Data Usage Discrepancy

TL;DR

My data usuage spiked up earlier this year but the problem disappeared. It came back last couple of weeks and my Ubiquiti UniFi managed network dashboard showing 10-20gb of daily internet usage but the Cox usage page show 28-35gb, and it has been doing that consistently for more than a week. Called Cox support and nothing they can do.

______________________________________________

I have been trying to troubleshoot the same data usage discrepany issue as many other people has posted:

http://forums.cox.com/forum_home/internet_forum/f/internet-forum/21982/cox-data-usage-discrepancies

http://forums.cox.com/forum_home/internet_forum/f/internet-forum/18247/data-usage-discrepancy

https://forums.cox.com/forum_home/internet_forum/f/internet-forum/21735/cox-data-usage-discrepancies

Some background info, I use Ubiquiti UniFi network gear (https://unifi-sdn.ubnt.com/   gateway/router, switches, access points) that manages every ports and every devices, it also measure all the network traffic by devices, down to the kilobytes. I am not a network engineer and I know it's over kill to have that at home, but this setup let me troubleshoot problem like this. I also do not use online backup because of the data cap.

The issue started early this year when I got a notification that my data cap (1Tb) is at 80% with only a few days left. So I checked the Cox site to find out how much data was consumed, it was over 30gb a day, and the month before I was using about 10-20gb daily, at first I thought it was some new cameras that I have install, so I unplugged the camera and it seem lower the data consumption a little bit to 20-25gb, so I thought it was just something odd. And this went on for a few months, and then all the sudden a few months later the data consumption drop back to what it was before. Since the whole time it was under 1TB and I was busy so I diddn't went further about this.

Fast forward to Nov, my household was using the same 10-20gb data a day, and occasionally it will be much higher if me or my kid have to download a new game (some of them are like 50gb). During thanksgiving week we have friends visit and kids were watching tv and playing game, on Nov 24 I got that data usage alert again. At first I thought it was because of my freinds and kids. But this time since it was a holiday weekend I have more time to check. And when I look at the data consumption on the dashboard I realized the same problem semms to be back. But I want to wait when things get to normal in the house before more investigation.

Fast forward to last week, week of Nov 26, everyone is back at work and school so things should be back to normal, my Ubiquiti dashboard showing about 10-20gb of data usage, but the Cox one is showing 30-35gb. I checked more and find out Cox is showing around November 8 it start to spike up to 40-60gb a day, but since after thanksgiving it stablize to this 30-35gb range. The problem is if this continue I will be over the 1Tb data cap.

I have check to make sure no unknown device is login to my network (it's a long password), every single device consumption looks normal (both direction). I started unplugging some devices on the network to see if it got lower but it barely lower. So I figure it's time to call Cox.

I called Cox support yesterday and the person I talked to has no more info than what I see on the Web site. So I basically need to upgrade to unlimited or move ISP.

I am going test this more, and last night before I went to bed I actually unplgged all the TV and game consoles and music streaming devices to make sure none of them are connected to the internet. and I am not planning to turn the TV on tonight, and I won't plug them in until tomorrow morning so that will be more than 1 full day. If the usage doesn't drop back to around 10-15gb. Then tomorrow evening before I go to bed I am going to unplug the ethernet from the cable modem so nothing will be connect to it (we will just use our phone and tether data from it for a day). If somehow Cox shows the modem is using data then that's where the problem is.

Sorry for the long post. Anyone has any suggestions for what else I should try? 

  • Has it been explained to anyone how Cox actually monitors data usage?  My guess is they're monitoring the MAC address of each cable modem that is registered with their network and then all upload/download traffic is calculated, rounding to the nearest GB.

    Rant....Higher speeds warrant higher data usage tiers but Cox continues to keep all connection tiers at 1 TB; resulting in customers having to pay an extra $49.99/month for unlimited data on top of their connection speed tier service.  Although connection speed and data usage are mutually exclusive it defeats the purpose in only giving 300Mbps and 1000Mbps tiers 1 TB of usage.  I would argue the 100Mbps tier should also have a higher usage tier than 1 TB as well.  One TB is nothing anymore and people, including myself are backing up to cloud based solutions to protect home video's, photos etc, in addition to streaming TV with multiple devices in the household.  Throw in home surveillance and that chews up the "data usage" even more.  Cox has an answer for the home surveillance though...get their HomeLife and it won't count towards your data usage.  They provide a separate router to keep home security and home internet traffic segregated, forcing you to use their service instead of who you want.  Going to stop as my blood pressure is spiking.