If your internet service provider enforces data caps, you may be stressed to the brink trying avoiding overage charges or speed throttling. And you’re not wrong – a family of four using phones, laptops, tablets, and a smart tv can tear through even high data allowances unless they take some precautions. Here are some simple common-sense measures to help you outsmart your data caps.
Know Your Off-Peak Usage Times
This is an easy one. Almost all ISPs that use data caps offer an off-peak time when data usage is unlimited, so find out when those times are and make the most of them! It’s true that most of these off-peak times are overnight, so it might not be much help with Zoom meetings or schoolwork, but you can schedule downloading large work files or updates for these hours to free up data during business hours.
Check Your Streaming Settings
Streaming video is a huge burden on most people’s data usage. To keep that bite to a minimum, simply turn down your playback settings. The lowest settings will use the least data, but you don’t have to cut your streaming to the bone. Even just dropping down from streaming in 4K can take a chunk out of your data usage. Zoom, Skype, and other video conferencing apps can run on lower usage settings as well.
Remember Your Cellular Data
This may sound counterintuitive, but using your cellular data instead of your Wi-Fi might work better for you. Now that there are so many affordable unlimited cellular data plans available, using your phone’s hotspot to handle some of your workloads can help offset your data usage. You could designate one family member to use cellular data each month, switch to it when you’re using a lot of data, or keep it as a backup for anytime you get near your data cap.