Sunday, March 18, 2012

HOW TO rescue your internet connection from persistent background internet traffic by your computer

posted this reply on the forum

Hi Patrick,
I think your problem was with the ACT of constant internet traffic happening from your computer without your explicit knowledge. Because I've been having the exact same problem.

Here's the solution: download the free version of NetBalancer

I'm switching to a mobile internet plan in some weeks and it has a monthly bandwidth cap beyond which there's a hefty charge per MB. I'll get seriously screwed if this background internet traffic keeps going on.. Even I had turned off all automatic update downloading and still it continued.

imageI sensed an issue when my regular browsing became too slow. So to monitor the network usage I downloaded NetMeter (;dl=item23). There I was in for a surprise - SOMETHING from my comp was using the internet full-time, and that too when there was NO update or anything of the sort going on. There was no virus or malware so clearly a legit process was the culprit here.

I searched for ways to track down which application is using the internet and came across this tool, NetBalancer. After installing (will have to restart the comp once, using win7) I found out that the system process svchost.exe is doing all the quiet downloading, that too at full speed! Suddenly Windows has become the equivalent of my teenage cousin secretly torrenting!

Using NetBalancer, I'm able to limit the connection speed of individual programs, as well as block them off from the internet entirely! I totally blocked svchost.exe for some time, then saw that NetBalancer's own website and some other sites weren't loading in Firefox (apparently there's some kind of interconnection). So then I kept a 5kb/s limit on it. And now the sites load fine and svchost.exe is no longer doing any constant browsing. Even after closing NetBalancer, nothing's going wrong, and on running it again its got traffic data from the time it was off.

I recommend using both NetMeter and NetBalancer. Netmeter has a nice graph that stays on top, rests in the taskbar next to antivirus etc and so keeps you in the loop. When you notice something fishy, turn on NetBalancer and catch the culprits!


Chishty said...

Thanks a lot Nikhil!

I had been terribly irritated for some months by the svchost.exe downloading huge data, and increasing my broadband bills.

Now, I have implemented NetBalancer and restricted svchost.exe to 1kbps, and it's been a great relief.

Thanks once again.

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