Large daily updates away from hom

I bought an EE MyWiFi to use on holiday. 2 Gb monthly allowance. Half has been used in three days - I have turned all 'suspects' off (cloud, trusteer etc) except F-secure, which downloads daily updates - and seems to cause the huge usage.

The EE MyWiFi is not seen as mobile internet - it is wireless (picks up EE 3G/4G signal and acts as a wireless router for up to 10 devices). IN FACT it is a mobile internet source, but is not recognised as such by F-Secure - I have found no means of switching off updates while on holiday. Is it possible? Or is F-secure effectively incompatible (as described - due to cost of data cosnumption) with such mobile devices?




  • Ukko
    Ukko Posts: 3,527 Superuser



    I had experience about 'setting' with related meanings, but did not feel F-Secure as certain "network consumer"; There comes changes for F-Secure software, of course... but I still able to think that daily updates (except first one with fresh installation or ?! upgrade) should not take too much (?! like GBs);


    F-Secure published also "Data transfer declaration: Impact on Privacy and Bandwidth":


    maybe already with outdated meanings, but with some 'information' about;

    also F-Secure 'limited' updates on weekends too (they do publish it with workdays much more) :).

    Good if there will be official attention from F-Secure.



  • Thanks Ukko. I was on holiday so have not studied the document in your link ("Data transfer declaration").


    A quick look at section 7 (bandwidth) suggests F-secure should use tens of Mb of data transfer in 3 days, and not a few hundred Mb each day, as I experienced. I will read the document in more detail. HOWEVER, while on holiday I tried a 'dirty' solution. I was using the EE MyWiFi in my apartment, and it was the only WiFi signal detectable. As there was communal WiFi available in the lobby several floors downstairs, I got into the habit of  starting my laptop down there so that F-secure Aquarius, Hydra, Gemini and DeepGuard would update themselves there (and there were several updates each day). I could then go back and use my laptop with the EE MyWiFi in the comfort of my apartment. Data consumption through the EE MyWiFi dropped from 300Mb to 100Mb a day.

    Clearly, I only have this litte amount of information available, but it strongly suggests that F-secure consumes a lot of data to keep itself up to date. I will continue to look into this as time allows, to try to think if other possible 'culprits' - Dropbox and Onedrive had not updated during this period, for example, so were not the culprits.

  • Ukko
    Ukko Posts: 3,527 Superuser



    Just some of my thoughts (good to receive proper attention from F-Secure):



    Just as clarification -> as I noted with my previous reply -> "Data transfer declaration" can be outdated (because F-Secure with fresh/large changes after "17.0"-release);

    I asked (?!) such meanings with this reply... but this is not discussed/answered.


    But just because you noted "Gemini"-updates -> probably your experience about "16.5" (or some other) F-Secure releases, where "Data transfer declaration" should be fully 'valid';


    Anyway -> maybe your experience is reasonable (as troublepoint) and if will be delay with official response under community -> maybe you able to try contact direct F-Secure Support Channels:

    They should be with abilities for certified help and proper advices (clarifications);

    At least, you already provided many points which should be under investigation.

    But as general words:


    --> Most large database is "Aquarius" (it can be about "500mb" and I able to expect that only with "clean installation" this size fully downloaded);

    --> "Hydra", "Gemini" and "DeepGuard"-databases should be with less size (some MBs maybe; at least; less than 50Mb with full size);


    --> Daily updates ?! most likely should be only about "fresh changes" (so... as example -> some additions or re-placement for previous signatures); So -> it should not be too much large (but.. if F-Secure pushed a lot of database-updates per one day -> maybe it possible to hit large count);

    Generally -> I did not re-check it by my own steps, but if there is another design -> this is strange. Maybe I will try to perform it.


    --> But F-Secure also created "full" backup during updates-installation. So -> for example, my technology preview installation with "TWO" full (?!) Aquarius-databases under installation folder. And maybe under system placed some of 'valid' database-backup; This is useful.. if there is stuck with installing updates and required to use "previous" (if fresh updates is not installed properly);

    Drive usage at updating is expected (and not sure about "network"-usage with high count).


    --> My laptop with Windows 10 system (daily usage, but not really active or so) and F-Secure installation has count about "latest thirty days" as "15Gb" (including surf web, system's updates and so);

    Does your experience about using browser or maybe some online games (or so) also?

    Just as potential "additional src of network"; Some of websites are created not "optimized" (and load a lot of large pictures, videos as part of their "customization");

    My another laptop with Windows 10 system and F-Secure SAFE installation; Under one of accounts (surf web, system's updates and small number of other network activities) --> around 600Mb for latest thirty days (?!). Probably required to understand what part of this.. based on F-Secure (most likely F-Secure Teams should to monitor such meanings).


    Basically -> at weekends... only Aquarius-engine more often receiving updates. But I able to think that possible situation -> if you do not turn on your system (or got updates) some days ... with next launch it can be "downloading updates with much more visible count of size" (while per month it can be not so visible); 

    I did small re-check with my own system: I launch VMWare with another system, where installed F-Secure SAFE (and did not receive updates some days; maybe two/three or more);
    Then -> I trigger "check updates" for my system (and for VMWare system) --> main system got small-portion of Aquarius-updates (since it was updated recently); And under VMWare got Aquarius-updates for "?! some days" (take more time for downloading/installing it);
    As result -> around Three MBs of traffic (included all other potential software/system usage of network); I able to think that such size can be expected.
    But anyway good to re-check it properly with my own experience too (about more time/view);


  • Näsäviisas
    Näsäviisas Posts: 786 Superuser

    Have a nice holiday!
    Don't stress with internet.
    Have a proper rest.
    💼 🎶🌴🛫⛱🌞🕶📚🍦🍰
    Some ideas!

  • Thanks for your responses guys. I had a good break Näsäviisas, thanks for your good wishes. I just hope I don't run out of my 2 Gb/month  data allowance when I go away again in a few weeks. (I use data for my hobbies - not work).


    I don't think I understood the references to technical issues with F-secure databases. The rate at which data was consumed last time makes me hesitate to do more 'experimants'. Ever the pragmatist, I am tempted to unload F-secure and use something liek AVG free antivisrus software for my next holiday (then reverse the process when I get back from holiday). I am curious to see whether the data usage would become small compared to F-secure. If it is much less then F-secure is the culprit, if not then I will definitley have to look for some other software.



  • nanonyme
    nanonyme Posts: 146 Path Finder


    If you're confident the software is using a lot more bandwidth in updates than advertised, you might want to consider contacting support with output from support tool included. According to my understanding the software tries to be smart and only download minimum required data when updating so it might be you're for some reason hitting some very suboptimal edge case or then there's something severely wrong. Don't put the output of support tool as it contains some personal data in addition to the information of what was updated and whether it was a full download.

  • nanonyme
    nanonyme Posts: 146 Path Finder

    Sorry, meant to type: don't post the output on the forum. 

  • Laksh
    Laksh Posts: 4,443 Former F-Secure Employee

    Hi tezaddick,


    Usually, it shouldn’t download that much virus definition updates. However, was there any product upgrade message seen during that time? If there was a product upgrade happening during that time, it could increase the data consumption. But even that should not account to so much of data. 


    Have you checked if there was any Windows Updates which were downloaded during that spam of time?


  • Hi, Thanks for the questions.  Basically, there was nothing else I could think of that was consuming so much data - take into account that I closed the lid (hibernated) the laptop after use, and used the laptop a number of times each day. On each start up, F-secure checked for updates (I learnt to right mouse click the tray icon to see what was being updated and installed). The 1 Gb usage in three days was cgaracterised by my small usage of the internet plus some large (100Mb's steps) which I could only put down to F-secure. There was no usage of clud (I turned these off). There was no Windows update. Not sure about Trusteer, but I was not aware if it updates. PLUS, I then got to open the lid and update F-secure in the communal WiFi area, before retuniing to my apartment to use the EE MyWiFi, whose data consumption fell to 'normal' use.


    In short, the information I have is limited of course, but every indication was that the F-secure updates were either the whole or part of the problem.

  • I would add that my laptop has developed a frustrating process of taking a long time to start-up since upgrading from Windows 8 to 10. I have found others on Microsoft forums suffering similarly, but no known answer. This slow startup includes high hard disk activity. The solution, when I can bite the bllet, may be to do a fresh instal of Windows.

    I do not see how this could affect the quantity of data that F-secure might download, but there might be others to whom this is significant.

  • nanonyme
    nanonyme Posts: 146 Path Finder
    just curious, is there any change in the bandwidth usage or does it still keep being a lot higher than expected?
  • Hi nanonyme.  In short, I have been at home using my home wifi recently. But I will be using the portable wifi again soon, but with a new laptop. So if little data is consumed keeping the AV updated, it indicates the problem lies with the old laptop. I am in the process of updating windows 10 on the old laptop, first to Creator's update edition, then if necessary to a clean instal of Win10.  I will report back on the effects on bandwidth consumption in due course.

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