Tsing

The FPS Review
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Image: Comcast



Comcast already imposes a 1.2 TB data cap on many of its internet subscribers in the country, but starting next year, numerous northeastern US states will join in on their suffering. As spotted by The Verge, the telecommunications giant will be capping data usage for non-unlimited plans to 1,229 GB for fifteen states/regions beginning in January.



The affected states are Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Parts of North Carolina and Ohio are also included.



“In January and February, Comcast will give its Xfinity customers not on an unlimited plan a...
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Armenius

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I gave in and pay extra for the unlimited bandwidth after the cap came to my region. I'm up to 7TB used and still climbing. The wonderful politicians enable Comcast to have a monopoly here, so I don't have any other option.
 

Zarathustra

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Total bullshit of Comcast to try to take advantage of the fact that people are now working from home to extort them for an additional $30 per month so they don't run into data caps.

This **** ought to be illegal.

I'm lucky enough to be in a market where I have three different broadband competitors, Verizon Fios, Comcast and RCN, so they havent tried this bullshit here yet, but I feel for everyone who isn't as luck as I am.

My perspective is this. I am paying to max out whatever bandwidth I have 24/7 365 days a year. It is my prerogative if I use less than that. No monthly bandwidth cap below <rated speed per second>*60*60*24*365/12 is ever acceptable for ground based internet service.
 

Zarathustra

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I gave in and pay extra for the unlimited bandwidth after the cap came to my region. I'm up to 7TB used and still climbing. The wonderful politicians enable Comcast to have a monopoly here, so I don't have any other option.
How do you measure your bandwidth usage?

I am kind of curious how much I use in a month. I've never bothered keeping track of it.
 

Burticus

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1.2TB sounds like a lot, and it is..... in a pre-Covid world. Now a ton more people work from home and are on zoom meetings all day. And the kids are at home doing classes online. And since we're not going out nearly as much, video streaming usage is probably off the chart for 2020. And those fancy 4K streams you're watching on that brand new TV aren't helping. And 100gb game downloads don't help either. Add in music streaming, youtube, online gaming, etc..... I would say it wouldn't be too hard for an average person to hit that cap with a little effort.

Now, if you're @Armenius and cranking 7TB a month... what in hades are you downloading man? ...actually, we know, you don't have to tell us :)

What I'm trying to figure out now is my total bandwidth per month... and Frontier is useless. I'm also not in the mood to flash my router with generic firmware (or add another hop like PF sense) to gather that info.
 

Armenius

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How do you measure your bandwidth usage?

I am kind of curious how much I use in a month. I've never bothered keeping track of it.
Your router should be able to tell you. You can define your billing cycle on some routers so the bandwidth total reflects what the ISP says. On Windows 10 you can check how much bandwidth the device it's installed with has used in the same manner. If you login with your Microsoft account it can even show you the total bandwidth used across all the Windows 10 devices you have logged into. The same feature is integrated into the Xbox One and Series S|X. I'm not sure about any other console, though.

But whether or not it's accurate, Comcast always bills based on what it says on your account. You can check it by logging into the My Xfinity website. If it's not being blocked at the router level then Comcast will even inject a warning message into any HTML you are viewing. There is always the old e-mail that they send warnings over, too.
 

Zarathustra

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Your router should be able to tell you. You can define your billing cycle on some routers so the bandwidth total reflects what the ISP says. On Windows 10 you can check how much bandwidth the device it's installed with has used in the same manner. If you login with your Microsoft account it can even show you the total bandwidth used across all the Windows 10 devices you have logged into. The same feature is integrated into the Xbox One and Series S|X. I'm not sure about any other console, though.

But whether or not it's accurate, Comcast always bills based on what it says on your account. You can check it by logging into the My Xfinity website. If it's not being blocked at the router level then Comcast will even inject a warning message into any HTML you are viewing. There is always the old e-mail that they send warnings over, too.
I found a package in the pfSense repository called Traffic Totals which tallies and uses data from vnStat to give a total. It seems to work well.

Does anyone know how they tally the data? Is it Downstream + Upstream?

By that measure I've used 13GB in the 5 hours since I installed the package. Take that number /5*24*365/12 and we have a monthly estimate of 1.8TB and I haven't even done anything yet...

Just wait for game downloads, streaming, or my overnight backup cycle to run...

I'd argue a 1.2TB cap is completely unreasonable.
 
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Burticus

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Does anyone know how they tally the data? Is it Downstream + Upstream?
I had a conversation once with a friend on TWC (now Spectrum) who had some long drawn out convo with their support. He told me the limit is downstream BUT also upstream, but not combined. So if you're uploading a ton (maybe running a plex server serving outside the household?) it might not take long to hit that limit.

Then again, that was 3rd hand info a decade+ ago. It might be worth an email to support to see what they say.
 

SmokeRngs

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1.2TB sounds like a lot, and it is..... in a pre-Covid world. Now a ton more people work from home and are on zoom meetings all day. And the kids are at home doing classes online. And since we're not going out nearly as much, video streaming usage is probably off the chart for 2020. And those fancy 4K streams you're watching on that brand new TV aren't helping. And 100gb game downloads don't help either. Add in music streaming, youtube, online gaming, etc..... I would say it wouldn't be too hard for an average person to hit that cap with a little effort.

Now, if you're @Armenius and cranking 7TB a month... what in hades are you downloading man? ...actually, we know, you don't have to tell us :)

What I'm trying to figure out now is my total bandwidth per month... and Frontier is useless. I'm also not in the mood to flash my router with generic firmware (or add another hop like PF sense) to gather that info.
1.2TB doesn't sound like a lot at all even before beer virus. Over the past 17 days my router has logged about 300GB downstream and 20GB upstream. My connection is 5mbit/2.5mbit. I don't particularly check the stats often and a reboot of the router clears the previous totals but the 300GB for this amount of time is a bit lower than normal from what I remember. I've seen it before when it's been close to 1TB for a month or maybe a bit over. Remember, this is a 5 megabit max downstream. It would be very easy for people with a higher speed connection to transfer a lot more than my house especially since a lot of the bandwidth use is streaming. The max you're going to get it 720p to 1080p on this connection and maybe not even that if more than one person is streaming.

It would be a lot worse but my son has swapped from console gaming to PC gaming. The constant and huge game updates you had no control over for the console would have the total bandwidth used a hell of a lot higher.
 

Armenius

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1.2TB doesn't sound like a lot at all even before beer virus. Over the past 17 days my router has logged about 300GB downstream and 20GB upstream. My connection is 5mbit/2.5mbit. I don't particularly check the stats often and a reboot of the router clears the previous totals but the 300GB for this amount of time is a bit lower than normal from what I remember. I've seen it before when it's been close to 1TB for a month or maybe a bit over. Remember, this is a 5 megabit max downstream. It would be very easy for people with a higher speed connection to transfer a lot more than my house especially since a lot of the bandwidth use is streaming. The max you're going to get it 720p to 1080p on this connection and maybe not even that if more than one person is streaming.

It would be a lot worse but my son has swapped from console gaming to PC gaming. The constant and huge game updates you had no control over for the console would have the total bandwidth used a hell of a lot higher.
Consoles is where most I've mine went this month. Waiting for Cyberpunk I have been playing more on my XB1 and PS4 this month after not having touched them in quite a long time, and I just let them sit and update. I have about 7TB of games installed on a 12TB external for my XB1, and 5TB on an 8TB external for my PS4.
 

Brian_B

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Your router should be able to tell you. You can define your billing cycle on some routers so the bandwidth total reflects what the ISP says. On Windows 10 you can check how much bandwidth the device it's installed with has used in the same manner. If you login with your Microsoft account it can even show you the total bandwidth used across all the Windows 10 devices you have logged into. The same feature is integrated into the Xbox One and Series S|X. I'm not sure about any other console, though.
Really has to be at the router level - there are so many devices outside of Microsoft's ecosystem that are all going to pull on your ISP.

I find that many days it's my PS4 that pulls the most, just doing auto-updates.

I know I saw something on my Netgear router, but since I moved to Edgerouter I haven't found anything similar in the interface on there. I've poked around and vnstat will supposedly work on the CLI, but I haven't played with it yet.
 
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