Data Vampire

We’re still figuring out our internet out here.  Back when we had unlimited data, we averaged about 300-350 gigs a month, between the 4 of us.  This is not surprising, since we not only had our desktops online all the time, but our phones were using WiFi, as well as other devices occasionally.  Between actual productive stuff, there was also gaming and whatnot.

With our satellite internet, the maximum data package available is 100 gigs.  I figured, since doing things like World of Warcraft and watching videos is pretty much out, it wouldn’t be too much of a problem.  If we reached our data limit, we still had internet.  It would be extremely slow, but we could do things like check our email, and we wouldn’t be charged more.

Except that didn’t work out very well, so my husband talked to our provider about being able to keep our speed and pay extra for the data overage.  At a rate of $2 a gig.

That should also have been fine, but it quickly added up and we ended up with an almost $300 bill.  Almost 3 times what the basic package costs, and almost double what we were paying for our internet/cable bundle before the move.

Next month in, we quickly hit our data limit again.  Which is where we ended up getting a second account.  It was cheaper to have a second satellite dish installed with a second account.  There are other advantages to that option that will be of benefit in the future, too.

Well, 50% of that got used up real fast, too.

Now, part of that can be explained away by various downloads that were done.  It took my husband 3 days to download his Star Wars game.  It’s not that big of a file, but it’s just how it is with satellite.  Once installed, playing that game uses almost no data at all, but with his desktop dead, he installed it on his laptop.  It took some doing for various other technical issues.

I just had a conversation with my daughter about our data usage.  She and her sister had gone into their settings to look at their own data usage for the past 30 days.  She only used 25 gigs, and her sister’s use was almost non-existent.  And yes, they have been playing the Star Wars game, too.  The biggest drain my older daughter was seeing in her computer was labelled “system”.

So I looked at my own settings.

I found this.


What in the heck is going on here???  Why is my system using more than 80 gigs in the past 30 days?  I don’t even have my desktop ON as much as I used to.

There’s nothing that lets you break down into more detail.

My other usage is negligible.  Even my WiFi usage on my phone is barely more than 10 gigs over the last 30 days.


I went through some other areas in the the settings and found one thing I could turn off; all notifications.  I’ve got the metered thing set, but that only applies to WiFi, and I’m hard wired into the router.

So I’ve got some sort of  data vampire in my system.

I am curious, now, what my husband’s laptop’s data usage is.  If my desktop system alone is using over 80 gigs in 30 days, if his is going the same thing, no wonder we’re screaming through our limited data so quickly.

One of the things we will be doing is resetting the usage stats at the end of the month, when our data plan rolls over.  Then we can start monitoring both and compare.

If you have any thoughts, suggestions, feedback or personal experiences on this, please feel free to comment.

The Re-Farmer



6 thoughts on “Data Vampire

    • Thank you so much!

      After I posted, I went digging around some more, including the apps. Some I could make changes for, but a lot, I’m just not sure about. My computer is maybe a year old, and I’ve installed very few things myself.

      Remember when they used to call “apps”, software or programs? LOL


    • Just finished looking at the link. I used to “end task” things on a regular basis with my old computer. My new one makes it harder. Maybe they got tired of people messing up their machines by shutting off things they shouldn’t have. LOL


    • Whoops. I accidentally trashed your other comment. I thought I was deleting a duplicate of my answer!

      Regarding the virus scanner updates, my virus scanner was very low on the list of data usage. I’m hoping what I’ve done so far has made a difference. In the time between when I took the screen capture and just a little while ago, there has been very little change in they system usage. But that could just mean that whatever caused the high usage is just done for now and won’t do it again until next month. I do wish there was a breakdown of system usage, because everything else I’ve looked at shows very low data usage. I use less data on my desktop than I do with my phone using WiFi!


  1. Thanks. That was one of the things that I thought of, but when I check the apps usage, it was quite low down on the list.

    I’m hoping what I’ve done so far has made the difference. Between when I took the screen capture and just a few minutes ago, the system usage barely changed. But then, it could be that whatever was active has already done its thing and won’t do it again until next month or something.

    I do wish there was a breakdown of the system usage, because everything else I’ve been able to look at shows less usage on my desktop than I use on my phone with WiFi!


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