hub's settings, BT Hub Manager is password protected.

To change your Hub default settings you'll need to log into in BT Hub Manager by entering a password.

On first use you'll need to enter your Hub's 'Admin password' (it's on the Hub settings card), then click the 'OK' button on this page.'

 

BT Wi-fi Status: Active - Wireless network/SSID:                BTHub5-9PMX - Wireless interface type:                802.11 b/g/n (up to 150 Mb/s)

Security:              WPA2 Only (Recommended) - Channel selection:           Automatic (Smart Wireless)

 

When I first checked through the Home Hub Manager screens I came across this dialogue and a 'flow' diagram of the wireless devices acessing the Hub were given. From the devices I identified all the IP addresses as my families devices - Windows phone - Sky On Demand - Grandson ipad/tablet (for school homework). 

Now the flow diagram shows my PC as the only device and this part of the screen display:- 

"Home Network - Devices - The diagram below shows all the devices that are connected to your BT Home Hub. Click on the device name to view and edit its settings or to remove it from the network."

 

Naturally no supplier is going to say in it's blurb to it's customers that it gets hacked. BT blurb with the Home Hub Manager says :-

Wireless - safety and security

You might wonder what's to stop other people tuning into your wireless network. After all, your personal data is being sent on radio waves in the same way as a radio station sends a signal.

The answer is that your Hub has an in-built security system that scrambles the signal it sends. It does this with an encryption code, so the signal doesn't make any sense to other computers. We then give you a unique code - called a wireless key - to enter into your computer. This means you're the only one who can pick up your Hub's signal. This keeps your data safe at all times.

 

WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) – Extra Strong. Used by new computers

 

Since I did my checks and changes etc. after spending 20 mins discussing my concerns with BT operative my usage is slowly getting back to what it was with the Home Hub 2 = average 7.3GB a month - but I will be checking daily for the rest of this month and make decisions as and when necessary.

 

The current daily usage monitor is showing my average GB download as 8.67, this includes the last months 20.56, but just today it actually displayed a reduction in usage:-

 Checked 08/10/2014 - Your allowance usage from 01 Oct to 07 Oct

You have used 3.84 GB of your monthly 20 GB allowance and have 16.16 GB remaining. Your average monthly usage is 8.67 GB.

Checked 09/10/2014 - Your allowance usage from 01 Oct to 07 Oct

You have used 4.4 GB of your monthly 20 GB allowance and have 15.6 GB remaining. Your average monthly usage is 8.67 GB.

Checked 10/10/2014 - Your allowance usage from 01 Oct to 09 Oct

You have used 3.78 GB of your monthly 20 GB allowance and have 16.22 GB remaining. Your average monthly usage is 8.67 GB. IT's GONE DOWN

 

If you can see anything in the above that requires further checking or changes with in the Hub Manager I will have a look. 

Good job I'm retired, would never of had the time to do this when 3G was in control - garden, golf and gurgling ale! 

 

Thanks

 

Edited by Eggy1948

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Eggy just get 'unlimited' and stick to Freeview.

We have been trying out a cable thing for BT Sport and the time wasted is unbelievable.

They tell you it is simple but all to often you need a small child to help.

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Eggy just get 'unlimited' and stick to Freeview.

We have been trying out a cable thing for BT Sport and the time wasted is unbelievable.

They tell you it is simple but all to often you need a small child to help.

Couldn't miss out on the sport Maggie, that's 90% of my Sky usage. Whilst I could get to the pub to watch the football, with a crowded bar, I never had Sky. Now can't get to the pub so it has to be Sky. Normal Sky has no affect on download and when using the Sky 'On Demand' download service even BT has a chart to show you the size, in MB, of downloading programs. Just checked yesterday's download figure with BT and they show me using 2.64GB and other than the normal 'surfing' - fb -etc I never requested any music; videos etc. etc. I would be surprised if BT ever gave me a detailed breakdown of a downloads, just over a certain size like 500mb would do, but I will persevere for a while but will probably have to give in the end and go unlimited!  

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This may be irrelevant but one hour download from the BBC means 600mb.

 

No 600MB not 600Mb!  Mb means megabits, and MB means megabytes, they are frequently confused, but the distinction is very important.  As that small kid will tell you there are 8 bits in a Byte, so 8Mb is 1MB.  The M must be upper-case, else you are saying milli (one thousandth) not Mega (one million).

 

You are probably about right for iPlayer on average.  I'd guess that the "standard" version of TV programs is 300-400MB an hour and the High Definition version about double that. Average iPlayer radio usage is 20 to 25MB an hour, though you can select different bitrates on most programs that fall outside that range.

 

Otherwise, all good technical advice, and I'm humbled by the depth of knowledge displayed.

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It's a bugger when you retire, I had forgot all about those little bits, I spend more time at the dentists sorting out my Byte!  

Back in 1975 running an ICL 1906A mainframe where the operating system was a massive 256KB (yes '256') programmers had to make a request for additional bits to be allocated to store data.

I can never imagine that I will come out of this debate with BT a winner, but I enjoy the challenge.

The free phone help line gets you very friendly operatives, but not technical staff.

Checked my usage on the 10th and although not a massive increase it was significant to think here we ago again, I'll be over my limit and have to pay more.

Checked 10/10/2014 - Your allowance usage from 01 Oct to 10 Oct

You have used 6.42 GB of your monthly 20 GB allowance and have 13.58 GB remaining. Your average monthly usage is 8.67 GB.

 

Sunday I raised an enquiry, BT 'on-line' service. Response was within 4 hrs so that was good but the 'technical' told me ".... and as it's half way through October you usage should not go over the 20GB this month...". I had to explain that 10 was not half of 31, it's fractionally less a 1/3rd of 31 - so 3 x 6.42 = 19.26 leaving me less than BT's calculated daily September average, 0.92, to play with on the 31st. 

 

20mins of waffle and I had to give in for the day and say I would continue monitoring and no doubt I would be back updating the enquiry number as it stays open for 2 weeks. Then later that day the customer survey email arrived - Would I like to complete the survey, rate the answer/explanation given for my enquiry, and help BT improve it's service?

I did - and the 'Not Satisfied' radio button got a few selections .

No further calls since.

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All very interesting .

I do need a lesson on the Mb / MB / GB details.

Basically not a clue.

As Jeremy Paxman would say -  Your starter for 10 (or in 1 byte with 8 bits = 00001010)  - this link gives an explanation that enables you to see how much data you are using for basic operations like email, letters & photos.   http://introcomputing.org/bits-bytes-2.html

You don't want to get into the 'geeky' side - just seen a chart with some more 'bit' names I haven't seen before  

1000       kbit  =      kilobit

10002    Mbit  =    megabit

10003    Gbit  =     gigabit

10004    Tbit   =     terabit

10005    Pbit   =     petabit

10006    Ebit   =     exabit

10007    Zbit   =     zettabit 

10008    Ybit   =     yottabit - and not a single mention of the Nibble!

In computing, a nibble (often nybble or even nyble to match the vowels of byte) is a four-bit aggregation, or half an octet. As a nibble contains 4 bits, there are sixteen (24) possible values, so a nibble corresponds to a single hexadecimal digit (thus, it is often referred to as a "hex digit" or "hexit").

 

Have a nice day.

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Clear as mud.

I am sure there are lots of humorous responses to that post Eggy

So the question of how many MB in a GB, appears to be 1000

Does it matter just go unlimited.

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Since registering my concerns with BT my usage figures, as monitored by BT, have reduced, from an average of 1GB per day to an average of approx. 0.5GB per day. Prior to the upgrade to Hub5 the average was 0.3GB per day. So, Maggie, at the moment I will not be giving them additional monthly payments to go 'unlimited'. When I become so sick and infirm that I can't move out of my 'Desktop chair' I will upgrade to unlimited. Until then I will stay in the dark-ages and watch TV on a TV; listen to music on a CD player (did get rid of the stereogram!); talk to people on a phone and put photographs in albums with electronic copies on the PC and backed up to external hard drive x 2 leaving the 'clouds' to drift around the world.

Symptoms

Posted 01 October 2014 - 04:00 PM

Doesn't the BT Hub BY DEFAULT allow all the neighbours (within range) and those walking past in the street to piggyback onto it, thus hoovering-up your resources.  Perhaps you might want to consider being anti-social and disable this 'open' option.

 

Symptoms – no trace in the BT logs of any unknown addresses piggy backing on my Hub. The default settings will stay as they are, for now, as the grandchildren sometimes use the Hub address for their kit.

Discussing the registered increase of downloads with the BT staff there is no way they can check the logs to try and identify what caused my usage to more than treble in the first few weeks the Hub 5 was installed.  Only a special group (can't remember the name for them) within BT can check individual users logs, privacy laws etc.  The staff on the front-line support just have to fend off, with some basic knowledge, customers ringing up check their accounts. So if anyone wants logs to be checked then you would have to get noticed by regular porn and paedophile activities and then the special group can ignore your human rights.

 

Foxy - I keep quiet about the Mega Bit on the side. There I've downloaded.

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I think what Symptoms is referring to is BT Openzone.

 

There is a small portion of your bandwidth allocated to the Openzone so that other BT customers can use your bandwidth if they are in your vicinity. This is also an opt-out solution so is turned on by default.

 

I wouldn't imagine that these would appear in your logs as it is technically not your WiFi network.

 

I have no technical explanation for the above as I have not seen the GUI for the Homehub 5 but in the grand scheme of things it could be BT reporting usage statistics amongst other things.

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I think what Symptoms is referring to is BT Openzone.

 

There is a small portion of your bandwidth allocated to the Openzone so that other BT customers can use your bandwidth if they are in your vicinity. This is also an opt-out solution so is turned on by default.

 

I wouldn't imagine that these would appear in your logs as it is technically not your WiFi network.

 

I have no technical explanation for the above as I have not seen the GUI for the Homehub 5 but in the grand scheme of things it could be BT reporting usage statistics amongst other things.

 

 

Yeh Brett, Openzone ... that's the beast.

Thank you gentlemen - I will check out 'Openzone' - at the moment, since registering complaint over recorded usage, my download activity is averaging out at 0.3 GB per day (0.75GB per day before whinge attracting additional charges) and therefore staying within my 20GB monthly allowance. 

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