[AccessD] A sad tale of wifi hotspot interference

jack drawbridge jackandpat.d at gmail.com
Sun Oct 2 10:40:24 CDT 2022

Just to say I agree with Susan. You have identified an issue that affects
you personally; that you as a technical person was unaware of; and that
your investigation is identifying remedial action(s). I think an article
shedding some light on the issue and corrective measures  could/would be a
benefit to many. It certainly would raise awareness.

On Sun, Oct 2, 2022 at 10:53 AM Susan Harkins <ssharkins at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
> want."
> >
> > 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
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