Having the potential of flying in the sky and yet being exiled to the basement, feels criminal, right? Well, that is precisely how data caps are like. The majority of the people are aware of the data caps from their mobile plans, however, there are internet plans with data caps as well.

Your first preference should always be to subscribe to a plan that defies all the data restriction rules just like Spectrum who do not impose any data limitations on their internet plans. You can find more details at https://www.localcabledeals.com/Spectrum/Deals.

For companies that inflict data caps on their internet plans make sure to charge overages for all the bandwidth that is consumed after the limit or the ISP might throttle the internet in order to maintain the terms of plans. In both cases, internet users find it hard to cope up with the situation. Some popular ISPs that put data caps on their internet plans are discussed here:

ISPData Cap LimitConsequence
AT&TDSL plans – 150 GB Fixed wireless – 350 GB AT&T internet – 1 TBCharges 10 USD every extra 50 GB
HughesNetVaries from 10 GB to 50 GBReduces speed to 1 to 3 Mbps
Buckeye BroadbandGig plan – 250 GBCharges 10 USD every extra 50 GB
Rise BroadbandVaries from 250 GB to UnlimitedCharges 5 USD every extra 10 GB
MediaComVaries from 200 GB to 6000 GBCharges 10 USD every extra 50 GB
ViasatVaries from 15 GB to 300 GBReduces speed
SuddenlinkVaries from 250 GB to UnlimitedCharges 15 USD every extra 50 GB

All these consequences do tell us that data caps if imposed, should be followed. This article aims to offer expert ways that ensure you keep your data volume under the ISP restriction. 

Monitor your data usage

The first step in maintaining your data limit is to understand the amount of data you are readily consuming on different online activities. Mostly, the internet providers that put data restrictions have a client dashboard that you can access through your account. This dashboard shows the exact data amount that has been consumed during the billing period of that specific month. Some internet providers like HughesNet have the same system in their mobile applications as well. If your provider offers a mobile app, make sure to enable alerts that can help you in regulating your data usage.

Check your streaming settings

Binge-watching or simple streaming eats up the most data and so if you want to keep streaming the entire month without having to pay extra, you should just change the settings of your streaming service.

Most video-on-demand streaming applications offer 4K or ultra-HD video streaming, however, you should decrease the picture quality to keep your data usage in check. Here is a list of the most popular streaming services including ways to lower picture quality:

Netflix

  • Open your Account page and select your profile.
  • Click on ‘Playback settings’
  • Click on ‘Change’
  • From the presented menu, you can select data settings for as low as 0.3 GB/hour

Hulu

  • Open the Hulu app from your smartphone or a web browser
  • Play a video and click on ‘gear icon’
  • Go to ‘quality’ and select ‘Data Saver’

Disney Plus

  • Go to Settings and select ‘App Settings’
  • Select a data quality: Automatic (HD), Moderate, or Save Data (0.7 GB/hour)

HBO Max

HBO Max does not support data saving mode.

YouTube

  • Play a video and click on ‘Settings’
  • Choose your preferred resolution

Facebook

  • Navigate to ‘Settings & Privacy’
  • Click on ‘Data Saver’
  • Turn off the video autoplay option from the video settings

Zoom

  • Click on ‘Settings’
  • Select ‘Video’
  • Unmark the checkbox ‘Enable HD’

Spotify

  • Go to the Home page
  • Click on ‘Settings’ and turn on the ‘Data Saver’ option

Apple Music

Apple Music does not support data saving mode

Pandora

  • Go to your Profile
  • Click on ‘Settings’ and then ‘Advanced’
  • Click on ‘Audio Quality and Downloads’
  • Select an audio setting with low quality

Update your Antivirus program

Having decent antivirus software is a great premise for your internet-related devices. Antivirus programs not only secure your device and operating system but also makes sure that malware and viruses do not hog your internet bandwidth.

Most computers have a pre-installed antivirus system; however, if yours is not, make sure to download one instantly. Once you have your antivirus program installed, it is your duty to update it regularly. You can also schedule updates so you never forget.

Use a Data-saving browser

Most web browsers offer extensions that work as major data savers. These extensions reduce internet usage by file compression when pages are loaded. Furthermore, the images on your most frequently visited websites are saved so your data is not used to re-load them. Web browsers like Puffin and Opera have this setting pre-installed.

Shut down all the unnecessary programs

Closing all the programs that you are not using is a great practice. However, did you know that there are background programs that keep on running and using your data? Well, now you do. Applications like Skype also keep on running in the background and so it is important to shut them down properly. Go to your Activity Log and close all unnecessary programs and operations from there.

Turn off all extra devices

If you have an all-connected smart home, be sure to know that all your devices are taking up space on your bandwidth, even the ones that you are not using. Applications on devices keep on updating and the notifications keep coming and so they have an impact on data usage. As such, you should turn off all the devices that you do not use. If turning off does not suit you, you can simply disconnect them from your connection.

The Last Word

In this last section of the article, I must reiterate that having an internet plan without any data restriction is probably the best thing. If for any reason, you decide to subscribe to a limited plan, make sure to follow these tips to minimize your data usage.

Good luck!

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