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Data caps, ISPs and tools to track usage
Old 02-13-2017, 04:30 PM   #1
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Data caps, ISPs and tools to track usage

In this thread, explanade shared that his ISP is showing a data use count far higher than he believes correct. From other threads it is clear we (collectively) are using far more streaming services, while the ISPs are introducing data caps.

Does anyone track actual usage? If so, what tools do you use? How precise are they, and how much technical knowledge is required to obtain, install and use them? It would be interesting and useful to discuss this and see what options we have.
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Old 02-13-2017, 04:34 PM   #2
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On the iPhone, tap Settings/Cellular. It will show you exactly how much data each app has used since the last time you reset it. (for those apps you allow to use cellular data).
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Old 02-13-2017, 06:36 PM   #3
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I can log into my router, click on the advanced tab, and get down to a "Traffic Meter". It lets you just monitor, or set limits. Everything in the house goes through the router, so that should capture it.

I don't pay any attention to it, if I'm reading it right, looks like I use ~ .5 ~ 2 GB/ day?

Ours is capped at ~ 6 Mbps download, DW streams a fair amount, I just browse a lot, plus a fair amount of youtube videos from time to time.

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Old 02-13-2017, 08:03 PM   #4
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As ERD50 states your router is probably the best place to track it, my Netgear router collects data stats and allows me to set data limits and send out alerts when they are reached. I haven't had to use it since my ISP does not have limits. Windows 10 also has a network usage meter that gives you data usage for the last 30 days but that's only tracking data going to that specific device.
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:07 PM   #5
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I've only used Comcast's usage meter as I've never tallied more than 400 GB(1 TB cap) so I don't worry about using any other tools to verify.
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
On the iPhone, tap Settings/Cellular. It will show you exactly how much data each app has used since the last time you reset it. (for those apps you allow to use cellular data).
I also installed myATT app as ATT is my cell phone company. Their meter tracks what my phone records.

About home Internet, I used to have Cox (a cable company), and could log in my account on their Web site to see the usage. I did this out of curiosity as they never complained about our usage. I forgot how much it was, but it was in the 100's of GB a month as my wife watched a lot of online videos, and my son played online game back when he still lived with me.

I now have Centurylink (a phone company), and cannot find my data usage on their Web site. Perhaps they don't even bother to count anymore. I have 40Mbps speed.
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:57 AM   #7
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The router does look like the best place to capture that. Unfortunately, my Linksys router doesn't show data usage and this was not even a thought when I bought it. As we are thinking about less cable and more web based program viewing, I think this is something to consider. Actual hard data from router logs is no guarantee one will prevail in a challenge to the ISP count but it certainly seems like it should help.

Some web browsing shows a tool (DD-WRT) which can be downloaded and installed (for free) on the router to provide that. About DD-WRT | www.dd-wrt.com
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Old 02-14-2017, 08:03 AM   #8
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The router does look like the best place to capture that. Unfortunately, my Linksys router doesn't show data usage and this was not even a thought when I bought it. ...
What model # of router, the info may be in the manual?

My NetGear WGR614 router is a cheap, basic unit ($28 on Amazon back in 2013), and I did not buy it looking for this feature. Since my cheap unit has it, I think it might be common, but maybe just hidden on yours? I had to dig several layers deep in the 'advanced' menu to find mine.

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Old 02-14-2017, 09:09 AM   #9
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Our Dropcams are always bleeding data 24/7, devices like these can add up and push towards the data cap depending on what else you plan to do.


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Old 02-14-2017, 06:43 PM   #10
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I'm setup Comcast to notify me when I hit certain thresholds: 50, 80 and 90%.

I did monitor usage on my router and it looked about the same as what Comcast reported. But even if it was different, do I really want to argue with them?

I figure if I get close to a threshold, I'll listen to music or go for a walk instead of stream video.
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