Erroneous reporting of data usage by the system - tethering and Dropbox related

Erroneous reporting of data usage by the system - tethering and Dropbox related

Erroneous reporting of data usage by the system - tethering and Dropbox related

NightWatch
I'm a Participant Level 1

Erroneous reporting of data usage by the system - tethering and Dropbox related

I recently received a message from Fido system, saying that I have exceeded my monthly limit of data (4GB). When I looked into it, turned out that the system registered a transfer of approximately 3.5GB in a span of 1 minute. The information was confirmed later by a Fido customer service people. At the time reported my phone was tethered to my desktop computer. There was no downloads, Windows or any software updates in the background, no streaming or any other activities that could incur such high data usage. Furthermore, even with the high speed of Fido's mobile internet transferring 3.5GB of data in a few seconds would be impossible. For the reference, in the ideal conditions it would take approximately 10 minutes to transfer a single file of that size over a 80Mbit/s network. 

The actions performed during the time my phone was tethered were; getting a few emails (no attachments), browsing 2-3 web sites (no streaming video) and one more operation, which seems to trigger an error in the data counter used by Fido:

 

I removed a folder from my Dropbox on the computer, containing a lot of JPEGs, the total size amounting to approximately 3.5GB. Now, the way any cloud service works, when the files are deleted locally, the computer send a list of files to be deleted to the cloud server. The list of files would amount to a few Kb of info at the most. It seems, however, that the data counter on the mobile network decided to bill me for the total size of files removed.

 

A situation like that is unlikely to happen often on this scale, because the phone would have to be tethered, a cloud service would have to be used and the amount of files removed would have to be very large to notice right away. 

However, it is quite possible for the system to constantly make an error on a small scale, without users noticing it and, therefore, being overbilled for the data they have not actually used. 

 

I am currently waiting for an explanation and resolution from "The office of the president" as I was told.

2 REPLIES 2
Cawtau
Senior MVP

Hello NightWatch,

 

  Welcome to the community!

 

  I assume you were using your phone plan's data when your computer was tethered. Out of curiosity, how much data did your phone indicate was used?

 


@NightWatch wrote:
...

I removed a folder from my Dropbox on the computer, containing a lot of JPEGs, the total size amounting to approximately 3.5GB. Now, the way any cloud service works, when the files are deleted locally, the computer send a list of files to be deleted to the cloud server. The list of files would amount to a few Kb of info at the most. It seems, however, that the data counter on the mobile network decided to bill me for the total size of files removed.

...


  I'm not sure that is how Dropbox works. Dropbox keeps the files both on your computer and online in the cloud. It maintains a two-way communication with your computer -- any changes with the online version of files/folders will reflect in similar changes on your computer.

 

  If you are managing your Dropbox from your computer and you delete a file or folder, the file/folder gets moved to your Recycle Bin -- in case you need to recover the file or folder. Dropbox would also move the online files/folders to its Deleted area.

 

  If you delete a file or folder from your mobile device, the file/folder gets moved to the Dropbox Cache folder, located on your hard drive (see here). Again, Dropbox would also move the online versions to the Deleted area. The cache folder is automatically cleared every three days. If you need to delete sensitive files immediately, or you need to clear up some space on your hard drive, you can manually clear the cache as shown in the link.

 

  I'm not sure exactly how Dropbox moves the files/folder to the cache on your computer remotely or to the Deleted area online. However, I imagine it would me more than just a list files being sent...

 

  Is it as simple as sending a set of instructions or does moving a file from one folder to another require a constant connection? Remember those instructions get mirrored on your computer. Does it use data during the transfer or only to initiate the transfer?

 

  You might consider researching into more detail how Dropbox performs those functions.

 

Hope this helps Smiley

 

Cheers

 

**edit** Something to ponder... If the data did not go through the Fido network, how did Fido account for the exact amount you deleted?**


FidoPierre
Moderator

Hey NightWatch, 

 

Welcome to the Community! 

 

Thank you for taking the time and sharing this information with us. Let us know if there are any updates to this, and if you still need help with your data usage we'll send you a PM from here to take a closer look. Smiley