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tjubb
Premium
join:2002-02-01
Bristow, VA

I got "the call" from Comcast. Another Cap story.

I got a call from Comcast Customer Security Assurance yesterday.

They told me I my usage was way too high for residential service in June. When I asked how much bandwidth was used, I was told 1,610 gigabytes....1.6 Terabytes!!!!

I find that hard to believe. I do consider myself a fairly heavy downloader but nowhere near that amount. I have 3 security webcams that gets about 20 gigs of use per month, I have an Easynews account that has a 20gig monthly download limit that usually gets used up and then general web surfing for a couple hours daily. I have a D/U meter on my main computer and that shows 14 gigs downloaded/7 gigs uploaded. I'm not sure what that timeframe is for though. So, I am having a hard time believing I personally used 1.6 terabytes (both up and down) in one month. I've since stopped the webcam connections to external cams and now only use cams on my internal lan. That should save some bandwidth as the external cams kept a constant stream going 24/7.

I feel like I am walking on eggshells now because the next time there is a problem, I am gone for a year and Comcast is the only broadband in town.

I have a strange feeling my webcam box may have been compromised as I see strange IP's access the web interface from time to time from foreign countries. I've only given the cam's ip address to my sister and father so for anyone else to be accessing the web interface is abnormal. I block the ip ranges to the cam as I see them.

Is there an easy to use program that can monitor all my incoming and outgoing traffic? I've used some free packet sniffers but I can't make sense out of the output. I just need to see if some external IP address is sucking up all my bandwidth.

The other option given to me by Comcast was to have a tech come out and test the line for any false readings. I guess I should do that as well. I'm still in a state of shock as I know I am not personally using 1.6 terabytes of bandwidth.

Thanks,
Tom


Scilicet
Spaced Out
Premium
join:2005-04-11
Aurora, CO
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Vonage
Wow! Since when did Comcast begin to "cap" excessive bandwidth? This is news to me. I am paying for an unlimited service, or so I thought. How do they get off saying that "Alright now! That's enough. No more downloads for you for a while"? I have never heard of anyone in the Denver area having this circumstance.

There is no shortage of gateways and servers to support the Denver service area. Perhaps it is due to the constant advertising battle between QWEST DSL and Comcast cable. Furthermore, Comcast has begun to replace their steel cable with FIOS. This might become interesting.


salterbomb

join:2003-10-18
Houston, TX
said by Scilicet:

Wow! Since when did Comcast begin to "cap" excessive bandwidth? This is news to me. I am paying for an unlimited service, or so I thought. How do they get off saying that "Alright now! That's enough. No more downloads for you for a while"? I have never heard of anyone in the Denver area having this circumstance.

There is no shortage of gateways and servers to support the Denver service area. Perhaps it is due to the constant advertising battle between QWEST DSL and Comcast cable. Furthermore, Comcast has begun to replace their steel cable with FIOS. This might become interesting.
nowhere in comcasts TOS does it say it provides unlimited bandwidth. if you can find that you'd be a god among men for comcast users.


tjubb
Premium
join:2002-02-01
Bristow, VA
reply to Scilicet
said by Scilicet:

Wow! Since when did Comcast begin to "cap" excessive bandwidth? This is news to me. I am paying for an unlimited service, or so I thought.
Well, there has been extensive discussions on this topic. There is indeed an invisible cap that noone seems to know the actual figure. Most here have said, stay below 250 gigs or so per month and you'll be fine. Based on my initial calculations I fall below that invisible line and definitely below 1.6 terabytes which is why I'm thinking one of my machines has been compromised somehow. Virus, Adware, Spyware and Trogan scanners turn up nothing.

T


jbob
Reach Out and Touch Someone
Premium
join:2004-04-26
Little Rock, AR

1 edit
reply to tjubb
What router are you running behind? Depending on router type there might be a solution available to measure the bandwidth used.


Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to Scilicet
said by Scilicet:

Wow! Since when did Comcast begin to "cap" excessive bandwidth? This is news to me. I am paying for an unlimited service, or so I thought.
Since like 50 threads ago.

»Comcast High Speed Internet FAQ »Does Comcast have bandwidth use limits?
--
Interested in open source engine management for your Subaru?


tjubb
Premium
join:2002-02-01
Bristow, VA

1 edit
reply to jbob
said by jbob:

What router are you running behind? Depending on router type there might be a solution available to measure the bandwidth used.
I am using a Netgear WPN824. I looked under the "Router Status" menu and clicked the "Show Statistics". Here is what that showed:
»img360.imageshack.us/img360/4579···sxi7.jpg


jbob
Reach Out and Touch Someone
Premium
join:2004-04-26
Little Rock, AR
Ok for the Netgear I can't be totally sure but you might try WallWatcher log utility. »sonic.net/wallwatcher/
It has a facility to monitor the bandwidth used as long as your router supports logging of this type. Since it's free it doesn't hurt to give it a try. Some Netgear routers are supported however I don't see yours specifically listed. The creator of WallWatcher will hep you out if you have issues.

Another solution is MRTG. »oss.oetiker.ch/mrtg/
I've never tried that out myself however it comes recommended as well.

The above 2 will monitor the bandwidth used at the router.

If you have the only system that is running behind the router then I suppose some of the other solutions might work just as well like Netmeter which is like DU meter only free. Unless of course it's wireless and someone is hacking into it. As always for wireless make sure you use good encryption.

I imagine those cams might have accounted for more than you thought.


Terabyte

@comcast.net
reply to tjubb
WOW..1.6 terabytes.

If I were you I'd take them up on their suggestion and have a tech come out and take a look.
This would serve two purposes. First, to see if in fact it is some external issue that is using that kind of bandwidth.

Second, I'd tend to think that you could point to your having had a tech come out and help you with this issue in the event you do have this problem again and they try to cut you off. If I were you, I'd make sure I got the name and contact # of the tech who looks at this and perhaps they could go to bat for you in the event you're cut off, with them saying they found nothing themselves to account for this.

With all that said, my guess would be though that it is these cams you have running. 3 cams running 24/7 transferring all that video feed might very well be exceeding what you think it is.


fruhead

join:2002-01-29
Mosquito,NJ
reply to Scilicet
said by Scilicet:

Wow! Since when did Comcast begin to "cap" excessive bandwidth? This is news to me. I am paying for an unlimited service, or so I thought. How do they get off saying that "Alright now! That's enough. No more downloads for you for a while"? I have never heard of anyone in the Denver area having this circumstance.

There is no shortage of gateways and servers to support the Denver service area. Perhaps it is due to the constant advertising battle between QWEST DSL and Comcast cable. Furthermore, Comcast has begun to replace their steel cable with FIOS. This might become interesting.
"Comcast has begun to replace their steel cable with FIOS"? In what way?


tjubb
Premium
join:2002-02-01
Bristow, VA

1 edit
reply to jbob
I tried getting Wallwatcher to work with no luck. Guess my router just doesn't support syslog. I've looked all through the menus and found nothing about external logging. I used to have a Netgear router years ago that did

MRTG looks like a linux program but I could be wrong but it did not look user friendly.

At the moment, I have been using NetMeeter for about 3 hours and one thing of note is the Total DL is 46mb while Total UL is 339mb. That should be the other way around as the UL is way out of whack compared to the DL. That may be because I am RDP'ing into my Comcast box from work. However, for the sake of troubleshooting, I closed my remote desktop connection for about 30 minutes, making note of the bandwidth used up until then. When I logged in later, there was still a substantial increase of about 100 megs of uploaded data. So something does seem abnormal. I'll survey the other computer when I get home to check it's bandwidth usage.

Finally, I'm not so sure all the traffic that NetMeter is reporting is Internet traffic. I've been running a packet sniffer and the bulk of the traffic is coming from the other computer on my lan as NetBIOS packets. Is that what I'm seeing reported by NetMeter? If so how do I tell it to only monitor Internet traffic?


jbob
Reach Out and Touch Someone
Premium
join:2004-04-26
Little Rock, AR

1 edit
As far as WallWatcher goes you might be able to work with Dan(WallWatcher creator) and get him to write a config so that WW will be able to capture the packets however logging bandwidth is a different animal. That is hardware specific and if you're router does not support it then WW will not be able to measure any bandwidth.

Your guess is as good as mine in regards to MRTG however I do think it will work with Windows OS.

As far as I know Netmeter only reads traffic to and from the computer it is running on. There is a setting for which "Network interface to monitor" under the General tab. If the other computer is running through the router then your computer running Netmeter should not be reading that traffic however I'm not sure about your sniffing and how that is setup.

Edit...added quote
Here is a post from Dan himself from a thread post about WallWatcher.
quote:
If your router can send log records in real-time to an IP address within its LAN, then WallWatcher can support your router. If WallWatcher receives the log records but doesn't format them correctly, you can "capture" a RAW sample using WallWatcher's SPECIAL menu and send me that sample so that I can make WallWatcher understand the log record format. That's how support for over 100 routers was added to WallWatcher over the last several years: people sent me those RAW samples.

If your router cannot send the log records in real-time to one of your computers, then there won't be anything for WallWatcher to receive; in that case, it won't be able to support your router. Note: routers that only can email log reports are not supportable by WallWatcher.


DMS1

join:2005-04-06
Plano, TX
reply to tjubb
What speed connection do you have? 1.6 terabytes is a serious amount of data. Even with an 8Mbps connection absolutely maxed out (which would be virtually impossible to achieve), it would take over 18 days to reach that amount of data.
Expand your moderator at work


tjubb
Premium
join:2002-02-01
Bristow, VA
reply to DMS1

Re: I got "the call" from Comcast. Another Cap story.

I have an 8Mbps connection. I don't think I've ever been maxed out because I've noticed no lags.


tjubb
Premium
join:2002-02-01
Bristow, VA

2 edits
reply to Anon
said by deleted post :

something
If I knowingly downloaded 1.6tb of illegal warez, movies and mp3's or whatever do you think I'd be posting here asking for help on finding the problem? I'd simply just stop my downloading but since I don't know where the problem lies I'm posting in this forum for help.

Also, the 2 high bandwidth things that come to mind (webcam and RDP) have been used by me for 5 years with no problems so I find it hard to believe those activities are the culprits.

... maybe you could provide some insight rather than post some off the cuff useless comment.

DMS1

join:2005-04-06
Plano, TX
reply to tjubb
said by tjubb:

I have an 8Mbps connection. I don't think I've ever been maxed out because I've noticed no lags.
Something doesn't add up (literally!). If we assume that you can account for 100GB of activity (and that may be pushing it from what you say), there is something else using 4.7Mbps 24/7. I would definitely get Comcast to come out and have a look.


EG
The wings of love
Premium
join:2006-11-18
Union, NJ
kudos:10
reply to tjubb
Is your WLAN secured ? Just a thought..
--
Let us never forget 9/11


Scilicet
Spaced Out
Premium
join:2005-04-11
Aurora, CO
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Vonage

1 edit
reply to fruhead
Ah! The pretense of erudition. Ya gotta love it. In what way is Comcast replacing it's cable with fiber? That should be obvious. You remove the old cable and put up the new. Comcast has been doing this for some time now, especially in NYC in order to keep up with Verizon, as well as other areas throughout the country such as Denver. I would assume that new cable modems and TV cable boxes are required.

And honestly, I do a heck of a lot of downloading as well as VOIP use. I have never heard of anyone in Denver getting a call from Comcast Customer Security Assurance stating that they were using too much bandwidth for a residential service. Must be an east coast thing. Perhaps east coast gateways and servers are so overcrowded that limiting bandwidth is a necessity, but not here. So laugh away!


EG
The wings of love
Premium
join:2006-11-18
Union, NJ
kudos:10

1 edit
said by Scilicet:

Ah! The pretense of erudition. Ya gotta love it. In what way is Comcast replacing it's cable with fiber? That should be obvious. You remove the old cable and put up the new. Comcast has been doing this for some time now, especially in NYC in order to keep up with Verizon, as well as other areas throughout the country such as Denver.
Are you saying that they (Comcast) are providing an FTTH service in those areas ?
--
Let us never forget 9/11


tjubb
Premium
join:2002-02-01
Bristow, VA
reply to EG
yes, it's secured with WEP 128bit encryption. I changed the password tonight for good measure. I know WPA is better but most of my wireless nodes (printer, waps, etc) don't have WPA.


tjubb
Premium
join:2002-02-01
Bristow, VA
I did a little test with my webcam setup. I use WebcamXP which is an all-in-one system (webcam server ,cam portal, security monitor). I have 3 local usb cams and 1 local ip cam. For the last few months I have been connecting to 3 additional cams located at my workplace. They stream to the webcamxp software here on my Comcast box. I thought data was only sent when an active connection was made to view the stream, I don't think that is the case and the streams go 24/7 regardless. In 10 minutes those external cams accounted for 85 megs (averaging at about 175Kbps.
That breaks out to:
510 mb every hour
12.2 gigs per day
367 gigs per month.

(if my math is correct)

Now, that is nowhere near the 1.6tb claimed to have been consumed so maybe that was a line of crap from the abuse department or just erroneous info. Add on another 100gigs of downloading, surfing, etc that's still only 467 gigs. However that is way above the invisible line that some are reporting to be the magic number. Maybe it was 1.6tb over 2 months, I don't recall the exact wording from Abuse.

So, I have stopped the connections to the external cams, left the local cams online since they don't go out to the net unless I am viewing remotely, taken the WebcamXP server offline and made it only accessible from within the lan. Hopefully that was all it was and I won't hear another peep from Comcast on the matter but I will get a tech to come out and test the line for good measure.

Thanks to all who shared helpful information!

Tom

DMS1

join:2005-04-06
Plano, TX

1 recommendation

said by tjubb:

In 10 minutes those external cams accounted for 85 megs (averaging at about 175Kbps.
That breaks out to:
510 mb every hour
12.2 gigs per day
367 gigs per month.

(if my math is correct)
I think you're confusing bits and bytes. 85 megabytes in 10 minutes equates to about 1.33Mbps (not 175kbps). However, your final figure is right. That is a lot of bandwidth to use continuously.

I would guess that the 1.6TB number is over a three month period.

I'm glad you've found the culprit, and hopefully you've done it early enough in the month to not get cut off. (There is anecdotal evidence that if Comcast flags you for excessive usage in month 'N' then they will cut you off if you don't reduce it in month 'N+1' even though it may be far too far through month 'N+1' by the time they warn you to do anything.)

ablickle

join:2002-01-24
Long Beach, CA
reply to tjubb
I am a little late to the party here, but wanted to give you another suggestion for a monitoring program. If you can turn on snmp on your router, I would recommend using PRTG:
»www.paessler.com/prtg
The basic version is free and lets you track three points in your network. For example, I track my traffic to the cable modem, as well as my wireless network and my wired network. This lets me see my actual internet traffic as well as the load on my network. It can also automatically send you an internet usage summary in pdf or csv format every month, which can be helpful. And of course, you can't beat the price!


tjubb
Premium
join:2002-02-01
Bristow, VA
reply to DMS1
said by DMS1:

I think you're confusing bits and bytes. 85 megabytes in 10 minutes equates to about 1.33Mbps (not 175kbps). However, your final figure is right. That is a lot of bandwidth to use continuously.
Yep, you are correct. I was just pulling an "eyeballed" average off the NetMeter, it would spike much higher.

I sure hope you are wrong about the whole N+1 thing. I may just call the Abuse Dept. back and tell them to make a note on my account that I have found the culprit and it shouldn't be a problem anymore. What do you think?


CableTool
Poorly Representing MYSELF.
Premium
join:2004-11-12
reply to tjubb
Thats a lot of fucking cameras.


CableTool
Poorly Representing MYSELF.
Premium
join:2004-11-12
reply to Scilicet
said by Scilicet:

Wow! Since when did Comcast begin to "cap" excessive bandwidth? This is news to me. I am paying for an unlimited service, or so I thought. How do they get off saying that "Alright now! That's enough. No more downloads for you for a while"? I have never heard of anyone in the Denver area having this circumstance.

There is no shortage of gateways and servers to support the Denver service area. Perhaps it is due to the constant advertising battle between QWEST DSL and Comcast cable. Furthermore, Comcast has begun to replace their steel cable with FIOS. This might become interesting.
Hahaha!!
One- You HONESTLY have never heard of the abuse threads?
Two- DO you honestly think Comcast is replacing last mile "STEEL" with fiber?

Where the hell are you getting your information from?
--
CableFAQ.org/Technicians Unplugged


Scilicet
Spaced Out
Premium
join:2005-04-11
Aurora, CO
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Vonage
Ok! Ok! I must apologize here. I let things get way out of hand. I get in weird moods sometimes and get a bit sarcastic; I mean terabytes? Through these PC toys we have? Come on!

Anyway, I understand that Comcast upgrading to fiber may be hard to believe, but here is the link you asked for. You can google up some more for yourself.

»findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m···91711292

Again, sorry for getting you guys all worked up.

MH

DMS1

join:2005-04-06
Plano, TX
said by Scilicet:

Anyway, I understand that Comcast upgrading to fiber may be hard to believe, but here is the link you asked for. You can google up some more for yourself.

»findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m···91711292
All that article says is that Comcast has upgraded Long Beach Island to bring it up to the same spec that just about every other area already has. This is not FTTP (and certainly not FiOS as you originally said, because FiOS is specific to Verizon). I suggest you read up on how HFC cable systems work.
Expand your moderator at work