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What internet data rate when idle

Discussion in 'Firewalls and Networks' started by Ford Prefect, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. Ford Prefect

    Ford Prefect Techie7 New Member

    Hi Folks,
    What data rate should I expect on the router when my system is completely idle?
    I've recently moved my internet connection from a BT Voyager 105 modem to a BT Voyager 210 Router.
    The old modem was connected via USB but the router is connected via Ethernet.
    However, I've just noticed that my DU Meter (Download and Upload data logger) says I've used 1Gb in the last 4 days.
    My normal usage is less than 1GB per MONTH and I've not been doing anything unusual in the past few days.
    BUT I'm currently using about 4kB/sec both up and down when neither e-mail nor internet is even connected. (The old modem used virtually nothing when idle)
    I have no programs running in the background and no viruses or spyware problems.
    Is this normal with an Ethernet connection?
    Or is it the router?
    Or is something faulty?
    Any ideas welcome,Thanks.
     
  2. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    There's always something running in the background. If nothing else, Windows does housekeeping when the system is "idle". Also, there is always some communication going on between your network and the Internet/ISP.

    What version of Windows?

    What did you scan for malware with?

    Does anything show up in Task Manager that you are unfamiliar with?
     
  3. Ford Prefect

    Ford Prefect Techie7 New Member

    Hi Dig,
    Thanks very much for your response.
    I'm on Win XP Pro, same as before.
    I scanned for malware using "Trend Pc-cillin Internet Security 2007". It's fully up to date, virus, spyware, firewall.
    Yes I know there are always things running in the background, in fact, I'm always amazed at how many.
    However, there is nothing untoward running, just the usual rubbish looking for memory cards in usb slots etc. plus software updaters which check every Sunday etc.
    Anyway, I've turned everything off except the system tasks and I've still got data flowing in and out at about 4kB/sec. each way.
    Now I have a monthly allowance of 2GB, so:
    4kB/sec each way = 8kB/sec in total
    8x60 = 480kB/min
    480x60=28800kB/hour, or 28.8MB/hour
    28.8x24 = 691.2 MB per day
    So I will run out of capacity with my ISP in about 3 days with my system IDLE!!!!!!
    Surely the idle data rate for an ethernet router must be minimal, there's a post at the top of this forum saying just that, use ethernet not USB2 because it's much more efficient.
    I'm just abouyt to uninstall my router and retry the old 105 modem to see what happens.
    Any other help will be welcome, especially from anyone running a BT Voyager 210.
    Best Regards.
     
  4. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Well, I am afraid I don't know what's going on. The router should not be causing this. You could disconnect from the router and leave the connection between the router and cable modem and see if this is still happening, or set your firewall on your computer(s) to stop all network traffic from your machine when you are not using it and see if you still have activity.

    Process Explorer is an enhanced Task Manager may give you more insight.

    I personnally don't like security suites - to me, having all your tools from one maker is like having all your eggs in one basket - too many single points of failure. You might want to check out Cleaning Out Malware for some supplemental tools for your arsenal.
     
  5. Ford Prefect

    Ford Prefect Techie7 New Member

    Hi Dig,
    Thanks for the further info.
    I've just done a test, I've uninstalled the ethernet link and installed the router on usb2 instead.
    It's just the same, so nothing to do with the type of connection.
    Also, as you suggested I've tried using my firewall to "Halt all internet traffic".
    If I do this, then it does as it says and all traffic is stopped, so my DU meter says 0kB/sec uploads and 0kB/sec downloads.
    So, it seems to be actually something running on the PC which is actually talking to the internet, but this happens as soon as the router connects, i.e. I do not have Internet Explorer or e-mail loaded or running.
    So how can I find out what is talking to the router?
    Regards.
    P.S. I'm off to see if I can find the old 105 modem to try.
     
  6. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    I would guess it has something to do with DNS polling - I think you have already proven it is happening on your PC so I don't see what your old modem will change - unless that is a dial-up modem.
     
  7. Ford Prefect

    Ford Prefect Techie7 New Member

    Hi Dig,
    Yes, it has all the hallmarks of some kind of polling problem but I'm not sure where to start looking.
    The old BT Voyager 105 is an ADSL direct modem rather than a router so if I can find it I might be able to eliminate something, not sure what.
    Ive just taken a snapshot of Task Manager with the problem present, then I noticed that internet traffic was zero so took another snapshot. (two screens each).
    I'll try and attach them , see what you make of them?
    Regards.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Ford Prefect

    Ford Prefect Techie7 New Member

    I'm not used to adding attachments, it doesn't send the titles!!
    First two screenshots are Task Mgr with the unknown internet activity, second two snapshots are for a period with no internet activity.
    Hope this is of some use.
     
  9. DJNafey

    DJNafey UK site moderator

    Assuming that your various software updaters are definitely not a factor, then I think that Digerati has the only viable suggestion. DNS polling would make sense in as much as your router is probably the DHCP and DNS server on your network. When you had the BT Voyager 105 USB modem plugged in, you didn't have a network and so the BT ADSL software was configured with a "dial-up" connection which used BT's DNS server on the Internet.

    Do you know how to check whether you are using a static IP address on the PC or whether you are retrieving the settings automatically from the router? If they are set to automatic, it would be worth entering some fixed values to see if it improves matters. If setting the fixed values with the router as the DNS server doesn't help, try setting the DNS primary and secondary IP addresses to BT's servers.

    Let us know if that didn't make sense! :)
     
  10. Ford Prefect

    Ford Prefect Techie7 New Member

    Hi Folks,
    Thanks for the info, things have moved on a bit.
    I've attached the config details from the 210 router.
    It's using dynamic addressing.
    The router was set to automatic as you suggested it might be.
    I've tried unchecking the auto box and it then sets itself to the BT server's DNS primary and secondary. But still uses 8kB/sec doing nothing!!!
    Finally I phoned BT help line and was told that on a router there will always be traffic on the net, hand-shaking, synchronising etc. (which I already knew) but they couldn't understand why it was so high and are sending me a replacement router to try.
    In the meantime I have managed to re-install my old Voyager 105 modem and I'm now back on the air with an "idle" data rate of 3kB/minute compared to about 480kB/minute on the router.
    I'm not convinced it's a hardware fault, but I'll try the new router and re-post with the results, so stand by please.
    Many Thanks.
     
  11. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    It is not a good idea to post your true IP and MAC address in a public forum. There was nothing else there that was of use so I deleted them.
    ******

    You have some things in task manager that are eating up a lot of resources. TMProxy - part of Trend Micro for one seems excessive and I note there are lots of complaints out there on that. PcScnSrv.exe, another component of Trend Micro Security Suite is also high and I see too there are many complaints about that. And then yet another component of TM SS2007, PcCtlCom.exe, is consuming a lot. TMAS_OEMon.exe is another TM component, as it TmPfw.exe, Tmntsrv.exe, and pccguide.exe.

    I don't know if one of these components, such as those that watch your email, are doing this but that sure seems like a lot of resources being gobbled up. You may try disabling some of the suite components temporarily and see if the the traffic stops.

    You also have some Dell, camera, and printer services running - I don't see why you need any Dell services running, and the camera and printer services can be restricted to the "trusted" zone and don't need Internet access.

    Again, I don't think this is a router problem as you blocked all traffic from your PC and the Internet traffic stopped. But we can wait and see what they say.
     
  12. Ford Prefect

    Ford Prefect Techie7 New Member

    Hi Dig,
    Thanks for the updates and thanks for removing the personal info (I hadn't realised what it was).
    When I get the new router, and I'm not convinced it will fix things, but it will be a good elimination step, I'll try switching on the XP firewall and switching Pc-cillin off completely. That will prove if it's causing any/excessive internet traffic.
    Thanks again for all the help, I'll post again when I have news.
    BT say the new router will be here in a week.
    Best Regards.
     
  13. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    The XP firewall makes no attempt to block outgoing traffic - so I would not expect it to solve anything - but it will offer some protection while testing without the TrendMicro SS.
     
  14. Ford Prefect

    Ford Prefect Techie7 New Member

    Hi Dig,
    Yes, thanks, that was the general idea.
    I've been giving some more thought to the router situation (could be dangerous as I know little about routers at the moment) but what do you think of the following train of thought?
    Trying to be logical:
    DU Meter (suggested by BT) measures internet traffic and worked ok when I was using the Voyager 105 modem. In that case, traffic from PC to modem is pretty much the same as traffic from modem to internet, yes?
    However, when I had the router connected, I presume it is measuring traffic between my PC and the router.
    Since it's not located in the router it can't measure actual router to internet traffic.
    So, am I just getting a measure of all traffic between my PC and the router, which will include all internet traffic, plus any polling traffic as the router can have two PCs attached, plus the traffic associated with the overheads of a Gigabit Ethernet link?
    Would/could all this add up to 4kB/sec in each direction?
    Am I having a panic over a non-problem.
    I tried to get some sense out of my ISP yesterday and they said they couldn't tell me my usage unless I went over my limit.
    When I had the router connected I saw some data stats but weren't sure what they meant.
    Best Regards.
     
  15. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Has BT ever said you went over your limit?

    DU Meter (I use Karen's LAN Monitor, but DU Meter is fine) measures what is coming in and out of your computer's network connection, regardless what is on the other end of the cable.

    If you disconnect the router from your DSL modem, your LAN will still be intact since everything on your side of the router is your local (trusted zone) network. Your LAN will just be disconnected and isolated from the Internet. You should then be able to determine if the traffic DU Meter is seeing is local, or from the Internet.

    Also, you said you have more than one computer on your network. Are you sharing any resources, such as files, folders, or printers? Do you have any networked drives, or mapped drives? If yes to any of those, that will likely add to your traffic count too.

    BTW, I just checked my traffic and I have about 0 to 2K going out and about 1 to 4K coming in every 30 seconds. When my email client (Mailwasher Pro actually) polls my email accounts (every 5 minutes), it really jumps.

    I don't know if DU Meter has this option, but in Karen's, under the Connections tab, you can have it display all the connections - very informative.
     
  16. Ford Prefect

    Ford Prefect Techie7 New Member

    Hi Dig,
    Sorry for any confusion but I only have one computer and the "BT Voyager 210 router" is a combined router and DSL modem so they can't be unplugged.
    BT, my ISP, haven't told me I have exceeded my limit this month because I haven't, I have a limit of 5 GB per month and I reckon I've used about 2 GB so far according to DU Meter. My concern stems from the fact that under normal use I never even get to 1 GB in the whole month, but since changing from modem to router I've used 2 GB in a few days.
    Regards.
     
  17. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    I would think in your router/modem device menu, you could disable/block the link between the two, then check your traffic. What happens if you disconnect the Internet side of the modem? Your computer may still be sending outbound traffic, but nothing will be coming in - at least not through BT from the Internet.
     
  18. Ford Prefect

    Ford Prefect Techie7 New Member

    Latest Update:
    Many thanks to all those who have helped me out.
    I have now been able to access the Router Manager (didn't really want to learn about routers, but there you go!) and do as suggested.
    I was also able to access the router traffic stats.
    With everything running as normal with the internet connected, the traffic on the LAN (computer to router as measured by DU meter) was steady at 4kB/s in and 4kB/s out.
    The router traffic monitor (router to DSL modem) was very low, almost zero.
    I have now established that from the beginning of the month the total traffic beween router and internet (from the router traffic stats) has been 870MB, whereas the total traffic on the LAN (from DU meter) has been 3.0GB.
    So there's clearly a lot of "hand-shaking" overhead going on which DU meter is counting but which doesn't go out to the internet.
    So I'm happy that I now know that I'm not exceeding my monthly usage but I still think the 4kB/s each way is a lot for an Ethernet (100MB) link.
    Anybody confirm or agree with that?
    Regards.
     
  19. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    It seems like 4Kb/s each way is more than necessary, but not excessive. If you right click on My Network Places > Properties, then right click on your LAN connection and select properties, what connections do you have listed?
     
  20. Ford Prefect

    Ford Prefect Techie7 New Member

    Hi Dig,
    Thanks for your response.
    If I right click on my LAN connection it shows:
    Client for Microsoft Networks
    Trend Micro Common Firewall Driver
    File and Printer Sharing for MS Networks
    QoS Packet Scheduler
    Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).

    Does that explain anything?
    Regards.