Plex - HUGE bandwidth issue - what is the source of the issue? | PlexGuide.com

Plex HUGE bandwidth issue - what is the source of the issue?

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nickel01

Citizen+
Original poster
Feb 6, 2019
17
0
I have been a long time Plex user and over the past 1+ year, I have been using PlexGuide successfully. Unfortunately for me, I live in an area of the country where Comcast just started bandwidth caps, allowing only 1.2TB per month for our internet account. This started on July 1st.

By July 3rd I received bandwidth overage messages. My plex server is eating up 4x-5x the bandwidth of what is being streamed from my Gdrive hosted content.

To ensure this wasn't from a server setting (thumbnail, media optimization, etc.) I disabled all of them and then ran test on the server capturing the network utilization using vnstat and comparing to my router logs. They matched - as an example:

- Streaming 84MB of content
- rx on Plex server 230MB
- tx on Plex server 130MB
- router confirms tx & rx (Comcast does not give me enough data to know how much of this is hitting outside of the network against my bandwidth cap but I believe the majority because the daily usage from Comcast appears to line up to the sum of tx + rx).
- file system confirms size of file

My setup is the average:
- Comcast, using my own EdgeRouter (e4) for DNS/NAT
- Plexguide w/ Plex running as a VM with a reserved IP, traefik reverse-proxy, and Drive hosted content (server host IP is on internal LAN 192.168.x.x and portainer sets up container for plex 17.18.x.x).
- Apple TV client on LAN at 192.168.x.x


Is it possible that the data is somehow round-tripping in and out of the network? In the example above, I have thought my bandwidth would be rx 84MB (downloading from Drive), and then tx 84MB (streaming to the apple TV - and this should not hit Xfinity Comcast - it should all stay within my LAN).

Does anyone have any idea what is going on? Is there any additional information I can provide to help diagnose the issue?
 

Datamonkeh

Data Hoarding Primate
Project Manager
Donor
Donor
Jan 20, 2018
850
388
Is NAT reflection enabled? Otherwise router may try to route client traffic via WAN which would fit what you describe. Also look at DNS rebinding protection settings.
 
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nickel01

Citizen+
Original poster
Feb 6, 2019
17
0
I think you may be correct but networking is not my strong suit.

To clarify, my goal would be that the AppleTV-Plex client, which is like any other client, just knows about my two plex servers via my plexpass login, and refers to them by their domain names: plex.mydomain111.com and plex.mydomain222.com.

In this situation, mydomain222.com and the AppleTV are on the same LAN but AppleTV-Plex may be hitting the server via the WAN.

I use EdgeOS and found a few threads on community.ui.com forums that are specific to plex issues around NAT reflection/NAT hairpin and DNS rebinding. I'm not clear but I think the simple answer is to somehow tell the router that anything from the LAN that references mydomain222.com should be routed back into the LAN.

What confuses me is the references to plex.direct in the edgeOS forums.

Do I have this all correct? Any additional guidance would be greatly appreciated.
 

Datamonkeh

Data Hoarding Primate
Project Manager
Donor
Donor
Jan 20, 2018
850
388
You got the basics right, when you tell your client to access your (local) server, because the router doesn't know that mydomain.com is actually 192.168.x.xxx on the LAN, so it routes the request via WAN and resolves it via your ISP (or whoever else's) DHCP server and that points back to your WAN IP. So when your local server downloads 1GB of data, it then uploads the same 1GB via WAN to the client... which then re-downloads it via WAN. I haven't run an ER-L in ages, but https://help.ui.com/hc/en-us/articles/204952134-EdgeRouter-Hairpin-NAT should help.
 

nickel01

Citizen+
Original poster
Feb 6, 2019
17
0
Thanks for the suggestion - I'm setting up a test for before and after to measure the impact.
 

Edrock200

MVP
Staff
Nov 17, 2019
549
195
Your not using cloudflare cdn are you? This can also cause round trips when not configured properly. However your timing makes me believe its the new plex intro scanning feature inteoduced last month and enabled without asking first. In your settings, same place where thumbnail setting is under library, make sure intro scanning is set to never.

Make sure plex has 192.168.x.x/24 listed as an internal network.

I had to do split dns for my setup due to some unique config and cdn which may work for you as well.

On your internal dns server that your home clients point to, make an entry for plex.yourdomain.com and point it to the internal ip of your plexguide host (192.168.x.x) In plex network settings set a custom access url of https://plex.yourdomain.com:443
Or

Use the port that matches how you access remotely. If you use cloudflare cdn, youll want the 443 one.

This way internal clients never exit your lan to get to plex, but plex is still acessible remotely (assuming you allow 443 through to your router.)

Prior to me.doing this, my internal clients would be seen as remote clients and go out to cloudflare and back.
 
Last edited:

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