T3200M in bridge mode - Telus is double counting my internet usage

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pwnell
Friendly Neighbour

I have a T3200M in bridge mode, and a pfSense firewall / router connected to LAN1 on the modem.  Technically the setup works flawlessly.  The problem I have is that Telus is calculating my monthly usage incorrectly.  They claimed I used 1507GiB of data in July.  In the past 10 years I do not recall ever exceeding 800GiB in a single month.  I average between 400 and 750GiB per month.  Furthermore, most of what I do is Netflix / Crave / AppleTV / Youtube streaming, I upload very little data (other than the TCP ACK data inherent to TCP/IP).  Usually my ratio of download to upload is about 20 : 1.  The very fact that most service providers only offer asymmetric packages (150/10, 300/10, etc) indicates that most people download more than what they upload.

 

I managed to get the transfer details for the last couple of days from Telus:

 

RX

TX

22 Aug

18.65 GiB

15.77 GiB

23 Aug

14.58 GiB

13.63 GiB

24 Aug

23.93 GiB

22.75 GiB

 

Clearly the TX figures are just wrong.  My stats on pfSense (vnstat) shows:

 

 

RX

TX

22 Aug

14.14 GiB

1 GiB

23 Aug

19.5 GiB

0.771 GiB

24 Aug

18.99 GiB

0.727 GiB

 

It seems like the modem, being in bridge mode, is not being properly read by the Telus system that calculates my monthly usage.  Anyone else have this issue?

 

I contacted Telus, spoke to a manager and they were very defensive in that their system does not make mistakes, that the numbers are correct and tried to tell me that since the modem is in bridge mode, they do not support it.  To which I replied that technically I do not need support, it is working fine - but the traffic totals should not be double counted as a result.  They suggested I purchase the $15 per month add on for unlimited data, or sign for a 2 year contract and get unlimited data for "free".

 

This to me feel like entrapment.  I do not need to pay $15 extra per month if I am not exceeding what I already have - a 1TB cap.  I even did a test yesterday - at 10:00am their system showed I used 58GiB for the period.  My system showed I used 52GiB.  I performed some Youtube tests, measuring the exact bandwidth used on my side, and then later in the evening watched 5 episodes of CraveTV.  I measured and each episode totalled about 2.0GiB - 2.5GiB of data.  My pfSense reflected 20.04GiB of RX, and 0.879GiB of TX for yesterday.  That is a total of 20.9GiB.  Their system showed that by the end of the day, I am at 139GiB.  That means their system thinks I have transferred 81GiB in one day, when I only watched the equivalent of 6 HD movies at 2GiB per hour, and some other small random data transfers.  My 21GiB for the day does not match their 81GiB.

 

What are my options except for taking the $15 option or ending my service?  Anyone else having this issue?

xray
All-Star
Is your pfSense a dedicated device or are you running it on a PC?
pwnell
Friendly Neighbour

Dedicated device, no virtualization.  It is connected to a Ubiquiti 16 port switch and from there to the rest of my network.  There is nothing else connected to any of the other ports on the T3200M, and I turned off WiFi on the Telus modem as I use my own, connected to the LAN network (on the Ubiquiti switch).

xray
All-Star

You abviously know where I was going with my question. Sounds like there is very little chance that any traffic could by bypassing the pfSense metering. Is it possible for you to do a test for a day or two with the T3200M as your router by taking the pfSense out of the equation? I wonder if somehow bridge mode on the T3200M is causing problems. 

Highlighted
pwnell
Friendly Neighbour

That is my guess too.  I know my Telus modem has two public IPs when in bridge mode - there is the public IP I see on the LAN1 port connected to the pfSense, and then there is another public IP one IP address down from that one, when I look at the modem's configuration.  Not sure if Telus sees traffic on one of these IPs as TX and the other as RX and that messes it up...

 

If I take the pfSense box out I have to reconfigure 20 devices to make my network work so it would be a significant undertaking.  Will see what I can do.

xray
All-Star

How about just taking the T3200M out of bridge mode and doing double NAT? Do you need have any services on your network that you need to connect to from the Internet?

pwnell
Friendly Neighbour

Yeah that is much simpler to test - I do have one or two things I need (VPN) but can live without it while I am testing...

Most Helpful
pwnell
Friendly Neighbour

So I figured it out.  The problem is the T3200M in bridge mode.  Do that and your counters will be almost double what it should be - specifically, the outbound traffic will be as big or bigger than the inbound traffic because Telus calculates it incorrectly.  I proved this, so if you are running that device in bridge mode just beware of this issue.

Community Power User
Community Power User

I don't run in bridge mode just use port 1 to my tplink router and have no "counting issues".


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pwnell
Friendly Neighbour

That makes sense as it is the configuration most people would use, and if it was wrong in non bridging mode then there would have been a mass of people complaining.  

vishwa
Ambassador

I do use bridge mode but since I have unlimited add on, didn't actually check.  I will see if I have a similar issue. 

PeterC
Resident

Did you convince Telus that they were double counting?  I was about to switch back to Telus and was searching if I can bridge to my own network gear on their modem.   Your post has me a bit concerned.  I do not want to commit to 2yrs or pay the extra $15 for unlimited.  Typically we use on average 800ish GB/mth. so the base 150 would be fine.

 

Thanks,

Peter