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I had the strangest thing happen to me yesterday. Starting at 1pm and finishing around 6pm my machine started downloading around 3GB per hour which exceeded my internet quota cap. I wasn't home at the time and my wife says she was only watching online videos. That would explain maybe 2 or 3GB at the most...but not 15GB.

I did have BitTorrent running but I checked and it is definitely seeding rather than dowloading. As such, I cannot determine what program is the culprit.

As such, my last resort is to figure out if Windows 7 has some sort of a log that can help identify which sites these downloads were coming from so I can have a better idea of where the traffic came from and hopefully pin point which application caused this problem.

So, does anyone know of any such log in Windows 7?

If there isn't any such log, does anyone have any ideas concerning how I could investigate this issue further?

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Seeding probably counts towards your cap? Can't imagine it not. 15GB of uploads in 5 hours, though. I wouldn't mind those upload speeds :P – Phoshi Nov 24 '09 at 9:32
I think is perfect. – ma81xx Jan 24 '12 at 10:49
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Windows does not have such a logging feature. However, for future traffic monitoring I recommend NetLimiter, the free version will suffice. It will show you detailed traffic charts per application.

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+1: Aha! That's the program I was looking for when I found ethereal. I couldn't remember the name.. – Jon Cage Nov 25 '09 at 12:24

If you've got automatic windows updates on, maybe it was downloading one or many of those?

Do a controlled experiment.

Ask your wife to try watching movies again and see how much bandwidth you're consuming. 2-3GB per hour is ~500-800k per second so if they're high def videos and/or a few coming down at once, I could believe those numbers.

If that doesn't reproduce it, try running bittorrent for a bit and try without. Is there a difference?

You could try Ethereal to do your monitoring...

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windows update can't account for 15 GB. – harrymc Nov 24 '09 at 17:02
depends how long you've gone without updating, but i'd agree it seems unlikely! – Jon Cage Nov 25 '09 at 12:23

3 GB per hour seems to me to be too much for video watching.
It's only possible if very large video files were being downloaded, rather than viewed online.

If this happens again, I would do some serious antivirus scans.

If it doesn't happen again, just chalk it up to human error.

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You can put in a software firewall / proxy that monitors your traffic for you. You could also do this on the router with SNMP. The configuration of that is dependent on the hardware, but I'd go with that idea.

The router uploads the info via SNMP into a DB or file on your PC, and you can query that directly. It helped me find a massive culprit in Facebook (while not nearly on your scale, 300MB in South Africa per day is a lot of traffic).

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