Prey using a lot of bandwidth, and how to disable/enable without internet?

Let us help you. Please tell us about…

  • Affected device (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone): laptop
  • Windows Version Windows 10
  • Part of Prey not working (Prey account, mobile app, a specific action or module, reports): Windows executable

Could you please describe the problem?

I’m currently tethering my laptop (which has Prey installed) through my phone (which does not) in an area with little internet service, and so I have a data cap to worry about. I’ve noticed that every time I connect the laptop to the internet, the Prey executable is up or downloading a large (50-100MB) amount of data.

How do I know it’s Prey? By using the Task Manager, sorted by network activity. I see the node.exe process running from the Prey install directory at the top of the list for several seconds following the connect, and I watch the data usage on my phone jump by 50-100MB. After the Prey process is done accessing the network, data usage slows to a trickle.

This has happened several times over the past couple of days, so I don’t think it’s Prey downloading new versions. It would be great to know what Prey is doing with that much bandwidth, and how I can stop it - but I’d settle for being able to disable Prey locally before tethering.

The problem is, Prey doesn’t seem to have a local control panel - so I’m not sure how I can disable it temporarily before tethering, and leave it active otherwise. Is it enough to stop & disable the Cron Service?

And finally, please attach a screenshot if available (you can drag and drop images)

Minor update: I seem to have confirmed that it’s Prey using the bandwidth when first connecting. I was able to stop Prey like this:

  1. Disable Cron Service
  2. taskkill /f /im wpxsvc.exe (from an admin cmd shell)
  3. taskkill /f /im node.exe

Then I connected to the tether, and let all the processes settle. Data usage was less than 10MB.