[AccessD] A sad tale of wifi hotspot interference

Susan Harkins ssharkins at gmail.com
Sun Oct 2 09:53:28 CDT 2022

John, once you're done exploring, you might consider writing an article
about it. If you're interesting, I can put you in touch with my editor at
techrepublic. You won't make a ton of money, but it will get you some public
traffic. More importantly, this is very interesting and I think what you're
doing might be helpful to a lot of people. 

Susan H. 

-----Original Message-----
From: AccessD <accessd-bounces+ssharkins=gmail.com at databaseadvisors.com> On
Behalf Of John Colby
Sent: Sunday, October 2, 2022 7:00 AM
To: Access Developers discussion and problem solving
<accessd at databaseadvisors.com>
Subject: Re: [AccessD] A sad tale of wifi hotspot interference

Wow, just wow!!!  Things are never as simple as we expect.  Much more
startup data usage.  Tracked down a TON MORE, which are startup tasks for
everything that runs.  Pretty much every app that wants to update itself
sets a startup task.  Many of which run every day, every login, or even
whenever the computer is idle.  Google, Firefox, Edge, VS CODE, DropBox,
OneDrive, Office etc etc ad nauseum.  All of these going out to check if
they have any updates.  These are scheduled tasks, the task created by the
installer (or Windows if it is a windows app).  It's no damned wonder there
is a 10 minute burst of activity on my WAN connection every time I log in.
Which is my hotspot when I'm on the road.

This activity is (at least when throttled?) about 600kbit/second, which
translates to about 4.5 mbyte / minute.  Which goes on for a loooong time.

Office for example checks every time I log on.  On a day to day basis I may
not even use Office.  but hey, it is checking.  I NEVER use Edge.  But hey,
it is (was) checking.  I NEVER use OneDrive, but hey, it WAS checking.  In
truth, over a wired internet I never cared.  But over my hotspot, which is
my norm now, I very much care.  We shall see how much of a dent I have made
in my hotspot usage.  As I mentioned previously, I was hitting my 15 gb cap
midway through my billing month.  All so Google etc could make sure it had
the latest updates 10 times a day.

On Sat, Oct 1, 2022 at 1:34 AM John Colby <jwcolby at gmail.com> wrote:

> As some of you may know, I use my phone's wifi hotspot a lot.  I have 
> Verizon and each line (phone) gets 15gb of data before being severely 
> throttled, as in ~800kbit / second down.  Understand that my phone 
> itself is not throttled, I have unlimited data directly on the phone.  
> Once throttled, just opening anything in the browser on the computer 
> becomes excruciatingly slow.
> I don't watch youtube or other videos on my computer, doing so on my 
> phone, exactly because of the above facts.
> For two months running, I was hit with wifi hotspot throttling about 
> mid
> (billing) month.  WTF over?  I went on a quest to figure out why.  
> Using task manager, and from inside of there using resource manager I 
> discovered that in any browser, videos often start playing as soon as 
> I open many different web sites.  Usually these are advertisements, 
> though not always - I browse a lot of news sites and they want to feed 
> me video to go along with the text.  I use mostly Firefox and so I 
> figured out how to turn off automatic launching of video.  That helped 
> immensely, but did not entirely fix the problem.
> Believe it or not, Dropbox was a major contributor to the problem.  
> The updater (for updating dropbox itself, not the files stored in 
> dropbox) is a data consuming pig.  According to folks on the dropbox 
> forum, since 2016 (at least) people have been complaining about this, 
> without any meaningful response to the complaints, other than "you 
> agreed in the EULA to let us update dropbox anytime and as much as we
> According to some folks, the updater.exe can consume hundreds of 
> megabytes a day.  I can't personally validate that claim but I will 
> say I see dropbox consuming hundreds of megabits / second essentially 
> non-stop for long periods, so I have no reason to doubt that it adds up to
a number like that.
> Dropbox simply refuses to add any "manual update" option.  I can turn 
> off the services and set them to manual, but the updater.exe still 
> runs, even though it is not visible in the startup stuff in task 
> manager.  The only way to disable it is to close it in task manager, then
rename the exe.
> Reboot and... all is now quiet on my hotspot WAN.
> My Verizon billing cycle starts around the second and so I will get a 
> fresh 15gb of data.  It will be interesting to see if these measures 
> solve my problems.  I will say that before this investigation I had a 
> non-stop
> 600 kbit / second of wireless data traffic, and now I have zero 
> continuous.
> Oddly, even editing a message like this in GMail causes continuous 
> spikes of data, probably due to constant crap that gmail does as I 
> write an email.  Stop typing and the data spikes stop.
> I used to think that 15gb was a lot.  Not any more.  I now open task 
> manager and keep an eye on the wan usage while on my hotspot.  
> Throttling is a royal PITA.  If there is no constant data being used 
> by one of these data hogs, then ordinary browsing is easy and fast.  
> Not so much when some app is grabbing 600k of my (throttled) 800kbps.
> If any of you have run into this and have other helpful suggestions 
> please do chime in.
> --
> John W. Colby
> Colby Consulting

John W. Colby
Colby Consulting
AccessD mailing list
AccessD at databaseadvisors.com
Website: http://www.databaseadvisors.com

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