ISP & File Sharing....Do they watch?



I basically want to know do certain ISP’s…(cable/dsl)…watch your bandwidth or check to see if & what your d’loading etc…

Also…are there certain ISP’s(America) that watch more than others…or might there be a website dedicated showing what ISP’s are tough to download w/ cause they monitor bandwidth etc…

I may be moving shortly and was wondering what my options are…I won’t pick and ISP for speed then find out they monitor constantly…


Boy that’s a tough question. If your located in the USA i really don’t think ISP’s watch you until they are asked by some official agency at least none i know of in 3 states. Don’t be paranoid.


Nosmartz, I have never heard of active monitoring UNTIL an ISP is notified to do so, as rolling56 says. The whole EULA at signup is that the ISP will only investigate when there’s possible serious breaches like hacking attempts, so that’s when any monitoring starts. The only other thing I’ve heard tossed around the forums is that so long as you don’t do any kind of major ‘online distribution’ of some important file(s), you likely won’t be ‘looked at’ for d/l’ing songs or other files, especially if you don’t keep them in a shared folder for all to see and download from.


the one i’m on here has been fine(america)…but have recently found where some of those infringed upon companies have made big issues to the isp’s and basically they got warning emails etc…not really paranoid…just trying to mind my p’s and q’s…:)…just being safe i suppose

i saw something recently that a “company” individual warned a forum by stating he had jott’d down all ip addy’s that d’load’d a certain .torrent…nothing has come of it in the last month and thought there was more to it…maybe just posturing


I understand


Some ISPs like to claim “unlimited download”, but the small print usually makes it easy to say “BUT”.

Don’t know if it’s different elsewhere, but the UK cable operators tend to be fussier about upload than download, as the upload capacity on the cable network is pathetic.

The other question often asked, on things like newsgroup access, “Is it throttled, or is it just rubbish connections?”


Most ISP’s use shape shifting software. This software tries to balance the bandwidth load routing through servers. This software is also capable of throttling your ports if need be.

If you want to avoid attention, do not have high volume usage of bandwidth during peak hours. Stay consistant with your usage and avoid going way out of the normal usage range.

:cool: :cool:


in the last 3 months…the dsl modem here has went haywire…it’s never done it during high d’load speeds…it’s always when the upload speed is high…i’ve never reached the max d’load here…not even close


In Australia I know of a few people that have been emailed by some of the larger ISPs to warn them along the lines of…
"We have been informed by various authorities that you are downloading material that is deemed to be protected by copyright. Please be advised that doing so is illegal and that further activity of this type on your part will incur suspension of service and render you liable to legal action…"
They got these because they were downloading huge numbers of movies via torrents. Naughty, naughty!


i think some of the isp’s if not most monitor the ports used on some connections. here in the UK some of the isp’s limit the bandwidth on certain ports at peak times. the cable operators really don’t care 9 times out of 10 except when you upload a lot. i’ve had months when the amount of data going through our pipe exceeds 500gb and telewest haven’t said a word.


Ok I do a few things about ISPs, here goes. Usually, NO, they do not have the time or resources to monitor EVERY user, that would be ridiculous. However, yes bandwidth usage is logged and through special software they take the average bandwidth usage and will look for unusually high activity - For example, when the average monthly usage is usually below 20GB and they notice that a group of subscribers are doing 100GB+ on a repetitive basis, it will be flagged and they may, at their discretion look into it - Remember that when you sign up for home internet, you agree that the service is unlimited but based on intermittent use, non commercial use and non abusive. SOme ISPs are more tolerant that others, some will usually warn you if you exceed 100GB - What you should be very careful especially is your UPLOAD bandwidth - if it is that high then you are running a server and sharing files, this also raises a flag. The other thing you should watch for is complaints - When complaints about your accounts are made to your ISp, they do take it very seriously and will act upon it. No, ISPs are not there to monitor and NO they do not monitor WHAT you are downloading - They DO have software and CAN monitor your ports, to see if you are running any server (usually they monitor port 21, 80, etc.) but otherwise they flag abusive downloaders/uploaders. I’d say if you exceed 100Gb (maybe 60GB to be safe) on a monthly basis, then you should try not to make it a HABIT every month. Some ISPs will not bother flagging bandwidth abusers - but if they DO call or send you a letter, they will usually request that you reduce your activity, by law, you they CANNOT ask you WHAT you are downloading or what you are doing, they CAN ask you to tone down your abusive activity :smiley: but unless they have a warrant they cannot bother you about what you are doing - They can bloody care less what you are downloading just as long as they don’t get complaints.