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Old September 3rd, 2013, 01:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question very high unexplained wifi data usage

We have 2 S4 phones at work. They spend most of their time connected to WiFi. On thumbing through my phone today I noticed it was showing 6.45 GB used last month (August). Seemed a bit high though we notice a blip earlier in the month when an android update was pushed to both phones, but that was under a gig.

Here's the weird thing. Drilling down into the logs I found my phone recorded 4 GB of wifi traffic in one hour. 3-4pm on August 28 to be precise. My partner checked his phone - same thing! Here's the weirder thing. The ISP logs don't show any abnormal usage for that period or any other period, i.e. the high data usage was internal to our wifi.

Our conclusion is that the phones were plotting with each other over the wifi. We were experimenting with tap-and-transfer between the phones but nothing like that amount of data.

Is there anything I should know about unsolicited wifi transfers between S4's?

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Old September 3rd, 2013, 02:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Can you go to System Settings - Connections - Data Usage - Select WIFI and check what apps are eating your data?

There is a new feature, Auto-Backup. It will back up your entire phone gallery with video to g+'s private gallery.
Perhaps that's the cause for large data usage.

There are also location services and location history, which use the Wifi to collect SSIDs broadcast from any wifi networks it comes into contact with.
That's how google know where you are, as each wifi has it's fixed location, and even tho you are not connecting to it, google collect that info and compare against it's database, being able to precice location without use of GPS.
Hence why Google Now insist on you keeping your wifi on, you collect the SSID as you walk, drive etc...

Anyway, these can consume data, if your have location related services turned on.
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 04:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My point was, there is no data usage showing on mobile data or with the ISP that the wifi is connected to. The usage seems to have been caused by data being sent between the two S4's when they were both connected to the wifi at work.

I have an app installed which keeps rack of both wifi and mobile data (the android app doesn't give any stats for wifi).

The 24-hour period in question shows 0.8 Gb between 1-2pm and 3.0 GB between 4-5pm and no other wifi usage of significance on that day, and no mobile data.

Despite 3.8 GB having been recorded as entering or leaving my phone via wifi, there is no evidence of this data on the ISP's logs - hence the inference that it was between 1 S4 and the other. The apps shown as using this data are OS services (3.17GB) and DirectShareManager (600 MB)
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Old September 4th, 2013, 05:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
I have an app installed which keeps rack of both wifi and mobile data (the android app doesn't give any stats for wifi).
That's so strange. My one list every single app, pages of it. Even an app that used 5kb of wifi bandwidth:



Quote:
The 24-hour period in question shows 0.8 Gb between 1-2pm and 3.0 GB between 4-5pm and no other wifi usage of significance on that day, and no mobile data.

Despite 3.8 GB having been recorded as entering or leaving my phone via wifi, there is no evidence of this data on the ISP's logs - hence the inference that it was between 1 S4 and the other. The apps shown as using this data are OS services (3.17GB) and DirectShareManager (600 MB)
That's some really odd behavior, which I have never seen before. First of all, the devices never interact with each other for no reason. You must do paring via Beam or Wifi Direct, but even tho, these connections do not remain active if the phone idle. I have right now 4 galaxies at home, two S4, S3 and Note 2. Never seen anything like that happening. You guys must have some kind of app that keep you connected, that's certainly does not sound like stock OS behavior. I can't imagine imagine what kind of connection and what data would possibly be traffic across devices on their own. Makes little sense as there is nothing to communicate about, beside straight up photos, video or chat.
Sorry, I can't be of more help.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 05:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Weird. The screen shot you showed is the same as mine, except I don't have two panels at the top labelled WiFi and Mobile, I have one checkbox labelled "Mobile data", which just acts the same way as the pull-down from the top edge of the screen.

I'll post a screenshot of mine if you can point me at a good screenshot app that doesn't need a rooted phone...
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Old September 4th, 2013, 05:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rossmcm View Post
Weird. The screen shot you showed is the same as mine, except I don't have two panels at the top labelled WiFi and Mobile, I have one checkbox labelled "Mobile data", which just acts the same way as the pull-down from the top edge of the screen.

I'll post a screenshot of mine if you can point me at a good screenshot app that doesn't need a rooted phone...
I believe you actually have to enabled it. Go through settings menu while in the Data Usages section. There is an option for it.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 09:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Aaahha, the plot thickens!

I found that option thanks, and enabled display of WiFi usage. The interesting thing is that the Android native app shows some usage on that day, but much less.

So comparing them, the usage shown by the "My data manager" app on wifi for aug 28 was:
  • OSServices 3.17GB
  • DirectShareManager 603 MB
  • Youtube 21 MB
  • Chrome 9 MB
  • Download Manager 6 MB
  • Google Play Store 5 MB
The usage shown by the native usage app for that day (it's kinda hard to set those little sliders to an exact timespan - shame you cant zoom the graph) was:
  • Youtube 19 MB
  • Google Play Store 9 MB
  • GMail 5 MB
  • Chrome 4.7MB
  • TeamViewer 3.2 MB
i.e. no trace of the two big lumps of 3.17GB and 603 MB. I think the "My Data Manager" app is getting confused by something - probably connected with the passing of data between the two devices.







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Last edited by rossmcm; September 4th, 2013 at 03:35 PM. Reason: adding screen shots
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Old September 4th, 2013, 08:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Did you consider that the app could simply be buggy? Or do some misread of data?

Perhaps it multiplied the actual amount used, so when two of your phones communicated to exchange content, it got it wrong.

I don't know how to phase it, lack of proper English vocabulary, so forgive me for that poor attempt.
Think of the phone as a Self Driving Car. For a car to turn on, engage gear and drive out your garage, would take way too many mechanics and "magic" to make it happen. Same apply with two devices communicating. This isn't a simple process, whether using multi channel binding or radio, such communication is fairly battery consuming, so the device has lots of software features to prevent it from running for too long, and especially on its own. It's just really hard for me to imagine, the phone doing that without asking permissions from you and the other device, and from software perspective, almost impossible as paring sessions are not Bluetooth like, require repair each time you want to send data across.

I seriously thing, the app is wrong and the phone never did any data traffic. You have no Server/ISP logs, Android itself has no memory of using it and overall no trace of any data being used, beside that one app.
I'm almost certain at this point, your app has a problem.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 10:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think that's exactly what it is - the app is confused.
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