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Stop constant wireless usage Network
After searching long and hard, (and finding people with the similar problems) I finally found the solution to my constant wireless network usage (0.3KB/s down, 0.1KB/s up), even when I wasn't accessing the network -- turning off the AirPort menu bar icon stops the traffic.

After I bought a new Apple TimeCapsule and set it up as my wireless router/base station, I noticed a constant 0.3KB/s down, 0.1KB/s up network usage, even when I wasn't actively downloading/uploading anything. (I use iStat Menus 3 which shows the network activity in the menu bar). It started to drive me crazy.

I fired up Wireshark and started to monitor the packets, and I found that my computer and the base station were constantly communicating on port 192 (Wireshark displays it as port osu-nms). According to this Apple Support Article, port 192 is used for 'AirPort Base Station PPP status or discovery (certain configurations), AirPort Admin Utility, AirPort Express Assistant.' It appeared that my system was constantly checking with the base station, about 4 or 5 times a second.

After searching the internet for quite a while, I finally found an answer on a Japanese blog in a post titled AirMac-UDP-192 (page is in Japanese), in which the author was having problems with SystemUIServer and during trouble shooting, started to remove all of the menu bar icons. It was at this point that they noticed that the traffic on port 192 suddenly stopped when they turned off the AirPort (AirMac in Japanese) icon.

And it works! Turning off the AirPort menu bar icon in System Preferences » Network » AirPort stops all of the port 192 traffic.

I've been running this way for a month or two with no problems; AirPort Admin Utility still works fine, so does Time Machine. And now when I'm not uploading/downloading anything, I'm really not uploading or downloading anything.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. It's obviously an inconvenience if you need to move between a number of access points and need to select them manually, but if there are security or other concerns this is a way to turn off the scan without using a firewall to block the port.]
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Stop constant wireless usage
Authored by: cocoabean on Jan 07, '11 08:23:26AM

A cool hint for the neurotic, but really, 2400 wasted bits per second is nothing considering your network card can move ~1,000,000,000 bits/s. I'd rather have the icon. You could instead firewall port 192 and keep your icon. Regardless, you will always have other "chatter" like Bonjour on your network.

Edited on Jan 07, '11 08:24:42AM by cocoabean



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Stop constant wireless usage
Authored by: thisisntme on Jan 07, '11 12:55:20PM

I don't know about you, but my wireless is not gigabit...



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Stop constant wireless usage
Authored by: homersimp on Jan 07, '11 08:25:50AM

Great hint! I think you need to make it just a bit more clear that you mean to simply remove the Airport icon from the menu bar, and not "turning it off", which might confuse people into disabling Airport from the menu bar.



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Stop constant wireless usage
Authored by: daveywest on Jan 07, '11 08:49:20AM

You realize this data usage is just wireless traffic between your computer and the base station. Basically your computer is pinging the base station, and the base station is providing updates on if and how long it has been hard wire connected to the internet.



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Stop constant wireless usage
Authored by: asadKing on Jan 08, '11 04:25:34AM

I have iStat and OS X 10.6.6, I tried this without any apps open, and with several apps open, (including iTunes, Mail, Safari, etc.) and I have found that when I am NOT using the network then there is NO data transfer!. with or without the AirPort menu item. unless Mail is scanning or iTunes is checking for updates but thats obviously fine.



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