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I have an apache ubuntu server which does not use much bandwidth, on a 24 hour basis I would probably have around 200mb of incoming data, for some strange reason I have had 8gb of incoming data in the past 24 hours (at least this is what my provider has told me).

I have installed nethogs and it seems that I have only used 50mb in the past 30 minutes with the program /usr/sbin/apache2.

What could explain this dramatic change in incoming bandwidth? and is there anything I can do to get to bottom of this?

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Use tools such as tcpdump, iptraf, ntop and/or iftop to figure out what kind of traffic you are seeing and where it's coming from.

You can exclude Apache traffic from tcpdump with tcpdump -n not port 80 and not port 443.

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