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I recently started a minecraft server (locally, my server sits next to my desktop on my local network) and today I noticed that my 200 gb monthly limit is nearing, which is an 800% increase in internet usage.

I go to my ISP webpage, and the hourly breakdown and I can clearly see the hours that I was playing minecraft as the hours when downloads/uploads were occuring.

Does minecraft really use bandwidth unnecessarily while simply being logged in or playing? (I say unnessasarily because me and my server are both on the same network, there is no external server and no need to go outside my network).

Is there any simply solution that I can employ with my router, short of logging in to minecraft and then unplugging the router from the phone line?

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Did you make sure to connect to instead of your external IP? If you use your external IP instead of your local IP to connect to your server, it'll still go through your modem and eat up bandwidth. – Schism May 12 '13 at 5:21
Usually you should be using a router and by default port forwarding isn't turned on and you should not be able to connect via the external IP. I think you should write more on how you host and how you connect (a network diagram would be great). – Alvin Wong May 12 '13 at 5:58
No, Minecraft doesn't normally use bandwidth unnecessarily. There is something else going on here. (I have the same setup, and I don't have this problem.) – SevenSidedDie May 12 '13 at 8:04
@Schism How are you connecting to your External IP on an Internal Network? – Batophobia May 13 '13 at 21:21
@David Personally, I have a server box next to my computer as well. My ports are forwarded so friends can join. When I connect to my own server, I can either connect using my external ( IP, or through my internal ( IP. The former will use up internet bandwidth, whereas the latter will not. – Schism May 13 '13 at 22:08

When the port of your Minecraft server is not opened or forwared in your router and you are using your server purely local, then there is something else going on as pointed out by SevenSidedDie.

I recommend using Wireshark which is a network sniffer to monitor your network traffic on the system(s) you are using to determine what this traffic is and maybe also determine which application produces it.
If you are not able to find the application responsible for the traffic, you can at least find out which port the traffic goes through and then close that port.
If this is the case you might want to consider nuking your system completely and reinstalling it, because you might be the victim of a virus or part of a botnet and setting up your system completely anew is the only way to be sure that you are free of either virus or botnet.

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