Many Internet service providers (ISPs) today offer different plans which have different bandwidth options for the consumers. Majority of the service providers would be offering high-speed plans with limited bandwidth and slow speed plans with unlimited bandwidths. For instance, they would offer high-speed plan by limiting the bandwidth in certain hours of the day like limiting bandwidth at the working hours and unrestricted bandwidth at nights. If you cross the bandwidth limit provided at the working hours, you would be charged extra amount for consuming those additional MBs (megabytes). These bandwidth restrictions or caps can be frustrating for many of us in the era of high-quality online music and video streaming that eats up the maximum of bandwidth. Here in this article we would be providing a few tips through which you can make most out of your limited bandwidth plan in case you cannot find suitable ISP in your area.
Tracking Bandwidth usage
The most appropriate method which can be used to keep an eagle eye on your limited bandwidth plan is to view your data usage statistics at the website of your ISP. They must have provided you a username and password to log in into your account and check the daily usage of your internet. This will show you the upto date data count of the internet bandwidth you have used so far.
There is similar method provided in the latest Windows 8.1 on how to track your bandwidth usage without logging in to your ISPs website. But it is to be noted that it would only provide information for the PC you are using for internet surfing, it excludes bandwidth on other devices and also if in case it does not provide any valid information or there is discrepancy in the statistics, your ISP would trust their own figures not yours. So it’s not an ideal option for users with multiple devices.
Limiting Bandwidth Usage in Browsers
Today websites are bandwidth intensive and these heavy websites can consume a large amount of your bandwidth plan. But unfortunately web browsers have limited option to handle this problem. A few tricks can do the job right to some extent like click-to-play plugins or something like Adblocks that can prevent the flash content to be loaded automatically on the website, which is the real culprit behind the high bandwidth usage. There are also tricks that prevents your browser from loading images but keep in mind that while images can be large, they are not even close to Flash advertisements or streaming online videos.
Spare bandwidths on Online Video Streaming
We are accustomed to online video streaming today. Websites like YouTube and NetFlix are some of the examples of high quality online video streaming which eats up large amount of bandwidths. For resolving this, you have to do some minor video quality settings at the websites. Normally, we don’t have to do the settings. These websites can automatically detect bandwidth quality of your internet connection and adjust settings according to it. But if you don’t want to do them automatically, you can turn down the quality manually. For instance, you can click on playback settings at your Netflix account and select a data usage limit like 300MB of low level of usage per hour or high usage up to 3GB/hour for high-quality streaming according to your desire.
Similarly YouTube also allows you to set limitation in your account in the playback settings where you can choose ‘I have a slow connection’ option, it will default to low quality even if you have high speed internet. Similar options can be found on other online video streaming websites. Interestingly, a lot of people wrangle with the ISPs on this issue, especially in the developing countries where people don’t have much knowledge about these things. They argue that they haven’t downloaded anything then why their monthly internet bill exceeded. They fail to realize that even watching online videos is another type of downloading and consumes data faster.
A lot of people are habitual of downloading several stuffs from the internet. They can use some tricks to deal with bandwidth caps. If you happens to be one of them and your ISP offers you unlimited bandwidth at nights, then you can schedule your downloads to start from a certain point and end up before the unlimited bandwidth hours are pulled off. There are several methods to schedule downloads like using utorrent and softwares like Internet Download Manager, etc. that will start/stop downloading automatically at user specified time. There are similar settings that can be applied to Steam gaming service which permits scheduled downloads of the installed games automatically at a specific time.
When we have made our mind to apply for an internet plan, we must not rush into a decision, but should research a little bit about the list of broad selections the ISPs is offering. Internet data plans also vary from country to country and place to place. So choose your plan smartly. We hope our tips could help you in the long run.