Data limits can sometimes leave you scratching your head. You sign up for a broadband service and are quoted an amount of data you can use every month, but what does that data allow you to do?
Most broadband providers offer the customer an unlimited data allowance, but if you’re looking to save a bit of cash or are using a satellite connection, it’s likely that you may have a cap on your usage. A great way of visualising your usage needs can be seen in the table below from Money.co.uk.
Unlimited broadband is an attractive prospect for many. Being able to navigate the internet, stream HD videos and play online games without the fear of breaching a data cap can put a customer’s mind at ease. Sounds great, right?
Well, there can be some unforeseen issues. Many consumers believe that with an unlimited package comes faster speeds and, unfortunately, that is not true. Being able to consume more data does not mean that your internet will see speed improvements. If speed is a priority to you, look out for “download speed” over data limits. It’s also worth bearing in mind that an ‘unlimited’ data cap usually comes with a fair use policy. Whilst there is no universally accepted ‘fair use’ number, users who heavily participate in peer-2-peer file-sharing networks are more likely to risk being contacted by their ISP.
So, what happens if you go over your data limit?
If you breach your data cap, you can face additional fees on your monthly bill or be subjected to a practice known as ‘throttling’. Throttling is where your broadband provider restricts your speeds at peak times and, depending on your connection speed in the first place, can prove to be quite frustrating.
Luckily, most companies will notify you when you’re approaching your data limit. This allows you to modify your online behaviour in order to ensure you don’t go over your data allowance. However this is not always the case. It’s always a wise idea to keep tabs on your usage and, with most service providers allow you to monitor your usage online or through an app. I yours doesn’t, or you can’t figure out how to set it up, you can find out how much data you’ve used by getting in touch with your service provider directly.
Remember, if you monitor your data usage and are consistently using under your limit, you can always contact your ISP to request a reduced data cap in order to save some pennies!