Is My Router Consuming Data?

The router is a Linux based system, having a list of programs running to make it work normally. There are 3 processes that will consume some data even when you are not using the router. They are mwan3 service, which is for multiple wan failover or load-balancing: NTP service, which synchronizes the time with time servers; and router’s management panel, when displayed in a browser, which detect Internet connection and show the status to the users.

mwan3 service
“Mwan3” is a process of monitoring each WAN connection, and then automatically routing outbound traffic to another WAN interface if the first WAN interface loses connectivity. This is based on numerica weight assigned. When this progress is running, the outbound WAN traffic priority would be WAN > Repeater > Tethering > 4G modem. When this progress is disabled, the router may choose only one WAN connection based on the current routing table. To avoid confusion, you should only have one WAN connection with mwan3 disabled.

The mwan3 service network traffic is about 220kB in one hour.

Check it’s running

But how do you check if the mwan3 service is running in the background?

1. SSH login to your router, then check the command result if there’s any mwan3 progress running.

2. Besides, some other available commands list as follows.

Turn it off

But what if you want to disable the mwan3 service, the correct way is to uninstall it completely.

1. Login the web UI of your router, go to APPLICATIONS > Plug-ins, and search “mwan3” in the filter box.

2. Find the mwan3 packet, and click Uninstall to remove this packet.

3. If you want to recover this feature, just install this mwan3 packet back.

Modify the intervals

Please note that, mwan3 works by pinging some public servers on the Internet to detect if Internet is reachable. The router will ping OpenDNS and Google’s public DNS servers every 5 seconds. You you can modify these interval using the following methods:

1. SSH login this router, type in “vi /etc/config/mwan3” to go to the config system.

2. Find the interface you want to change the interval, here we take WAN as the example.

4. Press “Esc” button to exit the print mode.

5. Press “shift” + “:” at the same time, then type in “wq” to write and quit.

NTP service

NTP service provides time synchronization based on a network of reference clocks located around the world. Please note this process is very critical. You should leave it running. If your router does not have a correct time setting it may not behave correctly. For example, you may not connect to some vpn services. The NTP service network traffic is about 5kB in one hour.

How to disable the NTP service?

1. SSH login this router, type in “vi /etc/config/system” to go to the config system.

2. Find the NTP service as the following picture.

3. Press “i” button on your keyboard to turn into the edit mode, then you can change the option enabled parameter from “1” to “0”.

4. Press “Esc” button to exit the edit mode.

5. Press “shift” + “:” at the same time, then type in “wq” to write and quit.

Web Management Panel

When the device management web interface is opened in a browser, the device would detect the internet network status, and check for the latest firmware, periodically.

The web config service network traffic is about 10kB in one hour.

How to disable the web config service?

You can just close the web config portal and it will not consume data anymore.


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