What is monthly broadband usage?
By browsing the internet, viewing images online, downloading music, streaming video or online gaming, a user is constantly downloading data via their internet connection. Monthly broadband usage can be explained as the amount of this data that a user downloads per month.
This data is usually measured in gigabytes (GB) and is one of the factors that determine the amount an internet service provider (ISP) will charge for any given broadband package.
Most broadband packages have a download limit (e.g. 2GB, 15GB, 30GB), meaning that only a certain amount of data is permitted to be downloaded in any month as a part of the users broadband package. Once the user exceeds this amount additional charges are incurred.
Essentially, the more heavily you use the internet, the more data you will need to download and subsequently you will require a high download limit ? the higher the download limit, the more expensive the broadband package will be.
As an example, Youtube videos can vary anywhere from 1Mb to over 300Mb for longer and higher quality videos. If this is a website you enjoy using regularly, a very high usage limit, or unlimited usage would be recommended.
There are several broadband usage options to choose from (which are catered for by most ISPs) allowing you to select the package with a usage limit that is appropriate for your internet usage.
There are also pay-as-you-go packages and unlimited packages, which allow you to surf without any concern for the amount of data you download.
It is also worth remembering that you can always upgrade your broadband package, if you find you are hitting your 2GB monthly limit, upgrade to 6GB!
In order to determine which monthly broadband limit is appropriate, you must first consider how much time you spend online and the type of information you download or access.
Below are a sample of monthly broadband limits, offered by the leading ISPs (BT, Virgin etc.). Take a look and see which looks most suitable for your individual needs.
Many internet service providers (ISPs) offer a cheap unlimited broadband package, which is aimed at heavy users of the internet. With an unlimited broadband contract there is no limit to the amount of information you are permitted to download per month.
An Unlimited Broadband package is perfect if you spend a lot of time online and download large files, such as videos, music (MP3s), applications and software updates.
Another benefit of an unlimited broadband package is that your monthly bill is guaranteed to be the same each month as you are paying a fixed fee for unlimited usage – rather than a pay-as-you-go approach or a capped usage tariff, which incurs additional costs if your limit is breached.
Although broadband providers advertise “Unlimited Broadband”, they are all subject to a “Fair Usage Policy”, which can vary greatly between suppliers. Always read through the “Fair Usage Policy” before entering into a contract.
A monthly usage limit of over 20GB is the way to go if you use the internet heavily for 4-6 hours a day. This size of download limit copes with browsing, sending/receiving large attachments, frequent downloading of large image, movie, software and music files and is also perfect for online gaming.
A monthly usage of 6-20GB is excellent for medium-weight internet users, who spend 2 to 6 days online per week surfing and receiving emails. This size of download limit is good when larger attachments are used via email and when multiple videos, music files are downloaded.
A monthly usage limit of 2-5GB are also good for lighter internet users, who spend between 6 and 12 hours per week on online, use email with some attachments and download some video content (BBC iPlayer, YouTube), music (iTunes, MP3s) and software updates (Windows or Mac OS).
A monthly usage limit of 1GB is ideal for light users of the internet who, on average, spend 5 hours or less per week on the internet, purely for surfing the web and sending/receiving emails.
Pay-as-you-go usage is ideal for light internet users who want to keep their ISP bills to a minimum. This type of broadband package is charged by the minute, so if you use the internet infrequently or spend long periods of time away from home when you won?t be making use of your internet connection, this could be the ideal package for you.