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.


Network Chatter

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


  • 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 a 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


Network chatter

  • Turn off 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.


  • 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


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

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