Network - Wireless & Wired Connections

Help & troubleshooting for network issues, including connecting your device to your home Wi-Fi network, connecting to public networks, troubleshooting wireless issues & ethernet connections, and optimizing streaming performance.
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Level 7

Re: Roku is eating up Bandwidth

"twiceover" wrote:

Big thing is making sure to exit the apps before shutting of the TV itself.

Lucky me, I have Roku TV so shutting TV down means that the streaming is down too.
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Level 8

Re: Roku is eating up Bandwidth

My router (Asus RT-AC68U) has a "traffic monitor" feature that tracks usage of various devices on the network. Using it, I can confirm that returning to the Roku Home screen stops streaming, and prevents further consumption of streaming data by that device. This frees up bandwidth on the network, and prevents needless consumption of data and "running the meter" when a TV is not actually in use.
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Level 8

Re: Roku is eating up Bandwidth

"DJT22023" wrote:
The first full month we never broke 700 GB, that is why I was not concerned with it. Since we jumped 400 GB in one month, I have been looking for the culprit. The ONLY change in what we have been doing is that Comcast changed out speed from 100 MBPS to 150 MBPS at the same time that this started.

Hulu could have upgraded the streaming quality for the content that you are watching from 720 to 1080 during this time as well. Anyway, if you could try to keep track of the time that you have been streaming and calculate a total to compare, I know that it will not match but it will give you a benchmark of data volume.

Hulu states that their 720 is about 3Mbps (or 1,350 MB an hour) and their 1080 2.7GB, while Netflix states their HD is up to 3GB an hour. Those numbers are just rough estimates but again we are just looking for a benchmark. One HD stream for 5 hours a day will land in the area of 375GB (5x30x2.5) without counting any other content being downloaded on work computers, other computers, tablets, phones, etc.

Binge watching a TV series on the weekend will just stack GBs on top of this or like in our household running CNN/MSNBC all day outside our movies and TV series. Try to keep track for a week and see where you are at for data volume.
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Level 8

Re: Roku is eating up Bandwidth

"DJT22023" wrote:
Before Roku, we were typically around 70 GB usage a month. Since Roku, we had one month of 632, then last month was 1051, and today we sit at 107. Something has changed and the only thing that is evident is the speed provided by Comcast went from 100 MBPS to 150 MBPS. 

Did you sign up for Hulu Live when you got the Roku box? Hulu Live does allow for two streams at the same time and your connection should be able to support it. Maybe, there is a secondary device running Hulu besides your TV.
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Level 7

Re: Roku is eating up Bandwidth

"DJT22023" wrote:
The first month that we bought our Roku device, we were fine. We used around 600 GB of data. Last month we jumped to 1051 GB of data and got a nasty gram from Comcast. I have looked at everything that is potentially wrong and cannot pinpoint the issue. I have looked at logs to see if someone is scraping my data and no one is attached. I cannot figure out why it is doing this. The only thing that I can think of is the recordings that might be happening while we are watching tv, but that is not even that much. I have tried to supply as much info about the devices below.

Both TVS - 1080 Resolution
Roku Streaming Stick
Comcast 1 TB data

This happened to me. I recently switched from cable TV to streaming using Roku. My bandwidth shot up. Prior to this, I installed a security camera system at my house and made it accessible from the outside. When I would go to work, I would stream the security camera's from my work pc not realizing how much bandwidth it was using. Once I quit doing that, my data usage went down quite a bit. I never thought about that being the issue. 

Are you able to find out if the data usage is more upload or download? It was my upload that was using all the bandwidth which helped me narrow it down to a device on my home network. Streaming uses all download data. 
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Level 7

Re: Roku is eating up Bandwidth

I'm having the same issue and would love some help.  I recently switched from DirecTV to DirecTVNow.  Prior to switching, we used about 200 GB per month.  Now we can go through 70 GB per day!  This is probably watching about 10 hours per day (we have an elderly relative who lives with us and watches a lot of TV, and my wife and I probably watch an hour or two per day).  

We stream using two Roku Ultras and watch on Samsung TVs that are not smart TVs.  We do not have 4K TVs, nor do we watch any 4K content.  We connect via wireless (Comcast with a 1TB cap).  

I am doing the following to reduce data usage:

  • We go to the home screen before turning the TV off (stating the obvious to rule that out)

  • We have the Rokus set to display at 720p

  • We set the Rokus to use 1 MBps

  • Our wireless is password protected, so it's unlikely anyone is stealing it

Based on the above, we should have no problems staying under the 1TB monthly cap, but we are on pace to go way, way over, and I don't understand why or what else I can do about it.  It seems like either the Roku settings above are not working to limit data usage or Comcast isn't accurately recording our data usage.  Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  
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Level 11

Re: Roku is eating up Bandwidth

"LWT3" wrote:
I'm having the same issue and would love some help.  I recently switched from DirecTV to DirecTVNow.  Prior to switching, we used about 200 GB per month.  Now we can go through 70 GB per day!  This is probably watching about 10 hours per day (we have an elderly relative who lives with us and watches a lot of TV, and my wife and I probably watch an hour or two per day).  

We stream using two Roku Ultras and watch on Samsung TVs that are not smart TVs.  We do not have 4K TVs, nor do we watch any 4K content.  We connect via wireless (Comcast with a 1TB cap).  

I am doing the following to reduce data usage:

  • We go to the home screen before turning the TV off (stating the obvious to rule that out)

  • We have the Rokus set to display at 720p

  • We set the Rokus to use 1 MBps

  • Our wireless is password protected, so it's unlikely anyone is stealing it

Based on the above, we should have no problems staying under the 1TB monthly cap, but we are on pace to go way, way over, and I don't understand why or what else I can do about it.  It seems like either the Roku settings above are not working to limit data usage or Comcast isn't accurately recording our data usage.  Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  

You're probably gonna need to do some troubleshooting. This might not be a quick thing to find the cause.

First, you say 70 GB/day. How do you know that? How are you able to determine how much usage there is? How often are you able to check it? How up to date is the information on each check? Some ISPs that offer this data only update every day, or every few hours. So, how accurate it is and how up-to-date it is will figure into things. Comcast info can be up to 24 hours old, or even more if you're basing it on https://dataplan.xfinity.com information.

One thing I'd suggest is something you've already ruled out. Check the devices that are on your network. Many routers have ways to check to see the devices that are connected. Some will be obvious, while others may need to do some digging to find out what they are. I'd suggest writing down each item that shows (check it throughout the day) and confirm what's what. Anything you can't identify? Change the password on the network, and identify each item (write down the name shown on your network tool, as well as the MAC address if it shows). Keep that, in case something shows up again.

Also, don't give out your password to anyone that doesn't live there. And make sure they don't give it out. Set up a guest network if you allow others on. You can turn those on and off, and easily change those passwords as necessary.

I'd suggest looking into the elder member you mentioned. What's being watched? Netflix? Live streaming? I suspect the latter, which will be hard to limit. Netflix and some other apps allow you to limit the bandwidth. Netflix does it per profile.

With that bit of info, here's how I'd handle it.

I'd change my network password. I'd go to the elder and connect the devices used there. Then, I'd watch the usage for 3 days, keeping in mind that the first day will include pre-password change info, and not be as reliable. The second day's data will be more accurate. The third day's data will be much more accurate. If the elder is the problem, you'll want to focus there.

I realize you'll want to add your computers and other stuff, but if you can hold off, do that. And when you do add them, shut them down when you're done. And hold off on your phones as long as you can. Use your cellular plan as much as possible during the troubleshooting process.
Basil
https://www.basilsblog.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Apple TV (5th gen), TiVo

Previous:
Roku boxes from every generation.
Apple TV (2nd, 3rd, 4th gen)
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Level 11

Re: Roku is eating up Bandwidth

"LWT3" wrote:
...
I am doing the following to reduce data usage:

  • We go to the home screen before turning the TV off (stating the obvious to rule that out)

  • We have the Rokus set to display at 720p

  • We set the Rokus to use 1 MBps

  • Our wireless is password protected, so it's unlikely anyone is stealing it
...

First item, great. Good habits that many need to learn.

Second and third item? Not a guarantee of bandwidth limits. A lot of the adaptive streaming will still try to stream as much as it can. Those Roku limits don't seem to always work.

Fourth item? Don't bank on that. Check the devices connected to your Website.

Also, if you have a security system, particularly one with a camera, it could be streaming video.

What does the older relative watch? If anything like my mother, it's old episodes of Murder She Wrote or M*A*S*H. You might want to looking into setting up a local computer with ripped movies and/or TV for local streaming (no bandwidth usage). It's what I did, and it works. Just a thought.
DBDukes
http://www.dbdukes.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Roku Premiere+ (3921)
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Level 7

Re: Roku is eating up Bandwidth

Thanks for the replies.  To answer some of the questions:


  • How do I know how much I'm using?  I rely on the tracker Comcast Xfinity offers on its website, and I've been writing down the amount of data used daily.  If it goes up by 60-80 GB per day every day, it doesn't really matter if there's a lag or not

  • We've never given the password to anyone.  Our data usage exploded when we started streaming.  That seems far more likely than the possibility of someone managing to steal the password at the exact time we switched from satellite to streaming, but I will change it anyway.  

  • Our modem/router is a NETGEAR C6300.  I don't think there is a way to tell from that unit what devices are using the data

  • The elder is watching live TV.  We don't have any subscription services like Netflix.  Just DirecTVNow.  But if we can't watch live TV as much as we have in the past, then streaming isn't right for us, and I might just have to go back to satellite and be done with it.

  • Alternatively, are there modem/routers that allow you to limit data usage at the source?  Not by limiting the number of hours TV is watched but by basically doing what my Roku Ultra says it's doing but isn't -- limiting the stream rate to 1.0 Mbps?  I don't really want to buy a new modem, but that might be cheaper than going with an unlimited data plan or switching back to satellite.  
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Level 11

Re: Roku is eating up Bandwidth

"LWT3" wrote:
Thanks for the replies.  To answer some of the questions:

  • How do I know how much I'm using?  I rely on the tracker Comcast Xfinity offers on its website, and I've been writing down the amount of data used daily.  If it goes up by 60-80 GB per day every day, it doesn't really matter if there's a lag or not

If you do something, and it has an immediate effect, you won't know for a day. Or more. Because of lag. Lag matters.

"LWT3" wrote:

  • We've never given the password to anyone.  Our data usage exploded when we started streaming.  That seems far more likely than the possibility of someone managing to steal the password at the exact time we switched from satellite to streaming, but I will change it anyway.

  • Our modem/router is a NETGEAR C6300.  I don't think there is a way to tell from that unit what devices are using the data

While it may not tell you the level of detail of what's using how much, it will tell you what's connected. If something is connected you don't expect, well, there's your problem. Or a problem.

"LWT3" wrote:

  • ]The elder is watching live TV.  We don't have any subscription services like Netflix.  Just DirecTVNow.  But if we can't watch live TV as much as we have in the past, then streaming isn't right for us, and I might just have to go back to satellite and be done with it.

That may indeed be the case. But, I'm assuming you switched from satellite to save money. A bit of digging into this may resolve the issue. But, if not, you gave it a shot. And, who knows, they may offer you a great Come Back We Miss You Deal.

"LWT3" wrote:

  • I'm disappointed to hear this:  Second and third item? Not a guarantee of bandwidth limits. A lot of the adaptive streaming will still try to stream as much as it can. Those Roku limits don't seem to always work.  What is the point of Roku offering those settings if they don't work to limit data usage?  Are there other streaming devices that DO enable you to do that successfully?  I could buy a Chromecast or an Apple TV or something for the one room where most of the TV is being watched.

The 720p setting is if the TV and Roku don't communicate well and you want to force the proper resolution. Not a problem with most modern TVs, but for people with older TVs, it's helpful. As for the 1 mbps setting, where did you find it? A "Secret Menu" (bunch of keypresses on the remote brought up a menu)? Yeah, those are officially unsupported. No guarantee they'll work. But, they are helpful for apps that don't use adaptive streaming. They were unhelpful for adaptive streaming apps at one time, but I don't know for certain about now. Some of the experts here might be able to shed more light, but based on my experience (years ago) and other posts that more knowledgeable have posted over the years, I think it's not always guaranteed to work for every app.

If you found it on a standard menu, do let me know where. I've not seen such, but I may have missed it. And, if I did miss it, ignore my last paragraph.

"LWT3" wrote:

  • Alternatively, are there modem/routers that allow you to limit data usage at the source?  Not by limiting the number of hours TV is watched but by basically doing what my Roku Ultra says it's doing but isn't -- limiting the stream rate to 1.0 Mbps?  I don't really want to buy a new modem, but that might be cheaper than going with an unlimited data plan or switching back to satellite.

There are, so I understand, routers that offer that functionality. Netgear has some QoS functionality with their Genie app (http://www.routerlogin.com or http://www.routerlogin.net depending on your setup). This article (https://community.netgear.com/t5/Genera ... d-p/449684) and this (https://community.netgear.com/t5/Nighth ... d-p/501259) say it's possible. It may be worth researching.

The router was released in 2014. I understand the hesitancy to replace it. If those links above offer good info you can use to limit bandwidth per device, that might make this whole thing worthwhile.
DBDukes
http://www.dbdukes.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Roku Premiere+ (3921)
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