If you have a monthly data cap from your ISP, (or having network congestion) the following few features can help you stay on top of your bandwidth usage to avoid overage charges (available in Firewalla Blue/Blue+, Red, and Gold).
- Firewalla measures the number of bytes excluding the IP (Internet Protocol Header) and MAC headers. Your service provider may measure differently. (Service provider may likely measure more since they likely to include IP header and MAC headers)
- There are certain long-lasting (TCP connections that never terminates) which will get accounted when the session is terminated. Your service provider may measure differently.
- Please make sure you compare the number reported by Firewalla with your ISP's number
- Firewalla will only measure devices with monitoring on.
- More detail explained here.
Data Usage Monitoring
Firewalla allows you to set up your own Monthly Data Plan so it can give you an overview of the data usage of the current month.
To turn on this feature, tap on Data Usage on the main screen of the Firewalla App, turn on Monthly Data Plan, and fill in your data plan and the reset date accordingly.
- Data Usage Plan - Based on your monthly data plan, set a limit or threshold
- Reset Date - When to start the tracking of a new cycle
In general, it is a good practice to set the limit 20% lower than your ISP limit. (example, if you have a 1T limit, set 800GB). And always use the ISP number as the standard.
Monthly Data Plan Alarm
If you'd like to receive alarms when the data usage exceeds 80%, 90%, and 100% of the threshold to avoid overage, you can:
- Set Alarm Setting to Send Alarm Only/ Send both Alarms & Notifications on Data Usage.
- Or go to Alarms -> Alarm Settings (tap the icon on the top right corner) -> Monthly Data Plan.
Example: The network has consumed 148.16 GB during the month, and the data plan is set to 100 GB. When the data usage reached the 100GB threshold, Firewalla will generate an alarm. Below is a sample of the alarm details screen.
Large Bandwidth Usage Alarm
Left Netflix or Youtube running? Firewalla can notify you when a device has consumed a large amount of bandwidth over a short period of time. It helps you identify devices or activities that are draining bandwidth, and take actions. This type of alarm is on by default, it can be turned off in Alarm Settings.
The alarm will show the following:
- Device - Which device is causing the alarm
- Data Transferred - Data transferred on the device in the last 24 hours
- Top Destinations - Top 5 destinations based on the data transfer volume
Finding Large Bandwidth Devices
If you want to know which device is using the most bandwidth in the past 24 hours.
- Tap on devices
- Tap on the top right sort button
- and sort on Top Download (or top upload)
Firewalla Data usage measurement explained
Measurements from Firewalla as written earlier are done over the data size (excluding IP header and MAC headers). Your ISP is likely to measure the whole packet size, which means, you may want to reduce the total usage alarm by a percentage.
For example, Comcast is reporting internet usage as 922GB, while Firewalla reporting 836.04GB. In this case, the ISP is measuring 10% more than Firewalla.