Exetel vs USB modem reported usage

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mrhox
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Exetel vs USB modem reported usage

Post by mrhox » Mon May 17, 2010 8:59 pm

I Bought the cheaper (slower) USB modem a few months ago and used only a few hundred MBs worth each month.

Racked up almost 2GB for month of April. Didn't think I used it abnormally, so decided to investigate.

At one point, a few days ago, the modem software (as supplied) indicated about 118MB downloaded.
Exetel claimed I was up to 1012MB (> 1GB).

Is the modem software usage meter THAT useless? Or is the usage data that Optus provides Exetel wrong?

Any ideas?

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Dazzled
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Re: Exetel vs USB modem reported usage

Post by Dazzled » Mon May 17, 2010 9:37 pm

Have you looked up netstat? Assuming you use only the dongle modem.

James
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Re: Exetel vs USB modem reported usage

Post by James » Mon May 17, 2010 10:10 pm

mrhox wrote:I Bought the cheaper (slower) USB modem a few months ago and used only a few hundred MBs worth each month.

Racked up almost 2GB for month of April. Didn't think I used it abnormally, so decided to investigate.

At one point, a few days ago, the modem software (as supplied) indicated about 118MB downloaded.
Exetel claimed I was up to 1012MB (> 1GB).

Is the modem software usage meter THAT useless? Or is the usage data that Optus provides Exetel wrong?

Any ideas?
Optus doesn't provide Exetel any data, it comes from the radius session that you establish everytime you connect, using the same backend as our ADSL1/ADSL2/SHDSL/Ethernet customers.

mrhox
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Re: Exetel vs USB modem reported usage

Post by mrhox » Tue May 18, 2010 10:54 pm

James, thanks for the background info.
I guess the modem software isn't reliable. Strange it's THAT different, though...

Dazzled, not being a network wizard, I looked that up.
Could be a useful tool.
Essentially, what command-line text will reset the bytes counter?
I'm using WinXP
Yes, I'm using a USB dongle.

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Dazzled
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Re: Exetel vs USB modem reported usage

Post by Dazzled » Wed May 19, 2010 8:14 am

On Unix family machines, where MS got the idea from, the byte counter resets at the network lease. I am not sure if Windows XP does this. In any event it will reset when it reaches the highest possible integer - 4 GB. Most of these low level network functions in Windows are handled by netsh - see http://commandwindows.com/netsh.htm. The same site has a help sheet for netstat - http://commandwindows.com/netstat.htm. MS has a sheet at http://www.microsoft.com/resources/docu ... x?mfr=true

mrhox
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Re: Exetel vs USB modem reported usage

Post by mrhox » Wed May 19, 2010 9:38 pm

Yes, I also learnt about netsh and the 4GB limit last night.

I also discovered that doing a reboot resets the counter, which makes netstat useless for me.

It would be interesting to learn if anyone else with these USB modems (3.6Mbps Huwei) had experienced similar statistical anomalies...

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Dazzled
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Re: Exetel vs USB modem reported usage

Post by Dazzled » Wed May 19, 2010 9:59 pm

You'll probably have to find a Windows utility that accumulates this info between boot ups then. My linux machines use vnstat which "keeps a log of hourly, daily and monthly network traffic for the selected interface(s)"

Perhaps http://www.analogx.com/contents/downloa ... eeware.htm? or http://www.softperfect.com/products/networx/? (I have never used them)

When comparing your download bytes with Exetel's routers, remember to allow for packet overhead, which gets discarded when converting into computer data.

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ottyacat
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Re: Exetel vs USB modem reported usage

Post by ottyacat » Thu May 20, 2010 12:48 am

mrhox wrote:It would be interesting to learn if anyone else with these USB modems (3.6Mbps Huwei) had experienced similar statistical anomalies...
Make sure you always have the Huawei connection software (that came with the modem) running even if you are not using it to make the connection. Eg. if you connect directly with windows dial-up networking instead then the Huawei software then it will not count usage if its not in the background.

At least thats how my e169 works.

I have also found on (very rare) occasions the software to "freeze" and not count the connection stats anymore despite the connection remaining up. I think this is more related to my buggy version of windaz more than anything though.

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Gidget
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Re: Exetel vs USB modem reported usage

Post by Gidget » Thu May 20, 2010 9:56 am

I have used this program effectively
http://www.nerve.org.za/mdma/

Make sure you read the documentation, especially the first paragraph
http://www.nerve.org.za/mdma/readme.txt

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Re: Exetel vs USB modem reported usage

Post by cubic » Thu May 20, 2010 1:01 pm

With such a huge difference between expected and measured usage the first thing I'd be looking for is malware on the client computer. Are you running all Windows updates as soon as they're available, using a good virus scanner etc?
...the term 'Future Perfect' has been abandoned since it was discovered not to be - Douglas Adams

mrhox
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Re: Exetel vs USB modem reported usage

Post by mrhox » Thu May 20, 2010 7:56 pm

Dazzled, thanks for the tip about packet overhead. I would have allowed 10% for that...

Ottyacat, I am using the Huawei-supplied connection software. (It works...)

Gidget, thanks for the suggestion.

Cubic, it was a recently-rebuilt machine with a known list of 'trusted' websites so far visited.
So while 'nasties' could still be an issue, I'd (like to) think it was a minimal likelihood. Thanks for the suggestion.

I'm currently trialling rackeys.com/Downloads/Softwares.html 'broadband usage meter'.
Seems very simple, but to the point. I'm noting usage claims for a few days.

Thanks for feedback, so far... :D

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