FlightAware Discussions

Bandwidth consumption

Hello all,
i’m planning to use a PI via LTE 4G router, I’d like to know how much data on average is downloaded and uploaded during a period (day or weekly or monthly) in order to calculate the bandwidth consumption and choose the right pricing plan for the sim.
Thanks in advance,

I run a Pi Zero W connected to a router with an LTE modem. It runs a standard piaware image with NO changes and NO other feeders.

Before the pandemic it would see about 200 plane a day 50% passenger and 50% general aviation with a lot of flying school circuit work.

Last time I looked it was using 20-25 MB a day with MLAT turned OFF.

With MLAT turned on it was about 120 MB a day.

This included upload and download traffic and all overheads. The usage was provided by the phone company.

I use a D-Link DWR-921 modem router which has been faultless.


It highly depends on the traffic in your area and which other sites you’re feeding.
My device with up to 2000 aircraft per day has uploaded 1.5GB of data to Flightaware in the last seven days

During the work of the ADSB receiving station, an increased consumption of mobile traffic was detected. Logging for the month showed that only 3.5GB of traffic was sent to the network. In fact, the existing mobile operator’s tariff plan had 8GB of traffic, which was exhausted in about 25 days.

The tcpdump investigation showed that the mobile operator counts traffic to IP headers.
The programs dump1090 and modesmixer2 worked in such a way that each received ADSB message (usually 16-24 bytes in size) was sent each in its own IP packet .

That’s not true for dump1090-fa and piaware. Piaware waits 10 seconds and then sends multiple ADS-B data signals concatenated in the same IP packet (if there are received signals to concatenate in that period of time of course).
If MLAT is not selected, the software waits even more before sending - it will make a difference mostly in areas with low plane counts.

I’ll try to see it in Wireshark

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Well it depends on the dump1090 version for sure.

I’m curious what the thread starter is talking about, transferring beast / raw data or feeding FA.


I’d recommend readsb with beast-reduce and changing the --net-ro-interval to a second.

The changing the beast-reduce-interval to 1 second should get you significantly lower data rate. (well assuming you have good reception, if you’re receiver is really bad might not be much data to reduce)

I use vnstat to keep tabs on bandwidth usage which is minimal.


This is irrelevant for piaware because the dump1090 data is not going over the WAN; only much lower bandwidth summarized reports are uploaded. Also, dump1090 has options to tune batching of data if you really want to send all the raw data over the WAN for some reason.

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So piaware does this compressing/bunching together of ADS-B data before hitting the Internet?

It summarizes, yes. We don’t feed the raw data directly.

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Thanks, that was my understanding. So anyone that send directly the raw ADS-B data over Internet might see a bad data usage.

i am using darkstat which is identifying the transfer data per host. With this i can filter out the local traffic. Works perfect on a Raspberry


I use MRTG on my regular network because it can easily monitor all SNMP devices including routers and switches. I have it running on Windows Server.


Problem is that you still need a packet driver to identify the traffic per host.

Another solution would be NtopNG, but also too much for just checking the required bandwidth of a single connection

Actually, I don’t worry about bandwidth consumption on the home portion of my network because I have an unlimited 500kbit cable connection for it. Vnstat shows the ADS-B per host network usage adequately. My RPi’s and home devices are separate from my main network that uses MRTG. It has a 1 Gbit connection. The bottom line is that I’m winding down my network stuff because I’m nearing 80 and getting too old to keep up with technological changes.

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My VNstat output feeding the usual suspects, nothing else running except the prereq’s for the feeders, VNstat and RPI-Monitor:

I’m currently seeing roughly 900k positions/day and ~2200 planes/day on this unit - slowly getting back to where things were prior to this Covid crap. This may give an idea of what more traffic and feeding multiple sites looks like so far as consumption.

Your current traffic count is about the same as mine was a year ago.
Taking that as a reference, my traffic (as metered by my (LTE) ISP) was 20~25mb/day without MLAT or ~60mb/day with MLAT enabled.
For the extra MLAT data, I was only reporting an extra 1~4 planes per day, so the extra ‘cost’ didn’t seem worthwhile - YMMV.

At the time, the only device on the network was a Pi3b+ running an un-molested PiAware image.