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Massive LTE Data Usage

Above is my LTE data usage for this month of April.  At the start of the day this morning on the 29th, I was at 3.5GB used.

I was just on my way back from home about half hour ago.  While on the subway and connected to NextDNS setup, I streamed a little less than 30 minutes of video in 480p (not even 720p HD at that) and got a shock when I was alerted that I reached 10GB of data usage this month!

I checked to see that this one app, SBS, which is an app from a major landline TV network (equivalent to CBS, ABC, NBC and the likes in the U.S.) is the culprit.  I spent literally less than 30 minutes streaming content in 480p quality and I get hit with 5.6 GB of data usage all in that short period of time?

I turned off all private DNS connection and all is back to normal.  So it seems that, for whatever reason, an app can go berserk and spend godly amount of data?  How could anyone explain this?

I thought private DNS setup is supposed to help REDUCE data usage, NOT increase it by hundredfold (is that even a word?) like this.

Maybe someone with more expertise can explain for me.  Now I am scared to turn on my NextDNS setup while I am out and about.  At that rate, I will hit 50GB in half a day!

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  • streaming isn't any related to dns

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      • S Y
      • S_Y
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      juliank What do you mean??

      As soon as I found out something fishy was going on, I tested this again, this time turning off my NextDNS setup, ran the exact same app and streamed the same content for same number of minutes.  I did NOT get that huge data consumption.  Turn NextDNS back on again and boila! Huge data consumption yet again!

      How does anyone explain this?

      Like
    • S Y  correlation!=causation

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  • This has nothing to do with Nextdns. 

    Streaming is not dns. 

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  • Agree with you that streaming has nothing to do with DNS.

    However, it could be that the streaming app is not getting a particular DNS response because NextDNS is blocking it.
    Depending how it is written, the app can reissue the query until it gets a good reply.
    This can lead to quite an amount of queries....

    If this is the case, you might be able to see it in your NextDNS logs.
    Then you can act to whitelist the particular DNS entry.

    Like
    • Olivier P. 

      To make 5GB+ of data usage in queries... is a LOT of queries.Every query takes around 50 and 550 bytes...

      Seems unlikely.

      DNS queries take a small amount of data in the end.

      Like
      • S Y
      • S_Y
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Olivier P.  Thank you for the reply.  I have been reluctant to try again using the same condition that caused that odd behavior, but I will take a look and see if I can catch anything odd via logs.

      Like
      • S Y
      • S_Y
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Pedro Fernandes  Yeah seems unlikely but it did happen.  I got three text messages from my wireless carrier warning me of the data usage... totaling nearly 6GB of data in that short time span.  I couldn't believe it myself. 

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    • S Y 

      The issue that your stating in the first message is not related with NextDNS in any way. Your device had to be doing more sending DNS queries that is capable of doing to generate 5 GB of data.

      You have been using a streaming app, is normal. Streaming is very heavy in data, 5GB i get everyday using Netflix alone while streaming one or two movies... 

      Like
      • User
      • User
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Olivier P. 

      It is impossible for DNS queries to even generate 1% of that amount of cellular data S Y just used in such a time window, I've used NextDNS for a long time and even with applications that spam the shit out of the DNS resolver I barely generate any actual data.

      Like
      • S Y
      • S_Y
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Pedro Fernandes Look... I know what I saw and the ONLY thing I did differently was stream 15 to 20 minutes of 480p NON-HD content.  I am not talking about a whole feeaking movie or two here.  And I got multiple notification from my wireless carrier of the data usage all within 20 minute time frame. 

      If my experience wasn't weird like that, I wouldn't have bothered asking.  Instead of claiming what I experienced is impossible, just admit it is out of the ordinary and end it there if you have nothing more to say.

      Like 1
      • User
      • User
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      S Y No offense, but contact the company/developers behind the application, you can discuss it here with us but we did not make the app, I understand your frustration (I've had similar cases, although not with this level data usage, very often cases where an app uses much more data than the actual "stream" or content you're using at that moment)

      Getting angry on the community here despite what they say isn't gonna solve your issue, neither am I, sadly, so for the sake of this, try to contact the appropriate department for your issue, as NextDNS is incapable of causing it (Why? because that is simply how DNS works, DNS query spamming *cannot* generate enough traffic to be the cause of such an issue, and since the blocking happens on the server side there isn't anything else from NextDNS that could generate traffic, other than you viewing their webpages but let's be real, that would not be the cause either)

      I shall refrain from commenting further, as I've said what I needed to. the rest is up to you.

      Like
  • You definitely have been misinformed about what NextDNS does, and Private DNS in general, this is totally unrelated to DNS.

     

    DNS stands for Domain Name Server, example if you type google.com in a browser, the browser doesn't get what it means, it requires DNS to translate it to an IP address (to connect to the server which provides the website google.com)

    This has nothing to do with data usage, DNS barely uses any data in the first place, and does not help you save data used by any applications, NextDNS secures your DNS queries by protecting them against Man-in-the-middle attacks (If you use DNS-over-HTTPS/QUIC/TLS, not for plaintext DNS over IPv6/IPv4), or blocks your selected blocklisted domains, which depend on the blocklists you have enabled in the configuration profiles you have in use.

    Your issue is related to the streaming application itself, if you have a complaint to file, you should submit it to the company that the SBS app belongs to.

    Like
  • I'm not sure where SBS is localized nor whether you were watching an on-demand stream or a live stream; quick google searches pull up AU, which I'm assuming is Australia

    How much bandwidth does watching a video on SBS On Demand use? – SBS Help Centre

    If that matches your locale & app, then there is an important note from their help center (see below)

    "Note that some platforms don't allow you to restrict your stream to a particular bitrate. If this is the case, you should assume the Very High (1.5MB/sec) bitrate data usage will apply unless you're watching a live stream."

    ^ this would roughly be the equivalent of 90MB/min or a tenth of a GB  every minute

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