Me And My ISP

For a while, Beast III has been my personal computer, firewall, database, file/web server, and router. That gives me the possibility to monitor my throughput from the ISP. The ISP promises 150mbits/s and speed tests have shown values up to 180 mbits/s but I really had no idea of the magnitude of the traffic. So, I installed a little script that runs at 23:59 every night and stores the date and count of bytes received from the network.
#!/bin/bash
echo `date +%F`”,”`/sbin/ifconfig eth3|grep bytes|sed -e s/^.*RX\ bytes://|sed -e s/\ .*$//` >> logeth3.csv
Date Download Use
2017-Jan-26 941.07 M
2017-Jan-27 13.29 G 12.35 G

I was shocked to find that in the first 24h period monitored, the draw was 12.3gB! OMG! No wonder browsers are filling up RAM. No wonder I see TLW constantly watching videos online… I expect that’s what’s happening. I certainly don’t draw much from downloads, just a few MB per day for software updates. I just download patches for my Linux builds, not the whole source-tree. I’ve read that the ISP has a 1TB limit. We could actually bump into that with visitors and such. We have three visitors in the house today and two of them know how to use a computer.

So, We are a lot more dependent on our ISP than I knew. Oh, how the Internet has changed. Almost nothing is flat HTML any more. Huge data, images and JavaScript pour down on us. I used to run a whole school on dial-up…

UPDATE – After three days of monitoring our drain, I compute the average download is 20gB per day. The peak day was 28gB when we had two extra visitors on the LAN. OMG! A TB per month is within reach. In the old days you could have downloaded the whole Internet in that… I hope we don’t blow a fuse. 😉

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.

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7 Responses to Me And My ISP

  1. dougman wrote, “they even throttle your connection, but you are too pig-headed to even admit it.”

    I’m happy with them. I don’t see any throttling, just snap.

  2. dougman says:

    Your ISO sucks Pogsey, they even throttle your connection, but you are too pig-headed to even admit it.

  3. ram says:

    Due to very high levels of censorship in Australia, I run everything through Squid proxies located in less restrictive countries. An additional advantage is the ssh link can also compress which gives me about a factor of two in speed over my pitifully slow Australian ISP connection. (The present LNP government killed off the fibre optic network the earlier ALP government had started, so most of Australia has only slightly faster than dialup speeds.)

  4. Kurkosdr says:

    ” Yeah, if you want to see a lot of that load, install javascript blockers like NoScript or ScriptBlock. Some sites pull in over two dozen very, very large scripts. They take forever just to fetch and longer to load and render. I figure 99% of those are unnecessary but that the so-called designers don’t care ”

    Install ublock origin and it will filter the 99% which is unnecessary while allowing the remaining 1% to pass. For Android there is Brave browser (chromium-based) and Free AdBlocker Browser. AdBlock Browser also works but it’s based on Firefox for Android which is slow.

  5. Modular Sunfish wrote, “if you run your HTTP traffic through Squid you can save on some bandwidth.”

    I used to do that up North where 24 students might all visit the same static site, but now, everyone’s doing their own thing. There are probably only a few sites we have in common: YouTube, CNN, Google and Gmail. Wouldn’t save much. We rarely watch the same videos. I’m into horticultutre and tech and she’s into chick-flicks. The browser caches take care of the little things.

  6. Modular Sunfish says:

    Yeah, if you want to see a lot of that load, install javascript blockers like NoScript or ScriptBlock. Some sites pull in over two dozen very, very large scripts. They take forever just to fetch and longer to load and render. I figure 99% of those are unnecessary but that the so-called designers don’t care, it gives them job security because otherwise anyone could put up a little nice HTML + CSS.

    Speaking of loads, your script can be trimmed down by using /bin/sh instead of bash and then reducing the calls to your utilities (not that it’s run often enough to matter). You can get by with a single sed:

    echo \”$(date +%F)”,”$(/sbin/ifconfig eth3 | sed -n -e ‘/bytes/{ s/^.*RX bytes://; s/ .*$//; p }’)\”

    About the networking loads, if you run your HTTP traffic through Squid you can save on some bandwidth. Depending on your speed, that might save time too. If you’re looking for a project, you can install your own certificates and MitM your HTTPS traffic and cache that too, but that gets risky for some things.

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