I’m Broadcasting Over the Comcast Cap – This Can’t Be Good

Since Comcast is about to cap monthly traffic at 250G per month, I thought I would check my monthly stats.  Little did I expect that I am already exceeding this limit… but what’s scary  is that it’s outbound traffic, not inbound.

This can’t be good – I probably have some malware sitting on my machine.  Neither McAfee nor Spybot S&D finds anything… if you have ideas, pls. comment below.  Thanks in advance – I guess this is my first crowdsourced problem resolution. smile_sad

Update (9/21) Lots of good advice in the comments. I tried another pacakage, highly advised by several.. only to find a thread by the author, acknowledging it does not properly measure usage under Vista.  Crap.  I am not too worried though: my router shows way higher download traffic than upload, which is the “normal” user profile.  It’s in packets though, not Gigs.   Why does it have to be my pain though?  Comcast shoud not introduce the bandwidth cap without providing a measurement tool.


  1. My first guess would be backup software.
    Do you use jungledisk, S3, mozy, etc. to do backups?
    What about Picasa or Flickr or more like Youtube video uploads?

  2. That’s a reasonable suspicion, thanks. I only have about 4.5G on Mozy now, and it’s stuff that rarely changes.

    My photos are sync’d to Syncplicity, and it’s about 20G, but they don’t change often enough to produce this much outbound traffic.

    Thanks again!

  3. None of your software tells you what kind of traffic is leaving huh? Do you have a super popular torrent running on another machine perhaps? I can’t imagine you transferring 250g upstream and not notice a performance hit. I would also love to have your upload speeds, that must be fast to do that in 31 days. Make sure that whatever you are using to monitor that isn’t stupid. Couple links for you though:


    This is a pretty good custom firmware for Linksys routers. Check to see if it works with yours, it has a bandwidth monitor that will do it over all traffic, not just one computer.


    TCPView will let you know of any process running that is trying to establish a network connection. Port number, DNS, etc.

    Malware would not transfer 35 gigs of information, that is insane. I think your Mcafee program is exaggerating. Good luck.

  4. Mr Erdos,

    I hate to say it, but I think the solution to your problem is to move to Mac. I am a long time windows user, and I just finished saving to buy my Macbook. I am superbly happy with it, and wouldn’t go back to Windows for anything. I am also comfortable knowing that it is highly unlikely my computer will ever “contract” a virus or malware that will cause problems like those you have described.

  5. I wonder if the McAffee monitor has gone wiggy. Does seem like a LOT of traffic. A) Are their forums talking about accuracy at all B) Why not ask for a breakdown of what apps used up the bandwidth.Should show it if it’s smart. I suspect the monitor is calibrated wrong.

    Also I wonder if with the sync tools mozy or syncplicity are reuploading the same files – it won’t count against your totals, but it sure uses bandwidth.

    Finally, if you are worried about malware (never a bad idea to be paranoid!) get something on there that’s beefier/more reliable. I’ve had good experiences with Kapersky and Sunbelt counterspy (I do not have relationships with either) – Comodo or Kerio firewall should help watch the traffic.

  6. Not to start this, but I couldn’t resist.

    Jon, Mac is just as susceptible as Windows or Linux. That is like saying mobile phones aren’t able to get a virus, though there are quite a few out there. The Mac community is just too small for people to bother writing a virus. It is like writing software for Windows 98, what and get 5 people? Windows has so many virus’ written and the code is so readily available that any jerk off kid who can read, can write a destructible virus. If you get a virus on a Windows machine, you are probably a gullible person and you are the type of person who will do the same thing on a Mac.

  7. I think that this is going to end up being a big problem for Comcast customers. If some spyware decides to use your system to send out a bunch of spam or what not, you could end up being really surprised when you get your bill. At the very minimum they should let customers set it up so that they have to acknowledge that they are going over the limit before they start charging 1-900 type fees. If I ended up getting a bill for a couple hundred dollars because someone had compromised my system, I’d be really upset. It’s bad enough to be victimized by the hackers, but to have to pay Comcast for it would make it even worse.

  8. Hi Zoli,
    Try installing Fiddler or some other traffic analyser that will allow you to see the destination for your outgoing traffic…
    May help diagnose the program causing it…


  9. Well, that’s a McAfee tool that you’re using, so it’s probably burning up your bandwidth phoning home every 5 seconds. 😉

  10. Online backup?

  11. Outbound?!??

    All your data are be ours!




    TCPView is the way to go but please do let us know the resolution !

  13. Aside for using P2P which will cause massive outbound use get SuperAntiSpyware (It’s free) and see what that picks up. Dave.

  14. @Davis Freeberg,
    Don’t worry you will not get some huge bill, you will just lose the “privilege” to buy internet from Comcast for a year. Yah, you heard right, a year. The first time you break the cap they will shut off your internet until you call them about it. Then, they will scold you about your excessive usage and turn it back on but tell you that if you break it again you could be denied service for 12 months. What a joke. These people buy up a complete monopoly on high speed broadband in as many markets as they can and then limit everyone’s usage. FiOS can’t come soon enough. Neither can anti-trust litigation.


  1. […] a right step. Long overdue.  I said over a year ago it was ridiculous to introduce the cap without a way of measuring it, and that the few tools […]

  2. […] a right step. Long overdue.  I said over a year ago it was ridiculous to introduce the cap without a way of measuring it, and that the few tools […]

  3. […] a right step. Long overdue.  I said over a year ago it was ridiculous to introduce the cap without a way of measuring it, and that the few tools […]

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