Wifi mobile broadband with optus automatically connects to svod

Recently I purchased a 4G Wifi Modem from Optus because I had internet problems and after Optus fixed it all my WiFi modem stopped working so I was back using old style modems at home, no wifi. I wanted too find out if using one off these would be better and cheaper than having ADSL connections to my home, especially if power went down for any length off time.
I got the modem on special so didn’t pay full price, and went into an Optus store too ask them to help me connect it, sorry the guy said you didn’t’ buy it here so we cant help you even though it is an Optus modem, customer service at its worst. The person I spoke too did ring the customer service people at Optus and put me on the phone to active it which I did.
After using it for a few hours I decided too check my usage to see how much off the 4G which came with the modem was left. Low and behold the modem also connected to Netflix, ABCIview via SVOD and it did this a few times when I was online. Not knowing what this was I googled SVOD and found out it was Video on Demand, now I had no subscription to any off these services but the modem ws doing it automatically even though I didn’t even connect too any off the sites while I was on my computer.
I rang Optus twice and tried to explain this but they said it cant be happening, I said it is its on my usage. Off course they tried to tell me I was connection to You Tube or something else or there was a preview I was watching I said no there wasn’t’, I asked for them to disconnect it and they promtly said I cant do that I will transfer you to someone who can, off course they couldn’t help either I’ve rung twice now and in the end I’ve rung the Ombudsman to complain and will wait to see if Optus reply which I doubt because no one in Optus know anything about it.
Optus did give me another 1G to which I said thank you but it didn’t change the fact that I was still getting connected to these other sites.
I tried to explain that it was something the guy did when he activated the service as they give you a Mobile number too attach to the service.
Has anyone had a similar problem with Mobile broadband?


I thought that Optus on mobile plans had something like “It won’t affect your data allowance” or something similar if using some pre-defined sites:


I don’t know what sites though and maybe this is why their system isn’t blocking and in fact enabling this access (even though in your case it is using data).

Have you tried firewalling these connections out or using a DNS service that can filter these requests out?


Thank you for this link, but from what I have read this applies too mobile phones rather than mobile broadband. There is a link on the screen but it doesn’t show anything about predefined sites in anything to do with mobile broadband that I could see.


As for firewalling or using a DNS service, I’m afraid I’m not that tech savvy so would not know what or how to do this. As far as both Telcos are concerned Mobile broadband is something new the y are venturing into but they seem to not worry about defining much unless it is to do with Mobile phone activation.
Thank you for your reply.


From Optus:


Mobile Broadband really is Mobile phone tech just no voice. When we first moved out where we live we couldn’t get ADSL so we ended up on Telstra Broadband Wireless (about 8 years ago now). So it isn’t something new (Telstra had a Foxtel add on that was not supposed to affect your data limits).

When you probably installed their software to access the Wireless service it probably added the SVOD software as part of the install. So it is likely on your computer and you either have or can install a firewall that gives you precise control over what programs access the internet.

So look at what is installed and remove the unwanted services and programs if you can find them. Find what your current firewall if you have one, is and if not one installed get one. Use the firewall to control what programs are allowed access to the internet. Your internet settings on your computer will have DNS settings but these can be changed and some DNS services eg OpenDNS https://www.opendns.com/ allow you to put some control on what is allowed. You can also change your Host file to send these DNS requests to home or localhost (ip address

If you unsure what you are doing there are some great tutorials/advice on the internet or you can ask the family GEEK go to person or you can pay someone. The first two suggestions are good learning opportunities.

As you are on a limited data allowance I won’t offer to teamviewer (remote assistance) to do it but if you ever wish to do so just let me know. I would need to give you my phone number to arrange a time and date if you wished to do it.


Politely - does the “purchased on special” retailer have a business name you can share? What did they warrant/guaranntee?

I currently have separate data and phone services with Optus (also Telstra if I consider past employment). It sounds like you have a mobile phone SIM as the services you describe can come standard with a new mobile. They make no sense for a dumb device without no onboard menu to manage them, or an OPTUS software app package that you can install on you PC or tablet.

It seems more than unexpected that even if though you can see these extra services you are using lots of data for them without using one of the services on your connected device. Some of the earlier Telstra USB wireless modems had news feeds, etc and continually updated. You could turn these off if you chose. The data use was minimal.

You could consider asking Optus to supply a replacement data SIM ($5 last time I did this). And to be sure the sales person can properly answer the questions about these other services you don’t want.

I’ve had no similar issues on my Optus mobile phone or data device, nor with a recent Telstra broadband 4G wifi modem.

Some of the Optus stores (franchises) do have specialist support staff who come in store as well as general sales staff if you can seek them out.

Another option is that OPTUS has “cocked up” the account and SIM relationship and you are seeing data consumed on another device? It happened to us a number of years back.

Is it safe to assume you have also checked the WIFI set up and changed the default WIFI access passcode and SSID to be sure some one else has not borrowed some of your data? It’s OK if this is not familiar to you. You may need to get some help from a reliable geek?


The retailer I bought this off was Coles, they had this modem and also the Telstra USB one on special at the time but the Coles near me didn’t have the Telstra one so I ended up with this one. I have both home and internet with Optus at the moment but after the last few months with them I wont be for long but that is another story. I have explored getting the Telstra USB and if I can will try that to see if it lasts longer and works better. I have yet to add more credit to the Optus one.
I have heard form Optus as I ended up ringing the Ombudsman because I couldn’t get any sense out off Optus and heard from someone yesterday who tried to tell me off course I am using Netflix etc which I’m not and I also asked her what the chances are that I’ve been given a mobile SIM card because I do know that the ones I’ve been getting connected too are part off the mobile phone offer that is supposed to be free streaming, she off course said that can’t happen. Any technical questions were lost on her and she was going to get some tech guys to ring me tomorrow as I wasn’t home today and refused to talk to someone at night, anyhow she rang me this morning while I was waiting for the bus so I couldn’t talk to her then and said she ring back , she hasn’t yet.
Yes I did get into the modem and change the password that you access it with but not the SSID as
I dont want to stuff that up, I wasn’t’ game to do much else.
A geek as you call them that is in my area said that it is possible that someone is accessing my data but couldn’t’ see how.
The woman from Optus said if they cant fix it I should try another carrier, I said I want my money back if that’s the case as I’ve wasted it if they cant fix it. What I cant understand is that others are experiencing similar problems because when I Googled the SVOD there was a section called Optus yes crowd that I clicked on and they are all experiencing similar problems to me, but there doesn’t appear to be answers.


I’m afraid DNS is beyond me as is firewalls as I’m not that tech savvy but I did look it up but would prefer someone else does it than I. I have been contacted by Optus in answer to my call to the Ombudsman so will see what they come up with first before I go down that road. thank you for your suggestions though it is something to look into later.
The only question I have though is what does DNS do that other stuff that is already running doesn’t?


Coles should offer you a refund? They sold you the device and installed service. Or is there something here that perhaps one of the Choice consumer experts can explain gets Coles off the hook?

You are also obviously not alone.

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There are two ways addresses are now supplied on the internet one is IPv4 and the other is IPv6. While not really important to this discussion, I have added it here in case you run across it. The thing DNS does differently is explained below.

DNS (Domain Name System) is like a phonebook, you put in a name eg https://optusnet.com.au and your DNS provider converts that to a number that computers know as an example for optusnet it is (this is it’s IPv4 address) so that your device can find and connect to that address.

Most ISP/RSP have DNS servers to do that for you and some use public DNS servers such as Google’s which are & (IPv4 type) & 2001:4860:4860::8888 & 2001:4860:4860::8844 (IPv6). The first address noted for each IP type is the Primary DNS server, the second one is the Secondary DNS server. Actually Google have many of these servers around the world but they use a process called anycast to link you to the nearest one to you using these addresses.

Most of these servers will resolve (convert) the name to the IP address and your browser will then hopefully be able to find the site and connect to it. You don’t get much control over that connection beyond closing that browser window or going on to try for a new address once you have entered the name and pressed enter.

What some DNS services offer is to block certain sites eg Adult sites for you by filtering those DNS requests so they don’t link to those pages, they don’t let your browser complete the connection. For example in openDNS you can get a family account that automatically blocks some/lots of “bad” sites and you can also get an account that lets you also block a list of addresses you put in (this is called Blacklisting), you could also over-ride some bad ones or particular sites you want to see by whitelisting them. So Blacklisting blocks & Whitelisting allows.

But before an address is sent to the DNS servers there is a special file on your computer that is checked, this is called the Hosts file. There are some special addresses (reserved addresses) that can be used here. So in the Hosts file you can tell your computer how to resolve a site name you type in. It always has one address already allocated and this is localhost (don’t ever remove this line it is very important).

To find the Hosts file on Windows it is located in normally C drive (if windows is installed in a non default drive use that letter instead) so c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts, you can open it with notepad. The Hosts file is normally “Read only” so if you want to make any changes you may need to change it from “Read only” before you open it in notepad or other text editor. You can search how to do this on the web by searching for “how to change read only access on a file” or similar terms (without the quotes :slight_smile: ). After changing the contents save the changes and then you should re-enable the “Read only” setting.

In a Linux machine it is /etc/hosts, in these it is a Root file and so to access it you need to use terminal plus nano or other text editor, and sudo eg from your terminal window type “sudo nano /etc/hosts” (without the quotes and you will need your Linux user password). To save any changes or exit use the Control key and the letter X

In a Mac it is /private/etc/hosts and again it is a Root file so to look at it or alter it you need to open Applications then Utilities then Terminal. then at the terminal command line type “sudo nano /private/etc/hosts” (without the quotes). To save any changes or exit do so with the Control key and the letter X

Let’s say you know the IPv4 address of optusnet and you don’t want to ever have to worry about using someone else’s DNS server. In the Hosts file you would start a line with (as per above the optusnet address) then add at least one space (can be more spaces just don’t do too many) then type optusnet.com.au then press enter to add a new line (the list needs to end with an empty line) so you would see optusnet.com.au

Now when you type optusnet.com.au into your browser it will load the optusnet page without going through a DNS server.

But we come back to those special addresses (null address) and (loopback or home address). So as in the above example if I wanted to always block optusnet.com.au I could either add optusnet.com.au or optusnet.com.au

As these address are resolved to a loopback or null address they don’t ever get sent to the web and you never see the page unless you know the actual IP address and type that into your browser in this case the

I currently block around 15,000 addresses in my Hosts (these are mostly to block web pages making calls to these sites for ads etc) and have around 1,000 addresses allowed that are to correct my common typos so the addresses resolve without me retyping the address in the browser.

Firewalls are also located on your computer but can also be a separate device or included in your modem, but most of us deal with it on our computers or other connected devices. What they do is allow or disallow traffic both from your device to the web or from the web to your device. They do this by what are called firewall rules.

Some rules are built in (defined) and some you are able to define yourself. Most people just use the defined rules but others do tinker to get the firewall working just as tightly as they want. So in the case of your firewall you might say want to block the solitaire card game from accessing the web and block it from receiving data from the web (not that it should be but it is just an example). To do this you would set a rule that tells the firewall to block the game executable from accessing the internet and also to block any internet based calls to the game. These rules mean that even if the game wants to call out to some other place on the web it can’t and nothing can call into the game.

Antivirus our other anti malware tools do not generally carry out these blocking actions, though some features that are added to them may do this eg Avira’s Safe Browsing add on or Microsoft’s Smartscreen but they typically only block known bad sites not legitimate programs you may have installed.

A bit of geeky info:

There is a limited amount of addresses that can be made available by IPv4 as it is a 32 bit system (2 to the power of 32 or just over 4 billion addresses) and have all been now allocated (but not necessarily used). IPv6 addresses are 128-bit IP addresses written in hexadecimal and separated by colons and can support a number that is best expressed as 2 to the power of 128 but for display purposes the number is 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456


Are you running a device which connects to the wifi modem which has one of the SVOD apps running…e.g. a mobile or tablet which has the apps installed. These apps when installed are defaulted to automatically connect to the internet to receive notifications and such like. These may be showing up as connections rather than the modem itself per say.

Do you also have the modem model as well so we can do some searches about it?

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WOW!! I appreciate the effort of those trying to explain technical ‘stuff’ to NON-geeks (I am one). I read it all, twice, hoping to learn but it’s definitely beyond me.
I’m using an Optus wifi modem device (the reason for my interest) for my access to the internet and have no problems, other than the ever so slow connection. I accept the limitation, because of, my needs.
However, very soon, the NBN rollout will reach me and I’ll need to make decisions for that.
Can I, politely, suggest when offering technical support, in this way, that contributors do so in ‘point’ form? I know that’s, sometimes, difficult to do but information can often be better understood.
My sincere thanks for all contributions.


One thing that might help your slow connection. Most of these modems try to always find the fastest connection, so they are always bouncing from one band to the next eg between HSPDA, 3G and 4G and this can mean slower speeds.

As the little modem sticks or devices are multiple to do this in a detailed bulleted listing might be a bit hard.

You need to:

Access the settings for your modem (the way to do this varies by your modem)

Check to see if you can make it permanently use either 3G or 4G. if it is a 4G modem what I would normally choose here is 3G but if you are ALWAYS in a very strong 4G area then 4G would be best. If it is a 3G modem just make it “3G only”

Select the option as above to suit you. if you use it in moving around a city/area then 3G will be the best option and if it is a 3G modem you will still need to set it to 3G only

Save the settings if it requires it to be saved

You normally will lose connection as the modem resets it’s operation but the connection will return shortly

Check to see if speeds have improved

If they have congratulations if not you can revert back to the previous settings (for most there will be improvements)

If you can’t work out how to access the necessary setting then search online for your model number of the modem and about forcing 3G (same process will allow setting 4G but most advices are about setting 3G). Or you can visit your Optus/Telstra/Vodaphone/etc store to get them to do it for you, some may be reluctant or not know how.


No not as far as I know, I have had conversations with Optus people about this and I haven’t downloaded Netflix for anything as I don’t need it.
the woman from Optus said that as far as their techs know it is my device that is dong the connecting not their modem forcing the connection. it does it on my windows laptop and also a WiFi tablet which has never had Netflix downloaded on it at all. The one thing I noticed yesterday is that the connection happened just as I was about to finish up using both devices. Anyway they have given me another 6GB to use and I’ve decided to not use it again once that is used up . They also told me I maybe should go to another carrier if I’m not happy which is why I got the extra 6GB because I would be out off pocket otherwise.
. I have ended up buying a Telstra USB to see how long that data lasts and if I have the same problem, but right now it is not using data as fast as Optus’s modem does.

The Optus Modem is a 4G WiFi Modem E5573 and it is from Huawei.

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I remember seeing 4G and 3G when I got into the modem to change the password but didn’t’ worry about changing ti as Optus is hit and miss here sometimes 4G, sometimes 3G. I dont’ take the modem with me out off home as I only wanted if to here because I didn’t want to go out and bu ya new WiFi modem because NBN is supposed to be getting installed around here later this year and the modem I get would be useless then. My speed is okay its just the frustrating fact it connects too Netflix, funny thing though while Optus were looking into stuff it didn’t do it only when they finalised my case.
I must also thank you for all your help here and will look into the modem settings when I have more time to do so, but I’m afraid the DNS stuff is beyond me even with all your explanations. The point by point suggestion from tomaz is a good idea for those who aren’t tech savvy like myself.
I also find it frustrating the Optus say its my devices but I know for a fact its happening to other Optus users by what I’ve seen online yet they don’t appear to care I suppose that the faster they use data the more likely it is they recharge sooner.

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Coles sold the device but I installed the service and usually they tell you to go to Optus who because you didn’t purchase form them don’t want to know about it which as far as I’m concerned is customer service at its worst as they on sold these modems to Coles for sale i n the first place.


On your Windows laptop, once it happens again push Ctrl-Alt-Del once all at the same time. A box will appear, select task manager.

Under the task manager, see what programs are running…and see if there is any like netflix.exe.

If netflix.exe is running on the laptop, it may mean that some netflix apps/software was installed as part of the original laptop setup. It may have been preinstalled prior to the laptop being purchased.

If this is the case, go to add/remove programs, and see if there is a program called netfix. If there is, uninstall it.

You can also do a search for ‘netflix’ in windows explorer (file manager). Make sure that you search each drive from the root directory (select the drive in the window pane on the left and then type netflix in the search bar in the top right). This will confirm netflix software hss not been installed.

Also if the Windows laptop seems to be free of netflix, on your wifi tablet see what apps are installed. Check that netfix was not pre installed when new.

If netflix has been installed, uninstall/ remove the app.


Thank you for the model details.

This is the bouncing between bands I was referring to above. It does this because it is searching for the strongest signal (which typically means more speed) but if it hunts between the bands it really slows your speeds down because it disconnects from one and connects with the other and so is constantly spending time (thus speed) renegotiating connections rather than doing the download upload job you want it to do.


I would recommend you download a small program from sourceforge and install it. It may give an error when it runs but it should still show you every connection your computer is making via the network.

There should be a lot but you should be able to locate your SVOD offenders in the listings. It is called CloseTheDoor https://sites.google.com/site/weyecoh/homepage/closethedoor/ and a bit of a write up on how to use it https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/shut-unwanted-connections-pc-closethedoor/

If unsure of what you are looking at in the results feel free to ask for advice.


Thank you for the links, but I’m really not confident enough to do this even with the how to use instructions.
I did look at the closethedoor link but I’m not sure it would work as I have Windows 10 on my laptop.

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Yes it does, it says Win 7 but many function calls made in Win 7 are still supported in Win 10, (currently I use Win 10 Pro x64 version 1803 (April 2018 release)

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