Question

Windows 8.1 Internet use and estimated data

There are 3 laptops in my family home that use our wireless internet connection. About 6 months ago we started going RIDICULOUSLY over our internet GB limit every single month. There was no change whatsoever in our patterns of daily use, but suddenly we are reaching our monthly limit within 2 weeks of starting the month.

Two of the laptops are Windows 8.1, so we turned on Show Estimated Data usage. We also uninstalled all the apps that come with Windows 8 that could be using up the data in the background.

We noticed my laptop in particular showing a lot of data usage....it is CONSTANTLY rising. When I sit with nothing at all open I watch the Estimated Usage steadily rise...example: I reset it 20 minutes ago, left the computer idle, and when I returned it was at 46 MB usage. Nothing was running. No one is using the computer. When I disconnect for a few minutes and then connect again, suddenly it starts rising like crazy, then will go to a more steady pace. But it is constantly rising with nothing open.

Is this much idle data usage normal? How could it possibly be using up this much data when no one is even touching the computer...

Our wireless internet is password protected and always has been, and my computer does not show any viruses or malware when scanned.

I'm getting extremely fed up with going over our family's internet limit each month with no logical explanation as to why this is happening. It is not simply a few gbs over the limit, we are reaching our 60 GB limit within 2 weeks, where as previously we would use about 40 - 50 GB in the entire month.

Any ideas?

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Comments
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Answer
A lot.

Updates to antivirus and other apps hit at least a GB very fast. 46MB would happen very quickly. Even a few emails could hit that much.
Bob

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Answer
Re: Intrernet use

First, install http://codebox.org.uk/pages/bitmeter2 to see you actual use. Much better than an estimate.
Then, if you have unexplained usage, go into Task Manager and one by one abort task/processes until it stops.

Helps to find the cause.

Kees

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Answer
have a friend who swears by this
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Great.

It shows what applications are using the connection. That's what the OP needs.

Kees

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Answer
Password protected how?

WEP is useless and doesn't even count as protection anymore. WPA is marginal and WPA2 is currently the best of the bunch. And how did you scan for malware and viruses? If you only used one program you can't dismiss that as a possible source. Anyone, such as a child perhaps, running a file sharing program or watching a lot videos via Netflix, Amazon Prime or even Youtube? If not, the most probable explanation is one or more of your systems are compromised.

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WEP = 30 seconds or less of protection.
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signal power adjustment

I dont' know about all routers, but at least some have signal power adjustment which can be used to add some security. By having someone go to the farthest corners of the house then resetting your signal strength downward till they have maybe 1-2 bars, you cut the footprint of your wifi down a lot. A next door neighbor might be able to piggyback off your signal, but it cuts out most the rest of the neighborhood. Most people run the signal power at 100% however. Maybe they will start foil wrapping all new construction to help better isolate wifi within that structure only. I've seen them already using foil back insulation on new construction, so maybe that's part of the reason? Or maybe a helpful side effect.

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The trouble with RF is that a better antenna can get that.
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LOL, hopefully

my neighbors aren't that desperate to be bored by me. Wink

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Answer
First of all I would make

sure your PC is malware free and then look at cable modem provider or DSL that charge a monthly rate of unlimited data and doesn't charge data rates by the minute.

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Answer
Internet use and estimated data

Hi, I'm using Windows 8.1 Pro, is it ok for me to reset the estimated usage data? Is there any disadvantages, if i do such a thing? Thank you.

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Re: estimated data use

No problem at all, except that you lose the value you clear.

It's like a trip (or day, or whatever you use it for) distance counter in your car. If you reset it, it starts with 0 again. If you don't reset it, the number includes the previous trip (or day, or whatever you use it for).

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