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gvd

join:2011-01-03
Skokie, IL

AT&T usage meter -- is yours as wildly inaccurate as mine?

Ah joy, AT&T decided to meter/cap its users.

Since AT&T decided to meter all of its DSL customers, I decided that I should take a look at what AT&T thinks I've been using. (You need your AT&T DSL Account login & password on that page -- makes sense.)

I'm not debating that I'm a heavy user; I'm not intending this post to be about whether caps are a good thing or not. This post is SOLELY about the accuracy of AT&T's data.

I run dd-wrt as my firewall and it keeps historical usage data down to the day level. (My current install has data to mid-December.) My wireless access point is behind my dd-wrt, so it's not as though there is a side path to get data around my firewall and onto my DSL line; anything that hits the internet must go through my firewall.

So according to dd-wrt, I'm bumping along right around 250GB per month. OK, cool, I shouldn't have any problems, right?

Wrong AT&T says I'm using 350GB of data per month!

Needless to say, that's a rather large discrepancy! So I decided to drill down. What I found was remarkable.

1) AT&T's data appears to be wholely corrupted. Some days, AT&T will under-report my data usage by as much as 91%. (They said I used 92 meg, my firewall says I used 1.1 Gigs.) Some days, AT&T will over-report my data usage by as much as 4700%. (They said I used 3.8 Gig, dd-wrt says I used 80 meg. And no, this day wasn't anywhere near the day they under-reported.)

2) AT&T's data doesn't add up. If I take AT&T's data, and add up the individual day's usage as provided by them the totals don't add up to the automatically calculated total for that date range! For example, for my account from February 18th to March 17th, AT&T says the total usage is 221GB down, 12.8GB up, 234GB total. But if I actually add up the individual days from feb 18th to march 17th, the totals are 206GB down and 11.95GB up, 217GB total! That's an 8% difference just adding up the daily totals!

I'd like to know if anyone else, who has access to similar data, are seeing such crazy numbers from AT&T's usage tool. If nothing else, you can add up your daily usage numbers and see if they are the same as the total.

Again, this post isn't about whether caps are good, bad, or whatever. I'm just questioning the integrity of AT&T's usage statistics, wholesale. (...and their ability to add.)


d_l
Barsoom
Premium,MVM
join:2002-12-08
Reno, NV
kudos:7
My experience with the on line metering tool during the Reno bandwidth cap testing was that it was fairly accurate as compared to the bandwidth measured by WallWatcher through an RV082 and this was across two accounts. However, my monthly totals were all sub-15 GB so perhaps there is a measurement problem at higher usage rates or perhaps they have introduced a measurement problem when they rolled the tool out to the entire user base.
--
Got to have blue skies and red sunsets - TCE Weather

gvd

join:2011-01-03
Skokie, IL
said by d_l:

My experience with the on line metering tool during the Reno bandwidth cap testing was that it was fairly accurate as compared to the bandwidth measured by WallWatcher through an RV082 and this was across two accounts.

Could you check your usage against the current tool? (And/or check to see if adding your daily usage amounts equals the total?)


dslwanter
It's coming
Premium
join:2002-12-16
Mineral Ridge, OH
reply to gvd
You're better off with some sort of monitoring on your router. I still have a good ol' Linksys WRT54G running Tomato, it has a pretty spiffy bandwidth usage chart.
--
Yeah, it's kind of like that.


d_l
Barsoom
Premium,MVM
join:2002-12-08
Reno, NV
kudos:7
reply to gvd
I can't now. This is all I see:

"AT&T is not able to capture usage data on all of its customers. Customers whose usage is not available for viewing should not be concerned about their usage patterns for billing purposes."
--
Got to have blue skies and red sunsets - TCE Weather

gvd

join:2011-01-03
Skokie, IL
reply to dslwanter
said by dslwanter:

You're better off with some sort of monitoring on your router. I still have a good ol' Linksys WRT54G running Tomato, it has a pretty spiffy bandwidth usage chart.

You're kind of missing the point -- AT&T isn't going to be billing me based on my DD-WRT usage, they're going to be billing me based on the usage their tool reports -- and it's reporting 100Gigs more than dd-wrt!


robot

join:2003-07-02
Palos Hills, IL
said by gvd:

said by dslwanter:

You're better off with some sort of monitoring on your router. I still have a good ol' Linksys WRT54G running Tomato, it has a pretty spiffy bandwidth usage chart.

You're kind of missing the point -- AT&T isn't going to be billing me based on my DD-WRT usage, they're going to be billing me based on the usage their tool reports -- and it's reporting 100Gigs more than dd-wrt!

What if you can't get dd-wrt running behind your 2wire on Uverse (due to double natting issues, etc)? You're boned either way.


dslwanter
It's coming
Premium
join:2002-12-16
Mineral Ridge, OH
reply to gvd
said by gvd:

said by dslwanter:

You're better off with some sort of monitoring on your router. I still have a good ol' Linksys WRT54G running Tomato, it has a pretty spiffy bandwidth usage chart.

You're kind of missing the point -- AT&T isn't going to be billing me based on my DD-WRT usage, they're going to be billing me based on the usage their tool reports -- and it's reporting 100Gigs more than dd-wrt!

Well, at least you have SOMETHING to try and fire back with if there's any question. You would at least have evidence to support you perhaps saying, "(Middle Finger), I'm not paying your overages".
--
Yeah, it's kind of like that.

notovny

join:2010-03-08
Toledo, OH
reply to gvd

Re: Has anyone...

I'm generally seeing significant discrepancies between the historical bandwidth usage and what my router's recording.

Most egregiously, on February 13.

dd-wrt: 2764MB down, 4088 MB up.
AT&T: 5.13GB down, 5.54 GB up.

I haven't done a full-month add-up, but the individual dates I've been glancing at appear to be showing about a 20% discrepancy in AT&T's favor.


Napsterbater
Meh
Premium,MVM
join:2002-12-28
Milledgeville, GA
Reviews:
·Xcelerate Broadb..
·Windstream
reply to robot

Re: AT&T usage meter -- is yours as wildly inaccurate as mine?

said by robot:

said by gvd:

said by dslwanter:

You're better off with some sort of monitoring on your router. I still have a good ol' Linksys WRT54G running Tomato, it has a pretty spiffy bandwidth usage chart.

You're kind of missing the point -- AT&T isn't going to be billing me based on my DD-WRT usage, they're going to be billing me based on the usage their tool reports -- and it's reporting 100Gigs more than dd-wrt!

What if you can't get dd-wrt running behind your 2wire on Uverse (due to double natting issues, etc)? You're boned either way.

Bridge your 2Wire, I just did this to a Embarq 2wire so i could use the sameknows/test my ISP router.

Here is an FAQ for atleast 1 model 2wire might work on outhers.
»AT&T Southeast Forum FAQ »Bridge Mode for the 2Wire 2701HG-B
--
ASUS M4A79T Deluxe | AMD Phenom II x3 720 BE AM3 w/4 Cores @ 3.41Ghz(OC) | 4Gb DDR3 Memory @ 1600mhz | Sapphire ATI HD4870 1GB 800mhz/1000mhz(OC) | 2x500GB HDD's Raid 0 | Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Build 7600 (RTM) | Windstream DSL 12m (14.9m Sync)/766k

gvd

join:2011-01-03
Skokie, IL
reply to robot
said by robot:

What if you can't get dd-wrt running behind your 2wire on Uverse (due to double natting issues, etc)? You're boned either way.

I don't have a 2wire, I have an old speedstream 4500 (and a 5500 somewhere, buried in a closet). I turned off PPPoE on the modem, and do PPPoE on the dd-wrt, solving the double-nat problem. (Mentioning it in case the 2-wire supports doing PPPoE someplace else besides the modem.)

gvd

join:2011-01-03
Skokie, IL
reply to notovny

Re: Has anyone...

said by notovny:

I'm generally seeing significant discrepancies between the historical bandwidth usage and what my router's recording.

Most egregiously, on February 13.

dd-wrt: 2764MB down, 4088 MB up.
AT&T: 5.13GB down, 5.54 GB up.

I haven't done a full-month add-up, but the individual dates I've been glancing at appear to be showing about a 20% discrepancy in AT&T's favor.

Ahhh! Glad to hear it's not just me!

Could I trouble you to drill into your data both on your dd-wrt & at&t's system? I smell a huge rat, but we'll only unearth it with cold, hard, data.


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable
said by gvd:

Ahhh! Glad to hear it's not just me!

Me, too. See my post in another thread. Let me know if you want more. »Re: [Services] NOT HAPPY with the new DATA CAPS!!

slyborg

join:2005-05-29
Buffalo Grove, IL
reply to gvd

Re: AT&T usage meter -- is yours as wildly inaccurate as mine?

This is interesting, I don't have dd-wrt running (yet). but the usage reported for the past month for me also seems too high and is 50% higher than the previous month, and my usage doesn't vary that significantly. Where is AT&T collecting their data? From the modem? At the DSLAM?

If a consistent issue with accuracy can be demonstrated, AT&T's little plan here is going to attract some law firm with a class action like a magnet.

notovny

join:2010-03-08
Toledo, OH
reply to gvd

Re: Has anyone...

said by gvd:

Could I trouble you to drill into your data both on your dd-wrt & at&t's system? I smell a huge rat, but we'll only unearth it with cold, hard, data.

There are a couple days in February when I don't have any information from my router (2/2 and 2/16, and I suspect something went wrong on my router on the 9th.)

Assuming 1000 MB/GB, Total UL/DL
My router: 148.76
AT&T:207.2
Discrepancy: 39.7% in AT&T's favor.

Router is a Linksys WRT-54G v8.0 running dd-wrt micro, locked down with WPA2. No torrenting in February, but was in the process of switching my online backups from Mozy to Crashplan for most of the month. Single user on Elite DSL(6.0Mb/768kb), with Desktop, Laptop, & Roku box. Frequent user of Netflix and other streamed services; no cable.

Spreadsheet linked below.
»spreadsheets.google.com/pub?hl=e···put=html


NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:12
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC
reply to gvd

Re: AT&T usage meter -- is yours as wildly inaccurate as mine?

said by gvd:

I don't have a 2wire, I have an old speedstream 4500 (and a 5500 somewhere, buried in a closet).

Do you mean SpeedStream 4100/5100?
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum


NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:12
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC

1 edit
reply to gvd
said by gvd:

I'd like to know if anyone else, who has access to similar data, are seeing such crazy numbers from AT&T's usage tool. If nothing else, you can add up your daily usage numbers and see if they are the same as the total.

I can't say, for sure. I am using uTorrent for downloading some video files (nothing belonging to the MPAA, nearly as I can tell). That client has a bandwidth monitor, but just measures the bandwidth used for torrents, AFAIK. Looks like I will have to synchronize by reset, so uTorrent measures its period concurrent with AT&T. For now, the period is not synchronized, so I can't vouch for accuracy; but eyeballing doesn't indicate as wild a discrepancy as you have seen.

My usage.

Another interesting bit of slickness: It appears that, once I synchronize the measurement periods, I can actually configure uTorrent to cap my bandwidth within the AT&T limits. At least for the torrenting.

--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum


used

@sbcglobal.net
Click for full size
WTF is this? 80 gigs in 6 days?!?
»/r0/download/1···sage.PNG

My utorrent usage says 42.3gb for 31 days and the wife's says 24.some. The only other thing we use besides regular old internet is PS3 online games and all it's associated updates. I can be a really heavy user at times, but I haven't been for a few months.

So, is there any kind of software that can monitor a router's usage? I have the old Speedstream 4100, and all internet goes through a crappy D-Link EBR-2310. Unfortunately neither of these record usage.


wings10
I Am Legend
Premium
join:2004-06-09
South Elgin, IL
They could have updated and lumped in your data for the month so far. The site is still bringing people up to speed. Did you click on details and see what that says? And click on History to see the previous month usage?
--
"The American Indians found out what happens when you don't control immigration."

ToiletMint

join:2009-12-07
Pine River, MN
reply to slyborg
said by slyborg:

Where is AT&T collecting their data? From the modem? At the DSLAM?

They should be collecting the data from the Head Router.

gvd

join:2011-01-03
Skokie, IL
reply to ArgMeMatey

Re: Has anyone...

said by ArgMeMatey:

Me, too. See my post in another thread. Let me know if you want more. »Re: [Services] NOT HAPPY with the new DATA CAPS!!

Absolutely! If you could update this with more current data (since some time has gone by) that'd be great.

gvd

join:2011-01-03
Skokie, IL
reply to NormanS

Re: AT&T usage meter -- is yours as wildly inaccurate as mine?

said by NormanS:

said by gvd:

I don't have a 2wire, I have an old speedstream 4500 (and a 5500 somewhere, buried in a closet).

Do you mean SpeedStream 4100/5100?

That must be it. I haven't played with either one's configs in quite a while.

gvd

join:2011-01-03
Skokie, IL

1 edit
reply to used
said by used :

So, is there any kind of software that can monitor a router's usage? I have the old Speedstream 4100, and all internet goes through a crappy D-Link EBR-2310. Unfortunately neither of these record usage.

You could run MRTG; that's the good old standard way of measuring bandwidth. It takes a bit to set up, though. (Need to know the snmp read property.)

Or Cacti (»www.cacti.net/), that's more user friendly.


cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26
reply to gvd
FWIW,
Not an AT&T user, I'm on Charter, but from recent experiences between DD-WRT and Tomato firmwares, Tomato seems to be MUCH more accurate.
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/

gvd

join:2011-01-03
Skokie, IL
said by cork1958:

FWIW,
Not an AT&T user, I'm on Charter, but from recent experiences between DD-WRT and Tomato firmwares, Tomato seems to be MUCH more accurate.

Could you expand on this? Is this just a gut feeling, or do you have hard numbers to back this up, etc?

I'm now running MRTG, so I'll have a second opinion on how much traffic I'm using. (...after a few days.)


TheDuck6

join:2003-06-22
Eastlake, OH
Because Tomato is closer to what he wants it to be it has to be more accurate..........

slyborg

join:2005-05-29
Buffalo Grove, IL
reply to gvd

Usage tool inaccuracies

Well, my billing period rolled over, and I checked the web usage tool, and it at least has some issues. The detail records are three days behind the actual billing period, and the tool is reporting that usage from the previous period in the current one (via the top level bar). Also, they apparently round your usage up to the next full GB on the main bar graph. Presumably they use the detailed number for actually determining your cap status and for doing the aggregate math, but I will check this during this period.


used

@sbcglobal.net
reply to gvd

Re: AT&T usage meter -- is yours as wildly inaccurate as mine?

@gvd

Thanks, I'll check these out.


used

@sbcglobal.net
reply to ToiletMint
Click for full size
Yeah, and it's not any better. I'm not happy about this.

I'm now running DUmeter on both internet-using machines and I'll see how they match up. I still can't measure the PS3 or TV usage, but it shouldn't be that much.
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