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  • WiFi help please

    I know this is a woodworking forum but I also know we have some technical and computer experts on here as well.

    Background: There are 3 of us in the house with my older boys visiting once every couple weeks for a couple of hours. My daughter is 3 and likes her YouTube videos on an old iPad and may watch it for up to 2 hrs a day depending if it is a daycare day or not. My wife works from home 2 days a week and most of her work is excel based and searching for data but no videos or pictures. We both have iPads we use for forums and news articles maybe a couple hours a day max. My current data plan is 125gb per month. A couple months ago I started receiving warnings we were approaching our limit towards the end of the month. In December this warning came earlier than normal and we ended up over by about 25gb. When I was investigating December I noticed we had some very high use days which were up around 14 and 15 gb. Most days we are around 3 or 4gb. I can go up to unlimited but in our opinion we have not changed our use and I would prefer not to increase for $$ reasons if I donít have to. I have checked all devices using our WiFi thinking somebody else has hacked in but all devices are ours which I have identified using MAC addresses. I have Bell and on one site where I see my bill I can see the daily usage in Gb total and when I check the hub with my IP address I can see the percentages by device. I cannot see how much each device uses in order to correlate the data to see if it is correct. Suspecting my wifeís and daughters iPads were doing something funny based on the usages attributed to them we did a factory reset on them. They are about 5 or 6 years old which is why I suspected them as problems and based on the data from bell. That was yesterday afternoon. Yesterday evening I checked our usage and it was around 4gb and that was around 6pm. Today I checked it and yesterdayís usage was 15gb. WTH!!!! 9gb from 6pm until we went to bed at 930pm. We do not have Netflix nor do we do any gaming.

    Question: Does anybody have a recommendation on an app or site I can use to track live data on usage by device so I can figure out the WiFi hog? I found an app that used to be good but recently changed and now forces you to use their VPN (I think I have the correct term) which from my understanding is not a good practice. I really need to get this figured out and corrected. Iím going to increase my plan to unlimited temporarily until I can get this figured out but again like no term I donít want to spend the extra. We should be nowhere near 14 and 15gb a day for what we do.

    Iím not really computer savvy so please keep explanations simple but any help or suggestions anybody has Iím all ears.

    Thank you
    Jamie www.turneddesignsbyjamie.etsy.com
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  • #2

    Re: WiFi help please

    The DataFlow - Data Manager App looks like it should track it, but I haven't ever used it. Is it possible that the ipads did some automatic updating? When you did a factory reset, they may have did the automatic update again? Are any of the ipads using Icloud to sync/backup? That could possibly use a lot of data. And if you're watching high quality youtube videos, you'll eat through data pretty quick.
    Last edited by DocStone88; 01-10-2019, 07:00 PM.
    WCraig likes this.

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    • #3

      Re: WiFi help please

      Can't help with a monitor app but high-def video downloads from any site will eat huge amounts of data. While the time doesn't jibe, I'd wonder about the 3-yr-olds machine.
      Turn the machines completely off at night, not just a sleep function, and see if it makes any difference. You could change your all your wi-fi passwords as a precaution. If your router still has the factory default password for the router's admin account you should change it to something else.

      billh

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      • #4

        Re: WiFi help please

        Jamie, I'm no computer whiz, so I can't help you with your specific question, but while you're tracking down where the data consumption is, you might want to get Bell to increase your data cap for no charge.

        I'm with Bell, since forever, and in my neck of the woods, I get the latest Bell tech: Bell fibe (DSL) plan at 10 Mbps download that's priced at ~$95/month, but with the internet discount and Bell bundle discounts, it's down to ~$65/month. Last month I called in to cancel my services after a $25 hike, got connected to 'loyalty' and the agent in the Philippines pretty much reversed my bill to what it was, and upgraded my data cap from 300gb to unlimited. Like you, our data usage is rather low - I've never approached the 300 gb limit, so the unlimited really costs Bell nothing.

        My typical monthly data draw is less than 100 gb, and I would never consider paying for unlimited at Bell's listed rate, but the upgrade was offered for 'free'.
        Last edited by macquanski; 01-10-2019, 07:56 PM.

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        • #5

          Re: WiFi help please

          Originally posted by jaywood1207 View Post
          I know this is a woodworking forum but I also know we have some technical and computer experts on here as well.
          Well...both involve discussions about routers...

          I would try a step by step approach. Start by changing the wifi password. If that resolves it then it's an outside device. If it doesn't, then change the password again and update it on only one of your own devices, to make sure none of your others are able to connect. Divide and conquer.
          Happiness is a new blade!

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          • #6

            Re: WiFi help please

            HI. You haven't mention cell phones...or I missed it...social media, facebook ect, can eat data as well....wife was having that problem with data on phone when we were camping was eating a gig up in a week...she went to kiosk and they changed her notifications and that helped a lot...never noticed it at home since she uses wifi, and we have unlimited plan as we stream all our tv stuff.....but you've rec'd good advice here look at your router and see who's on it...change password and you may notice a difference.

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            • #7

              Re: WiFi help please

              Thanks for the suggestions. Iíll answer and comment on some of your suggestions.

              Doc - Iíll check into that app. In regards to the iCloud we turned off all of the automatic updates just before Christmas. The videos are still a suspicion I have but ha ent been able to figure out how to see what size they are. They are all paw patrol and pj masks etc so I canít imagine they are high quality but possible.

              Bill - We have been turning off WiFi on 2 of the 3 iPads at night and when not in use for the last week or so. We have not been shutting mine off because itís usage has always been very low. I reset the WiFi password tonight so will see if that helps.

              Mac - I upgraded to unlimited tonight. Last month it was an additional $100 and the upgrade is much cheaper than that. I understand what you are saying and get very frustrated with them.

              Guy - Interesting idea and one I hadnít thought of. Will keep it in mind. The only thing that might mess me up is that it seems random when we see the spikes. Thought we had it fixed with turning WiFi off on the oldest iPad then all of a sudden saw a spike again with it off.

              Gnlman - Phones are not an issue. Mine is a work phone and I do not have WiFi turned on for it. Turned it off a week or so before Christmas when I started trying to figure this out. My wife just changed her phone. Before this one she still had an old blackberry with a very low data plan and basically used it for text. There has been no change up or down with the phone change.

              Again thank you everyone and I will pursue your suggestions. I reset my iPad tonight and changed the WiFi password so hoping that might help. Another odd thing I noticed tonight when checking usage is that my Microsoft surface used about 15% of the data used today but it was turned off all day. This was based on the bell site. Iím thinking that the site that shows percentage used per device is a day behind which is part of what is throwing me off when I compare to the data usage tracker.
              Jamie www.turneddesignsbyjamie.etsy.com

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              • #8

                Re: WiFi help please

                The only thing I know of to eat that much data is video and gaming. I have Netflix and do watch some YouTube channels regularly. I never hit 15 gigs a day.
                the first thing I would do is change the password to the modem and watch data use for a few days. WiFi doesnít carry very far. If you have close neighbors that has teenagers doing a lot of gaming, you may have been hacked. If you live in the country with no neighbors within a couple hundred feet, and thatís stretching it, itís not password problems.
                Modems can get infected with malware. Get a new modem from Bell and set it up.
                Shut off all devices at night after check usage for the day. Online usage check sites are usually not up to the minute, so there may be a difference, but not too much.

                i donít know this, but there may be some apps telling you what is currently being used on a real time basis.
                Last edited by Mike in Waubaushene; 01-11-2019, 07:35 AM.
                Me: How do you spell “apathy”?
                Reply: Who cares!

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                • #9

                  Re: WiFi help please

                  Hi, go with Fido unlimited, way cheaper.
                  https://www.fido.ca/pages/#/internet
                  Woodyboy

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                  • #10

                    Re: WiFi help please

                    When you do a factory reset on an iPad, it almost certainly downloads a fresh copy of iOS. I'm not sure how much that is, but it would be several gigs.

                    Along the same lines, each OS update to any of your devices may consume a significant amount of data. Say 3 iPads each automatically update to a new version. If that new version is 2 gigs, or 4 gigs, that could account for your usage spikes. Microsoft still does 'Patch Tuesday', doesn't it?

                    You say your wife works from home "searching for data". Excel spreadsheets can be enormous. Also, does her work use DropBox (or OneDrive or Google Drive or similar)? These services work by syncing files (data) from the cloud to the local machine. Sometimes they get wedged and keep syncing over and over and over.

                    Have you added any new 'smart' devices to the household? Smart TV? Video door bell? Smart speaker (really, Amazon, Google and Facebook devices should be called Smart Spybots). Any one of these things may be phoning home far more than you realize.

                    I agree that this stuff is exceeding frustrating to track down. We get charged for data usage but have no good way to review which devices and apps are actually using that data. (Compare that to long distance billing where every call is listed!) At least, I haven't found an easy method and I looked hard 2 or 3 years ago and have kept my eyes open since then. Possibly there are newer network base stations that can provide detailed logging.

                    Craig

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                    • #11

                      Re: WiFi help please

                      Not sure if any of your devices are Windows PCs, but we had the same experience of approaching our cap after 3 PCs all downloaded Windows Updates on the same day and 2 cell phones and a tablet downloaded updates within the same week.

                      As DonQ above noted, you can probably get a free or cheap increase in your cap by calling Bell. We did that with Rogers, and by politely informing them of the prices / specs of the plans of a couple of competitors, they were quickly(-ish) willing to change our plan. We got about 2x the speed, 10x the cap of our old grandfathered basic plan, for about $3 a month more, no contract, can cancel any time we like. I was very clear with them that if they weren't prepared to adjust, I *would* be switching within 48 hours.

                      Do your research before you call (TekSavvy, Bell, Rogers - all basically provide similar plans, but different prices).

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                      • #12

                        Re: WiFi help please

                        Also, remember that Apple uploads IOS updates to your devices whether you want them or not; they only get installed if you choose to do so, but they get uploaded in the background, usually at low traffic times, and with three devices, thats probably what you're dealing with

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                        • #13

                          Re: WiFi help please

                          Thanks for all the feedback and help. Yesterday was very high again but with a reset Iím attributing it to that. Today is normal so far so Iím hoping we have addressed it with all the resets and password changes. I will monitor for a few days then update.
                          Jamie www.turneddesignsbyjamie.etsy.com

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                          • #14

                            Re: WiFi help please

                            I just checked on the PJ mask on youtube, and you can actually watch it in 1080p. You can select the quality by clicking the gear type symbol on the bottom of the video. according to the following quote, these videos can eat your data:

                            "To sum up, we discovered that the service uses 562.5MB of data/hour if you stream at 480p resolution (standard definition).If you want to watch higher resolutions at 60 frames-per-second, the figure jumps to 1.86GB/hour for 720p, 3.04GB/hour at 1080p, and a mammoth 15.98GB/hour if you want to watch videos in 4K."


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                            • #15

                              Re: WiFi help please

                              Originally posted by DocStone88 View Post
                              I just checked on the PJ mask on youtube, and you can actually watch it in 1080p. You can select the quality by clicking the gear type symbol on the bottom of the video. according to the following quote, these videos can eat your data:

                              "To sum up, we discovered that the service uses 562.5MB of data/hour if you stream at 480p resolution (standard definition).If you want to watch higher resolutions at 60 frames-per-second, the figure jumps to 1.86GB/hour for 720p, 3.04GB/hour at 1080p, and a mammoth 15.98GB/hour if you want to watch videos in 4K."

                              Thank you for that. I was not able to find out how much data was used by videos when I looked. I only found a calculation based on frames per second etc. I will check her videos for the quality.
                              DocStone88 likes this.
                              Jamie www.turneddesignsbyjamie.etsy.com

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