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How do I keep my Bandwidth in Check?

Try adjusting your streaming settings. Netflix is set to Auto by default which means if the video is HD quality, it will use the data amount for HD which is approximately 3 Gb an hour, or 7 Gb for 4k streaming. Setting it to Low uses 300 Mb an hour while Medium uses 700 Mb an hour. Please use a PC to make these adjustments as it will apply the chosen settings on all devices that use the account (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video). Do not make changes on the App.

 When using AppleTV, if you stop a video in progress and do not tell it to sleep, it will continue to buffer in the video. This can potentially cause you to download a video for up to an hour, which will go towards your monthly limit. By default, the AppleTV will go to sleep after an hour if you leave it alone. When you use it again, you will have to start your streaming again. We recommend that you stop the video and tell your AppleTV to sleep. Settings>Sleep Now. This will make sure that you do not stream a video that is using your data while you are not using the AppleTV. This would also apply to gaming consoles with streaming apps. Instead of telling it to hibernate, tell the consoles to completely turn off. Having the iCloud set on any Apple device can also lead to a lot of data syncing to the iCloud and synching back down to your Apple devices, consuming data.

It is good to keep in mind that any video streaming, not just the services listed above, will have similar if not the same result when streaming HD content. Also, please consider constant face-timing or video chatting. Constant streaming of music will utilize less bandwidth but keep in mind that there may be potential adjustments for that as well depending on your options for streaming music, audio-only, or audio with some type of video or picture viewing.

 Please remember that if your data usage habits don’t change from month to month and you are certain that only the persons in your household have access to your internet, then you should consider any updates that have occurred on your devices that may have affected the bandwidth usage directly or may have changed a program or app or service that may be causing more bandwidth usage. Updates can potentially change how your devices/apps/programs function and how they affect bandwidth usage. Please be aware, as much as possible, of how your bandwidth is being utilized.

 File synchronization software such as DropBox can also utilize large amounts of data. These types of services help with making your information available on multiple devices, but this can cause constant use while synching from one device to the other. Online backup is another potential use of your data and a very large one at that.  Torrents also use large amounts of data usage if left unchecked. Torrent programs can run constantly causing upload traffic and download traffic. By default, torrent programs will start up when your computer starts up but not show any window stating its running. This is a potential program that will always run in the background.

 Last but not least, ensure the security of your wireless network. Please make sure only you and your family members are using your network. If friends visit and you allow them access to your network, you will still be charged for any data they use. It is also good to change your SSID and password from time to time. A good rule of thumb is to either disconnect the power to your router or the Ethernet cable from your modem to ensure no data is used while you are asleep or away from your residence. If you have our modem with a built-in wireless router, simply unplugging the power will help keep your data use in check. 

You can search online for further information.

Updated on 14 July 2021

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