Data Usage

Why is my 3G / 4G router using so much data?

The mobile broadband router on it’s own will use very little data – if you have configured ping reboot then it will send small packets of data to an address on the internet to confirm the mobile network still has a valid Internet connection.

It is the devices connected top the router that will access the internet, including remote access to those devices from another user on the Internet.

You can view the following video which uses a Proroute GEM420 as an example to show that the router on it’s own with nothing connected uses very little data.  In this example, the PC was configured with the LAN IP settings to remove the default gateway, this means that the connected PC is not accessing the internet and is just connecting to the router to view the router status page.  Once the default gateway is re-entered then the PC connects to the internet and will start to communicate with Microsoft, Google, Java, Adobe etc to check for updates etc and will start to use data.


You can clearly observe that the router on it’s own does not use any data and that it is connected devices that are using the internet connection and using your inclusive data allowance.

This video gives you the knowledge to confirm that it is not your router using all of the data in your mobile plan and you can now perform individual testing of devices on the LAN either my connecting them one by one and checking how much data they use or you could invest in some LAN monitoring tools that you can run on a PC connected to the router LAN which monitors all the connected devices and can analyse data usage patterns etc.

So – your options are to invest in LAN management software or to individually test your devices on the LAN to find out which one is using your data.

The final thing to take into consideration is if you are using a Fixed IP SIM card with a PUBLIC IP address that you enable your firewall or implement security to prevent unauthorised access to your router and to prevent things like Denial Of Service (DDOS) attacks or port scanning.  Some entry level, low cost 3G and 4G routers do not have many firewall features so you would need to look at configuring your router to only allow access from a single IP address to prevent unauthorised access to your router and excess data use in DDOS attacks.

For applications like CCTV over 3G / 4G then the amount of data used will depend upon how often you access your equipment remotely and the codecs of the CCTV equipment, and the streaming quality configured on the IP camera’s or DVR / NVR equipment and of course any automatic firmware updates or prolonged usage for remote viewing or downloading of files.  Your CCTV installer should be able to advise the streaming and download data rates per minute or per hour so you can get an idea of the amount of data you will use.