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Am I being misblamed?

The AnonymousThe Anonymous Uh, uh, uhhhhhh...Uh, uh.Registered User regular
edited September 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Okay, before I get to the problem, some background information. At home we're on an ADSL2+ internet plan with Telstra. Said plan has a set usage limit (20GB IIRC); once exceeded, you're charged extra for how much you go over by. I know, it's fucking criminal, but there's nothing we can do about it. Out of myself, my parents and my younger brother, only my technologically-challenged mother doesn't use the internet.

In the past there have been months where we went over, and every single time I've been blamed for it. Only a couple of times did I consider it to be the case; both those occasions I'd spent a good amount of time playing online and such. But in the past two months, I haven't even touched an online game, and in fact my overall web usage has gone down; I generally only browse PAF and a couple other sites (mostly PAF though).

So imagine my surprise last night when my father rung to inform me that we'd gone over. He then proceeded to inform me that I would be paying the extra (which I have absolutely no intention of doing), and generally acted as if I was the only person responsible. This morning he disconnected our router (not a major issue, I still have my iPhone), and seems intent on putting as much of the blame on me as possible.

tl;dr: we used too much internet, I don't think it's my fault, yet my dad acts like it totally is. Who is really to blame here, and what should I do about it?

The Anonymous on
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Posts

  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Without a meter on the router for specific IP's I'd say... I dunno, check the browser histories on the computers that are online? See if your brother runs any kind of torrenting programs?

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  • SatsumomoSatsumomo Rated PG! Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Does everyone have their own computer?

    Some routers keep a log of how much data has been transferred to each device. Or so I believe. What I do know is that some do allow setting quotas for each device.

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  • GrayhamGrayham Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Playing games and surfing the web is going to be nowhere near 20 GB per month. More likely someone did some torrenting, which devours bandwidth like nothing else.

  • SatsumomoSatsumomo Rated PG! Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Checking right now, I've been browsing PA, reading some Excel tutorials and chatting on MSN for the past 5 or so hours (I did take a 2 hour break though, not downloading anything though) and I've downloaded 95mb in total bandwidth.

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  • The AnonymousThe Anonymous Uh, uh, uhhhhhh... Uh, uh.Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Satsumomo wrote: »
    Does everyone have their own computer?

    Some routers keep a log of how much data has been transferred to each device. Or so I believe. What I do know is that some do allow setting quotas for each device.
    I use a desktop and my father uses his laptop. Brother doesn't have his own, but does have an iPod Touch he could access the web with, and I know for a fact he's sometimes used the desktop to browse YouTube. A lot.

    On router logging, I know it records some stuff. But I'm not sure what exactly, and I can't check because I don't have any access to it.

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  • Sir Red of the MantiSir Red of the Manti Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Sit down, take a minute and explain things rationally, preferably using numbers. As much as people like to get their rage on when money's involved, this is one of those situations where gettin' all emotionally charged will just make the situation worse.
    Also, a 20 gig cap is absolutely ridiculous, and a good malware scan or two won't hurt if you're looking for something to blame if you're sure no-one's burning through that.

  • SatsumomoSatsumomo Rated PG! Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Ding!

    Youtube uses up a lot of bandwidth. Videos there aren't exactly very compressed anymore.

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  • The AnonymousThe Anonymous Uh, uh, uhhhhhh... Uh, uh.Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Satsumomo wrote: »
    Checking right now, I've been browsing PA, reading some Excel tutorials and chatting on MSN for the past 5 or so hours (I did take a 2 hour break though, not downloading anything though) and I've downloaded 95mb in total bandwidth.
    Thanks for that. Have you tried it without MSN running? I haven't used an IM in forever.

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  • SatsumomoSatsumomo Rated PG! Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Hmmm checking for Malware is something I hadn't considered, and I would suggest doing too! Not getting mad is definitely one of the better advice here :P

    MSN should use very little bandwidth, unless you're constantly streaming webcam sessions.

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  • eternalbleternalbl Registered User
    edited September 2010
    As someone who uses youtube like a radio occasionally by loading up playlists, and who used to play an MMO alot in the past, I can say those 2 activities aren't likely to get you anywhere near your 20GB/month cap.

    Did your Dad secure your wireless when it was up? Maybe he could hook it back up to check if it logged anything apart from your own families devices, or you could convince him to hook it back up secured (if it wasn't) to see if it might've been someone piggybacking on your connection.

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  • ashridahashridah Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Also, consider changing to another ISP. there are plenty of others that'll offer ADSL2 that'll use much saner plans with 'downgrade you to a few hundred kbps' when you go over your quota.
    Telstra can GTFO, imho.

  • The AnonymousThe Anonymous Uh, uh, uhhhhhh... Uh, uh.Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    eternalbl wrote: »
    As someone who uses youtube like a radio occasionally by loading up playlists, and who used to play an MMO alot in the past, I can say those 2 activities aren't likely to get you anywhere near your 20GB/month cap.

    Did your Dad secure your wireless when it was up? Maybe he could hook it back up to check if it logged anything apart from your own families devices, or you could convince him to hook it back up secured (if it wasn't) to see if it might've been someone piggybacking on your connection.
    Network is WPA2 secured, so while technically it's possible, I doubt it's the root cause of this.

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  • TefTef Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    ashridah wrote: »
    Also, consider changing to another ISP. there are plenty of others that'll offer ADSL2 that'll use much saner plans with 'downgrade you to a few hundred kbps' when you go over your quota.
    Telstra can GTFO, imho.

    Yeah fuck telstra. I mean unless it's the only ISP that has coverage where you are, pretty much anything is better than Telstra.
    Sit down, take a minute and explain things rationally, preferably using numbers. As much as people like to get their rage on when money's involved, this is one of those situations where gettin' all emotionally charged will just make the situation worse.

    This is good advice

  • QliphothQliphoth Registered User
    edited September 2010
    The standard telstra plans slow you down now instead of charging you, pretty easy to switch over. You must've been on this plan for several years. Also I have had similar problems with getting capped due to my brother downloading stupid amounts of shit. I just go on the bigpond site and check what we've downloaded pretty regularly so i can make sure we're not going to hit the cap.

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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    You aren't going to exceed 20gb/mo just browsing and playing games. Does your father know enough about computers that you can explain this to him? It's not a possibility.

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  • ZeonZeon Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Figgy wrote: »
    You aren't going to exceed 20gb/mo just browsing and playing games. Does your father know enough about computers that you can explain this to him? It's not a possibility.

    Yeah, this.

    My grandparents have really, really shitty cable internet. Its capped at TWO gigs a month. At one point i ended up staying there for a month when i was between apartments (long story). I used mirc, browsed the web, and watched youtube videos and played online games (Counterstrike, some crappy free korean MMO) quite a bit because i was bored. It didnt go over the 2 gig limit (they only use their internet for email, nothing else, so it was only me using bandwidth basically).

    Gaming, websurfing and chatting take up like, no bandwidth. You can do these things on dialup which maxes out at around 20 megs an hour. Youtube takes up a bit more, but still unless youre watching youtube videos for like 8 hours a day, its really unlikely youd use anymore than about 5 gigs a month doing these things.

    Your dad or your brother probably discovered torrenting or some hd streaming site and didnt realise how much bandwidth it takes up.

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  • The Black HunterThe Black Hunter Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Youtube is a killer, I've gone over with it before, as well as buying games over steam

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  • soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    ashridah wrote: »
    Telstra can GTFO, imho.

    Really, most of telstra's plans are horrible horrible ripoffs. See if you can diplomatically convince your parents to switch to somebody else - compare plans at http://bc.whirlpool.net.au/ and find somebody for the same price that will probably get you twice the download limit (especially considering most other isps ignore upload).

    Also - I don't believe that Telstra have any 20GB plans anymore - Telstra aren't particularly forthcoming in upgrading existing customers to their new plans, so you may actually be on an old plan and can upgrade to a new better plan for no more trouble than a phonecall.

  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I've downloaded videos from youtube in the past, and even a tiny little clip was around 1MB. Video is a killer for small caps.

  • ChanusChanus Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    You can play MMOs over a dial-up connection. The amount of data being transfered while you play is exceptionally minimal. Most of the work is happening on your computer, not via your connection.

    I don't even think it's possible to play an MMO enough to use 20GB (or anything near it) in a month.

  • NylonathetepNylonathetep Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I watches youtube frequently and been playing WoW for a long long time (and recently moved to SC2).. no way does it go over 20gig... Not to point fingers but I highly suspect it's your brother downloading some torrent of the R-rated kind.

    Sadly this is most likely going to be a game of chicken... and the situation won't go away until someone can't live without the internet one way or another. So it's going to be how much sanity you can hold onto while missing online games, your dad missing whatever he does on the internet, or whoever it is that's taking up 20 gig of bandwidth doing whatever it is online.

    Hang in there bro... and don't compromise with anyone for anything because you'll need the truth to come out to clear your name.

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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    A lot of this will depend on how tech savvy your family is, or at least, how open they are to being educated. As has already been noted, regular use (even heavy regular use) won't take you to your cap.

    The simplest solution would be to look into software that actually measures how much data the devices on your network are transferring. Obviously this won't solve the problem of the current overdue bill, but it will "solve" future issues and might give you some rhetorical leverage in the current dispute.

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  • nescientistnescientist Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    WoW, or any other online game, is going to use a totally trivial amount of bandwidth for multiplayer purposes. You can basically ignore playing games as a use of bandwidth, but I know too damned well that everything about gaming except for the games themselves is a tremendous fucking bandwidth hog. Patches, demos, trailers, all of that shit just soaks up your bandwidth like nothing else... except, possibly, digital distribution. Oh my god digital distribution. Playing is fine, but installing wow using their torrent client could pretty much KO your connection in one go, if Telstra sums up your downstream and upstream usage to reach that 20gb cap.

    I don't know what the fuck people are talking about when they say "regular use" won't bust 20gb - I suppose I probably haven't known what "regular use" even looks like for about a decade now - but I lived in a house with five gamers in it that managed to use over 500gb in two months (without any illegal activities, to my understanding) when several members of the household were fucking around rebuilding/reformatting new computers then grabbing their Steam libraries. Even most US providers will balk at that amount of use but with the proliferation of digital content it's only getting easier and easier to do.

    The big problem with these policies that charge for overages on use above a certain cap is that this places the onus for bandwidth monitoring on consumers who simply do not understand the way usage works. Sitting in front of your computer for fourteen hours until you start turning a ghastly pale shade and your eyes can no longer focus on anything beyond your monitor... doesn't actually use that much bandwidth, if you're spending your time on the PA forums, or basically any text-and-images website. However, if you leave the "WoW download helper" open and it uploads at 40k/s while you're off punching sharks and fending off poisonous beasts and scavenging for gasoline in the wasteland - or whatever it is that Australians do with their day-to-day, I'll admit I'm hazy on details - that'll soak up all of your bandwidth with no visible "use," which is counter to most folks' intuitive perception of what "overuse" of an internet connection ought to look like.

    If you can convince every user on your network to run a simple bandwidth monitor in the background, that'd be a start. Ideally, though, you would be catching your usage at the router where you won't miss a friend or neighbor "visiting" your wireless network. My ISP provides a nice little webpage that shows what they believe our usage to be, which is all that really matters, and I've been pleased to note that they seem to be a bit more forgiving than my own monitoring is. As easy as it is to use up infinity bytes of bandwidth in a month, it's also pretty easy to avoid using even 20gb if you keep a watchful eye on everyone's usage.

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  • soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Rereading the OP - Telstra no longer has any plans that charge for over-use. They're all shaped plans now, precisely because their overage charges were ridiculous and caused all types of angst when they got hit.

    Call telstra. Switch to an updated plan.

  • E.CoyoteE.Coyote Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Did you turn off automatic updates for your programs? Windows service packs can be pretty big and would hit each computer on the network.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I wouldn't consider downloading/uploading hundreds of gigs of data a month "regular" use, no.

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  • Sir Red of the MantiSir Red of the Manti Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I wouldn't consider downloading/uploading hundreds of gigs of data a month "regular" use, no.

    Depends really. If high-def internet offerings are a substitute for regular television, I can see people hittin' a hundred gigs or so a month.

  • ArrathArrath Registered User
    edited September 2010
    I wouldn't consider downloading/uploading hundreds of gigs of data a month "regular" use, no.

    Depends really. If high-def internet offerings are a substitute for regular television, I can see people hittin' a hundred gigs or so a month.

    I average 80 a month (through Netflix alone), and my connection is rather slow, such that Netflix streaming gives me the lowest quality it can usually. If I had a good enough connection for real HD stuff, then yeah I'd be way up there.

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  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Grab your brother's ipod and check his history for porn sites.

    Spankwire for example have a mobile edition and I am sure others do as well.

    Additionally check to see if the computer has a torrent program loading on it.

    Then see if there is anything left in it, then check the download directory to see if your brother forgot to delete the torrent.

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Oh that's another thing in regards to streaming, check your father's laptop (and yours) for say the local channel's catchup service and see if he's been watching anything.

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