In our present day and age, with never ending high-quality video and music content to stream and / or download, bandwidth caps can be extremely frustrating. Bandwidth caps vary between Internet service providers (ISPs), with some promising unlimited bandwidth each month, others enforcing hefty overage charges for breaching your allotted monthly amount, while another may only offer unlimited bandwidth from 6PM to 6AM. Whatever your plan is, we have comprised four key steps that you can take to protect yourself from additional fees and sluggish connections.
Keep Track of Your Usage
If your bandwidth allotment is on the low side and you are concerned about going beyond your limit, then you will want to monitor your usage regularly. Generally speaking, most ISPs that enforce bandwidth caps will have a website for subscribers to check in on their usage. This is a very useful tool for those who are keen on keeping costs down, as you will be able to view the amount of bandwidth that you have used to-date.
Cut the Bandwidth Fat on Your Video Streaming
Video streaming, overall, uses a large volume of bandwidth, but as soon as you throw in all of the high definition options that are available these days usage amounts are sent through the roof. For example, websites such as YouTube and Netflix automatically adjust their video quality to match your connection speed however, they usually default to the highest quality option available. With that being said, you can still stream videos online without eating through your entire bandwidth allowance in one night – all you need to do is adjust the quality settings. You can do this by decreasing the quality using the video player settings while you are watching, or you can lower the video quality settings permanently on the website’s settings page. With each of these scenarios you will conserve a substantial amount of bandwidth by downgrading your video streaming quality.
Reign in on Bad Browser Bandwidth
With the progression of the Internet comes the advancement of websites, including heavier, larger and increasingly bandwidth-consuming content. Not to worry, though, there are browser options and plugins available to help gain control of how much you are consuming while surfing the web. This includes enabling Click-to-Play plugins so that flash content, such as large advertisements, are not downloaded without your approval.
Another way that you can cut back on your bandwidth usage while perusing the Internet is to block your browser from downloading images. This trick will be especially useful if you are tethering to your smartphone with a limited data plan. Images can be bandwidth guzzlers, albeit still less so than animated Flash ads or high-quality video streaming.
In an effort to capitalize on the fact that the majority of people use more bandwidth during the day than at night, some ISPs will put a cap on, or slow down, your connection usage during the day. As a trade off, and since there is greater capacity, ISPs will speed up connections in the evening. If your Internet plan is like this then you will want to ensure that you are downloading content in the evening or overnight. And, of course, if you are a company that utilizes a fair portion of Internet activity during the day, then it would be wise to select a business Internet services provider that offers a realistic amount of bandwidth for your business’s needs.
Share your thoughts! How do you maximize your bandwidth usage?