Unexplained Data Usage

Problem summary

  • An LTE account may contain unexplained usage on the stats page.
  • There are a number of causes of unwanted traffic as explained below.

Causes

Network Chatter

  • Up to 10mb per day of random packets caused by portscans, DNS, router update checks, remote pings etc.

Skype

  • New Skype client generates traffic even if not in use.
  • This is because Skype can turn any PC into a 3rd party router for assisting in its P2P telephony functioning.

Wireless Hijacking

  • If your router is wireless enabled, hackers in the nearby vicinity may be using your bandwidth for their own purposes, even if WEP or WPA is enabled.

Spyware, Malware, Viruses, Trojans, Rootkits

  • Any of the PCs connected may be infected with the above causing your machine to become a zombie for sending spam or an instrument in sending denial of service attacks.
  • New evidence suggests rootkit technology is now being employed to avoid detection by most Antivirus programs.

    Because LTE-A is so fast, it's possible to use large amounts of data in a short period of time. Please make sure that you monitor your data consumption.

Other Common Reasons for high data usage:

  • Uninterrupted streaming in 4k
  • Data hungry apps and platforms that contain images or videos (YouTube, Facebook, 9gag)
  • Applications that run in the background
  • Operating system updates
  • Online backups and updates
  • Leaving your router switched on when you are away

Solutions

Network chatter

  • Turn of your router to avoid any traffic charges.
  • Alternatively put the router in “stealth mode” – this makes it appear to be offline to the outside world and reduces the small amount of daily wastage.
  • Ensure that if your router supports DDoS protection that you enable this.

Skype

  • Log out of Skype when not in use.
  • Use a different client e.g. MSN Messenger or other SIP based voice services.

Wireless Hijacking

  • Enable WPA-PSK encryption using a 12+ character random password.
  • Do not use known words, product names, labels or anything else.
  • Do not use WEP encryption as this can be cracked within minutes giving a false sense of security.

Spyware, Malware, Viruses, Trojans, Rootkits

TIPS:

There are also various tools available to track traffic usage on individual PCs, the easiest to use is probably Netlimiter:
NetLimiter

Please also see the password guidelines to ensure the passwords you have selected are adequately secure:
Password guide

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