Unlimited broadband plans are now the most popular deals, but they still have limitations. Here’s all you need to know about broadband data limits and fair usage policies.
Broadband data is used every time you go online using a modem or router.
A broadband data limit is the maximum amount of information your provider will let you download from the internet in a set time period, usually a month.
Fair usage policies limit excessive data use at peak times so there’s enough bandwidth for everyone online and broadband performance is not affected.
A fair usage policy can reduce your download speed at peak times, even if you have an unlimited plan.
Many broadband providers in Ireland have removed their usage policy in the last 12 months and now offer truly unlimited broadband, however, some still limit usage to 1,000GB per month.
The amount of data you’ll need will depend on what you use the internet for and the number of people in your household who go online. Here are some of the most common online activities, and the data they use:
|Browsing the internet||10-25MB/hr|
|Reading/sending an email||Approx 0.1MB|
|Browsing Facebook||Approx 20MB/hr|
|Downloading an HD movie||4GB|
|Watching Netflix||1GB/hr for SD, 3GB/hr for HD|
|Watching NOW||Approx 1GB/hr|
|Listening to music on Spotify||Approx 0.1GB/hr|
|Watching YouTube||Approx 0.25GB/hr|
|Online gaming||Approx 2GB/hr|
If you go over your plan’s data limit or fair usage limit, you will usually be charged per GB for doing so, which can work out to be quite costly.
If your provider doesn’t impose charges, it’s possible they could restrict your service once you go over the limit.
If you live in a large household and use the internet for most activities, opt for a fully unlimited broadband package to give you peace of mind.
A truly unlimited plan means you’ll be charged the same amount each month and your speeds won’t change regardless of how much you use the internet.
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