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Cameras use a lot of bandwidth if they are streaming to an online service. That may be the first place to look.

I've read the current answers and what is close; but I don't have the computer at the cottage, just a Rogers Brocket Hub. After four months, something is using my bandwidth. I have a 30 GB limit. I went to 3.94 on the first six days a month and only checked cameras for five minutes max. I called Rogers and all they could say was it's being used. Cottage is very remote and passphrase protected. Had the area checked; no tracks in the snow and very remote. I have a static IP also for remote access. I have a friend unplug; no usage; plugged it back in and we went to 4.14 in two days with no usage from home in central Pennsylvania. Any ideas as to how to stop the usage or verify who is using it up?

In this excerpt from Answercast #14, I speculate on what might be using up bandwidth in a remote location that utilizes a camera and give ideas on how to determine what is really going on.

Cameras and bandwidth

Yes, so, there are two things that we'll talk about it.

I do have an article on this subject:"How do I monitor internet activity and see who is using it?" That will allow you to download and walk you through the steps of running a program that will allow you to summarize who is actually doing all that uploading and downloading. It will tell you what process on your machine, on that remote machine is actually doing it.

The camera may be constantly connected

Now, here's my guess: you indicated that you're just checking a camera for five minutes max.

My theory (and it's just a theory... I could be very wrong since there's not a whole of information about exactly what camera or what service you're using)... My theory is that the camera is somehow associated with an online service and that the camera is pretty much constantly uploading images or uploading your information - whether you're actually looking at it or not.

That would eat up bandwidth like crazy.

Video streaming uses bandwidth

The numbers that you're throwing at me here don't surprise me at all.

It's possible that when you go to look at the camera, you may not be connecting to the camera directly; you may be connecting to a service. But, even if you're connecting directly to the camera, I have a very strong suspicion that the camera (or software running on a PC somehow associated with the camera) is uploading the camera stream or snapshots (or however it's configured) to an internet-based service whether you're using it or looking at it or not.

That is probably what's eating up all the bandwidth.

Article C5286 - May 3, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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1 Comment

May 6, 2012 1:45 AM

I helped a bud install a security system at his house in the boonies after some jerks thrashed it. It's a motion detection type and is 'on' 24/7 but only goes active when there's activity that goes past a threshhold. It records to a dedicated PC and sends an alert to his cell.
This person might need to reconfigure his setup.

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