Huge unknown downloads

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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Been an extremely happy customer of Exede/wildblue/viaSat customer for over 6 years. Over the past few months I have been burning thru data. Used over 20 Gig in data this month (total 28Gig, but i know what i did with the other 8 gig), no idea what is causing it. Installed bitmeter and have noticed and recorded huge data downloads. Anywhere from 4.28Gig/min to 531MB a min. I have tried to talk to customer service and have not received a satisfactory answer.
This is only happening on my laptop, not the home desktop, iphones, ipad, etc. The laptop is an old Hp, running vista.

I am running bitmeter, AdBlock, Flashblock. Downloaded and installed botRevolt this morning. Running a packet sniffer (wireshark) trying to figure out anyway to find out what is going on or who is initiating.

Now while Brad threw me another 5gig (thanks) this month, it does nothing to solve my problem. especially since my laptop did another unknown download this morning of 4.4 gig over 5 different instances. Brad stated that it was problably a System back up thing going on, but no more helpful instruction of what that might be. I have erased all apple products yesterday from the laptop, and still got the 4 gig d/l this morning.

Sure, i can go out and buy another laptop, but i am looking for a cause so i can make sure it never happens again.

If anyone can give me clues as to what to do next I would great appreciate it. Thanks
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jeff hoppe

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  • frustrated

Posted 4 years ago

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Get a free network monitor and other useful tools HERE

Download CurrPorts
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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jeff, it appears that your laptop has a virus or some other unwanted program that is downloading something very regularly.
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Boyd Reynolds

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Same thing for me this month. Found out that my updates on cell phones burned half my data.
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Updates on my Android cell phone used almost 1GB of WiFi this data cycle.  I don't use cloud storage/backup and don't have a great many extra apps. My wife's Android used about 0.8GB and she does less with her phone that I do.
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The data allowances are simply too small for this day and age. We run no netflix, no hulu, no streaming service. Yet we hit our data allowance within a week of the rollover period. We're a family of four (including two tweens who need internet access for modern education) living out in the sticks where there are no other connectivity options (even my cell phone doesn't work here). Sad technology can't keep up.
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David B

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You hit the nail on the head,, the satellite download restrictions in todays market of large up/down load requirements is ridiculous! I live in the mountains in CA., and have no choice if we want to stay in touch with the outside world. We Up/Down load documents for real estate and attorney-legal items but do not, do any streaming-video/movies or other medias. We have 25GB cap, yet constantly running into end of month issues - buy the 2 to 3rd week.... We are retired and don't do well trying to stay up and download between midnight and 5 am for free data.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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We are all frustrated by the seemingly minuscule data allowances imposed on satellite users, even those of us who might be considered satisfied with Exede.

Unfortunately, it's no longer enough to simply say "I don't watch videos" and we now must be concerned whether media is being preloaded in the background when we simply visit a web page without event watching. With the greater adoption of HTML5 media by web sites earlier this year, even greater demands are being placed on our data allowances and limited resources.

While Flash blockers and other add-ons will prevent autoplaying media (which is sufficient for many users on "virtually unlimited" data plans since for them these videos are simply annoyances), none of the current crop appear to handle the preload (or autobuffer) attribute associated with HTML5 media which is more important to those of us on severely limited data plans 

The only reliable solution to this that I've stumbled across is two fold and required that I switch back to Firefox despite it not being my browser of choice.

First, I installed the Flash Control addon. While this really only prevents auto play for Flash and HTML5 video allowing me to choose which content to play, I find the different icons for Flash vs. HTML5 useful in determining what type of media I'm dealing with - currently it doesn't handle the preload/auto buffer attribute so media tagged with that attribute (the default is true I believe if not specified but may be browser dependent) automatically downloads in the background consuming your data despite not watching/listening to that media.

Secondly, to prevent preloading/autobuffering requires modifying the Firefox config file to disable HTML5 media as detailed at:

A bit dated but still effective as of now, this completely disables HTML5 media and Firefox reports to the site that HTML5 media is unsupported - the majority of sites revert to using Flash and Flash Control handles the issue as it always has. A few sites don't and only support HTML5 media but Firefox doesn't request that media. For those sites where the HTML5 content is so compelling that I'd need it, I'd likely temporarily re-enable HTML5 media as needed - but haven't come across any that I can't live without.      

It's the best compromise (when also coupled with AdBlock) that I've come across to guard against sites that indiscriminately chew into my data and are unaware of severe data limits for satellite users, but there are likely other solutions for other circumstances.

At best, it beats the only other option available... moving back to civilization and some of those huge unknown downloads are HTML5 videos preloading without our knowledge.

P.S. It seems that Flash Control may actually prevent preloading at this time also without the need to modify the Firefox config, but I'd have to run a few tests to ensure that's universally true for sites that leverage it using java script..
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david, Champion

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I've been using the disabled HTML5 in Firefox and Flash Control for a while and it works great.

What also helped a LOT was for some reason T-Mobile turned on a tower in our part of the sticks a couple a month ago and I found a T-Mobile plan with 10 gigs of data for $35 total. :-)

Between this, our 10 gigs of Exede and the LNFZ we're doing fine. We were managing to make it before on just the Exede but things are MUCH nicer now.
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jeff hoppe

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Thanks for everyone's input. I did Download Currports and am monitoring that now, i'm not knowledgeable enough to know what ports are doing what with what program, but more data is always a good thing (if anyone can help on port info, I'd be very grateful).

I also found this link:

Which seemed to find some nasty adware hidden in my flash. I hope this has caught it and solved my download problems *knocks wood*.

Good luck everyone, and be careful out there.

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