I.T. just sent me a report complaining that my bandwidth use for our internet connection leads the company by more than 30X what the rest of the company is using. After I prevented myself spitting coffee all over my computer, I stopped to analyse the report to see what's going on.

I don't stream video on our company network, I rarely download software. In fact, I don't do a whole bunch on the internet other than researching answers to problems and the occasional bouts of tweets on Twitter. It turns out that my bandwidth consumption is almost entirely to http://api.stackoverflow.com. I've barely spent any time on any of the Stack Overflow sites recently - certainly not much more than to ask a question and make a half a dozen comments.

So I'm having trouble explaining my bandwidth usage for today to my I.T. manager.

So what on earth could explain this anomalous bandwidth usage that I'm in trouble about?

  • We don't know why you're getting crap from them
    – juan
    Commented Jun 22, 2010 at 15:28
  • 12
    Ok, who stashed porn on api.stackoverflow.com ?
    – user50049
    Commented Jun 22, 2010 at 15:38
  • 5
    @Juan Manuel - I'm getting in crap because it's their job to stay on top of bandwidth hogs. If you read between the lines, I was asking why is the StackOverflow API showing as such a bandwidth hog. Commented Jun 22, 2010 at 15:39
  • @Tim Post - LOL, that would most definitely explain it :D Commented Jun 22, 2010 at 15:40
  • @TimPost easy, blame Jeff. He's long gone so can't defend himself. ;-) Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 11:06

2 Answers 2


Okay, just an update - I think I found the answer to my question. The StackOverflow add-on for FireFox appears to be the culprit. I've uninstalled it and am awaiting confirmation from I.T. that the problem has been rectified... will keep you all posted.

Edit: I.T. has just confirmed that bandwidth usage has dropped by about 90% since I uninstalled this add-on. Looks like this was almost definitely the culprit.

  • 17
    I'd go to the apps.stackoverflow.com address and pose this question there with the title "Stack Overflow FireFox add-on is gonna get me fired." Commented Jun 22, 2010 at 15:39
  • haha, I didn't realize there was an apps.stackoverflow.com, I'll do that. Commented Jun 22, 2010 at 15:42
  • 2
    stackapps.com Commented Jun 22, 2010 at 15:45
  • The plugin polls so I could see this happening. You can change the polling frequency in the preferences to poll less... The report you are seeing is probably showing the size of the uncompressed data BTW. It makes a huge difference because the responses compress down a lot, you were probably using far less bandwidth than that report leads you to believe.
    – carson
    Commented Jun 22, 2010 at 16:30
  • @carson - probably, although that didn't mean I avoided having to explain to the director why I was hogging all their bandwidth. Oh well, fixed now, no real damage done. Commented Jun 22, 2010 at 16:47
  • That explains why my instance of addon is only able to show me a number. All the rest got cut by auto-filters on proxy.
    – Mołot
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 7:05

If I remember correctly, the api.stackoverflow.com domain is used only by third-party apps (as the site itself uses /api), so you should check to see if you're using any third-party tools or plugins as they're likely the culprit.

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