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  1. #1
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    My internet bandwidth has suddenly doubled. How do I find the culprit?

    Hopefully this is the correct forum for this problem

    Our home network has just started using way more bandwidth than usual and I can't find who or what is the culprit.

    We have 3 PC's, a server and an entertainment system on the network. 2 PC's and the server are connected to the modem/router. The other PC and the entertainment system are connected to the modem/router via TP-Link Powerline adaptors. The server runs Ubuntu and is just used for storing data only. The PC's run Windows 7 and 10.

    I've turned off WiFi for a day so I know the problem is not coming from there. And I know the Entertainment system is not the problem.

    I've run Malwarebytes on the PC's and that didn't pick up anything but I know that is not infallable.

    What I need is some software that can look at the network and tell me what bandwidth each PC is using. And also some software that runs on each PC to see what is generating the bandwidth.

    Is this the way to track the problem?

  2. #2
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    Task Manager on each machine can tell you that, but I would look to your Win 10 machine and check your update settings.

    Go Start - Settings - Advanced options - Choose how updates are delivered

    If that button is on and the lower button is selected then MS will be using your computer as P2P to send updates to other machines on the Internet - best to just turn it off.

    When I upgraded I chose Custom and turned a lot of the Telemetry stuff off so that a minimal of info was being sent back to MS.

    When you turned wireless off, was that in the router or on each computer and which one(s) were Ethernet connected ?

    In the router there will be a section which will tell you what devices are or have been connected to your router - check to see if there are any names you don't recognise.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2016-09-22 at 03:41.

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  4. #3
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    You can load software on each computer or you can use the router, if it has the feature. Most likely it'll be software.
    http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/monitor-internet-usage/

    cheers, Paul

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    BarcodeBob (2016-09-22)

  6. #4
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    I use NetWorx on each PC to show a continuous small graph of NIC data usage; it also gives reports.
    (Shows as number 1 on PaulT's link!)
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

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    BarcodeBob (2016-09-22)

  8. #5
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    Sudo15 thanks very much for your help. The P2P was turned off on 1 PC but had to turn it off on the other. I choose Custom also and turned off all the telemetry stuff but the other W10 PC still has it on. Do you know where I can disable all that?

    I turn WiFi off via the router. A W10 and a W7 PC are connected directly to the router. The other W10 PC is connected to the router via the TP-Link Powerline adaptors. I will check the router as suggested.

  9. #6
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    Paul T & BATcher. Thanks very much for your recomendations. I will get a copy of NetWorx.

  10. #7
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    You could have a look in Privacy where there are a few things that you can toggle - other than the initial crop that I selected during the upgrade, I haven't had perhaps a closer look as perhaps I should but mine seems to be behaving itself.

    With it just turned off in updates, has it had any effect on the broadband usage ?

    Do you have any programs that could be phoning home other than your AV program - a check in Task Manager/Startup to see what is active may be a place to start.

  11. #8
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    The update settings is on my grandsons PC. He has turned it off and installed NetWorx so we will see in a day or so how its going. My main problem is that the only bandwidth usage I have access to is daily usage from my isp. This is how I noticed we had a problem. I need to read my router manual to see what I can get there. And NetWorx is installed on the 2 W10 PCs so will be able to check them. In a day or so I should be able to better understand what is going on.

    I regularly check Startups and no problem there.

  12. #9
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Well worth a look if you want to turn off privacy and other options is O&O's interestingly-named product ShutUp10. Pretty well all the options you want to examine in one window!
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  13. #10
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarcodeBob
    I choose Custom also and turned off all the telemetry stuff but the other W10 PC still has it on. Do you know where I can disable all that?
    One of the easiest ways to turn off Windows' 'phone home' behaviour is to use Spybot Anti-Beacon. IMO it's an effective GUI front-end to the dozens of registry edits and changes to services and tasks needed to stop Windows' tracking/uploading of telemetry. At its simplest it's just a case of hitting a button labelled Immunize.

    Whilst originally created to simplify hardening of Windows 10, Spybot Anti-Beacon has now evolved to work with Windows 7 and 8.x as Microsoft introduced telemetry capture to those versions as well. It's free and available as both an installer and portable version. I use the portable version and keep it on my USB 'utilities' key.

    If you try this utility, make sure you use Run as administrator and click on the Show options button. This not only changes the display to show exactly what is affected (registry, service, task, etc.) but also allows you to 'fine tune' the 'immunization'. For example, IMO Steps Recorder is benign and AFAIK doesn't 'phone home'.

    spybot.png
    Click to enlarge

    My only concern is that there have been no updates for a year now, even though it appears Microsoft regularly augments and rotates the endpoints it uses for telemetry collection. This means that some of the 'Telemetry Hosts' are most likely not up to date. (These are IP addresses used by Microsoft/Akamai as endpoints for data collection and redirected using the HOSTS file.) On the other hand it also appears that Windows 10 avoids the HOSTS file for some things so it's more important to change services like the 'Connected User Experience' and tasks like the 'Consumer Experience Improvement Program'.

    You can read more info in the Support forum. This is a very useful resource for info about some of the occasional issues. (Some of these may be caused by the aforementioned rotation of endpoints blocked in the HOSTS file. I've found BlueLife Hosts Editor to be a useful utility for this.)

    All in all, I've found Spybot Anti-Beacon to be both useful and effective for both Windows 10 and Windows 7 (and IMO more useful than O&O ShutUp10 which only works on Windows 10).

    For the OP, I think it would be a quick and easy 'one button' method of determining whether or not it's Windows' telemetry uploads that have increased bandwidth usage.

    Hope this helps...

    EDIT: Oops... posted this then noticed BATcher had recommended O&O ShutUp10 just before.
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2016-09-22 at 09:57. Reason: Added more info

  14. #11
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    One of the things I came across in Settings/Privacy was something called Microsoft WiFi - have been meaning to Google that to see what it's for, but for now have left it enabled.

    I have unlimited broadband with my ISP and while my speed tests can vary, they are pretty much where I would expect them to be.

    When there are multiple users online using the bandwidth, speeds will suffer, so that is something else you can check.

    I normally use www.speedtest.net

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